Are you differentiating your services from those of your closest competitors?
We’re used to thinking of competition in a negative light, but it can actually be good for your business. Not every client is perfect for every salon, which is why it’s important to have some distinction between the services that you provide compared to those of your neighbor.
Sure, you’re both probably going to provide your basic cut and color, but what are your specialties?
The possibilities are endless, so think about the people, products, and services that your team is the most passionate about and find your niche!
Today we are featuring Georgia Day a 23 years old from the United Kingdom who opened just recently the first-ever Curl Specialist Salon in her area, called The Kurl Salon. Since the opening it has been a massive success, Georgia Day is currently working alone and has clients visiting her from all over the South of the UK. Not only does she specialize in curly hair, but she also specializes in Colour; in 2019 Georgia Day won a Regional Colour Artist Winner of the Year with Wella.
She made all of this happen through a lot of hard work and dedication, 7 day weeks and extremely long hours but the benefits are starting to pay off.
‘’Curly hair is still very much a taboo thing, and many people in my industry still aren’t aware on how to cut curly hair correctly. They are taught in colleges and apprenticeships to treat all hair types the same and over time I would love to introduce my technique into the education system. Many people with curly hair end up having bad experiences at salons because we have never been taught how to treat curly hair correctly. ‘’ Georgia Day
How do you differentiate yourself from other hair salons?
The Kurl Salon is a specialist salon, although many salons tend to specialize in either hair extensions or balayage for example, I have a very niche market by specializing in curly hair and color. Surprisingly, it is very hard to find a hairstylist, let alone a hair salon dedicated to natural, curly hair. I have clients that visit me from all over the south of England for my unique cutting methods by cutting curly hair dry and by each individual curl, allowing a balanced shape that flows together, staying away from that terrible triangle most curlies have experienced!
What is your top tip for success?
Be prepared for a lot of hard work, remember to switch off from work mode sometimes and DO YOUR RESEARCH!
What was your background prior to starting The Kurl Salon?
At 17 I started a hairdressing apprenticeship, I kind of fell into it but loved it straight away. I stayed there for 6 years and competed in Wella’s trend vision competition in the UK twice, making it through to the regionals and national finals for my colorwork. I started following the curly girl method and went on a cutting course with Lorraine Massey (founder of curly girl) to cut curly hair, and that was when it all changed! I started doing curly clients on my days off, sometimes traveling more than an hour and the demand got so big I decided I needed to have a base for clients to visit me!
What drove you to set up your own company?
I knew what I wanted to achieve in my career, and I had outgrown the salon I was employed at. I wanted to be my own boss and strive for things that weren’t necessarily possible beforehand. I knew I had the drive and the skills to be successful in starting my own business. I saw a niche in the market, I studied my potential clientele a lot before I took the leap and decided it was now or never!
What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?
I would like to employ staff and hopefully open a couple more branches across the UK. I’m interested in teaching people how to cut and style curly hair and would love to try and get it into the hairdressing curriculum at colleges. It would be really great to see all hairdressers able to give curly hair what it needs and not being afraid of it! Possibly a product line too!
Any great story from a customer?
The majority of my clients are always extremely nervous when they first see me due to past traumatic experiences at a salon. I’ve had a few clients that have cried with joy and given me a hug after their appointment because they’ve been so used to leaving a salon feeling deflated and unsatisfied in past experiences!
Since launch, what has worked to attract new customers?
When The Kurl Salon first launched I focused a lot on Facebook and Instagram ads; I didn’t have a massive client base when I first opened. Since then, word of mouth and recommendations have done wonders! People are definitely more likely to try something if a friend or someone they trust recommends them! I now have a rapidly growing client base and find I don’t need to use Facebook or Instagram paid ads anymore.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
Other hairstylists and creatives, in general, keep me inspired, I love seeing how artistic people can be. I also follow a few motivational accounts on Instagram for little pick me ups when scrolling through my feed!
Any advice on what to include (or not to include) in their pitch deck for investors?
Definitely include a backup plan. You need to consider that nothing is guaranteed, and if your original idea was to fail, what do you do next? It may not be something you want to think about, but investors will appreciate the forward-thinking and that you’ve considered all outcomes!
Share us some tips for women who are in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting their own business.
Trust your gut. If you really feel that this is going to work, go for it. Everyone has doubts when they first take the plunge. I personally had a gut instinct that this was the right thing to do and that outweighed my worries, now I am the happiest I’ve been and much better off in general! Make sure you have a good support network around you and maybe look into getting a business mentor to guide you throughout the start-up, they are able to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction.