“That’s it. I’ve haaaad it!”
Today was the last time you had to put up with insults, disrespect, poor pay, a whole day on your feet without even a thank you. You quit. You left your boss’s hair salon like prisoners leave their cell – happy, relieved, free – and scared. Now, what?
Doing hair is all you know, and it is all you ever wanted to do. You know you are good at it, you are sure you have great skills. But, how to cash it and make it into a job you would enjoy? How about starting a home hairdressing business?
The aspiring home hairdresser’s dilemma
You live in a small house; you have a husband and three kids. Where on earth would you put a home hairdressing business? Let’s see…
You have a guest bedroom. Kids are using it for playing with their computers? Your mother in law is staying in it when she is in town? Send kids to the basement with their computers and tell your mother in law that, when she comes next time, she will have to sleep on the couch. She might think twice about coming so often. And if she is nice, she will understand and support you.
Once you have the room for your new home hairdressing business, you have to make it wonderful for your clients. Paint the room pretty, put some lovely curtains. Get good strong lamps. You have to get a sink installed, a couple of comfortable chairs, a coffee table with magazines if one client has to wait until you finish another. Some stereo for a soft music. A coffee maker and pretty mugs. A box of cookies. Pretty colorful towels. All of that you can borrow from other parts of your home.
Put the money where it counts: your tools of the trade. Start with a few and keep adding as you make more money. But make sure that everything looks professional and spotlessly clean in your home hairdressing business.
Make your entrance appealing, plant some colorful flowers and put a large, shiny sign with the name of your business. Put a few more signs on the corner of your street, or close to the bus stop. Make sure your clients can find you.
The reason many fail
Make yourself working hours. That is necessary because you will be tempted to work too long in your new home hairdressing business, and your family will resent you. After all, you started your home hairdressing business to have a better quality of life, so start with having more time for your family.
Explain to your kids that your work at home is the same as your work at the salon: when you work, you are not available. They should learn to respect your space and to take you seriously. Screaming children barging in on your customers will not leave a professional impression on your clients. But, when there is a crisis, there is a crisis, and your customers will have to understand it. However be and act very professional at all times.
Let’s assume that you were smart enough to establish good relationships with your clients while you were still slaving for your boss, so maybe you can call them if they have given you their number and tell them about your new hair salon at home. Give them a big discount. They will be your ambassadors and best form of advertising.
Print pretty cards or flyers with all details about your home hairdressing business, including a map of your neighborhood, and give a few to every customer who comes. Give them to your favorite grocer, butcher, librarian, dentist, your kids’ teacher, your husband’s colleagues. Tell everyone you know about your new home hairdressing business.
Your never-ending commitment
Keep learning. Take courses at the local college. Study hair magazines and order videos. Learn everything that is new and fashionable. Find out where to get the best and the cheapest hair products. Study, study, and keep studying!
Getting better is a full time job so keep growing.
Don’t expect everything to go smoothly right away in your home hairdressing business. Remember how long it took to learn to drive? But you did it, and in time it became easier, and then it became a pleasure. That should be your goal as a home hairdresser. To enjoy your work, and your earnings, and to do it your way and on your terms.