Brian Leo Mccallum: Lessons from Opening A Second Salon
Brian Leo Mccallum, owner of Roar Hair and Beauty tells us what he learnt from opening a second salon.
‘When I opened the doors to my first salon back in 2017, I was excited about what lay ahead, but it was overwhelming too. In just two years we managed to open our second salon and I learned a lot through the journey.
To give you some background on ROAR and where it all began, I was a hairdresser and didn’t have a huge understanding of business. I didn’t know about business plans and VAT bills. I enrolled myself in some courses with the Princes Trust and learned so much via this. I learned all things business and upon completing the course we were given the chance to present to them for a loan to start the business you had planned for. I was lucky enough to be granted this and received a loan of £8,000. That’s what I started ROAR with. Opportunities like this are priceless and I would encourage you to explore alternative avenues as well as going to talk to your bank.
Originally the business plan we had was expensive. I knew that the majority of businesses failed within the first three years and I went into business planning to wait three years to determine the salons success before making my next move. After around eighteen months of opening the salon, the demand was too much. We simply couldn’t accommodate all of our guests in one salon. We were faced with two options – either opening a new salon a lot sooner than expected or doing work to the existing salon to make it bigger. Of course, option three would be to turn clients away but we weren’t going to do that! We took the plunge and decided to open our second salon.
When it came to opening the second salon I had much more business knowledge and savvy. We made the decision to keep the second salon nearby. I knew I would be splitting my time between the two. I wanted to keep that personal feel with all ROAR guests so I felt comfortable that I could pop between the two salons whenever needed. Our guests were in the Southside of Glasgow already so it made complete sense to open a second space here. I think location is crucial when considering expanding so one of my top tips is to be really sure the location will work for you.
My second top tip would be ensuring you have the right people around you. First and foremost, your team working in both salons. You need to be able to trust them completely and be assured they will uphold standards in your salon when you aren’t there. I learned quickly with two salons you most definitely cannot do everything yourself so this is crucial. The people you have in your personal life have a huge impact too. You need support from your family and friends as it is a really stressful time in your career. It’s enjoyable of course but it is a lot of pressure.
Passion for Helping
My main tip would be to remember to enjoy looking after your guests on the salon floor. That’s why we all became hairdressers, because of that passion to make people look and feel beautiful. As you expand your business your time will become more thinly spread and your time on the salon floor will most likely have to decrease to allow you to run your salon(s) successfully. When you are doing hair on the salon floor, be sure to enjoy it and remember your passion and creativity for the craft’- Brian Leo Mccallum.
For more info on the brand, visit Roar Hair and Beauty here.