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Small Business Owner Interview The Hair Zone Owned & Operated by: Mark Gugliemo Lindsey Oliver Nichols College MGMT-100-01
The Hair ZoneO Sole-proprietorshipO Mark wanted to be able to run his business, his way & didn’t really need help in ownershipO Services include hairdressing for both women and men, manicure/pedicure , facialsO In business for 3 years & is currently my hairdresser
A little BackgroundO Mark has been in the hairdressing business since 1977O When he was 19 years old, he worked as an automobile mechanic in a shop located right next to a barber shop (New York)O He came to like the idea of styling hair & immediate pay; went to school at age 23, resulting in becoming licensedO He owned 2 different salons, one after the other; lost both, one to a fire & the other through divorce
Getting StartedO Once Mark bought his space in Dudley, MA, he rebuilt the salon completely with the materials that were already there to save so that he virtually paid nothing to rebuildO Ex: dismantled walls, saved everything down to each nailO Having his license, & years of previous experience really benefitted him, as well as business mistakes that he had learned fromO Mark went from just hairdressing to now offering nail service, facials and soon, full spa treatment and massages
SuccessesO Mark said his major success is that his business has physically grown over the past three years, even in the bad economyO Most rewarding aspect of running the business: being able to adjust money that comes in, take a paycheck each week and be able to get a raise each yearO Critical success factors: maintaining good service hours, providing exceptional service that results in clients wanting to re-book, maintaining reasonable prices and staying current
ChallengesO Being able to create an income that will meet your expenses, weekly, making sure that you breakeven, not monthlyO Finding great employees that will please the customersO Greatest challenge: adding services to become more well-roundedO Overcoming the challenges comes with practiceO Fatal flaws: you have to make people want to come back and you have to pick up the slack
CompetitionO Mark said that he doesn’t think of other shops as competition, he mainly strives to better his shop and himselfO To achieve a competitive advantage, you must consistently provide great serviceO To keep customers satisfied, you must know current style, and many different styles, to be able to look at someone and know what would look good on them
MarketingO When a client comes into the Hair Zone for the first time, the secretary will take their email, & automatically send them a voucher for their next visitO The salon will also email for feedback, asking for one thing the client did not like about the salonO They don’t exactly advertise, but instead, the salon gets involved in the community, hosts in house promotions and product sales
Staffing O When seeking new employees, Mark looks for someone who is a “people-person,” someone with experience, flexibility, h onesty and open- mindedness O He operates with 3 hair stylists, 2 nail technicians, all are facial trained & a secretary
The FutureO Mark definitely plans to stay in businessO Plans/goals: add services, eventually remodel, become more of a manager and do less physical work, add a 2nd location
Unique QuestionsQ) What about cutting hair do you like so much?A) It allows me to be creative and I love stylingsomeone’s hair and seeing a big smile on their faceafterwards!Q)Do you ever wish you had stayed a mechanic?A) Not at all, I’m doing what I was meant to doQ)Your wife must love that you can cut/Stylehair, right?A) Like you wouldn’t believe, its very convenient!
SummaryMark said that his advice for a youngperson wanting to own a business is:1. Once in business, you must constantly keep growing, don’t maintain2. Build assets3. Use creative financing, no big spending I learned a lot about Mark & his business &now consider opening a business more thanever before