I started my business in November 2020. At the time, the economy had slowed down and business was not very good for many people. I took a leap of faith after getting an empty space that I thought was strategic for a beauty salon and spa business. I used a startup capital of around Sh200,000. These funds went into acquiring the right licenses to operate and the right equipment and technology. I officially opened my business on November 21, 2020.
My business took quite a while before it could become self-reliant. Luckily for me, I had been in this industry for a long time and had built a client base that was loyal. So when I opened my own business, majority of these clients gave me business and referrals. This came in handy at a time when the business required a lot of operational capital to survive because of the tough economic period of 2020 and 2021 that was flared by Covid-19.
Over the years, I knew that I would end up owning a beauty business. This is because of my passion. I have always been a hairdresser. Converting this passion into a business was natural. However, I don’t take the years I was employed for granted. It is through employment that I learned the nitty gritty of running this type of business profitably.
There are a few mistakes that I made when I started this business. One of these was budgeting. I didn’t have a budget. This meant that my finances were an open book; they could be spent on impulse or beyond the required limits. By working without a budget, I ended up losing a lot of money. Budgeting is the strongest form of financial accountability that anyone in business must adhere to. It is through budgeting that you will know how the money you put into the business is spent and the income is allocated.
In the beauty industry, customer satisfaction is the ultimate milestone. This is a very diverse field where customers have very different tastes. One customer’s taste and satisfaction will not be similar to the next. I have learned that you have to be really multi-skilled to accommodate all the varying needs. At the same time, I have learned that it is very important to hire assistants with the right skills. No customer will return for business if she is served by an inexperienced assistant because looks are very personal.
I have learnt to separate my business and personal money accounts. Today, my business funds operate strictly from a business account whose funding capacity I have been building.
The answer is always simple! Don’t complicate your decisions and aspirations. If you have a goal but are procrastinating about failure, stop and just take the first step. At the end of the day, you will either earn or learn.