No one welcomes the hassle that moving a salon is sure to bring. But you can minimize the headaches by researching your new location thoroughly, planning well ahead, budgeting realistically, and packing smart.
Pack It Up!
“On the weekend of our move, we made sure we had all the employees get their tables packed up,” says Borowy. Each employee also packed boxes with their implements and products – each box labeled with the corresponding employee’s name. After closing on a Saturday afternoon, they all stayed after work, with family and friends helping out. Because the new location was only a few steps away, Borowy says, “We just rolled our tables down the hall.”
When packing, keep in mind some rules of thumb:
- Pedicure chairs, whirlpool tubs, and sinks should be dried thoroughly and wrapped in towels or sheets. Moving veterans says they just set the equipment carefully in trucks for short moves, but would wrap them more carefully for longer hauls. Use twine to tie down the wrapping material.
- Take apart tanning beds carefully into their two main pieces, taking special care with the heating element and place carefully in your moving van.
- When packing product, whether for use at work stations or display in the retail area, be sure that caps are on tight, and pack upright to avoid leaks. If product is kept in containers other than the originals, you may need to tape them closed.
- Tape down desk drawers and appliance pieces that could come loose or open. Washing machines and dryers can be stuffed with towels and sheets. Wrap them in blankets or furniture pads, and tie or tape them down securely.
- Books, papers, and small, heavy items should be packed in small boxes.
- Computers, stereos, television sets, and electronic equipment are best packed in their original boxes, if available. If not, wrap in plastic bags, surround with bubble wrap and set into sturdy boxes.
- Unplug your electronic equipment a day ahead of time, according to the folks at United Van Lines. Equipment moved while it is still warm could be more easily damaged.
- Mirrors and glass-topped art will stay intact by taping an X across the glass. Put cardboard protectors on the corners, wrap them in bubble wrap and set upright in sturdy boxes, or set into art-size cardboard boxes, available at moving truck rental agencies and packaging stores. Be sure to label the boxes as fragile.
- If you are moving items of extraordinary value, consider purchasing additional insurance and listing these items and their values on a separate inventory. Otherwise, their liability for loss or damage will be limited, usually to $100 per pound.
Have everything packed and ready before the movers or the rental truck arrive, Harris advises.
Baker-Smith and her employees labeled each and every box with a complete list of the contents. “We tried to keep washroom stuff in one box and nail room stuff in another box, so when you unpack, you know where your supplies will be.
“WE all basically took a room – facial, wax, pedicure – that way you don’t have eight chiefs trying to set up one room” Baker-Smith says.
Rules for Packing
- Get rid of old or unneeded implements, equipment, and product.
- Label each box with a complete, detailed list of contents, employee’s name, and the box’s destination.
- Keep a master list with the location of each box.
- Try to use boxes that are of just a few sizes so they stack easily into a truck. Close them up with sturdy tape; masking tape could come loose.
When Moving Yourself
- If renting a truck, call at least two weeks ahead to make a reservation.
- Most trucks come with ramps and some have hydraulic lifts. Ask about additional charges for lifts, mileage, and insurance.
- You can also rent hand trucks, dollies, and furniture blankets. Rope, tape, and bungee cords can often be purchased for less cost at a hardware store.
- Rental companies usually require a credit card deposit of up to $100, which will be credited to your account at the end of the move.
- Corral family and friends to help with the move.
Preparing Clients for the Move
When you move your salon, there’s something just as important to get to the new location as your tables and chairs: your clients.
Here are some tips from the techs who have done it.
- Get your clients involved in the move. When Renee Borowy of Riverview, Mich., moved her VIP Nails and Tans for the third time, she built up loyalty by taking her regulars over to the new location to show them how work was progressing, and explained there would be room for many new services. Some of them had been with us 15 years and two moves already. They were really excited,” Borowy says. “But be careful they don’t trip over the construction mess!”
- Publicize internally and in local media. You should already have an up-to-date list of your clients’ names, addresses, and even e-mail addresses. Use that to send out reminders about the new location, directions for getting there, and incentives to check out your new digs. I made postcards to send to all my clients inviting them to join me at my new salon and receive a discounted nail service and a free hand or foot treatment,” says Alisha Sale. “I made flyers that were passed around college campuses and shopping centers. I did a television commercial, I advertised in all the local papers with coupon specials, and I called the newspaper. They did an article, at no expense to me!” Especially in smaller cities, local functionaries appreciate the public relations opportunity of a business opening. Send invitations – their addresses and phone numbers are in the telephone directory’s business pages – and follow up with a personal call.
- Make your customers feel special. Borowy went to a local wine bottler who printed up special labels announcing her opening, and slapped it on little bottles of wine. “Then we went to a manufacturer and asked them to help us out with product. They put packages together of three different items, and we wrapped them in little containers with the split of wine,” she recalls. Because Borowy planned her move for November, she let the package double as holiday gifts for her clients – all 2,000 of them.
- Celebrate! A party is a natural for such a happy occasion. You may want more than one: an intimate reception the evening before for your most-valued clients, and a grand opening party on the big day. Whether elegant and catered, or homey and potluck, it will make your new locale feel like their new salon.