I am graduating from nail school in a few weeks. I have always wanted to have my own salon. How important is it that I work for somebody else first before I open my own place?
Important! Starting your own business from scratch with little following is challenging. Find a salon or spa that you feel matches your values and personality and get in there and learn the ropes. Study under a mentor and grow in confidence while you grow your client base. Getting the basics down first will be crucial prior to opening your own business because once this happens you will have many more challenges (layout and design, how to get a loan, implementing operational systems, creating cash flow projections, recruiting and training, and writing a marketing plan, to name a few). Take these first few years in your career path to get a foundation. Remember, find someone you want to learn from and study hard and practice, practice, practice. Finally, let your mentor know that your goal is to one day own your own salon. Best of luck to you!
— Steve Gomez is professional development manager for Milady (www.milady.cengage.com).