Location, location, location
We've all heard it before, when it comes to real estate it all comes down to one word: location, location, location.
But, before choosing your ideal location, you should have defined your business plan and identified your target client by considering where your client lives or works. While clients will venture out of their routine for a special occasion salon visit, users who receive regular hair removal or skin rejuvenation treatments generally lives or works within a 7-10 miles, or 10-15 minutes, of their chosen salon.
Your business plan should also include your geographical competition and their locations to inform your decision making process. If you nearest competitor is a 20 minute drive from your location – that would be considered a nearby competitor and they should not impact your business to any great degree, however if you competitor is next door, then clearly that would not be a good location choice.
Choosing the location for your laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation business is one of the important decisions you have to make in the early stages of starting your new business. So, what are the options; Typically, laser business operate out of four types of locations: Freestanding buildings, Storefront properties, Shopping Centres or a home based location.
Your choice of location will be driven not only by the amount of startup capital you have, but also by the size of the facility you want to have, the availability of space in your area, the local competition and your tolerance for building/renovating and dealing with local zoning requirements.
The pros and cons of each
The simplest way to get started with a laser treatment business is to offer it in your own home. This has the lowest set costs and fewest regulation requirements from your local government. In most cases, your only requirements will be to check if your local zoning regulations allow a salon in your home, obtain a business licence and an application for Health Approval. All of these can usually be found at your local city or municipalities government office or website.
With low overhead, this business can be very lucrative and a great stepping stone to a store front, mall or free standing building after you have built a solid clientele base.
The downsides of a home-based business is the lack of visibility. You will have the least amount of both drive-by and foot traffic with which to attract new customers. This means that you will have to invest in more advertising and marketing to draw new customers and as well you must offer exceptional customer service or a unique experience to ensure that you retain your new clients.
Shopping Malls can offer a lot of foot-traffic, plenty of parking and many customers like the convenience of having shopping and spa services in one location. Be sure to check rental costs both inside the mall as well as outside. The exterior, on the perimeter or 'outlet' of the mall property often has lower lease prices than indoors.
Other advantages of leasing from a shopping centre is that most of the building administration is taken care of through the mall and you only have to deal directly with them, saving a lot of time.
However, because marketing and maintenance fees are usually built into to the lease, and depending on the size and location of the shopping centre, it can be quite hefty so be sure to inquire about them carefully
Store Fronts are popular choices particularly in communities with historical or renovated areas. Similar to a strip mall, these buildings are part of a string of stores with common walls. Most of the same considerations for strip malls apply to store front business, with some common fees and common benefits.
Depending on the age of the building and how well it has been kept, you may need to spend hundreds or several thousand of dollars to improve the building and utilities – and this investment is not recouped by you, but rather the landlord.
Free Standing buildings are the choice of salon owners that want high visibility in the area. Buying can be a good choice because it offers the most latitude when it comes to renovating and decorating. In this type of building you control the fixed costs like overhead, utilities and the terms of the mortgage. You don't have to pay common-area charges, such as snow removal, advertising costs or security and maintenance. Finally, you will also benefit from numerous tax advantages of owning a building. Leasing is also a good option if you can't afford to purchase the building and gives you many of the same advantages as buying.
Although monies spent to improve the building and/or utilities can be an expensive up front cost, this investment is reflected in your building value. With all the benefits of a free standing building, comes more responsibility as you will be required to manage all these common tasks yourself and this can take up a considerable amount of resources.
If you choose to buy or rent in a business setting, rather than from your home, then when you are checking out the competition, consider opening close to a complimentary service - such as; Hair salon, nail salon, massage or day spa, or even a fitness centre - each of these could generate extra clientele that are already interested in health and beauty related services.
Of course, ultimately your ability so provide excellent hair removal and skin rejuvenation services and have high customer satisfaction will be the key to your success.
If you want to learn more about the Dermalase IPL - the lowest priced, Health Canada approved Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation device manufactured and serviced in right here in Canada, including training and certification - just give us a call at 604-788-3413 to book your FREE demonstration.
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