We caught up with Julie Campbell, owner of Joules Hair Design in Prestwich, Manchester to find out.
When Julie took the plunge, opening her own hair salon in 1996, she already had long experience in the industry, having worked in a variety of hairdressing businesses for almost a decade. The knowledge she gained over the years – knowing how to delight customers with the whole experience – gave her a platform for success.
“You have to be a people person,” she said. “There’s so much more to it than making people look and feel great when they walk out of the door. People want to feel welcome in a friendly environment. That’s the key to repeat business and to long term success.”
Even so, Joules Hair Design opened almost by accident when Julie and her partner moved North to Manchester. “I needed work and we needed somewhere to live. It was my husband who suggested opening a salon and living above it, to kill two birds with one stone,” Julie explained. “I’m so glad we did that. The last 23 years have been so rewarding.”
Today the salon is on a thriving high street, surrounded by café’s, bars, and restaurants as well as a range of fashion and lifestyle stores. According to Julie, that location has proven vital to the business’s longevity.
“When we first started, the building had been a taxi rank, so it was a lot of work to get the premises ready and looking lovely. But now, being part of a thriving high street is so important. It’s a destination with things you don’t find in the out of town retail parks, so we all share in each other’s success to an extent.”
Like many successful high street business owners, Julie is quick to identify sheer hard work as the key to success. “I’m a grafter and I love what I do, so putting the hours in has never been an issue. In the early days it was seven days a week and long hours every day, but there is no short cut to success.”
It’s paid off too. The business is going strong 23 years on and boasts a long list of regular customers. “There’s no particular type,” Julie said. “Our regulars can be young or old, but they all come here for a great service, friendly faces and a nice environment. It’s lovely to catch up with every one of them when they come in.”
Julie is rightly proud of her business – her success in building and sustaining it as well as raising a family – but she knows that pitfalls can be just around the corner.
“There are so many risks these days, you can’t do anything without insurance,” she said.
“Business insurance for me is about the reassurance it gives if something happens, an accident for instance, or a problem with the property, stock, or equipment – everything you’ve worked for could be gone overnight. It’s so important to have the right insurance because you never know what might happen. It gives me peace of mind and allows me to focus on making sure every customer leaves with a smile on their face.”
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