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Old 03-03-2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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Totally great info above. Gotta be realistic for sure!
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:22 AM   #16
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Cool good advice.... but : )

Thanks, very good advice and steps I would/ will absolutly take, If I still have a dream to pursue.

However, before putting the time, money and energy into a business plan I realized that I needed to know if it is even feasible to operate my "Hairstream" : ) in the winter. I had or operated a trailer, but I really want one someday.

Again, my idea is NOT to go site to site throughout the day. But to set up outside of some very large corporations in the area week to week. I would leave the trailer on site, and alternate sites on a bi - weekly basis.

Yes, I could continue to rent or I could open my own place and have people come to me. Ho-hum. This was a novel idea for the area and very much "Me!" Now I know why it has not been done here. : )

I might have a place I could set up indoors for the winter..... otherwise it feels like the dream is dying. And, it may simply be to costly an endeaver to pursue. That is a descion I can make.

But if it is only winter that is killing the dream... it is hard for me to give up too easily. We Mid-Westerners are tuff like that.

Keepin' on, Keepin' on!
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:24 AM   #17
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The current issue of Airstream Life has an article on a salon in an Airstream, Hairstream. This person is expanding to a second trailer. She is in the Cascades of Washington. Not a warm climate. It can be done.

This article was not published in the online version of Airstream Life.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
My partner and I have owned our business for over 30 years. We actually are in part a "business incubator" because we receive mail, ship packages, print posters, and most of all perform as a telephone answering service for a lot of small (micro) businesses.

95% of all startups fail within 5 years, Half don't even make it to the 1 year mark. This is largely because people start out with very unrealistic ideas of how much they NEED to earn to break even much less generate a profit, and they often have NO idea how much time, money, effort and stress it takes to acquire enough customers to be viable.

The first thing you need is some good advice and a real world business plan - much of which you can get for free. Many communities have a group of retired business people who advise and mentor first time owners - showing you how to write a business plan, understand what it will cost to just keep the doors open every month, and understand how much you'll need to charge to have any hope of breaking even. Some Chambers of Commerce have really good resources... and a really good small accountant will help you assess whether you have the capital needed to get started. Banks? Right now getting money to start a business has never been harder. BUT, that said small community banks will often help you with your personal risk assessment profile - if you ask them to be brutally honest and tell you if they think your plan sucks.

One of the FUNNIEST (ok I do have a sadistic sense of humor) interviews I ever had was to mentor a group of people who hired me as a consultant. They had decided to start a business like ours in a neighboring city. Their plan included borrowing $100K from their bank... and as one of the women "knowledgeably" explained to me, "we've formed a corporation so we'll borrow through that, and if the business fails, we'll bankrupt the corporation so our assets will be safe." Then I asked if if the bank had asked for personal endorsements or guarantees... she blinked and said vaguely "well, yes but that's not important is it?" My response? "Do you understand that the loan officer does this for a living and if he makes bad loans he loses his job? A guarantee or an endorsement basically means you are personally backing the corporation - on a personal loan you'd be a co-signer - a guarantor or endorser is a commercial loan co-signer!. They can take your car, your boat, your house or your Prevost if the company fails to pay the loan." It never dawned on one of the six people that the banks wouldn't just give them the loan with no security.

Again, I am not saying DON'T do it, but just know what it will really cost to get started and decide whether you can afford to gamble with that much money.

(ASIDE: if you do decide to use an Airstream - you'll have to get electric stabilizers added - it's simply impractical to get out and crank and uncrand the stabilizers every time you move - and I wouldn't let you work on my hair with sharp scissors if the trailer was bouncing around.

My sister, PRUDENCEPB here, used to have her own massage therapy business. She still does it part time for a few select clients. Her observations? The tyros would think $60 per hour times 40 hours = $2400 per WEEK! No clue that the average therapist can do 15 to 25 per week before they start tearing up their muscles. Also where DO the customers come from? What happens if you can realistically do 20 massages, but you only book 8 or 12 - and half of them are "first time 50% off introductory" massages? And then a 400 lb man who can't bathe comes in and you have to groom his "pelt" before you can find his back to massage?
(is the glamour gone yet?)

I've had operators ready to quit and start their own answering services - until I show them my monthly/internet phone bill, payroll cost, advertising and promo cost, etc, etc, etc ad nauseum.

You may think you're paying a lot to rent your station at the salon. Find out what it costs the company to rent the commercial space - and pay the utilities - and do the advertising - and and and.... They're taking all of the risk. If they have 10 stations available, I'd bet that they need a minimum of 7 rented to break even. Being in business for yourself? It's a good thing, but it's far far too easy to end up "owning a job". Working 60+ hours per week for less than most people get working for someone else.

Paula
Great advice Paula. I am a stylist/salon owner, beleive me hairdressers can be clueless about the cost of going solo. I have worked for successful salons ( Fredric Fekki, Allen Edwards, Louis Lacari), big companys (Loreal, Brazillian Blowout, Proctor and Gamble) product development (Paul Mitchell, Sebastian) T.V. Film you name it. None of it prepares you for running a business. I think the crucial question to ask ones self is how do I run a business and be a stylist at the same time. My staff knows that when I am behind the chair I am focused on my clients. On my days off I do everything else (Payroll, Payroll Tax, education Supplies etc) So if you want more free time DO NOT OPEN YOUR OWN BUSINESS!! I work more now than I ever did in 25 years. But I love it
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #19
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Someone must have an answer for you so you can live your dream. How do they keep the pipes from freezing in mobile homes in your area? I used to live in WI - Manitowoc so I know how cold it gets. I always say - where there's a will there's a way! I hope you can work it out or your exploration of the idea might lead to a slightly different way that would still be along the same line as an Airstream mobile hair salon.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:44 AM   #20
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Thank you

Thank you
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #21
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Someone else doing it. Vintage Trailer Hair Studio
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