Ahhh, the grand opening…streamers, glitter, champagne, crowds….
It’s a lovely dream, perhaps a vision of what is to be….but it is not at all how our opening weekend turned out!
I first engaged in a battle with our salon furniture company. Monday morning before opening went something like this, “Hey man, I didn’t get a call from the shipping company yet with a delivery time.” Oh-woops we didn’t place your order, let me get that done asap and ship real quick like. Then Thursday morning “Hey guy, when’s it gonna be here?” Oh -oops it seems to have been delayed. So on and so forth.Start ups definitely involve a lot of micromanaging, one may even call me an expert at this point.
Friday we set out to find alternative stylist chairs via the interwebs. The furniture adventure took me to a local salon. One in which, I’ve driven past many times. Inside I find two wonderful women, both smothering me with kind words of wisdom and well wishes. Jess then joins the hunt and finds a chair in Tacoma. She goes out of her way to pick it up, has to remove it from an apartment on her own (these chairs aren’t light) and bring it to the salon. What a wonder woman she is! Thank you Jess! Friday evening is spent sipping Angry Orchards with the Rose and Crown team & friends, setting up and cleaning. We’re so ready, let’s do this thing!
Saturday is fast upon us and we’re ready for business. Everyone that is, except our POS software we’ve been struggling with since setup - and per usual it fails us again. I’ve now decided that POS does not equal point of sale. I spend hours on hold with help desk…long story short yet again - we pull together and make it work! But wait, there’s more. Sewer issues become apparent when blue hair dye flows down the shampoo bowl and up through the toilet. And this is where I have to say, our landlord is quite possibly the absolute best landlord that ever was. She acted fast and saved the day!
Upon reflection our lackluster soft opening was a success. If anything it proved that the right people are in position and our team works together beautifully.
I’ve never been more exhausted in my life, but it was truly wonderful to witness the people involved (whether they know their impact or not) become a part of our opening weekend story!
Champagne, glitter and streamers coming in the near future!
There's no checklist... no field guide to starting a business from scratch, let alone a salon.
I've spent countless hours researching, Googling, messaging - trying to find cohesive answers or consolidated information. Alas, no such thing exists.
If I had the time (which I don't because I'm a start up - oh and I'd like a life), but if I had the time - I would write and self publish an ebook that gave a little more than a vague idea of how to start a salon. But you see, the concept is so much bigger than a check list. There are many legal entities at play- IRS, L&I , governing cities, state licensing, cosmetology licensing....the list seems to go on and on. And undoubtedly someone will send you a letter or if you're lucky, call to tell you - you forgot a license somewhere.
Despite wasted hours of trying to connect dots, I found the process of discovery somewhat gratifying. I feel proud that this was information I assumed was available to a new business and when I learned there wasn't a checklist, it was ok knowing.
I would dig - find resources - make awkward calls - ask stupid questions...and ultimately find answers.
So here we are, literally days away from opening our doors. Licenses in place - amazing people excited for you, working with you and mentoring you!
What advice can I give? Pick up the phone. Even the phone calls with "big brother" (aka government entities) were incredibly pleasant, kind and helpful. Ask for help and don't delay - these processes are timely but not quick. Seek out a mentor, someone in the business, who has run the business and is willing to share lessons with you. They've done it, they've gone through the growing pains, achieved success, learned. Find a mentor who fulfills those categories. Over all, be kind to yourself. I've wanted to throw the MacBook through a window so many times, but when I overcome obstacles (granted they're small obstacles at best) - I feel a growing sense of accomplishment!
Owner Rose and Crown Salon