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Part 2 - The Business
The idea for this business has been getting planned out in my mind since I first began studying Beauty Therapy at James Watt College. My years of customer service experience, that I gained previous to starting college, in hospitality both in a managerial role and a team member will serve me well and can be adapted to suit the beauty and complementary therapies industry. When I started I knew my end goal was to set up a small business of my own using the qualifications I was to gain, I did not, however realise at the time that I would go on to pursue complementary therapies.
During the 3 years I have been studying I went from beauty, to spa route and then onto Complementary Therapies, I have been a devoted student throughout this time and always took on any challenge given to me. I have worked hard throughout this time and as a consequence to the hard work I have done I was offered a job in the 5 star Blythswood Square Spa where I had done my placement, I have been there for almost 2 years now where I have developed my skill and knowledge base, this had allowed me to work with many different people and get a taste of the work I want to do. I have also had the opportunity to witness first hand many excellent working practices, which has given me plenty of ideas of how I can see my business and treatments running.
As well as my time in college and the spa I also do work from home with clients I have met through close friends and family members. This has let me build a small client base with whom I can fall back on at quieter times in the beginning of my new venture.
I have added a copy of my CV in Appendix 2.
The idea for my business will be a room in the local health centre in which I will offer complementary therapies. Massage will be the main focus, I will offer limited aromatherapy using pre-blended oils which have been pre-blended and labelled before I get them. The main treatments I will offer will be Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports/remedial massage, Indian head massage, aromatherapy (using pre-blended oils) and facials. I will be working closely with the healthcare professionals in the centre in which the business is based and will take referrals from them to try and aid the patients in their healthcare needs. The business will be different from anywhere in the area as there are only salons around, all of which are much more focused on beauty treatment and nails as opposed to massage and complementary therapies.
My business name will be "A Tranquil Touch", tranquil means quiet, calm or peaceful and this is how I intend my business to be. I will aim to always have a tranquil atmosphere, calm staff should I need to expand or get help and always leave my clients feeling tranquil and relaxed. The touch part refers to the massage treatments I will offer.
Position to Date:
All of my initial research has been fully compiled and as soon as I have purchased the products and equipment needed and register that I am self-employed to HMRC I will be in a position to open.
"A Tranquil Touch" will be a place of calm and tranquillity, as the name suggests. I will provide the best possible service to my clients through hard work, excellent customer service, high standards and professionalism. I will aim to provide a place and treatment list for which my clients will wish to return time and time again to receive the complementary therapies they need in order to feel their best.
Short term objectives:
Over the next 12 months I aim to achieve regular visits from existing clients from the health centre and of my own, alongside new faces through recommendations and with successful advertising through Facebook, through promotion, packages and pricelists. Posters will be on display in the health centre, town halls, schools and other public buildings in town, price lists will be available in various locations throughout the various locations as well. To ensure a profitable business in the future and establish a healthy clientele I will advertise as much as I can before opening and in the 1st year updating and drumming up new business through promotions and advertising as and when is necessary.
Long term objectives:
My aim for the future is to expand the business into an wellness centre, where clients can come to relax, unwind, fine tune their minds and bodies and enhance any medical they are receiving from the NHS. I would hope to have a successful business and employ staff to run a room each in any given day. I would also like to include a beauty room as part of the business to help clients look as good as they feel, trends are fast moving however and while I will strive to continue my own learning and that of my staff, I would take over as a managing role providing treatments as and when possible. I will always be 100% involved in my business, supportive to employees, always looking at things through the customers eyes while providing the best possible client journey for all.
"A Tranquil Touch", based within Port Glasgow Health Centre, is a holistic salon with a friendly and relaxed ethos in which provides a high standard of massage services. The method of distribution is direct distribution as the service is coming directly from myself to my clients and they come to the premises.
Competition: For "A Tranquil Touch" I want to set myself apart from other salons in the area that offer a similar type of service. After researching I discovered that there are 4 salons in the surrounding area of Port Glasgow Health Centre, who are my direct competitors. There is a gap in the area for a service which concentrates on complementary therapies, specialising in massage and which is not focused on beauty treatments but looks to improve the health and wellbeing of its clients. After having sent out a questionnaire (included in appendix 3) and speaking to my own clients I have gained through mobile services, I found out that they want a business they can feel confident will provide them with services and treatments to complement and enhance the health care they are receiving from the NHS. Most people seem to be unaware of the added benefits of massage or do not think that beauty salons are the best place to receive these treatments (some examples of the returned questionnaires are included in appendix 4).
Tres Mar: 5 Church Street, Port Glasgow, PA14 5EH are the salon in my area I consider to be my strongest competitors. They offer aromatherapy, reflexology and chiropody as well as massage, facials and sports massage. At the moment they are often fully booked but this mostly with nails, waxing and the other beauty treatments they offer. As long as I keep my prices low I should be able to target my clientele and keep them. I will also offer different opening hours keeping my room open late when they are not in order to target clients after working hours (I have included a copy of the treatment price list in appendix 5).
Amethyst Hair and Beauty: King Street, Port Glasgow are the closest salon to the health centre where I will be based, at the moment they do offer facials but have no body massage treatments on their treatment menu as they offer more superficial treatments such as nails, lashes, waxing and hair dressing. This should be of great benefit to me. I may also try and make a link with the salon where we can offer referrals to our clients (I have included a copy of the treatment price list in appendix 5).
The other 2 salons in the area are the Relaxation Room and Brown Street Hair and Beauty. Both of these salons are relatively new and also offer mainly beauty treatments, as they are not yet well established within the area and have not done much in the way of advertising I do not see them as a major threat, as long as my advertising is done well I am positive I can establish my business in the area without too much bother in the way of competition.
Services: I plan to offer different types of massage which will be Swedish, Aromatherapy (using pre-blended oils), deep tissue, sports/remedial, Indian head, bamboo, hot stones and facials to begin with. I will offer full body and have many options for part body which will be back, neck and shoulders, facial, scalp neck and shoulders, legs and feet, hand and arm, abdominal and chest, neck and shoulders. All massages will be customised to meet the needs of the client and will therefore be bespoke, this is something completely different from that which is offered in any of the surrounding salons and will be my main selling point.
Cost: The rent for the room for the 1st 2 months will cost me £600. The room is in walk in condition and needs no decorating, due to the specialised nature of the business I will need very little equipment which is massage bed at approx £350, hot stone heater and stones £100, a hot towel cabinet £150 and a selection of towels (large and small), face cloths and mitts on which I estimate I will need to spend £100 to begin with.
My other costs will be products and consumables such as couch roll, spatulas, bowls, first aid kit, grapeseed oil, pre-blended aromatherapy oil, cleanser, toner, mask, exfoliator, cotton pads, tissues, massage cream and moisturisers all of which I can get for an approximate cost of £200 to get me started. I can get all of this from beauty express which will keep my shipping costs to a minimum.
As I plan on paying my insurance with my own money I estimate I will need an approximate total of £1500 to get me started.
Legal Entity: The legal entity I will be trading under will be as a sole trader as I will be working for myself, renting a room and solely responsible for starting it up. Therefore, there are no particular legal formalities to adhere to and no planning permission is needed as the business is already established. However, I will contact the HMRC to inform them that I will be self-employed and when I intend to start my business.
Health and safety legislations: There is a great deal of legislations which protects both the clients and myself. I must ensure as well as the manager at Twisted Sister salon, to follow the legislations efficiently according to the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
Health and Safety at Work Act (1974): This forms the basis of health and safety regulations in the UK, this act explains the minimum standards required for health, safety, and welfare in the workplace. This makes sure that all work premises are safe to use.
How this applies to me? I work in a specific work area carrying out treatments on clients. Therefore, I am responsible for maintaining my work area throughout each treatment and making sure that it is safe and hygienic enough for my clients and myself. I will check my work area thoroughly such as the cleanliness of the work surfaces and trolleys. I ensure there are no lose wires, spillages and blockages of any of the pathways and that there are no hazards causing risk to any of the employees or customer's.
The workplace (Health, safety and welfare) regulations 1992: This is to make sure that all those working, maintain the high safety standards of the environment. This includes equipment, ventilation, working temperature, lighting and cleanliness, avoidance of falling objects, safe floors, windows and doors.
How this applies to me? I am responsible for my clients comfort and safety. Therefore, it is important for me to check all aspects of the treatment and treatment area. I ensure that the temperature is at the correct working level along with accurate lighting, the light bright enough for me to carry out the treatment safely yet low enough to create a relaxing ambiance. Also, ensure that the area is thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant to reduce the chance of cross-infection, in which can be passed on from person to person, or coming into contact with a contaminated work surface or tool. All tools and equipment which I use is sterilised and disinfected appropriately. All bedding is freshly laundered and changed after each client.
Methods of sterilisation and disinfection
UV cabinet: These are highly recommended for equipment sterilisation. Tools and equipment can be placed in the cabinet for effective sterilisation.
Disinfectants: Ammonia compound disinfectants (e.g. 'Barbicide') can be used for metal and plastic items such as tweezers and scissors. Follow manufacturer's instructions for correct use.
Control of substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002): This is commonly referred to as COSHH Regulations. These regulations are very important as it is a legal obligation to assess any risks associated with hazardous substances used in the workplace to eliminate or control risks.
How this applies to me? To prevent personal harm from hazardous substances e.g. skin irritation, respiratory disease, a COSHH risk assessment is required for such substances as cleaning chemicals. All cosmetic products used in salons must comply with the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004, which are enforced by Trading Standards Officers.
During the treatments I handle products with care and only use and store them following the manufacturer's instructions throughout.
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989: These ensure that all equipment and sockets have been checked by a professional electrician. It is important to ensure that any employee uses their own initiative to check the appliances they are using. For example, spotting any worn or exposed wires.
How this applies to me? Before my treatment I ensure that the electrical equipment I am using are all checked and maintained in accordance of the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations. I ensure that no wires are twisted, worn or frayed and that the plug is not cracked or loose. Once the treatment is over I store the equipment away safely with all the wires fixed securely in its place.
Data Protection Act: The client is asked very personal questions during a consultation through specific consultation techniques. Therefore, it is important to ensure that any information given is kept confidential and secure.
How this applies to me? I conduct a consultation with my clients before a treatment depending on what they are having to determine contra-indications and to ensure it is safe and suitable for the client. I therefore, ensure that all information that is given remain confidential and protected. I keep all documents and answers from others and are not kept longer than necessary.
Amy GrayHNC - Complementary Therapiespg. 1