Musician Wahu Kagwi is not only an accomplished singer, but also an entrepreneur running a hair salon in Nairobi County.
Wahu runs the Afrosiri Salon which offers hair, manicure, pedicure and spa services. She shares some gems about running a salon business in an upscale neighborhood.
Having been in the business for over seven years, Wahu has learned the value of being original. “The copier mentality is doomed to fail. If you start something, do it because you believe in it and have a strategy. Salon and beauty are a competitive business, so have a solid strategy, ”she says.
Size and location
The size and location of the show will strongly influence the capital injected into the business. “There is no set standard for a salon; there are those who want to open a salon in a house, others want it in an estate while some prefer shopping malls. All of these factors affect the amount of capital required to start the business.
To hack this, you can look for investment partners, loans from banks, and microfinance institutions that target women and youth. You can also borrow from friends. “For me, I did partial financing with a financial partner. I also have a business partner and we took a loan together and injected it into the business, ”she says.
The customer is the boss
The customer is always right. Yes it may sound like a cliché but it is the truth. She sums it up: “You can put everything in place, but if it doesn’t work for the customer, they won’t come. Be prepared to listen to your customers, they will tell you what they want.
Having a strategy and a plan, she says, is very important when running a salon business. “It’s important to stick to the plan.
“Success depends on the quality of your planning and relies heavily on your relationship with your team. Your team will be there for eight hours, it matters how you get along with them, ”she says, emphasizing that the comfort of your employees matters.
“For me, the people I work with are younger but I’ve established a relationship where you can talk about anything. We get together to pray together and I mentor them too.
Power of social networks and the Internet
In this time of fierce competition, social media is a game-changer. “A good friend advised me to move my business online and warned me that if I didn’t, it would die.”
Wahu emphasizes the importance of having a business with a social media presence.
“Social media is everything to us because we can’t afford to be on mainstream media. Advertising on television is expensive.
Keep up to date
To stay on top of things, Wahu researches trends in the hair industry so that they can always give their clients value for their money.
“We sometimes give discounts to attract customers, but we have loyal customers who come, whether or not we have discounts. We believe in the quality of our service.
Impact of covid on businesses?
Covid has affected businesses and opened their eyes to the need to be innovative. “The Covid has been a major challenge. We were forced to make radical changes. As now, we prefer that customers make an appointment before coming to avoid the crowds.
While there is pressure to follow trends, Wahu says it’s worth staying focused even when you embrace changes. “In the field of beauty, trends always come and go. We are always ready to sharpen our advantage, but we remain focused on our main vision. ”