Following a career break whilst bringing up my two children, I had been looking at running my own business for a while. Prior to having the kids I was working for a large IT firm as a business consultant, which I didn’t feel I could return to, as I wanted to be a major part of my kids routine.
I had been looking at franchise and non franchise businesses, but felt that since it was the first time that I was going to run my own business, going down the franchise route would be far more beneficial and also more expedient. I would have the guidance and support of those who had been through it before from beginning to end, and as it was an established brand I could benefit from the franchisor’s marketing initiatives.
Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids was very appealing as it was centered on kids and parents, a market that I felt I could relate to having kids of my own. It’s a fantastic idea, and you can really see that when parents and kid first walk into the salon. It’s fun and the kids are made to feel special as it’s a place for them, from the cars to the TV’s to the blackboard wall, and even the little kiddies toilet. We don’t have those scary black capes, which put most kids off getting their hair cut, and we don’t have to use clippers either.
It’s such a rewarding place to be in, as the kids leave with a huge smile on their face with their lollipop and balloon, and talking about the car that they want to sit in when they next come in.
Sharkey’s also offers unique parties and kids focused retail products. The parties are so different to other parties on offer and the girls absolutely fall in love with the glamour room. A lot of the time they don’t want to leave. Really, that’s a problem we have to handle very sensitively.
The business is doing better than we expected in this economic climate and is on an upward steady growth curve month-on-month. We have great levels of customer loyalty, and are now looking at opening on a Sunday to meet our customers’ needs.
The parties are also doing very well and we have bookings for way into 2013. My future plan is to open additional units within Hertfordshire and North London, as it is a fantastic concept and I feel that it is filling a gap in the hairdressing market in the UK for children’s haircuts and girls’ parties.