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Research for Starting a New Business

6288 words (25 pages) Business Assignment

26th Oct 2020 Business Assignment Reference this

Tags: Business AssignmentsBusiness

This report is based on a project that I have researched. It is about starting a new business which will be a beauty salon for children aged from babies through to teenagers. It will be called ‘Pinky Promise’ and there is not a business of this nature in this area specifically for children. This report collates all information and it will provide some analysis and evaluation of this project to help decide about whether it is a good business idea or not based on the research found.

I have carried out this research project as it is essential to research before implementing a business idea to ensure it is viable, check whether there is a need or a want for it in the market and to see if it will it make a profit based on all the information and data that I collect via market research.

My inside knowledge as a Hayling Island resident helps support my research, as I have visited hairdressers, nail salons several times on Hayling |Island and it was because of them that I found a niche in the market. I realised that I was making a number of separate appointments for my ten year old daughter, for example when she needs a haircut or her nails doing, I have to go to two different salons and when it was time to get her ears pierced that was another separate appointment and again for the time that she wanted to get her hair braided.

After a while I was getting frustrated and I wanted one salon that could be an all in one and I wanted it on Hayling Island as it was my local community and close to home. I didn’t want to keep travelling to various appointments, so from there I came up with the business idea of a child’s salon called ‘Pinky Promise., a salon that could offer more than one service for children.

Procedures

Survey

To establish the demographics of the area, target audience and competition to ensure there is a market and a requirement for my business.

Observations / Photos

To see an alternative view of location and area compared to the internet. When places are seen in person it makes things easier to visualize. Also observe what other services businesses offer in the area of a similar nature.

Questionnaires

Created with target audience in mind to get honest thoughts and feelings of potential Hayling Island customers.

News Articles - Internet

Understand the controversial views on this type of business and the impact it could have on a new business.

Other Documents

Look at competitors and other business that sell a similar service to understand how their business work.

Social Media

See real customer reviews on other child salons to obtain any hints or tips to support and consider when making decisions.

FINDINGS

Survey

The survey[1] has enabled me to establish that there is a position in the market for my new business idea. There is no other business like it on Hayling Island, only a hairdresser and a nail salon near the potential locations, but it is only the hairdressers that allows children however it is not designed or marketed for children in mind and doesn’t offer them anything specifically.

I am currently part of the Hayling Island Facebook page and I visit it quite a lot to read people’s reviews on other businesses on the Hayling Island and I see what they do to promote their businesses. I also feel this is a great platform to get involved with the community and a good opportunity to win their support. I will also use the support of other businesses, as this will help build up the trust between myself and any potential customers as businesses support is really needed especially when you lack experience in this field. Radian are a great company to help turn a business idea into a reality as I have personally used them before in a different capacity. Overall the survey has made me look at who my competitors are, my target audience and what my business idea can bring to the local community and it has given me a good starting point to know the type of questions I needed in the questionnaire and who to direct my questions to obtain the best results for my business idea.

Observations

The two locations that have been researched are in very close proximity to each other and are both ideal for my new business. The retail premises in Elm Grove is 3.5  sq. metres smaller than the premises in Mengham Road and £2250.00 more expensive per annum, however when I visited both locations, the Elm Grove premises is in a more prominent position and it is directly in the main road unlike the other location. I feel this is a key feature as more people will drive past the main road then down a side road to Mengham Road which has very limited parking. The location in Elm Grove also has a 108-space car park nearby which is less than a 1-minute walk away and I feel this is a key feature when trying to access services like hairdressers and salons as an appointment averages between 1-2 hours.

The premises in Mengham is surrounded by a butchers, a card shop, a book shop, a newsagents and a pharmacy, there are no services like hair dressers or salons down this road and the shops located here, could potentially be seen to be marketed at the older generation of people. These shops are very old and have been part of Hayling Island’s history, so the more mature customer would be known to be more familiar with visiting these styles of shops.

On the main road, it appears to be more modernised with a nail salon, hairdressers, wine bar, fruit and veg shop, betting shop and a post office. These shops tend to be visited more frequently than those in Mengham Road and therefore the premise in this location appeals to me more and I don’t believe I will be in direct competition with anyone as I’m targeting my business at a niche market.

Both the locations are within one mile of two infant and two junior schools and one college, so I believe the market is large enough for my business to have the opportunity to be successful even though the majority of my customers will be primarily female as salons are more commonly directed and used by them.




Pictures taken by myself of the premises in Elm Grove and its surrounding area:

 

Pictures taken by myself of the premises in Mengham and its surrounding area:


 

Questionnaire


From handing out questionnaires[2] in the local town of Mengham and leaving some in the community centre in Hayling Island, I received 15 returned questionnaires. It was mainly families with young girls that were more intrigued by my business idea then families who had just boys. 86% of the questionnaire were completed by people who had daughters, which proves who my target audience are. This also seems to reflect the majority of salons in the UK.

The answers from this chart show consistency throughout as 73% of people’s local salons were in Hayling island which is positive as 80% of people who completed the questionnaire are residents. The chart also shows that there is a want for a child salon on Hayling Island which is really positive to see and a salon that can incorporate more than one service.

From looking at the results the most important thing to customers is having qualified staff which is vital when running a salon as the services offered need to be carried out professionally and safely with the customers needs at the forefront of everything ‘Pinky Promise’ sets out to do. This ensures customers have trust in the business and that we are offering a safe and reliable service carried out by highly skilled individuals.

Customer service is the next highest result as clearly customers like to feel welcomed and made to feel important. Customers also need to be listened to, so their requirements are met with a personal touch, as customer’s needs are all different and at times quite unique and bespoke to them. Remembering this detail is also key for their next visit as this sort of service in a salon can make all the difference to whether a customer returns or not.

Customer service also links into the company’s reputation as this can at times have a really positive impact on a company’s reputation and make it successful, however if you get the service wrong and negative feedback starts to seep into social media for example, then it can have a detrimental effect on a company’s reputation. So, the key focus in a salon business, especially ‘Pinky Promise’ as it is new is to offer impeccable service to start retaining customers and build on its reputation.

The look of the website and special offers came up with the lowest answers, possibly because many businesses in Hayling Island don’t use websites and they are successful just for their reputations and the fact that many residents visit the towns on the island. It is relatively small compared to the nearest cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Chichester, so many businesses see people and customers quite regularly. Also, websites are quite expensive, and Hayling Island isn’t an affluent area and the business on the island are only small and unique to this area. Many of the new businesses use Facebook to launch or promote their businesses as it does the same job as a website but on a cheaper scale and as social media is heavily used it captures an audience quite quickly. The Beauty Studio is a business near one of the potential premises and it doesn’t have a properly working website, but it has a very successful app to use for customers to book one of their services on and they are always fully booked as they use social media significantly to communicate with the public and promote their services.

The results show that social media is the most used avenue to search for a new salon, which is positive as most social media apps are free to use and are a powerful way to promote a new business. It is also a way to read about real customer reviews and use this information as market research to help steer a new business in the right direction based on customer’s feedback about their experiences. It is also a very quick way to capture a large audience to get a message across.

Recommendation from family and friends seems to be quite a powerful tool to influence people’s choices as it is the second highest at 27%. With a market like a salon which is primarily directed at mums and their daughters, there is the opportunity to build friendships with other families that have children of a similar age in schools or clubs. This could encourage conversations about what salons they use etc., especially when there are only a few schools on the island and in split into small communities.

Reading the feedback on the questionnaire sheet I looked for any recurring themes for what activities or facilities they would like in a salon. The key ones that came up the most were a play area for little ones and a parent’s coffee area.

I believe this comes hand in hand as when the child is having a service in the salon, the mum can sit, relax and have a tea or coffee while their younger child can play in the play area. I believe it is about having something for everyone which is great service and will keep everyone happy. I do also believe that there needs to be something to ensure we cater for boys just as well as girls, so whether that would be a TV, or games I am not sure of yet at this stage as it would need to incorporated into the budget.[3]

News Articles

When researching information regarding child salons I found that it can be quite a controversial subject which could be potentially the reason why child salons can be few and far between.

The news articles that I have found all relate to the same child salon in Essex, so the articles don’t reflect on the services of all child salons across the county, however it is useful to know to increase my awareness of what is being talked about in the media and ensure it is taken into account when making any decisions about the business. One article is written by the ‘Romford Recorder’ and they accused the owner of ‘Trendy Monkeys’ of offering spray tans to one-year olds[4] which is something they deny. I can understand that this causes a high level of controversy and discussion as not every consumer agrees with these practices and it can open up questions on whether they trade ethically or not.

The other article is written on the same company ‘Trendy Monkeys’ about sexualization. Michelle the owner says ‘I don’t think letting our children be princesses for the day is sexualization. I’m just a mum who saw something my own daughters will like. It’s a niche market’. This salon opened days before a government report was released which negatively spoke about how the sexualization of children has increased in society.

A spokeswoman from the children’s campaign group PinkStinks said ‘The growth of beauty salons aimed at children is worrying. It sends the girls the message they are defined by their looks – even when they are children’.[5]

I believe that it is important to market the business careful and by taking into account some of these thoughts and feelings as I don’t want to launch the business in the most positive light possible and tread carefully around some of these issues.

Competitors

I investigated businesses that offer a similar service to the one that I would like to open. This has given me a good insight into what is out there and what can be offered to potential customers. My nearest competitor is ‘Tangled Children’s Salon’[6] in Chichester which is 18 miles from Hayling Island. It has an incredible bright website, very directed at girls and it offers many types of services and it is unique in the way that it has an exclusive product range and it even has an X box to keep the older children entertained. They also offer a membership scheme to get the latest offer and deals.

This has given me a good insight into pricing and the themes and designs that they have gone with. The second salon that I have researched is ‘Kandy Girl[7]’, this salon is based in Birmingham and offers slightly higher prices than the other salon. It offers hand, foot and back massages and is heavily targeted at girls as all the treatments are directed at them and it is even in the title. This differs quite a bit to the other salon as it offers slightly different services, but it is mainly massages and nails, it doesn’t include any hair services.

They are unique in their own right and has given me an insight in what way I would like to steer my business idea as there is a lot more health and safety concerns surrounding massages and possibly a lot more controversial opinions surrounding these services due to skin types and the age of the children, however Kandy Girl does not allow any under three years of age in the salon.

Social Media

Both businesses use Facebook as a key way of sharing updates with customers and promoting their business. This has helped me with market research to understand customers likes and dislikes and needs and wants. This feedback I will take into account when making decisions with my business idea.

Looking at both business’s Facebook pages, ‘Tangled Children’s Salon’ has a lot more likes and followers than ‘Kandy Girl’, however the business is five years older and it has had longer to establish itself. ‘Tangled Children’s Salon’ is rated 4.7 out of 5 by customers and ‘Kandy Girl’ is rated 4.9 out of 5. So, they are clearly both highly rated and well-liked by their own customers. This is a positive result and there is clearly a market out there for a child’s salon so hopefully I can take away some learns from social media and implement into launching Pinky Promise as social media is a very powerful tool and clearly is very influential.

This has given me an idea to use the Hayling Island Facebook page to launch and promote the business and use it to share promotions and introductory offers to bring customers in as well as possibly create my own page if ‘Pinky Promise’ becomes a successful business idea.


Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

CONCLUSION

  • I received very positive responses from the questionnaires and it clearly shows a want for a child salon in Hayling Island and from looking at the results, many people also think that it is a good idea.
  • Customer Service and qualified staff are key to ensure the success of any business and is an important factor to customers and this is most commented on when reading reviews on other businesses.
  • Recommendations from family and friends is also a powerful means to encourage new customers, so it is important in the earlier stages to build new relationships with customers and by giving impeccable service will ensure customers remember their salon experience and tell their friends.
  • The target market is primarily girls, so my business idea is for babies to teenagers. I have noticed from the competitors that none of them stipulate specific ages of children, so it doesn’t result in anyone feeling left out which can possibly be seen as ageism as well.
  • The premises in the location of Elm Grove has many benefits due to the businesses that it is surrounded by and it is in a more prominent position which will give a new business the most chance of success even though the rental costs are more expensive. It is in a key position on the main road.
  • Social media is used heavily by potential customers and competitors and it seems to be very beneficial for the business owners and the customers and it is a great source of market research, so definitely a great tool to use to support my business idea.
  • ‘Pinky Promise’ has no direct competition, however it is important to focus on the what makes the company unique to build up good relationships with customers and try and encourage them to switch salons.
  • The news articles only apply to one business which happens to be in Essex and as the owner has links to celebrities is a huge reason for the media attention, so it isn’t a true reflection of the media’s thoughts across the country.
  • I believe my business idea is viable and there is a need and a want for it in the market and I believe it will make a profit based on all the information and data that I have collected.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Use an online survey form to capture a wider audience and obtain more results to see if it has any major impact on the results already received and promote it through Facebook.
  • Create a SWOT analysis to help progress further with the idea.
  • Create a Business Plan to analyse costings, marketing requirements, training needs and the time it would take to launch this business idea.

APPENDICES

APPENDIX A

Survey

1)                Who are my target audience?

My service is offered to customers from babies through to teenagers. However my questionnaire will be focused on families, maybe more Mum’s as they are the ones more likely to fill in the questionnaires and use this service for their children as they are the ones that will make the decisions to use and pay for the service.

2)                What problem will my service solve?

It will be the only child salon on Hayling Island and the nearest one to this would be 18 miles away and it will be unique.

3)                Why will they use it

They will use it as there are only a few villages within Island that are suitable as I want it to be in a busy location that is easily accessible and not in a rural location. There are also two schools on the island and one college which are all within 1 mile of both potential locations and it is the only child salon.

4)                How will the general public see my company?

They will see it as it will be located in a busy village with many other local businesses and it will be advertised on social media, especially Facebook as it is the most popular avenue to share information among the residents of Hayling Island. There are currently 20,251 members on the Hayling Island group and the population is approximately 20,000. People who visit the island regularly or for holidays could also be potential customers and Mengham town has the largest settlement of people.[8]

5)                Who will I be competing with?

The business that are in the same village and that offer a similar service are:

Yellow Strawberry – Hairdressers https://www.yellowstrawberryhairdressing.com/

The Beauty Studio – Nail Salon https://www.beautystudiohayling.co.uk/

6)                Can the community support my business?

Advertising on the community Facebook page will help communicate with others and local businesses as many I know use this platform for their business instead of a website. Also getting involved in local events and especially at the community centre and local schools to meet other Mums. I have also researched local business that currently offer their support and entrepreneurial skills.

7)                Am I offering a premium service?

Yes, due to the fact that not everyone agrees with this type of business as seen in the media. I want it to have a high-end quality service whilst ensuring it is dedicated to the needs of children, like having a toy area for little ones and a relaxing area for parents. Prices will however need to be competitive whilst considering the demographics.

8)                Will customers likely be repeat customers?

Yes, as many residents have lived here for a very long time and have mortgaged properties compared to renting, so I believe many of the customers would be local and regular. The service also must be fantastic to make us memorable whilst offering competitive prices.

9)                What will be the biggest challenge in getting them to buy into the business idea?

The business needs to be directed at its target market and I need to offer something new and unique for people to firstly show an interest into the business and then become loyal customers. I feel in Hayling Island, people are creatures of comfort and I am aware that there are more people aged over 50 than people under 13, however the market is still large enough and hopefully business ideas like mine will continually see the demographics evolve over time and balance out and business will have something for all ages. This is already noticeable with the new salons especially that have launched in the past 5- 10 years.

Another challenging area is to market the business right especially through social media as this is becoming a more modern tool to use and will help keep business current and relevant to its audience.

10)            Why would customers go to ‘Pinky Promise’ over a competitor?

It will be the only child salon on Hayling Island offering more than one service and it will have themed beauty parties and will be a waiting area for boys, girls, parents and a mini play area for little ones. This will ensure everyone is offered prime service all the time they are with us in the salon.

_____________________________

APPENDIX B

Pinky Promise Salon Questionnaire

It would be most appreciated if you could complete this survey as honestly as possible to provide me with some valuable feedback on your thoughts and feelings on the idea of opening a child’s salon on Hayling Island in your local town.

It will be called Pinky Promise and it will offer a range of services for boys and girls from babies to teenagers. It will include services such as haircuts, hair styles, nail painting, facials and group events like birthday parties.

Taking part in this questionnaire is voluntary and your answers will be treated in confidence. The questionnaire will take less no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Please enjoy the small bag of favours while you complete this survey and when you are finished, I’ll be around to collect the survey or pop it in the box if you have collected this from the community centre.

For most questions please put an X in the box next to each one.

Please complete one questionnaire per child.

What town do you live in? 

Number of children

Gender    Age

☐  Boy   

☐ Girl   

            Yes           No

Are your local Hairdressers/Salons in Hayling Island?                  ☐                            ☐                             

Does your child regularly go to the hairdresser or salon?                  ☐                            ☐

Would you like a salon to offer more than just one

service for children (nails, hair, beauty)?                    ☐                            ☐

Do you think that your child would prefer to go to a child only salon?                ☐                            ☐

Do you think it is a good idea to have a child salon based in Hayling

Island?                         ☐                            ☐

What is very important in selecting your child’s hair salon? (select as many options as you deem relevant)

☐ Good Customer Service

☐ Closest to Home

☐ Cost

☐ Facilities

☐ Reputation

☐ Qualified/Well trained staff

☐ Special Offers

☐ The look of the website

How often do you take your child to a salon?

☐ Once a week

☐ At least twice a month

☐ Monthly

☐ Every 3 months or more

What is your average spend when you take your child to the salon?

☐ £5-£20

☐ £20-£30

☐ £40-50

☐ £50+

How frequently, if ever do you take your child to a salon to have anything other than a haircut (nails, beauty treatments, make-up etc.)?

☐ More than once a month

☐ Once a month

☐ Once every two - three months

☐ Once every three to four months

☐ Once every four – five months 

☐ Every 6 months

☐ 6-12 months

☐ Never

If you were looking for a new hairdresser or salon for your child, how would you find it?

☐ Online 

☐ Social Media

☐ Explore your local area

☐ Recommended by family or friends

☐ Other

How would you rate the offer of child specific services on Hayling Island?

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Very Poor          Very Good

 

What is the chance of you using a child only salon for your child?

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Very unlikely          Very likely

 

How does your salon reward you for your loyalty?

 

What factors would you consider when switching salons for your child?

 

_____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

What other activities/facilities would you wish to see in a children-focused salon (e.g. coffee area for waiting parents, play area for under 3s)?

 

 

Where is your current salon situated?

 

Please share any additional comments or suggestions below

Please provide email address if you would like to be notified of any updates. (Optional)

 

Thank you for completing the questionnaire

 

_____________________________

 

Yes

No

Are your local hairdressers/salon in Hayling Island?

11

4

Does your child regularly go to the hairdresser or salon?

11

4

Would you like a salon to offer more than just one service for children?

14

1

Do you think your child would like to go to a child only salon?

14

1

Do you think it is a good idea to have a child salon based in Hayling Island?

14

1

APPENDIX C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is important when selecting your child’s salon?

Good Customer Service

12

Closest to Home

8

Cost

10

Facilities

10

Reputation

11

Qualified Staff

13

Special Offers

5

The Look of the Website

5

 

 

If you were looking for a new salon for your child, how would you find it?

Online

6

Social Media

8

Explore the Local Area

4

Recommended by Family and Friends

7

Other

1

BIBLIOGRAPHY


[1] See Appendix A

[2] See Appendix B

[3] See Appendix C

[4] Romford Recorder – Embattled Children’s Salon – 10:27 10 June 2011 – Ian Weinfass

[5] The Sun – The Only Way is Essexualisation – 23:00 8 June 2011 – Dan Sales & Andy Crick

[6] http://tangledkids.com/

[7] http://www.kandygirl.uk/

[8] Wikipedia

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