A Start Smart workshop provides an entrepreneur with the confidence to launch her own salon in Oldham, providing internship opportunities in the local area.
Hayley had eight years’ experience working with one of the largest skin care clinics in the North West but, she explains: “I felt that bigger corporate firms lacked a personal touch, while smaller firms can offer better customer care and follow-through contact afterwards, so I decided to launch my own business.”
Hayley's challenge was to develop and learn the skills she needed to make the business a success.
Hayley took part in one of the Business Growth Hub’s fully-funded Start Smart workshops, which helped her to develop a plan for the business, as well as giving her the confidence and skills to successfully apply for a loan from the Oldham Enterprise Fund. This enabled her to buy the equipment she needed to start trading.
The Hub was also able to provide support in other areas including negotiating a lease on premises, introducing Hayley to the benefits of taking on an apprentice, and PR, which resulted in the mayor attending the business’s launch and coverage in the local paper. Simply Skin was also shortlisted for this year’s Oldham Business Awards.
“It was a very big achievement for me being chosen for the finalist in start-up business of the year,” explains Hayley. “Starting the business has been very tough and, to be honest, not very rewarding to start with. But the recognition was greatly appreciated and gave me the motivation to keep going.”
Hub Growth advisor Phil Starr says: “Launching a business hasn’t been easy for Hayley. There have been a few knock-backs along the way, such as not getting grants she’d hoped for and, as a young mum, there are a lot of things competing for her time and attention, which makes what she’s achieved even more remarkable.”
The company is now turning over £7,000 a month and Hayley is looking to expand into the premises above her current salon, and take on new interns from Oldham College.
Hayley adds: “Phil’s experience and knowledge has been invaluable, especially before opening the business.
“It is a very lonely journey and having never studied business, or even management, there has been a lot to learn – and I now know how I’m going to get to where I want my business to be.
"I’m hoping to source my first intern soon and can’t wait to open new doors for someone and use my experience to help them to develop new skills.”
The Hub is also continuing to support the business, especially around marketing, social media and identifying new clients.
“She’s overcome some real barriers,” adds Phil, “but she’s made a go of things and is definitely heading in the right direction."
Hayley recently returned to the Oldham Enterprise Fund for a further £10,000 loan as she continues to expand her business and create opportunities for local people.
Do you have a great business idea but need help getting it off the ground? Find out about our unique range of support to start a business. Or if you're ready to take your first steps, simply Enquire and Grow today.