New Beauty Therapy Business Case Study: Perry's Beauty

Name: Perry Johnson (20 yrs)

Business: Perry's Beauty, Fitness First, Reading

Qualifications: NVQ level 2 and 3 in beauty therapy, diploma in hot stone massage

Started Business: June 2007

Perry Johnson has successfully set up her own business, Perry's Beauty, within the Fitness First Centre at Reading. Perry was incredibly lucky to have received face-to-face coaching and mentoring from Maureen Hudson, National Health and Business Executive. Maureen is an experienced business advisor that helps equip all Fitness First beauty business owners with a set of tools to succeed.

Q. What were you doing before you started working with Fitness First?

I had a full time job at Yell Ltd whilst saving money to set up my own business. I had my spare bedroom set up as a beauty room and used that on Saturdays and evenings to build up a small client base. This client base have all followed me to my salon in Fitness First which is brilliant.

Q. What prompted you to start running your own business?

My parents have always owned their own business so I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I am in a very fortunate position at the moment where I have nothing to lose, so I decided to go for it, put 100% in and see where I get to. At the moment I have only been going 3 months, I have a client base of 100+ and I am busy every day. Better than I expected this early on.

Q. Why did you opt for Fitness First?

I heard about the room within Fitness First through a friend. It was ideal for me as Fitness First is a big company who look after their tennants very well. I have an untapped resource of clients as the gym is so successful. This is how I have managed to do so well. Fitness First is well known as a successful gym and I felt that in turn that would reflect upon my business.

Q. Have you access to all of the Fitness First members?

Yes. I also put details of my business into all the new member's free bags so that they instantly know I am there. It is so convenient for people to come to the gym and get a massage all in one place.

Q. How long did it take to start up?

It only took one month to set up the business. I am very fortunate that my parents run their own business so I have unlimited access to knowledge about setting up and running a new business. There is a lot of help from Fitness First and Maureen in particular.

Q. What was your biggest challenge?

I found that the biggest challenge was getting my marketing programme right. I needed to get clients through the door early on, without having to spend too much money to do so. I had to get a lot of help off friends and family to spread the word, and it seems to be working.

Q. Was Maureen's mentoring you received useful?

I couldn't have done this well without her help. She has knowledge of the industry and what it is like to set up a business. She is on hand at all times and has been to see me many times to give me a helping hand face to face. Often I think so much that I can't come up with new ideas, so by having Maureen come in with a fresh look and give me new, innovative ideas, it allows me to progress with Perry's Beauty.

Q. Do you feel she gives you her expertise?

100% . She has taught me so much. Tricks of the trade, things that have worked well and things that don't tend to work well within gyms. I couldn't have come so far without her.

Q. What's your greatest achievment?

Getting the business of the ground and making a profit in the first month. I didn't expect to make anything in the first three months and I have smashed targets I set and taken wages which I am really proud of. It's hard work but I love it!

Q. Have you any regrets?

None, I am loving every second of it. I am so glad I took the leap now rather than waiting a few years.

Q. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to run their own business?

Keep your wits about you. Do your research on the competition and look to offer a service that no other salon in the area offers. Go and have treatments in other salons and see what works well and what doesn't. Plan your time effectively, that way you work productively and get more done. Get all your friends and family behind you, their support is priceless!

Q. Have you any plans for the future?

I have always wanted to open my own salon, so I will be looking to do that in the distant future. I would love a salon that incorporated a healthy eating bar and internet cafe. We shall see. I need to make Perry's Beauty a real success before I can look any further.

Perry's Beauty TEL: 07717 041 255 Within Fitness First, The Meadway Shopping Centre, Tilehurst, RG30 4AA

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