Any small business owners out there?

Ruth - posted on 12/31/2008 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have been a hairstylist for about 8 years. i have always wanted to own a shop and now I have the opportunity to buy one. It is small and the ladies that work there are booth renters, not employees, which makes things easier. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice about what kind of questions I should ask the current owner. And what kind of things I should look out for, and expect in running my own business. One of my husband's concerns (he is very supportive) is that I will get too busy and not have time for our family. Right now I have a little girl and she is 4 months old. We would love to have a big family, so unless we wait for a long time we will have small children around while having a business. Any and all suggestions would be great. Thanks.

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Holly - posted on 01/05/2009

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i manage a salon right now with employees. i was also raised in this salon. (my mom owns it). i never thought she didn't have enough time for us. i really enjoyed the life style it aforded our family and the one it is now helping give my family. do it if your happy so is your husband and family.

Ruth - posted on 01/05/2009

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Thank you for responding. I have a meeting with the owner on Sunday. I have already asked some of these questions, but you gave me some great ideas. Thanks again.

Natasha - posted on 01/02/2009

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Hi Ruth --
questions to ask and to consider:
-- why are you doing it -- running a hairstylist business is very different from being a hairstylist.
You may start spending more time managing than actually doing hairstyling.
I am not saying not to do this, rather make sure you are prepared to deal with the business side of the business.

- why is the current owner selling?
- what's the current revenue of the shop
- how regularly the booth renters pay
- what are current expenses
- what's the current bottom line of the shop -- get an actual financial statement if you can
- has the client base (and revenue) been growing /steady / declining
- what's the store's specialty, if any
- what does the shop does to promote itself (fliers, discounts, anyth else?)
- is there a web site ?
- can people print coupons and/or gift cards from the web site
- what concerns/issues should you be aware of, if any
- talk with the booth renter, each one of them, get to know them

A side note, once your girl gets older -- from 12-14 months and on -- she will need more attention. She wil be walking, running, and will be getting into everything, she will open all door and drawers you can only think of, will find every hole to get into, and will clear all surfaces, like anything on the top of tables will end up on the floor. Just be prepared to have someone help you to manage all that.

I am a small business owner (web based business) and it has been challenging to meet the need of employees and customers and of my child (13 months old son).

Get as much information as you can about the business financials and prospects,
get to know people working there and observe the place for at least a week -- see how they are doing -- do clients leave happy, are they repeats (good), or do they just walk-ins (probably lower margin), so on. Be rational about it (emotions in business are not as helpful) and follow your gut feel.

Good Luck!

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