Archive for Family

Looking to Buy a Hair Salon: Our Experience

Before retiring, my wife was a professional hairstylist for over 22 years. It was work that she really enjoyed and still gives haircuts to friends and family.

We’ve talked for a few years now (and even put it on my bucket list) about her back into the industry but this time, on the management side of things. To do that, we would need to own an actual salon. We’re now in a good enough spot where we can make that a reality. Here’s a short writeup of our experience.

The First Attempt

Every salon is different and each owner gets to put their own little spin on things. The shop somewhat is an expression of them in their attempt to make their customers feel at home but also give off a professional impression. That is why i was so excited when i got the call today that they shop we were thinking about buying was interested in selling. We were taking our first steps toward owning our own place. It wasn’t long before i realized how scary this process could be and i had some tough questions that i needed answers to before i knew if this was the right shop for us or not. We just want the right size salon in the best location for an ideal price.

We found and 800 ft. shop with a basement that seemed ideal. It has multiple stations, couches, televisions and the owner was super interested in selling. The shop has a few years left on its original lease agreement which brings me to my first question.

Our Buying Conditions:

Are there options to take over the lease?

Many times the answer is no and any attempt to may terminate the lease.

Is this business profitable and if so why is it for sale?

Basically we want to know if there will be any extra steps involved like renovations or additions before we can begin to make money off of our investment. There’s a possibility some of the customers will follow the previous owner in their transition so we have to take into account any marketing costs needed to offset.

Also, what type of salon will it become? Do we want a no-frills salon with Great Clips prices or more upscale and charge Regis Salon rates? Current clientele and location are the two biggest factors in play here.

Is taking over the current lease a possibility, can we talk future terms now?

It’s important to know all aspects of the agreement and also how long remains on it as well in case we need to negotiate any future terms now, though our hope is we can take advantage of a previous lease more beneficial than one we might be offered in this current situation.

Is this location the most beneficial for us?

Location is key when it comes to any business. You can spend lots of money on advertising but sometimes being in the right place at the right time helps, so sticking to your target locations is best.

Once the owners shared their asking price, we requested the financial information from previous years, preferably an audit done by an accountant. Our goal is to subtract all losses from our estimated profit in an attempt to figure out our bottom line. Your accountant can help you do this easier.

Assessing the Situation

Is this an owner operator type situation, and how are they paying themselves?

Normally the owner pays its bills out of their profit. If most of the profit is generated by the owner then one might be nervous about the fact that their clientele could possibly leave with them.

How many times has the shop changed hands in ownership, and will the location hurt or help us?

The shop had only had one owner and was well within our target area. This was huge on the pro list.

Do expenses and vendor agreements accurately project our expenses going forward?

They all seemed straight forward and we found no problems here.

One more thing we tried to keep in mind was if we got into any agreements to have our attorney investigate and debts related to the business. It’s important to know any additional responsibilities we might acquire.

The Offer

We decided to make an offer but we were unsure as to what that offer should be. We obviously wanted to make an offer large enough to not be outbid but we also don’t want to overspend in the process.

Most salons will usually sell for either 2-4 times more than they make a year a percentage of the money maid off products based on how much inventory is involved. If the salon doesn’t seem to be making much money this way, then we could always look at what the location is worth.

This is important because with a little extra marketing we can always draw in new customers and with the right location something as simple as a well placed sign could make a huge difference. The furniture is also important because it creates a comfortable atmosphere and will make customers feel at ease, its an important factor as well.

After several days of negotiations we put our best offer in but we did not come out successful in our attempts. We were told someone else found less risk involved and was more eager to pay a steeper price. It’s all part of the process. We are currently in negotiations with other shop owners in other locations throughout the city.

Top Woodworking Projects for Kids

Woodworking is a popular hobby and a good way to introduce kids to tools. The concepts of simple machines and safety learned in basic carpentry will apply to almost any other project. Introducing kids to basic projects will show them how easy and functional carpentry can be. Adults also use more complex tools, but they are based on the same principles, so learning how they work as a child will lead to more options.

Tool Box (easy)

toolboxOne of the first projects for kids to work on is a tool box. This is a popular choice because it demonstrates how a few common tools can be used to create a sturdy and useful item. Keep in mind, you don’t need to spend a fortune for the best hand tools. I trip to Harbor Freight is all that’s needed. Since it can be made from a single piece of wood, it shows kids how to make the most of the available resources. As a bonus, they are easily customized with paint so they will have a handy tote they decorated on their own.
Assembling a tool box requires the use of the following:
  • handsaw
  • hammer
  • screwdriver
  • nails
  • screws

To show how to use additional tools, a square will help make sure the pieces fit together neatly. When kids see how easy it is to follow the plans, they will be encouraged to try another project.

Jewelry Box (Medium)

jewelry-boxAnother project that is commonly used to introduce kids to carpentry is a jewelry box. One of the reasons this is a popular choice is that it can be given to the child’s mother when it is complete. The same plan for a box is also easily adapted to other uses depending on the need. Boxes are a interesting choice because they offer options for those with different skills or who want to learn how to use more tools. One option is to use a miter box to cut the boards at an angle for a more sophisticated look.

Those who are ready for more advanced techniques can learn to cut dovetail joints in the pieces used for the sides so they fit together snugly. When giving boxes like this as a gift, the chance to add a finish will teach kids the value of preserving and protecting the wood with a sealer or a stain. Assembling a lid means learning the value of taking fine measurements so it fits exactly and how to add hinges to improve the quality of a project. For some good tool buying advice be sure to do your research online so you don’t waste money on tools you don’t need.

Bird House (Advanced)

birdhouseBuilding projects that are clearly functional will appeal to kids when they can see them being used everyday. This is where a bird house is an excellent choice as it will be highly visible and put to good use. Since it provides shelter for local birds, it will be appreciated for more than just a way to practice using tools. Some of the features of bird houses and feeders make them good for demonstrating additional techniques.

The roof will be more attractive when it is cut with a clean mitered joint. The walls and sides can be cut to any shape the child desires, as long as the front and back and both sides match. They also offer the chance to practice using drills to add openings for birds or to make small holes so a dowel can be inserted as a perch.

Learning to use carpentry tools safely is a valuable skill that gives every one a chance to build some of the things they want instead of buying them. Woodworking also gives kids an outlet to express their creativity in ways that will impress their friends and family.

My Grandson’s Favorite Toy

The Kettler Cat Kid Tractor

First of all, this review of the Kettler Cat Kid Tractor is written from a grandpa’s perspective. Like other boys, our son loves any kind truck, tractor, or other construction toy. I have to first say that WOW, what a cool toy the Kettler Cat Kid Tractor is. At my age, this is the kind of toy I wish was around when I was a little boy.

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