Business Spotlight: Melissa Hope Hair & Makeup

Written on 24 August, 2018 by Jen McKinnon
Categories Case Studies

Melissa Hope has increased her earning potential while still making time for her family.

Owning a business means more freedom, financial control and untapped earning potential. Melissa Hope from Melissa Hope Hair & Makeup gives some great insights into running a growing business while balancing family commitments. Learn how she got started and what she’s done to stay visible in the competitive industry of hairdressing and bridal makeup.

Q: It takes grit and motivation to start and grow a business, why did you do it?

It was more about financial reasons and having more control. I didn’t want to cap my earning potential and many of the salons I worked with often restricted commission targets. As a mum, I also wanted the control over when I wanted to work and when I could ease back a bit. I worked at a hair dressing salon for about two years before I went off on my own. It gave me a good foundation and a chance to build relationships with my clients but after that, I wanted something more.

Q: How did you first get started?

Going off on my own was an easy transition. Working at a salon, I had built some great relationships with my clients. When I told them that I was taking a new direction, they were interested in coming along for the journey. It was a nerve-racking decision to make but it was an easy transition because I had an existing database. With hairdressing, there is an element of loyalty. When my clients responded positively to my transition, I knew I was going in the right direction. At the time, I was offering clients discounts for every referral they sent.

The overheads were quite reasonable. I was renting a chair at the salon. This meant lower overheads and the opportunity to meet new clients dropping in at the salon. Aside from setting up my ‘office’, I had to get financials, ABN, insurance, setting up business cards.

Q: Coming back from maternity leave is something most mums struggle with, what did you do to transition back into work life while balancing family commitments?

I started networking with old peers to let everyone know I was back in business. I reached out to all the makeup artists and hairdressers I previously worked with. I got digital. I got a website and started SEO to get onto page #1 of Google. My husband was really supportive with looking after Elliott when I needed him to.

In terms of juggling a business and family, I tried my best to book clients around family commitments. I would do the pre-school drop-offs and work in my appointments after that. I would only work days when he was at preschool.  It’s all about juggling.

Q: What advice would you give mums who are thinking about starting a business?

I would say don’t hesitate. Jump in and do it. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do but it’s the most rewarding. It has the flexibility that you can’t get when you’re employed. Accept help and outsource when you can. Network. Understand your target market and start there. When Elliott was a baby, I would target mums in the park and mums’ groups and their friends. I still do their hair and makeup now.

Q: If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Probably have a little more structure. When I first started out, I would say yes to everything. I was burning out in fear of not earning enough. Learn when to say no to clients and create a few boundaries.

Q: What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

I’d love to have a team to train up beside me, so they can do jobs I don’t need to physically be at - to have some team members that represent my name.

Business owners wear many different hats. As Melissa mentioned, sometimes it’s best to accept help and outsource where you can. If you need help growing your business, we’d love to help. Speak to one of our Online Solutions Advisors about our Done For You Websites or our online marketing solutions.