Mr Daniel is one of the best SMEsMEDIA entrepreneurs of the week. He has been followed up by our media expert for sometimes and has been consistent and exceptional in what he does. Mr Daniel is a professional hair stylist who has distinguished himself from others I hope you meet Mr Dan as he is called and have a lovely touch to your hair.
Below is excerpt of our interview with Mr Daniel:
How did you become a hair stylist?
Few years ago, I joined my uncle just to see how lucrative hair salon is; along the line, I fell in love with it and became a professional barber. You know sometimes for some families in Nigeria, you don’t have to wait for anybody to help you especially when your parents have trained you up to a level their strength could carry them; at this point they will be expecting from you.
How lucrative is hair saloon?
There is no business that is not lucrative, it all depends on packaging; it is true that people may have looked down on barbers but that was then. Everyone have something to do with hair saloon either to have a haircut or shave, whether rich or poor for instance, governors, presidents, public figures and the general public patronize hair stylist. And again, the lucrativeness of hair salon depends on the business objective of the owner, if you take it serious; it becomes as lucrative as any other business you may think of out there.
What is your advice for the unemployed who want to venture into this business?
I believe that everyone needs a good job but what if that dream job is not forth coming, the company you want to work for is started by someone nothing is wrong when you startup something no matter how small it is. I know that these days some youth corps members acquire skill training that will help them become independent after service. At least I currently pay two staff, if I have being working in a factory I would have being moving from one company to other and for how long would I continue in that. So anybody can do this business whether graduate or not.
How much can one start with?
Capital is not just an issue to start anything you want; when I finished learning the job from my uncle, I don’t have money to start so I have to work for him as his staff to save some money, however when there was a misunderstanding between us, I decided to quit his place and went to work for another person. Fortunately, while in this job, someone came and approached me to manage his business which I refused but I quickly persuaded him to sell the business to me though I did not have all the money but I have faith in God that I will pay. To my surprise, he accepted to sell the business to me so we have to reach an agreement; he accepted part payment and the rest were completed within six months. When capital becomes an issue during startup, you can think of working for someone and save money to startup your own business.
What is the secret of success in hair salon business?
When I bought over the business from the previous owner, I met a staff that was working for the man, being the person in charge I asked him how the business is progressing, he was not positive at all and from his answer, patronage was not encouraging. I asked him to come outside, look around and tell me what he could see but he could not see anything. I went further to ask him if he can see buildings and people living in them to which he responded affirmatively and I told him that it means we have a lot of customers around us and that our objective should be to offer our services to these customers in such a way that no one that comes in to have his hair cut that would never come back again. That has being the case. So the secret to any successful business is being the best at whatever you do so that people will always look for you.
I understand that this has to do with creativity but for someone who is not creative, how can he succeed in this business?
It is true that some people are more creative than the other but practice make perfection. Some people say that Messi is a product of football while Ronaldo is a product of practice. As you know that most of the successful people in the world today spent more than half of their life time practicing, if you want to be good at anything you do, be consistent in practice and you will see that one day, you come out the best. You have to make your customers happy by creating a warm and lively business environment most importantly, give your customers the best service. I spend time making my customers look more handsome and beautiful each time they come for service.
What are some new things hair salon owners should introduce into the business to make it attractive to people?
There are lots of innovations in every business; hair salon is not different, today we have sterilizing machine which has helped in restoring customers’ confidence in using public clipper and many other innovations are coming up on daily basis. We now have hair wash after haircut which will be cleaned with warm towel and as well as a conducive business ambience.
What is your advice to someone who does not know what to do?
Look for what you can do with swag and learn how to do it well, there is no how i will come to my office any day without having customers coming in for one need or the other. There is one incident that happened one day at my former place at Costain, one boy was coming from Orile and lost his money on the way so he managed to trek down to our office and begged to be assisted with small amount of money to continue with his journey. We do not know him neither have we met anywhere, so when he narrated his need to me I was very reluctant to assist but he did one thing, he took the clipper from one of the new boys on a job and finished the haircut in a grand style. He ended up going with the sufficient amount he needed, what do you think would have happened if this boy have nothing to offer? Probably he would have ended up with little or nothing. So it is very important to have something to offer anytime, any day.
Thank you very much Mr. Daniel it’s been a pleasure meeting you