BLOG: Adding beauty to your business, by Sally Montague


Sally Montague is director of the Sally Montague Hair Group, which has six salons across Derbyshire

At the Sally Montague Hair Group, three of our six Derbyshire-based salons have beauty within them: Ashbourne, Belper and our flagship The Old Hall. We have two beauty businesses that are run independently (The Old Hall and Belper) and one that is run by our team at Ashbourne. We will be taking over the running of the Belper salon in September. While all are successful, the one run in-house is proving a huge success and we are growing the spa team.

We decided to add beauty to the business to be able to offer a complete service; a one-stop shop of both beauty and hairdressing services all under one roof. We now offer a range of beauty services, including facial treatments, specialist massages, body treatments, waxing, make-up, tanning and manicure and pedicure services.

Adding beauty to our business keeps your clients more loyal and makes the experience complete. If you have extra space that you can’t use for hair it is an ideal add-on to your core business. Ensure that it is quiet and relaxing, as beauty needs to be housed within a serene environment away from the buzz of the salon floor.

There are many benefits to adding beauty to your hairdressing business, not least in that it helps pay the bills. The beauty businesses that I rent out cover the yearly rates on the properties and other overheads, however as with everything there are also pitfalls. You have to get the right person on board who will be in line with your brand values and standards – they are representative of your offerings and have to be true to your vision and goals.

If your beauty business is independent then it can be difficult to control the brands. It’s important during the interview process to shortlist the people whose brands reflect your own.

Over the years beauty offerings have changed in line with consumer demand. Now it is much more about luxury than maintenance and clients want a treat for themselves or as a gift for friends and family. This is why we endeavor to offer premium beauty services in a relaxed setting to cater to the needs of our clients across the different salons.

We are currently in planning to relocate our two interlinked Ashbourne sites into one super ‘lifestyle’ salon, which will comprise a much bigger beauty area. I am really excited about this move. There is a gap for a one-stop destination in the area and we will be able to cater for the different needs of our cash rich, time poor guests who want to get as much done as possible in minimum time. There will be those who want appointments for hair colour, manicures, pedicures etc., while others will want to spend the day with us enjoying a wonderful spa experience. The run down old coaching inn next door is also being developed into a boutique hotel, restaurant and designer shopping venue, making Ashbourne the ideal day destination.

I feel the Sally Montague Hair Group brand has come a long way with its beauty offerings since I started out in business in 1983. I have learnt an awful lot during the last 31 years. The best advice I could give anyone looking to add beauty to their business it to stick to your standards and high-end brands – as with hairdressing, people will pay for luxury when it comes to beauty.

It’s been a massive learning curve and I’ve found that in business, when you feel something isn’t right, you are usually right! Always stick to your guns and endeavor to get the very best people working for you so your brand can flourish.