Our first meeting
Tracing back to two weeks ago, the whole class was supposed to gather at municipal hall to meet up our own businesses. Yet, due to a scheduled hair treatment booking, our professor Beau told me the unavailability of our business client in joining the session. Under such an unexpected occasion, my partner Suhail and I had to go to the salon on our own after setting a preliminary framework for the long awaited conversation with the owner.
Located at the center of Jagna, Graym’s Salon just took us a few minutes walk to get there from municipal hall. Walking along the main road, you can easily find a delicate store painted in light mint shadowed by a tree. We opened the door gently and saw a silhouette of a young man with medium gold hair and colorful tattoos on his forearms and fingers. That’s Graymon, the owner of hair and beauty salon. While we were still hesitating how to greet him in a polite way, Graymon had already put down all his haircut tools and came to give us a warm welcome. In this way, we spent a nice day chatting with Graymon, listening to his story of quitting from the business school, partnering a salon with friends at Garcia, setting up his own business and taking pride of being one of the first-rated gay hairdressers in the town. Watching at Graymon’s shimmering eyes, I had already known that my first consultation experience of working with a passionate owner would be extremely fulfilling.
Throughout the last two weeks, Suhail and I constantly drop by the salon to gather information, figure out the local business practice and execute our ideas in an attempt to rectify the business issues.
1) Accounting system: Just like other microbusinesses, Graymon has a sense to keep track on all services rendered by his employees in the previous 5 years. Therefore, he can settle his commission payments precisely. However, due to the lack of comprehensive and systematic book keeping practice and business entity concept, it is impossible for Graymon to have a clear picture on the actual amount earned and tax to be paid. Therefore, we had designed a collection of accounting spreadsheets tailor to the business nature of Graym’s Salon. Thanks to the cooperation of our business owner, our new accounting system is able to run successfully, which enable us to do a hypothesis and financial analysis based on latest revenue and expense data. As a result, Graymon can have a better understanding towards the profitability of his business.
2) Marketing strategy: Due to the lack of business knowledge, marketing campaigns are not as pervasive and entrenched in this city. Yet, it comes to be surprising that most of the locals are active users of social networking site, especially Facebook. Graymon has even accumulated more than 2,550 friends in which a considerable amount of friends are his customers. In light of this, we believe that online promotion will have a great potential in attracting more customers for the salon as well as strengthening the cohesion between the existing clients and business.
3) Competitors analysis: As the Chinese saying goes ‘Know your enemy and know yourself’. As for Graym’s Salon, it is in face of fierce competitions from other barbershops and hair salons. In order to make our business standing out from the pack, it is of crucial for us to get acquaint with the competitors’ price, services rendered, environment, qualifications and operating scale etc. Therefore, my partner and I acted as the normal tourists asking lots of questions and experiencing foot spa, manicure, haircut and hair wash services rendered by different salons. In these coming few days, we are going to tidy up all first hand information collected and do a comprehensive analysis for Graym’s salon to enhance its competitiveness in the industry.
(DEFINITELY NOT for leisure but working hard in being a professional spy!!!)
As long as our course nearly comes to an end, the prime challenge that our group still has to deal with is persuading Graymon to set up his clear long term goals. Obviously, Graym’s Salon is the bread and butter for our client. After having an estimation on the net month income, instead of being constrained by the obligation of family’s financial burden, Graymon is indeed having a bargaining power to dream high. With the determination and proper saving, mission of expanding the business to Valencia with 70,000 pesos start up fund is definitely achievable in the foreseeable future.
Never can I expect that doing consultation work in a context of poor economy can have such a great fun. Graymon just treats us like his friends rather than a business partner. Whenever we drop by his business, he would have prepared different snacks and eatery for us. What’s more?! Knowing that Suhail was suffered from ear infection, Graymon even took an initiative to drive me back home and visited our sickened partner. Living in a city where money is all but everything, you can imagine how impressive it is when you are able to stay at an exotic country filled with love.
Graym’s Salon is marching to the 5th anniversary in this coming Thursday. It is undoubtedly an affirmative for all efforts Graymon had made throughout the years. To everyone reading this blog, I sinecerely invite you to join our party and witness the commencement of another 5 years of Graym’s Salon!