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Becoming a Profitable Hair Stylist

Hair stylist is a popular career in New Zealand for many men and women. According to a report released in 2012 by New Zealand’s HITO — Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation — the beauty industry is steadily growing. In December 2010, it was found that there were 3,850 established hair salons. This is a 12 per cent growth from 2006, a rate that’s well above the average rate for business growth in New Zealand. The outlook was generally positive at that time and it continues to be so in 2017.

HITO's Role in Helping Stylists Become Profitable

HITO is located in Wellington and at the Government’s behest, they’re responsible for developing and implementing standards and qualifications for the hair and beauty industry. They set the criteria for the many certificates available when an individual attends hairdressing school and they help offset some of the costs associated with training and education. They also develop training products and materials for these training programs.

HITO has a dedicated sales and liaison team that regularly visits and provides advice to individual businesses on how to help them become more profitable. They help existing beauty salons look for apprentices (with the hopes that if it works out, they’d be able to hire them permanently) and on the reverse side, they assist the apprentice with finding a suitable role.

In this way, HITO is responsible for helping hair salons become more profitable. They help individuals find suitable programmes, whether they’re just starting out or looking for an apprenticeship and they work directly with established businesses to help them find ways of boosting revenue.

How NZARH Helps Staff and Business Owners in the Sector

Another organisation that helps existing hair salons with becoming more profitable is the New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers (NZARH). It directly supports salon owners and employers of hairdresser apprentices. Ten years ago there was an overall shortage of hairdressers in New Zealand, mainly due to the perceived low pay and a problem with some businesses not recognising the professionalism of the trade. Currently, established organisations like NZARH and HITO help alter the perception of hair stylists, so they can be recognised for the professionals they are and ultimately assist them in becoming more profitable.

The Role of the Franchise

Franchised businesses, which started to take off in the 1990s after the 1987 market crash, are increasing in number in New Zealand. Franchises are available for those interested in owning hair salons, cafes or building companies, to name a few industries.

One of the benefits of buying a hair salon company that is part of a franchise is that you are purchasing into a well-recognised brand. That means you have less work to do with it comes to creating a brand that customers can support. Because franchises won't typically invest their own resources in a business that is likely to fail, new franchise business owners can feel reassured that earnings potential and value has likely already been vetted. However, you should always do your own research in addition.

What Do Hairdressers and Barbers Earn?

According to HITO, hairdressers and barbers earn between $31k and $50k per year, depending on experience and the individual salon they work at. Their earnings increase as they progress through training, learn more skills and provide service to clients regularly. Independent salons that aren’t franchises may pay a bit less than a franchised hair salon that already has established revenue. Experienced hairdressers may also earn more money through a bonus system within their individual salon.

Buying or Selling a Salon for Profit

Individuals who are interested in buying or selling a hair salon don't have to go through HITO. Many businesses or investors handle transactions themselves, though working with an experienced broker can help increase the chances of a profitable sale or business purchase. Brokers help you vet a potential business to ensure earnings potential is present or position your current company to attract more buyer interest.

The outlook for the future is positive when it comes to potential profits and growth for those getting into the beauty industry. Although numbers have not yet been released for the current year, it was predicted the industry would grow at a modest 6 per cent over the following ten years, creating a suitable environment for profitability.


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