Name: Southside Salon
Location: 1265 Market St., Suite 100
Products/services: The business is a full-service salon that takes care of customers’ hands, feet, nails and hair. Stylists give haircuts, add or subtract color and use cutting-edge methods of making hair more manageable, according to owner Jennifer Ward.
Age: Southside Salon will celebrate its first full year in business in June.
Startup investment: $55,000
Anticipated annual sales: $250,000
Target market: The company primarily targets downtown professionals, both men and women. The majority of customers live in Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain or downtown, Ward said. Customers will often take time off during work to stop by for a quick cut, she added.
Biggest hurdle: For Ward, it was difficult adjusting to being an owner and “not just standing behind a chair being a stylist,” she said. She puts in more hours and is away from her family more often than she’d like.
Biggest reward: Seeing her previous clients come over to her new business was very rewarding, she said, as is providing jobs for four people.
Challenges in the future: Getting new clients and retaining existing ones are the hardest part of the business, she said. It’s also a challenge to run a business while staying current with new hair trends by attending hair shows and continuing her education.
Lesson learned: “When you come out of hair school, you think you know everything, but you learn really fast that you know nothing at all,” she said.
Five-year goal: In five years, Ward would like to have several more employees, and would like to see a steady stream of customers for each stylist. She would like to do more work running the business instead of working on hair.
— Compiled by staff writer Ellis Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6315
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...