Challenging conventional salon beliefs, Hair Colour Cafe is a franchise concept brewed for business without the bull providing customers with an affordable and easily understood approach to hair colouring.
It’s relatively safe to say that the majority of clients just want a good colour and cup of coffee at an affordable price – a simple concept that Michael Cowen and daughter Monica understood in 2005 when they launched Hair Colour Cafe.
Michael and Monica are passionate about quality hair colouring and believe that at the right price many customers who have coloured their hair at home can make the transition to an approachable salon environment – provided the concept is clear and appealing.
Monica already owned a successful salon in Wagga Wagga and, “We both believed that in a town like Wagga with a population of 60,000 and 55 plus salons that there was an opportunity to open a Hair Colour Cafe that concentrated on colour while also offering cuts. The town was already over-supplied with conventional salons. From day one it was an immediate success,” said Michael.
Hair Colour Cafe provides clients with a commonsense menu of professional hair services from as little as $48 for a standard colour including a blow dry or ghd finish – the quality cappuccino is a given and the staff training ensures colour is not just left to the seniors – everyone is obsessed with colour.
“When we first launched it was our goal to establish a pilot salon over a three year period so when we started expanding the franchise we would have a proven concept and formula. We have now achieved this and our long term goal is to grow the franchise group to over 20 outlets within the next few years. When this is achieved, the potential for growth across Australia is limitless,” Michael said.
Like any franchise business, Michael is looking for people with a 100 per cent commitment and to open a franchise the usual time frame is about six months to ensure the store is in keeping with the solid business model.
“We have to find the right location and then do a complete fit out as well as staff training and marketing,” said Michael.
The upfront franchise fee is a modest $30,000 plus the cost for location fixtures, fittings and stock and Michael ensures that a salon will operate with a minimum 20 per cent return in the first 12 months of opening.
During the last 13 years Michael has worked in 45 states across the US and 9 provinces in Canada – fortunate enough to have worked with some of the largest beauty and hair salons in the world.
“During the last 20 years clients have dropped off a lot of services including perming, the weekly shampoo and the set and blow-wave visit as well as formal hairstyling – with the exception of weddings and graduations.”
“I also noted that 95 per cent of people are now having their hair coloured, and the men’s market is growing. With these observations in mind, the next move was then to create a concept to bridge the gap in the market by providing a cost-effective colour service in a relaxed, casual atmosphere where clients can get in and out quickly at a reasonable price,” he said.
This is ultimately why Hair Colour Cafe was created – the time poor cost-conscious customer is the talk of 2009 – three hours at a salon at a huge cost is an unappealing option for a large percentage of the population.
Hair Colour Cafe provides a full seven day guarantee on all hair colour services, informs clients of the full cost of the service at the consultation phase and uses leading European colour products to ensure clients understand the honest ethos and can relate to all staff and communicate on a productive level. Michael has implemented a fully documented training program which aims to have first year apprentices fully trained on colour services within nine months. “Gone are the days where apprentices were employed and for the first two years swept floors and folded towels,” Michael said. Marketing systems are equally as rewarding and can operate across all stores.
“The only way to have a successful team is to have a strong recruiting apprentice program and then train them to be the next generation of seniors. 90 per cent of our staff have been recruited and trained by us.”
“Perhaps the most motivating thing for me personally is to see our young staff become accomplished consultants and experts on colour within the first 12 months,” concluded Michael.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to form a successful Hair Colour Cafe phone Michael Cowen on 0407 944 598.
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