Vicki Hood runs Washington based hair and beauty business, Salon 38. She is the latest subject of our It’s My Business feature.

Vicki (pictured far left) opened the salon in 2016.

Tell us what made you want to start your own business?

I was working in residential lettings and was getting frustrated with the way employers were running their businesses. I wanted to do something different that I was in control of.

I set up my own lettings agency in 2008 and sold it after eight years. It was a labour of love but I was ready for a new challenge.

Did it take you time to adjust to the beauty business?

Not at all – I am doing what comes naturally to me and I love it. I have a bigger team now than I ever did in lettings, so that has taken the most getting used to.

You recently moved from the Galleries to Washington Village – tell us about that

After an amazing two years at the Galleries, our lease was coming to an end I took the opportunity to move to a much larger premises on Valley Forge, as I wanted to stay local but in a location that would allow us to grow whilst providing our customers with a more relaxing environment.

Salon 38, Washington Village

Running your own business can be rewarding and challenging – what are the biggest challenges for you?

One of the biggest challenges for us is coming up with marketing ideas outside of discounting. Social media works for us in terms of engaging with current clients, but not for bringing new clients through the door. Discounting is always a temptation but the reality is not every client wants the cheapest style or treatment and once you start discounting, it’s hard to get back to a more profitable point and get them back to buy at the regular price. So for me it’s about finding the balance between giving value for money and coming across as ‘cheap’.

And the biggest rewards?

I love the team here and our customers. Seeing the salon looking so great and reading the many positive reviews we get on our social media channels is such a reward in itself.

What does 2019 have in store for Salon 38?

We’re just getting settled into the new salon, so right now we’re focusing on taking care of our existing client base and slowly growing at a pace that we can handle comfortably.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?

Do something you enjoy doing – do it for the love of it before the money and the money will follow.

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