Topic: Research/Metrics

Beauty Services Relocation And Market Research

Posted by oroshchuk on 250 Points
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice regarding relocating a self-employed beauty services (mostly nails) business. The main question is how to conduct a market and competitors research in an efficient way when you basically can choose from a dozen or so of potential locations. To make it clearer, the new location will be selected based on the highest potential revenues for the business.

An ideal scenario, as I understand it, would be finding some sort of "market research report" about potential clients in a specific region of the country (it's UK), but I'm quite sceptical one exists and whether it will give a clear picture of how many potential and regularly paying customers are there in a specific town/city/area.

I wonder if there's a good practical way to get truthful market insights for beauty services in particular, other than going through the potential locations one by one and doing tedious "reconnaissance" using local news, Facebook groups, perhaps hard to get and unreliable statistics about income or even ethnic breakdown (can be important too!).

Happy to clarify my question further, and sorry if it all sounds too naive or near-sighted, I'm not an expert in marketing. If this is not an appropriate place to seek this kind of advice, I would really appreciate if you could link me to a better place.
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  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    What's the marketing plan to attract customers? If you're depending on foot traffic, then location factors strongly. If you're co-marketing with another business (hair salon that doesn't do nails), then you have a different variable to focus on. And if you have a well-considered plan to differentiate your store from all of the competition (and to reach your audience), then people won't mind being inconvenienced if they can't get similar services that are more convenient. So the answer is, "it depends" (on your marketing strategy).
  • Posted by oroshchuk on Author
    To make it clearer, this is an "at home" kind of salon business, and location will be more of a residential area. Sorry that I missed this important detail. Also, comparing to "classic" salons, the USP are higher quality and longer "wear" of the services.

    What we've been thinking about is moving to an area with paying/richer clients who are not satisfied with the "classic" salon services. In beauty business, there are many clients who just can't get the best service to meet their demands about quality, but I appreciate it's be a bit of a niche rather than a mainstream trend and often it applies to clients who are non-British (migrants from Eastern Europe for instance).
  • Posted by joy.levin on Accepted
    While the latest census data for the UK is some outdated, you can probably determine some general income statistics based on census data here -

    If you scroll down, you'll see a section for finances. As far as whether they are satisfied with services, this will likely require some primary market research. If you're on social media, you can try posting a link to a short survey there. The results may be somewhat biased since respondents will be self-selecting and based on your network. Still it may give you some sense to whether people are generally satisfied and perhaps some insights into why/why not.

    Good luck!!
  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Accepted
    You aren't likely going to find a single report that covers what you are after, so will have to make some assumptions and piece together publicly available info.

    Going to give an example from a friend's business, which hopefully may give you ideas. He opened a high end mountain bike shop, both retail and service. Average new bike price is $5,000+. They knew they wanted to be in the San Francisco Bay Area. To find a specific location, they plotted 3 pieces of info on a map:
    1) locations of parks with trails, as they wanted to be within riding distance of a place to ride with at least a few kilometers of decent trails.
    2) locations of all bike shops, as many bike brands won't allow there products to be taken on by a new shop if that shop is too close to another shop carrying that brand.
    3) location of the other high end mountain bike shops, who he felt where his real competitors. People who go to these shops likely drive right past at least a half dozen regular shops to got there.

    They literally took a map and drew circles of the fixed exclusion distance for the all bike shops and much larger circles for the competitor bike shops. They also marked the parks with trails. Then looked at the possible openings for areas which had appropriate land use allowances for a retail store and came up with a winner.

    In your case, you could plot out geographies that meet the income, demographic, etc. you think would make a good target and then map out competitors in these regions and look for areas that seem like there is a gap in coverage.
  • Posted by oroshchuk on Author
    Hi @Peter, thanks for your suggestion, it looks like something we should definitely do. In your friend's case they knew from start it would be SF, and in our case we don't know the city yet. Probably we need to do it in stages, because we can't pick 100 locations and do the mapping exercise for all of them - that may take a couple of years!

    I think we could do something like:

    Stage 1 - "Coarse" research
    We pick up locations (likely cities or towns where enough potential customers exist) based on relative interest in the services we provide and population age/income/etc.

    Stage 2 - "Fine" research
    Choose a couple of locations to carry out the in-depth mapping.

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