Debbie Parkinson first joined Innervision Hair & Beauty to work as a Saturday girl when she was 15. 20 years later, she owns the salon.

What are your secrets for success?

I implement the 80/20 rule that I learnt at the NHF event, How to make your salon more profitable. The rule says that 80% of your conversation with a client should be about their hair and only 20% about life.

What are the biggest business challenges you face?

The current financial situation means that clients are leaving bigger gaps between salon visits. More people are colouring their hair at home. Client spend is definitely down.

Pensions are also going to be a very big challenge for salons in the future.

What are your goals for the future?

I would like to take a step back from the salon floor and help the team to grow and flourish. This would help increase profitability and potentially enable us to open another salon.

I would definitely turn to NHF for advice about expanding our practice. The law changes all the time, and without NHF we would be in a blunder.

What advice would you give to people looking to open a hair and beauty salon?

Join the NHF and get the legal side of things fully in place before you even open the salon doors.

It’s important to praise your staff effectively. I try to reward and invest in my team by sending them on courses.  

Make wages crystal clear – the fairest and simplest way is to pay each team member a basic rate plus 33% commission for the work they actually do. I’ve learnt the importance of being open about the costs of running a business and showing people where the money goes.

Finally, as an industry, we should encourage young people to do apprenticeships. We need to nurture and invest in young people.