After working in a range of prestigious salons over a period of 15 years, Charlotte Frances Baker decided to set up her own luxury hair boutique last August.
As she approaches her first anniversary of being in business, Charlotte reflects upon her decision to go it alone – noting the hard work along the way but also highlighting the benefits of working for herself.
When asked what led her to setting up her business, Charlotte said: “The inspiration for opening Charlotte Frances Hair Boutique was my passion for service. Working in salons before, I got frustrated when clients weren’t given 100% every time and I wanted to provide that in a beautiful environment.
“Charlotte Frances is a stylish high-end salon. Without feeling pretentious or being overpriced, we strive to give our clients 100% at all times.”
Since opening its doors, the boutique has been a resounding success and Charlotte has played out her vision perfectly. She now has a whole team of stylists which she leads and also works alongside – reflecting her tireless work ethic.
This drive to put in the necessary graft is an asset that has helped her in adjusting to her new role as a business owner, she said: “My first year in business has been hard-work, but I have always worked hard, so it’s nothing new to me. The dangers of finally owning my own business have been being unable to switch off and learning to relax.
“Adjusting to directorship from employee hasn’t been too difficult either as I am working shoulder to shoulder with my team on a daily basis.”
A number of challenges arose as Charlotte worked to get started, and finding premises caused plenty of stress. But the toughest thing about running the business has been adjusting her mind-set. Learning to take time out and to look on the bright side of any issues has been a real learning curve.
Charlotte said: “The toughest challenges arose during the opening process, being messed around by estate agents and negotiating with the landlord.
“Other challenges have been within myself – learning to constantly remain positive and look at the bigger picture at all times.
“The dangers of finally owning my own business have been being unable to switch off and learning to relax.”
However, Charlotte has managed to work through any difficulties and is now relishing in living her dream of running her own salon.
“The best thing about being your own boss is being able to offer my clients my own creative flair with no restrictions, and knowing that all my hard work will pay off for me and my family in the future,” she said.
Charlotte is another business borrower proving once again that, although becoming self-employed poses new challenges, it isn’t impossible to succeed on your own. Now wiser and more creative than ever Charlotte is a great example of a talented worker honing her skills and then thriving on her own.
Thinking of applying for a business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity? Charlotte says: “If you have a strong business plan and a passion for your industry, then go for it. Be sure to have gained a lot of experience in your desired sector before heading out on your own.”
For more information on STWLC business loans, CLICK HERE.
To find out more about Charlotte Frances’ salon visit www.franceshairdesign.co.uk.