HairEducator

A husband and wife team who, following redundancy, set up a business to deliver bespoke training courses to the hair industry, is on target to increase its business by at least 250 per cent in the year ahead.

Sally and Calvin Ward launched HairEducator in January 2014 after being made redundant within five days of each other towards the end of 2013. Working in partnership with manufacturers and sales and promotional teams, the partnership set out to write and deliver tailor-made training courses covering everything from introduction level to technical colouring for the hair salon industry.

Now, less than eighteen months on and with our help, HairEducator has a team of six and already has well over 400 course bookings in place for 2015.

Sally takes responsibility for course development and planning, recruitment and staff training and delivers courses on a daily basis, whilst Calvin looks after the financial side of the business and some of the operational planning.

One of the main keys to HairEducator’s success is that it offers something different to anyone else in the market.

“All our courses are unique and we update them on a regular basis in order to stay current.” explains Sally, who has worked in the hair industry for many years, not only working her way up through salon ranks but working as a lecturer for Weston College for 10 years and gaining a teaching degree.

“We have also developed a fantastic association with Aston and Fincher – a well-known and respected supplier to hair and beauty professionals – and now deliver courses across the UK in their academies, colleges and salons.

“In addition we have a number of new contracts starting shortly which have come about through word of mouth recommendation and social media exposure.”

Gail Parsons, Sally and Calvin Ward

Gail Parsons ( President of the Weston Chamber of Commerce) with Sally and Calvin Ward

HairEducator has already won plaudits, winning New Business of the Year at the Weston Chamber of Commerce awards 2015 and with Sally having been invited to be UK Ambassador at an international conference for a leading hair brand.

However getting the right advice when starting out was essential and Sally and Calvin turned to us for support and training.

“We both attended a business start-up course which was very useful – for example it gave us information on various tax implications as well as legal obligations on our part as a limited company, neither of which we would have known about otherwise.” says Calvin, who comes from an operational and management background working with blue chip accounts and who, for five years prior to the launch of HairEducator, worked as a Stadium Safety Officer for two of the region’s leading sports clubs.

“We also started out with an accountant which we might otherwise not have done and we’ve had some great advice as a result.

“NSEA were fantastic from the business’s conception and still continue to be a valuable support.” Calvin continues. “It is great to know that there are people out there who will give you any support you need, with no “hidden agenda”. They want to help you to be successful.

“We also benefitted from being part of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme, which gave us a business start-up allowance and additional support.”

Whilst HairEducator is busy and growing, Sally and Calvin are keeping a keen eye on the future.

“We want to carry on providing excellent quality education. We are very proud that we are able to give people employment and hope to continue to grow.” says Sally.

“By year five, we would like to be running our own academy whilst still working in association with our current clients.”

Calvin and Sally have some shared words of advice for other start-up businesses.

“Don’t set out to make money – that’s just the icing on the cake.” says Sally. “There are many more rewarding things that come with running your own business such as employing people, having happy customers and getting satisfaction from your own actions.

“Go on a business start up course and do as much research as possible before you leave a job or spend any money.” Sally continues. “You could save thousands by realising your idea was set for failure.

“Finally, go with your instincts when making new acquaintances in business. And get as much advice as possible before you start. People in business like to be asked for their advice – so why not use it?”

To contact HairEducator email: sally@haireducator.co.uk or tel: 07807 331260

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