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Ultima Beauty Salon

An attractive business                        

Clients at Ultima Beauty Boutique in Trafalgar can enjoy a delicious cappuccino and watch their children play while they have their makeup, hair removal, pedicure or nail enhancement procedure.

This special attention, as well as quality service, has helped founder Joanne Woolard quickly establish herself as a popular local business. Thanks to the Small Business Mentoring Service, her clinic, which opened in December, 2010, is off to a flying start.

Ultima Beauty Boutique’s motto is “nothing is too much trouble”. As well as catering for all their beauty needs, Joanne and her staff take time to inform their clients about correct maintenance and care of their skin and nails as well as how to apply makeup.

 SBMS Mentoring Ultima Beauty Boutique

Ultima Beauty Boutique offers a range of services, including hair removal for men and women, eyebrow and eyelash tinting, special occasion makeup, pedicures, nail enhancement and spray tanning. A growing number of men are using the service.

The clinic also stocks the well priced professional cosmetic range Bodyography.

Clients appreciate Joanne’s industry experience and that of her staff, as well as the friendly atmosphere. Then there’s the free coffee. “We’ve got a cappuccino machine,” Joanne says. “There’s also a little area for the kids to play. We’ve got DVDs and toys.”

Joanne was experienced in the beauty industry but had not run her own shop when she met mentor Leo Billington through the SBMS Bushfire Recovery Program.

SBMS is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business. It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it.

Leo has extensive experience in local and regional business development across Gippsland and more recently with the Latrobe City Council. Since 1990, he has focussed on helping small to medium enterprises with business planning, action plans, marketing plans and written material including press releases.

Joanne and Leo had 11 sessions over a year under SBMS Bushfire Relief Program. They plan to stay in contact as the business progresses.

“Initially the assistance covered setting up a new business in a new location,” Leo says.  “Joanne and I worked through the necessary permits and regulations.  Once the business was established, marketing and initial financial assistance was provided.”

Among other things, Leo helped with:

  • The business plan, bookwork and general financial requirements
  • Finding a suitable location
  • Ensuring the shop was safely fitted out and complied with local council regulations
  • Helping to source wax beds
  • Marketing and the importance of a website.

Joanne says thanks to Leo’s help and small business knowledge, it took just two weeks to open the shop once they found it. The premises had been used by a physiotherapy practice, which was a bonus as it was already reasonably well set up.

Leo’s advice was invaluable. For example, ensuring Joanne researched council regulations before fitting out the shop helped avoid potentially costly adjustments. Leo also helped source a wax bed, which had been proving difficult.

“Leo was there from day one,” Joanne says. “He helped me a lot. He was here to help me organise everything in the shop. He was here from when I got the keys. He even came to the beauty expo with me.”

 SBMS Mentoring Ultima Beauty Boutique

Partly due to Leo’s help, Joanne says since she opened the number of customers has increased by 50 per cent, enquiries by 50 per cent, profits by 20 per cent and sales by 10 per cent. Ultima Beauty Boutique has its own Facebook page and Joanne is working on a website.

She now has three employees and two manicure tables. The employees are trainee Emilee Ruddell, Barb Mickan from Daydreams of Warragul and part-timer Roslyn Shields, also formerly of Warragul. Barb and Roslyn are both experienced in the industry.

Leo says Joanne is experienced in the industry, extremely keen and doing a great job. “She’s quite creative,” he says. “She knows what has to be done. I like working with her.”

Leo says that Joanne now understands succession planning and the regulatory side of establishing a new business, particularly local government regulations. She also has improved financial planning skills and is aware of the need for on-going business planning.  “Joanne’s self confidence has also been increased,” Leo says.

Joanne loves what she does and is extremely pleased with how things have turned out so far. “I enjoy making people happy,” she says. “I’m really happy and everyone that comes in here enjoys themselves. I’m here to make money but I’m also here to make people feel better.”

To download a copy of this case study, click on the PDF icon:SBMS mentors Ultima Beauty Salon