Operating two or more locations is complicated, so it's important to have clearly defined systems in place.
Develop a thorough business plan. Factor in costs for communication and training. Be realistic about the cost of improvements to the new space, signage and marketing. Have a worst-case scenario prepared. What is your cushion for working capital? Have you factored in the costs of a loan? Will you need a line of credit?
Have a strong computer system in place. Programming should reflect your important business factors, not just the latest bells and whistles. Also, make sure you can monitor performance and inventory from home or away.
Develop your stylist training program. It should be in place at least two weeks prior to opening. If folks are hired too early it becomes a drain on the payroll, but if they're hired at the last minute they may not be ready to go.
Hire strong managers to run the new location. Choose someone you've worked with before who can grasp the mission and duties at hand.
Invest in coaching and counseling. Use outside resources. Don't forget to include manufacturers, distributors and bankers.
Be prepared to work harder than ever. Now you're working on your business, not just in your business.
—Philip Pelusi is a salon owner and product manufacturer.