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Specialising in anti ageing results driven manicure and pedicure treatments for both men and women, beauty treatment expert Margaret Dabbs, whose clientele includes Graham Norton, shares with us her best business advice for beauty salon owners, as well as her take on the future of products used within the beauty industry.

What factors do you think make a beauty salon / spa feel relaxing / welcoming for clients?

It is essential that all customers are greeted warmly, both over the telephone and in person. Everyone should be made to feel welcome and the salon/spa should be warm and inviting.

Staff should be informative and knowledgeable about the treatments that are being offered so the correct advice can be given to customers and finally treatments must be performed expertly by interested and skilled staff members.

Related: How to make clients feel welcome in your salon

How does Margaret Dabbs stand out from its competitors?

Margaret Dabbs London is dedicated to offering expert led professional manicure and pedicure treatments and bespoke expert led products which are formulated to both treat the skin and to beautify. Our medical pedicures are performed by qualified podiatrists, and we merge beauty and medical in clinics for ultimate and credible results.

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How do you remain innovative within the industry?

I am very involved in our business and am surrounded by an excellent team. Together we all work to improve and widen the services and products we offer. I am constantly thinking up new ideas across both treatments and products, for use both in the spa and retail arena.

Are there any factors that make each salon unique?

The uniqueness of my clinics is very much down to their location and the customers that visit us. For example, our Liberty Sole Spa fits in so well within the Liberty store, a historic building that has its own character.

Our clinic in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire is set in the beautiful Montpelier area, in a Georgian listed building. It is bathed in light from the beautiful floor to ceiling sash windows and welcomes people from all around the area.  Similarly, our new Alderley Edge Clinic is set in a Cheshire tree lined street which is brought to life by the friendly local people.

What advice would you give to budding salon owners?

The advice I would give to new salon owners is to focus on their core business and not be tempted to do everything – especially not in the early days. Stick to what you know is the golden rule.

Decide which treatments you are going to do, and do them really well. Staff are also very important, so don’t forget to include them in your thoughts. At the same time gain valuable insight into your customers, from the people that are with them day in and day out.

Be careful of your costs, ultimately you need to be spending less money than you are bringing in. This is a very important point. I know that investment always looks inviting, but the best advice I can give you is to make profit before you think of investment or large top-up loans. This way you really know that your concept is working and that you are doing something right.  It is a wonderful feeling when you realise that you are getting it right.

Related: Setting & managing targets within your salon

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Tell us more about the Margaret Dabbs London products…

I formulated these products as I felt that beauty products in the marketplace did not work on a treatment level, and treatment remedies that were available were unpleasant to use.

We formulate and make all of our products in the United Kingdom but use unique ingredients sourced from around the world to meet the demands and needs of our patients and customers.

All of our products are formulated to really work, whilst beautifying and fabulous to use. Feet go through the ageing process like the rest of the body. I formulated products with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti ageing properties. We address issues of dehydration, damaged and infected nails, hard skin and callous, brittle nails, age spots and skin infections, as well as nail polishes enriched with Vitamin E and rose oil to nourish the nails.  The products when used in treatments and for home use transform the hands and feet, both the way they look and the way they feel.

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What has been the driving force behind the Margaret Dabbs brand?

I am naturally an impatient person, but give me a foot and I am a perfectionist.  I am absolutely passionate about what I do, I have the same sense of pride and achievement when someone approaches me and tells me that they love and use my products or attend my clinics for treatments, as the very first time I heard this. My dedicated team of staff make it all possible and carry on the work I initially started successfully.

How do you see the future of beauty treatments evolving?

I think that going forward salons will tend to specialize in an area. Customers are after results…they are knowledgeable and work hard for their money, not easily fooled, and salons should stick to what they know best and do it the very best that they can.

What has been your most well received / popular treatment?

The Margaret Dabbs London medical pedicure and ultimate foot therapy are our signature treatments. I developed these treatments many years ago. people travel from all around the world to visit our clinics and have one of these treatments, which is an amazing feeling. We are leaders in the foot and hand industry, bringing the latest technology and treatments to all of the Margaret Dabbs London clinics.

For many years now we have been the pioneers of foot laser treatments, treating different conditions such as fungal nails and lower laser therapy for foot pain such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions and tendonitis.  We perform  the lower laser therapy to reduce inflammation, ease foot pain and repair soft tissues.

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What can we expect to see from Margaret Dabbs throughout 2016 and beyond?

We are shortly about to open our seventh clinic, in Harrogate, Yorkshire and have another two set to open in 2017.  We are about to launch anti-ageing laser hand therapies to work alongside our anti-ageing hand serum home treatment.

Early 2017 sees the launch of Fabulous Legs by Margaret Dabbs London – 5 products which are firmly focused on venous congestion, foot and lower leg swelling.  These are for retail sale for home use, as well as for spa treatments.

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