How did an Englishman end up in the Philippines to do hairdressing? David Charlton shares some of his humble beginnings and a few business lessons every entrepreneur can learn from. From being a salon assistant, David grew David’s salon into one of the biggest salon chains in the Philippines with over 200 branches.
Born in Sunderland, England, David grew up in a family of hairdressers. His father was a barber while his mother and unclear were hairdressers. As a young boy, he helped in the family business by sweeping the floors and offering coffee to their customers. He was studying full-time while helping in their family’s salon. He finally earned the distinction of the City and Guilds of London Institute Examination in Men’s and Ladies’ Hairdressing. This paved the way for more opportunities for him outside the comforts of his hometown.
At age 22, David went to the Philippines after being assigned as a manager of the upscale salon, Rever at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. David was such a sought-after hairdresser that he became a partner of the Rever Salong until he finally had the chance to buy it in the early 1980s. Since then, David expanded Rever and named it after himself. He also changed their target market to make hairdressing more affordable to Filipinos. The first David’s Salon opened in New Farmer’s Market in Cubao, Quezon City.
David shared with Esquire some of the business lessons he learned. Here are some of them:
1. Invest In Training Your Team
According to David, it’s important to train and professionalize your team. He admitted that while there are many talented hairdressers, they need to learn so many technical parts of hairdressing.
He said, “That’s what we improve on, we took the artistic side of the people and nourished that and then gave them the additional technical skills to be able to do a whole range of hairdressing that was needed to make the salon successful.”
2. Build Customer Retention Through Good Customer Service
From his experiences growing up in a salon, David knew the importance of customer service. He said providing good customer service will make your customers remember you. He said no matter what you do, there will always be people who won’t like you. However, everybody will always appreciate good service.
3. Be Updated With Fashion Trends
David explained that what sets their salon apart from their competitors is that they keep up with the latest developments and trends. He said that they present fashionable hairstyles or colors. To keep up, David said they send international hairdressers to the Philippines to do workshops and seminars for their staff.
In the end, David said “total customer satisfaction” is the goal of David’s salon. They want customers to feel relaxed and enjoy their new look.