Good haircuts, complimentary beer, an entertaining dog and what it takes to turn your business idea into a reality

For Melbourne-based hairdresser Leanne Peddle, the time was ripe to launch her own business, Henry Lee Barbershop, in Collingwood.

“I've been in the hairdressing industry for 15 years, working in Sydney and then travelling abroad to the UK,” Leanne recalls. “When I returned to Melbourne, I started working in a barbershop in Fitzroy. And then I thought, I’d been working for others long enough and I want to put my own ideas into action and start building something. And that’s what prompted the decision to open my own shop.”

Leanne started looking into what it would take to launch a business and when browsing ANZ’s Business Hub she came across ANZ Business Ready powered by Honcho. ANZ Business Ready is a convenient online one-stop-shop designed to help people turn their business idea into reality.

“The key factor for me was that it was easy to navigate and helpful for planning with the start-up factors of opening a business,” Leanne says. “It makes sure you have all your ducks in a row, quickly and easily”

Three months on and Henry Lee Barbershop is booming in Collingwood.

“The launch was great,” Leanne enthuses. “I’ve been really busy from the first day onwards - and the shop has been a huge success. I'm looking forward to building it up into an even bigger business.”

Although Leanne acknowledges that there’s a fair amount of competition in her area, Henry Lee Barbershop competes in a niche segment of the overall industry and that helps with her competitive advantage. “There isn't a lot of direct competition where I'm located, so it creates a space that's available to locals and also to people coming into the area for food or shopping,” she explains. “I offer consistently good haircuts, a complimentary beer, and excellent music, with the occasional presence of my dog for extra entertainment!”

Looking ahead, Leanne has some key goals for the future of the business, including hiring staff. “It's just me in the shop at the moment, but I plan on hiring in the next few months,” she says. “It’ll be challenging to find the right person, and figuring out all the aspects of being an employer rather than an employee.”

Having a full team of staff and running a successful shop on lower Johnston St which is up-and-coming with lots of design and creative hubs, as well as launching a business website are Leanne’s main goals for the immediate future.

 “Long term, I’m looking at doing pop-up barbershops at small local music festivals and events,” she explains.

So what advice does Leanne have for other new start-ups?

  • Know your business and your competition. “Research the industry in-depth and pick a good location where you can win,” she says.

  • Plan for growth – “Make sure you plan for short and long term growth and have the professional applications you need to drive this such as a mobile optimised website.”

  • Stay on top of your accounting – “It’s easy to put off accounting activities when you are so busy running your business day-to-day,” she says. “But the longer you leave it, the more challenging it will be. It’s also important to have the right software and tools.”

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