Setting up shop in a house is risky business. And when your business is retail-focused, requiring ample off-street parking, security and the separation of client spaces from administrative areas, it’s a lot more difficult to get the right fit.
Jared Hines, co-owner of Hines & Harley Men’s Grooming Lounge – which launches today – had to answer the tough question of where to locate his business: in an office park or shopping centre complex, or in a residential district?
He chose a house setting as he believes it is “better suited to the atmosphere we wanted to create in the grooming lounge”.
“Hines & Harley is the only establishment in Johannesburg where men can come to be properly pampered,” he says, noting the lounge is located in a heritage property dating back to Johannesburg’s early days. “H&H offers a masculine environment with treatments developed specifically for men. Here they can sip on a complementary whiskey or cold-drip coffee while they enjoy expert barber and shaving services; hand and feet treatments; facials and facial waxes; massages (head, neck, shoulders and back); and reflexology treatments.”
The owners say a commercial building would not have enabled people to relax and be pampered, with the heritage property boasting such character and “is a perfect match for our business”.
“We knew that this area would be perfect for the type of business we wanted to have, because the trendy vibe of the area attracts the type of guys who would appreciate ours services,” says Hines. “The area is furthermore centrally located and within easy reach of the city’s main transport hubs and arterials. We also looked for a premises with lots of character, and we were extremely fortunate to find this one.”
Located in Seventh Avenue in Parktown North, the house came with commercial rights, and did not require alterations. But Hines does stress that business owners should not set up shop in a residential setting with their eyes closed.
“Make very sure that you take all factors into account when you consider the suitability of the property,” he says. “Houses weren’t built to be businesses hence you must make 100% sure that the property can do what your business needs.”