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Identifying a gap in the market creates entrepreneurial opportunity

Identifying a gap in the market creates entrepreneurial opportunity
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Identifying a gap in the market creates entrepreneurial opportunity
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

It's every entrepreneur's dream to find a genuine gap in the market or an expanding sector. It's something that Kate Holohan identified in her former career as a hairdresser. Realising that hair loss is a growing problem – which people are suffering from at ever younger ages – she retrained in trichology and is now proactively working to break down taboos and make dealing with hair loss both accessible and easy, with thousands downloading her podcast about the condition. And she's found that Churchill Square Business Centre in Kings Hill offers the ideal, discreet location to put her customers at ease.

Spotting a gap in the market on which to build a new business

Many people will have never heard the word trichology before, let alone know that it might one day offer the solution to their own hair loss issues. But finding solutions to it is much more than a vanity exercise.

According to The Institute of Trichologists, trichology is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases of the scalp and hair. As hair loss is becoming and more and more prevalent, with 50% of men and 40% of women experiencing it during their life,  demand for an accessible solution is increasing – especially as many with the condition experience psychological problems such as reduced confidence, anxiety, depression, embarrassment and social withdrawal.

Kate Holohan, founder of Hair Therapy based in Churchill Square Business Centre in King’s Hill, identified that people are generally either unaware of the solutions available to them or didn’t feel comfortable going to a salon for treatment, as hair loss is often considered a taboo subject. Kate, a self-confessed education addict, realised that the lack of knowledge about the condition among most hairdressers meant many people were not being offered potential treatments and seeing the opportunity for a new business venture, decided to retrain as a trichologist with the well-established Institute of Trichologists, setting up Hair Therapy when she qualified.

More than just a business – expanding within your niche

With the NHS already under extreme pressure, private treatment clinics are the quickest and easiest way of receiving treatment and Hair Therapy aims to add even more value to clients by educating and empowering them too. Not content with merely educating her own clients, Kate has cemented Hair Therapy’s position in the industry as a trailblazing educator. To destigmatise hair loss, she’s launched a weekly podcast (without any prior experience in the podcasting field) as a resource for hair loss sufferers, trainee trichologists, fellow hairdressers or anyone trying to support those experiencing hair loss, which has landed her an award from the Institute of Trichology at the World Trichology Congress.

Taking this further, Kate has set up a range of online and in-person courses to overcome the problem of hair loss going untreated because of salons lacking trichology expertise. Her one-day Hair & Scalp Salon Specialist Course provides hairdressers with the confidence and ability to deal effectively with hair and scalp concerns.

Business accommodation breaking down the barriers to entry for self-employed

When it came to setting up her new small business in Kings Hill, Kate discovered that finding an affordable workspace was one of the first barriers to overcome. As someone who was self-employed – as 65% of hairdressers currently are due to traditional salons being a victim of ever-rising utility bills – Churchill Square Business Centre was the ideal solution for Kate, as Capital Space’s bills package made “everything so easy and so straightforward because I didn’t want to qualify and then spend a year trying to save up and set something up. I wanted to start helping people as soon as possible”.

With the sensitive nature of her business, a private and discreet space was also important for Kate as she knew people suffering from hair loss issues may not want to walk through a salon full of people having their hair coloured, cut and blow-dried. The personal nature of her unit in Churchill Square Business Park alongside its “friendly and welcoming” atmosphere helps Hair Therapy’s customers feel at ease, adding: “The free parking is also a really good bonus that's overlooked sometimes – it increases the discretion and makes the experience as easy and convenient for customers as possible.”

A flexible work space

Having her own business space gives Kate the ability to expand her range of treatments and the freedom to innovate without being confined to a traditional salon. Without a limit when it comes to space for the most modern equipment and products, Kate has been able to tailor her treatments specifically to those with complex trichology needs. Furthermore, while Kate’s primary source of business is dealing with and trying to resolve hair and scalp problems, she also wanted to be able to provide a preventative and more leisure-based experience, so she created “The Scalp Facial” a relaxing and revitalising luxury treatment which includes steaming, a hair mask and an infra-red lamp.

Kate is a brilliant example of the entrepreneurship within our business centres in her shift from hairdresser to business-owning trichologist, helping more people access information and treatment for hair and scalp problems. As her business grows, she’s hoping to expand her clinic into a larger space so that she can provide even more advanced treatments to her clients. We can’t wait to support her as she continues in her journey to make trichology mainstream.

If you’re looking for a flexible workspace to realise your business dreams, get in touch .