A GREAT business idea can come from woman’s basics -- just ask Sharon Limbaga and Dr. Sarah Ladao. As frequent goers to salon and spa, Sharon, a nurse-businesswoman, and Sarah, an orthodontist, decided to put up their own.

Every day kami lagi nasa salon noon, for shampoo, hot oil or hair ironing, etc. Doon kami nagkakilala and have become best buddies, they said.

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On June 16, 2009, they opened 202nd Salon -- a mid-range salon that offers good services and treatments without breaking your bank account.

"It was an abrupt decision para di na kami nagpupunta sa iba," they said.

Both realized that for many women, finding an affordable salon can be a nightmare. It seems there are either the franchise hair style shops or the high end, way-too-much-money spas.

Sharon, who is Mutya ng Dabaw 1992, said 202nd Salon is a response to Dabawenyos who deserve affordable services.

"Vain na ang mga tao ngaun. Pag nagustuhan ka they will keep coming back. We are banking on good service that is not too expensive for your budget and right within your means. Pwede ka magpaganda at an affordable price," said Sharon, who is Mutya ng Dabaw 1992.

202nd Salon services don’t just cater to adults, they are bringing services to children’s parties too through their Kiddie Salon package.

A package, which includes unlimited nail art, temporary tattoo, face paint, and hairstyle for boys and girls, is priced at P3,500 for 35 kids to P4,500 for 45 kids.

In addition to salon services, 202nd Salon offers promo rates and gift certificates on beauty packages around certain holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. You will be able to get a full pampering for what you would normally pay for a haircut, foot spa and the like.

For Sharon and Dr. Sarah, running a business though isn't easy with customers to deal with, products to maintain and possibly even staff to manage.

Sharon, who also works with Diatech Laboratory Supply Co., said she and Dr. Sarah keep a close eye on daily operations and make sure they meet with salon staff regularly.

“They need to be reminded of quality service dahil yun ang binabalik-balikan ng customers who should have a value for their money,” Sharon said. “I consider our salon staff are part owners. Fair ang sharing ng salon income with free lunch and dinner since the salon is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

“Kung maging successful ang salon, sabay sabay kame. Kung wala sila, wala rin ang salon,” said Dr. Sarah, adding that the staff makes the biggest difference because they're the face of the business.

In running a small business, opportunities can come up at the most unexpected times. Both said you may run into a potential client at a party, a conference, at the dental clinic, grocery or restaurant.

You can't let everyone know about your product or service but the more people who do know, the more opportunities you're likely to get, and therefore the better your chances of making it through your first few months in business, they said.

Though 202nd Salon has gained an encouraging momentum in the past seven months, Sharon and Dr. Sarah agree that most business start-ups just don't take off immediately. However, it shouldn’t be confused with failure because every time one starts a business, they gain a new raft of experiences, extend your skill set, and learn valuable lessons for future enterprising.