As someone who works relentlessly to help women in small business (whether with my online courses, coaching or pro-bono) it pains me to share this story. I never really wanted to, as I’ve had a pretty tough few years and to throw this into the mix is embarrassing & heartbreaking but it does demonstrate that unfortunately there are people out there who do take advantage, and I want to share this story to help anyone else going through a rushed business sale.
In 2015, my husband and I bought a little hair salon that was for sale. It was nearby where we lived in Bowral, in a lovely little town called Robertson.
It wasn’t expensive, but I could see the potential, and I just absolutely adored it. We painted the whole space white, installed new benches, drove all over NSW to collect these beautiful yellow mirrors from Freedom and slowly invested in new salon chairs and equipment as we could afford it. We bought a new fridge, new glasses and cutlery, new guest chairs even installed a kiddy corner.
We found a fantastic stylist called Haylee who managed the salon for us by day, and while my husband and I were working day jobs, we focussed on the social media and marketing side in our own time after work.
It was hard work managing both, but I could see such potential in this beautiful little business.
After a few months, a stylist came to us asking for work. Her name was Dianne Walsh. She had claimed to have owned the same salon years before, and as such, would easily pick up her old clients again. We put her on a 50/50 payment arrangement and she worked under Haylee.
This new arrangement was only in place a month or two when I was offered an on-air radio position up in Darwin, so we had to put the salon up for sale for $10,000 ONO.
Dianne came to us and asked to buy the salon, offering $3,000. Considering we’d spent close to $8,000 on the renovation, we just couldn’t accept it. We negotiated down to $6,000, as I had decided it was going to good person who would do great things with the business. She paid us $4000 and promised to pay off the remaining $2000 via monthly payments commencing a few months later. The exact start date was to be June 2016.
June came and went. In around August we contacted Dianne and asked her to update us on when these payments would start, and she asked for more time. By October, she all of a sudden stopped answering calls. And emails, and sms, she completely stopped responding all together.
It’s now October 2017 and we’ve been blocked from all social media, and of course, no answers from any calls, emails. We’ve sent legal letters, sent debt collectors to no avail. We even asked for help via the local Robertson Commons Facebook Group, we were inundated with people who had bad dealings with this woman as well. Turns out she’s some sort of con artist.
We were told via this group, she has spent quite a bit of money renovating the salon since. Nice.
Despite having a written contract and various emails, I am an idiot.
Get the money then and there, if you are selling a business. Lesson learned I can tell you.
And if you are in Robertson, please head to “The Little Hair Shoppe” and please, go wild.
We’d like to encourage you to get that wash, colour, cut and blow dry and walk out without paying, tell her on the way out that it’s on Jac Bowie’s account.