On the up · 5 October 2015

ShortCuts: Winning over parents and kids alike with its fun-focused salon

David O'Neal's ShortCuts salon has car salon chairs to keep children entertained
David O’Neal’s ShortCuts salon has car salon chairs to keep children entertained
The founder of children’s salon, ShortCuts, told Business Advice about his franchise ambitions and the difficulties of retaining staff within the hairdressing industry.

Some people know from an early stage they want to become entrepreneurs. David O’Neal is one of those people as he always struggled to work as someone else’s employee and hankered to be his own boss. As a fatherof two young boys, he noted their impatience and inability to sit still when getting haircuts, and began to keep their attention through computer games and iPads while he trimmed their hair himself.

It was this that led to O’Neal’sidea to create a children’s hairdressing salon with entertainment and toys to make it a fun experience for kids. With the help of a 15, 000 Start Up Loan, he turned his efforts towards transforming an empty retail unit “that had nothing but dirt and mould” into a busy salon ShortCuts. Now ithas hundreds of people a week visiting, ando’Neal saidhe never would have felt thepride in setting up shop successfully had heworked for someone else.

With his second salon set to open next month, andthe eventual aim of opening a chain or franchising the brand, O’Neal spoke to Business Advice about his success.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

My name is David O’Neal, I am 30-years-old, married with two children and I am the owner of ShortCuts Children’s Salon. ShortCuts is a salon for children which aims to make the haircut experience a fun one for both kids and their parents.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We have been open since June 2014 and we are due to open our second salon in November 2015.

(3) How do/will you make money?

We make money by maintaining good quality haircuts.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

Unlike most generic hair salons, ShortCuts has been designed with children in mind.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

The key thing to us was sticking and continuously reviewing our business plan. As a startup it’s very easy to forget the basics.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Being selected as a business to feature in the Start Up Loans TV campaign.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?



Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.