6 Things You Need to Know About Opening a Salon

If you’re interested in starting a new salon business, you’re looking at getting into an industry that brings in over $60 billion each year. Haircare, specifically, makes up about a quarter of that revenue. Running a beauty salon is difficult though and requires a lot of work and attention to detail. Understanding your startup costs, making sure you have the right equipment and suppliers, and making a strong business plan are all essential for giving your new business the best chance for success. Let’s go over six things to keep in mind when opening a salon.

1. Make a plan.

You can’t just make it up as you go along when you’re starting a small business. If you don’t know how to do it, there are plenty of resources online to help. You want to demonstrate that you understand the market, show your supplier plan, and demonstrate what your revenue and cost structure will look like. Be organized and comprehensive, you don’t want to leave anything out. Be neat and take your time, you want your business plan to have a professional look.

2. Evaluate your expenses.

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Obviously, a business needs money to run, and a beauty salon has significant start-up expenses. You could spend anywhere from about $65,000 to upwards of $500,000 building your salon, depending on what choices you make. It takes most businesses at least a few months and often over a year to start making a profit, so make sure you budget for that. You need to manage your operating costs (rent, training, payroll, insurance, inventory, etc.) so that you can price your services appropriately and make sure your overhead is covered so you can turn a profit.

3. Understand local laws and regulations.

Depending on what type of salon you’re running and what services you offer, you may require different licenses in order to operate your business. You want to make sure you don’t have to make changes to your business plan as soon as possible so you can fix any potential issues early. Taking time to make sure you’re in compliance will help you avoid an expensive fine and potential further consequences later.

4. Talk to distributors.

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Your salon will need plenty of products and equipment. Salon chairs, washing and drying stations, mirrors, and everything else your salon needs to function all come from a distributor. Larger items will require working with a wholesale distributor in most cases. Look at every option before you make a decision and don’t forget to ask about any deals that they might offer before you make a decision.

5. Build up a client base.

The most important thing for any business is customers. Salons require that you develop a relationship with your customers and make sure that they develop a loyalty to your beauty salon instead of one of your competitors. Make sure you know what your clients like and treat them well, consider making custom folders for regulars to help you remember details and what products they like for the future. Make sure you use social media liberally to spread the word, create a website, and start learning about SEO to make sure it shows up when potential customers use search engines.

6. Share what makes your business special.

People have a lot of options for where to receive beauty services, so you’ll need to promote what makes you stand out. What is going to be the selling point for your business? Whether it’s offering unique services, focusing on discounts and competitive prices, or providing a tailored, high-end experience, potential customers need to know what to expect when they show up at your salon.

There’s a lot that goes into opening a salon, and these tips just scratch the surface of what’s required. Getting into the beauty business is a low-risk proposition due to the amount of money the industry brings in and its wide perception as being more recession-proof than others. Still, you need to make a strong business plan, stay in compliance with all local laws and regulations, and stand out amongst the competition in order to succeed. Do your research, stick to your plan, and create something unique and boost your odds of success so you can build your business.