Opening a Beauty Salon: Let’s Do It The Right Way
5 min - Published on
Opening a salon takes more than a couple of chairs and a lease. There are a few things to keep in mind while planning your salon debut and we’ve got the guide and checklist to get you there.
Salons have evolved over the past century. From undesigned chairs in a bare room to well-planned, stylish experiences, beauty salons have become statement pieces that take a little more planning to get off on the right footrest.
Before you start planning…
The most successful beauty salons are those that build themselves a niche - something they can’t necessarily get from other salons. The reason many salons fail isn’t that they didn’t have the money or even the customers, it’s that they couldn’t keep up with the market, competition, and didn’t properly come up with a plan.
Have you decided what your salon will offer? Will it be nails, hair, a mix of everything or something completely unthought of? Coming up with something that sets you apart from other salons will begin to build the buzz before opening and will solidify those long-term clients for years to come.
Be sure this is what you want to do.
Make up your mind now that you are going to put your whole heart into making your salon a success. No half-cut efforts are allowed in this industry to succeed. By committing, and ensuring you know everything there is to know about your chosen speciality, you’ll be ready for all the expected and unexpected twists and curls.
Study other salons and note what they’re doing right and where they could improve. Take inspiration, but find your own unique speciality or niche. Even get your hair done and ask questions about their opening (but be completely transparent about why you’re asking, especially if they’re local). Learn from their possible mistakes and plan/strategize how you would react better in these situations. This research can do wonders for your own ideas and future planning.
Planning the opening of your beauty salon
Somewhere, you should be jotting down or typing notes of all the ideas you come up with, no matter whether or not you think they’re good at the time. You should also begin really diving deep into your opening plan by drafting up answers to the following questions so you can build your business plan. These can always be solidified or worked out later. You are free to print this article and use these questions as a checklist to guide you through your planning.
- Who is your ideal client? Are you hoping to serve students, children, or something more specialized? Why not a salon dedicated to people with curly hair?
- What is your vision? Where do you see your salon down the road? What purpose, other than cutting hair, etc., do you plan on achieving?
- Where will you get the money to open? Do you have savings or investors? Will you be receiving small-business grants from your city or state? Perhaps you’ll be taking out a loan? Write this down formally and add how much money you have pre-money (loans, investments) and post-money.
- What will be your business name? This is where you need to get creative, but don’t think too hard. Often the best ideas come when you’re not stressing about it. Make a list of options, ask friends for their favourites, and just keep your creative fingers flowing.
- Where will your business be located? Check the area. Is it close to your ideal clients? Is the rent too high? Do you have enough space to design your ideal salon? There are a lot of factors to consider here.
8 steps your should take before opening your salon
- Register your business. Will it be a sole-proprietorship, a partnership, LLP, or will you incorporate it? Registering makes your business official and follows the legal route for taxes and other reasons, such as making sure no one else can use your business name.
- Get your permits and licenses. Depending on your location, you will need to apply for the required permits and other licenses required to open a business and open a beauty salon. Serving alcohol at your new salon? We love that idea! But you’ll need a license for that too.
- Get insurance. This will ensure you, your employees, your tools and other assets, and your business itself is safe and completely covered.
- Find employees. This can be a challenging step because you may choose to hire your employees as contractors, have students work part-time, or hire everyone to the payroll. Make sure they have the education, experience, creativity, and extra flare you want to build your dream team.
- Design your salon. This is probably the most fun - and most expensive - step. It’s where your dream begins to really take shape and you can start seeing physical proof that you’re really doing this. Check out other salons, looks up design trends and ideas, and go with something that’s not too complicated, works dynamically for the flow of the salon, and won’t go out of style too quickly. Don’t forget to design the outside of your salon as well, such as signage.
- Get the tools you need. Chairs, scissors, and all the other necessary equipment you will need to succeed. You can’t cut hair with just a chair, so be thorough in making sure your team has everything they might need. Ensure you have products lined up that align with your values and that clients will actually purchase. Eco-friendly and other types of products are huge among salon goers right now.
- Set up a booking system. Before you start marketing your salon, you should have a booking system in place where interested clients can book even before you open. Using an app like Organisely makes it easy for clients to book without needing to jump through hoops.
- Build a marketing strategy. It’s time to continue thinking creatively and come up with a marketing strategy and implementation plan that will create the buzz you want, attract new clients, embrace your niche or speciality, and set you up for success right from the start. Having a logo and business cards is also important. Check out our article on Salon Marketing here.
Of course, there is so much more that really goes into opening a beauty salon, but the reward is something that’s worth the time, money, and effort put into building your dream business. We wish you all the luck in opening your new beauty salon. You’ve got the scissors to get the chops, now make it happen!
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Where do you intend to take your business? How do you plan to get there? If you don’t have the answers to these questions then, stop! You probably don’t have a salon mission statement yet.
Your salon’s marketing strategy needs to be creatively cultivated and planned out so that you can stand out from the competition and build long-lasting relationships.