How to Start Your Own Salon – 6 Step Guide

How to Start Your Own Salon – 6 Step Guide

The success of aspiring salon owners depends on how well they have planned their endeavor.

Salons can be incredibly profitable - they provide services that most couldn’t imagine living without. But like any small business, getting a salon off the ground requires a lot of hard work.

Even if you have considerable experience working in salons, starting your own is a completely different challenge. You will face numerous challenges that you didn’t have to think about before. Nevertheless, if you take the right steps and put in enough effort, you could have a successful beauty salon. Here are the 6 steps to put into action in order to start your own salon.

1. Create a Business Plan

The first step to starting your own salon is to  create a business plan 

This is also the most essential step, as it will give you a projection of what to expect when you open. In case you don’t know how to write a business plan, you should take a step back and hire a financial planner to help you.

Some of the vital sections of any business plan should cover the basics about your company, such as your name, vision and mission statements, finances, market analysis, and marketing plans. One of the most important sections is financial analysis, as it will give you an idea of which goals you have to achieve in order to become profitable.

When you’re conducting financial analysis, you’ll have to clearly calculate your budget and determine your costs. Make a distinction between fixed and variable costs. The former includes insurance, equipment, utilities, and rent. On the other hand, common variable costs are associated with marketing, labor costs, products used by your employees, and training costs.

Adding it all up, the average cost of opening a salon is shown to be between $50,000 to $90,000.

  • Licensing: To open a business you must have a license or permit, and further, to sell products you must also have a seller’s license.
  • Rent & Real estate: Either renting or purchasing a location has costs associated.
  • Payroll: Salaries or hourly pay for your employees plus their associated benefits
  • Salon equipment: All salons need equipment to operate, like chairs, sinks, and supplies. You should also consider and point of sale system and dedicated phone.
  • Inventory: You will need a level of product already purchased and ready to go prior to opening.
  • Insurance: Any new salon will want a quality insurance provider to make sure there is a safety net in case of emergencies.

Taking into account both your budget and costs will help you determine what you’ll have to do to start turning profits. If you have a clear picture of your finances, you’ll avoid problems like overspending that might otherwise force you to shut down your salon.

2. Find a Good Location

The physical location of your beauty salon can make or break your business.

Ideally, you want to be located in a neighborhood that sees a lot of foot traffic on a daily level. A good location will help your salon be noticed by people who pass by. Each time someone passes by your beauty salon and takes a moment to look through the glass, they’ll be more likely to walk in.

If you are looking to open a salon with little to no money to invest initially, you can still make that work. To do so, you need to minimize cost with a location that is a booth rental, a home salon, or a mobile salon while buying only affordable equipment and taking out smart loans (SBA Backed) only if you have to.

3. Purchase Salon Equipment

Once you’ve found a good location for your beauty salon, it’s time to purchase all of the equipment you’ll need. 

The most important thing to remember when buying salon equipment is that you should be looking for the perfect balance of style, function, and affordability . While it’s normal to get excited and have the desire to purchase the best equipment for your future clients, you should be realistic and know exactly how much you can spend. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a list of everything that you’ll need and stick to it.

For instance, if you plan to offer pedicures at your salon, it goes without saying that you should get pedicure chairs . However, since there are countless chairs to choose from, you should only pick models that you can afford. The same goes for styling chairs , which should fit both your budget and the aesthetic of your salon.

Some of the essentials that your salon should have include styling stations with mirrors and storage space for beauty products, backwash units , and drying stations. The amount of equipment you’ll need should be based on the size of your beauty salon.

Other equipment that you’ll need to include furniture for the waiting area, hair and nail tools, and a reception desk. And it's always better to purchase quality equipment over cheap despite a bigger upfront cost. 

4. Hire the Right Employees

One of the most challenging things you’ll do is hiring the right people. 

There’s a good chance that many stylists and technicians will apply for a position at your salon, which means that you’ll have to carefully consider who you’re going to hire. Your decision should be based on the skill set of a candidate, their prior work experience, and work ethic.

Because beauty salons are places where workers and clients engage in conversation, you also have to evaluate the personality of your candidates. After you’ve defined who you want on your team and the schedule, the best places to post are on social, your site, industry job sites, and at cosmetology schools.

5. Train Your Staff

Your staff is essential to the success of your business. 

As the owner of your beauty salon, it will be your responsibility to ensure that your employees can provide excellent service to each client. That’s why you should take the time to properly train your staff. One of the best ways to ensure they can handle any task requested by your clients is by providing them with access to quality online beauty courses. This will help them expand their skill sets and can give you and your staff something to bond over.

Apart from training your staff in beauty practices, it’s also vital to educate them on how to become salespeople. The stylists and technicians at your salon should know how to upsell products and various treatment options that you offer. If your staff is skilled in making sales, your salon will be more likely to become a success.

6. Market Your New Salon

After you’ve taken care of everything mentioned above, its time to focus on marketing your salon. 

Even though traditional means of marketing are still very effective, it might be best to invest in digital marketing. It is more affordable and can generate results quicker.

There are several things you should do to promote your business online. The first is to start a website where you will outline the services you offer, give a bit of background about your salon, provide contact information, and display images to give visitors a chance to see what it looks like. The second is to create profiles on leading social media platforms. The third is to fully leverage Google My Business for your salon

The best social media website for beauty salons is without a doubt Instagram since it’s based on visual content. To get a kick-start on how to best capture your salon, read our guide on how to take the best photos of your salon possible.

Once you are set up, it’s time for your opening day! With the right hires, the right salon equipment, and dedication your salon is set up for success. 

If you need help choosing the right salon equipment & design, call us for a free consultation: 213-973-3566.

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