Starting a Hair Salon Business



“Two industries that will always find a demand and target audience are the health care and beauty industries.” This is a statement that many people have said--or heard--at some point in their lives. Even in tough economic times, people tend to seek beauty services.

Feeling good from the inside starts with looking good on the outside. That is why the beauty industry is a great one to look into when searching for a new business venture. It was reported that the beauty industry generates more than $25 billion in revenue each year, with beauty salons bringing in the majority with a whopping $20 billion. Starting a beauty salon may be financially beneficial down the road, but it also takes a lot of work and preparation. In this article, we will learn what it takes to start a beauty salon business.

Planning and Preparation

Any business that is not perfectly planned is bound to fail. This is the most important part of starting a beauty salon for two reasons. For one, it gives you a clear understanding about the structure of your business. You get to brainstorm ideas and may even come up with a concept that will separate your salon from the rest. The other benefit to come from planning is the ability to obtain funding. If you require funding from an outside source, the business plan works as a selling tool to convince others to invest in your vision.

Things to consider, research and plan when it comes to opening a beauty salon are: location, services offered, legalities, staff, and costs. Scout for a location that is prime for a new beauty salon; this is usually a high-trafficked area that is currently void of the services that you plan to offer. Some salons only deal with hair while others are full-service salons. Full-service salons offers services for hair care (cuts, style, dyes, highlights, perms, hair and scalp treatments, curling, shampooing and conditioning, and permanent waving) along with nail services, skin care and the sale of professional products.

After you’ve found the right location, make sure that the facilities are equipped for the services you want to provide.

Other things that should be included in the business plan are the objectives for your salon, a market analysis, operational plans and budgets, management styles and structures, ownership organization, critical success factors, and executive summary.

Start-up Preparation

After research is done, you are now ready to initiate the start-up of your beauty salon. The things that you need to do beforehand includes finding the perfect salon space. Hire competent staff. Buy functional equipment and other items needed for the salon.

Finding the perfect location may not be as easy as it may seem. Even if you have pinpointed the best area in town for your new salon, there may not be an empty facility that can house a beauty salon. The best option is to find a building that has housed a beauty salon previously; this way, you don’t have to worry about the main structure or foundation. If you can’t find that, then you will need to build new space or renovate an existing structure. This will eat up more of your start-up capital. Either way, there needs to be provisions made for adequate plumbing, functional design and operational interior layout that are appropriate for a beauty salon.

Starting out, a new salon owner offers to complete all of the beauty services herself instead of hiring additional stylists. This is best if you plan to offer only services for hair care. At this point, all you need is a receptionist and maybe someone to shampoo clients. One thing you have to remember is that everyone using chemicals on hair, nails or skin is required by law to have a license from the State Board of Cosmetology. If someone is caught operating without the proper license, your business can be fined or closed for business.

Basic equipment is needed at the start of business. Styling chairs, tools, products, washing basins, hair dryers, and supply trolleys are just some of the equipment items that are needed to be able to provide hair-only services. For full-service salons, you will also need facial beds, manicure sets and stations, hair steaming machines, and other instruments for skin care.

Other items you may need to start out are cash registers, credit card machines and merchant accounts (if planning on accepting credit cards), insurance, utilities (phone, water, electricity, gas, and cable television), business license, signage, marketing, and advertising.

Tips to Ensure Success

After your shop has opened, you'll primarily need customers. To get new customers, rely on ads in local papers, television, radio, and the Yellow Pages. Your biggest success as a salon owner will be in your repeat customers and the wonderful word of mouth business that they will bring your way. Keep them happy and satisfied.

Find new and inventive ways to make customers comfortable in your salon. Make sure your salon is clean, safe and functional at all times during regular business hours. I once visited a salon that didn’t have running hot water. It is safe to say that I never went back. Make sure your salon is physically able to provide all the services that you advertise. Mark your prices so that they are competitive with other salons in the area. Above all others, ensure that your personnel are skilled, qualified and well-trained.

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