It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced business professional or someone just starting in the industry. Opening a beauty salon is no small feat. There’s a lot to think about, from finding the right location to hiring staff and stocking up on supplies. Knowing what to expect and having a plan in place can help make the process smoother, so we’ve put together a checklist of everything you’ll need to do to get your salon up and running.
1. You’ll Need Supplies and Furniture
Of course, you’ll need all the basic salon supplies like shampoo, conditioner, hair color, styling products, etc. Many salon supply stores offer package deals that include everything you need to start. But don’t forget about the furniture. You’ll need chairs, stylist stations, waiting area furniture, and more. If you’re offering massage services, go for an eyelash table to allow your clients to lie down comfortably. These types of tables are also great for facials.
You may also consider adding comfortable waiting area furniture and a few plants or decorations to make the space feel more inviting. When shopping for your equipment, don’t forget any amenities you’d like to provide, such as complimentary coffee or tea, magazines, or a TV. Your stylists will also need scissors, combs, brushes, and aprons.
2. The Choice of a Location
Finding a location is the most challenging. Consider using a real estate agent to help find commercial properties that match your criteria. It would help if you also thought about parking, foot traffic, and whether the salon will be visible from the street. The closer you are to other businesses, the more foot traffic you’re likely to get, but you don’t want to be too close to competing salons.
When looking at potential locations, also keep in mind any zoning restrictions that may be in place. Some areas only allow certain businesses, so you’ll need to make sure a beauty salon is permitted before signing a lease.
Also, consider your competition. You don’t want to be too close to another salon, but being too far away can make it challenging to attract customers. Once you settle on the location, you need to pursue your certificate of occupancy after signing the lease.
3. Hiring Staff or Rent a Booth
Now it’s time to start hiring. In addition to finding talented stylists, you’ll also need to hire a Front Desk Coordinator, who will be responsible for greeting customers, scheduling appointments, and handling payments. You may also want to consider hiring an assistant or apprenticeship program participant to help with shampooing, sweeping hair, and other general tasks around the salon.
Renting a booth is also a great option for stylists just starting or who don’t want to commit to a full-time position. You can usually find booth rental agreements online or through your local Chamber of Commerce. Generally, a good hiring ratio is one stylist for every two chairs. This allows each stylist to have their own space and prevents the salon from feeling too cramped. Remember, you can always hire more staff as business picks up.
4. Have Your Business Plan
Now that you’ve got the practicalities sorted, it’s time to start thinking about the business side of things. You’ll need to create a business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. This will be essential not only when you’re seeking financing for your salon, but also in the day-to-day running of your business.
A good business plan will include:
- An executive summary.
- A company overview.
- A market analysis.
- Your marketing strategy.
- Financial projections.
- An appendix with supporting documents.
Don’t forget to include your salon’s mission statement. This will be a guiding force as you make decisions about every aspect of your business.
5. You’ll Need Finances
Unless you’re lucky enough to have the funds to cover the cost of opening a salon outright, you’ll need to seek financing from investors or lenders. This is where your business plan comes in handy. You’ll need to present your business plan to potential investors and lenders and convince them that your salon is a good investment.
There are a few different options for financing your salon. You could take out a small business loan, apply for a business credit card, or even seek out angel investors or venture capitalists. Online crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can also be a great way to raise money for your business. Whichever route you choose, shop around for the best terms and interest rates.
6. Marketing Your Salon
Now that everything is set up and ready to go, it’s time to start marketing your salon. There are several ways to do this, from placing ads in local newspapers and online directories to handing out flyers in the neighborhood. You can also offer discounts or promotions to attract new customers. Social media is also a great way to connect with potential clients and promote your business.
Create profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and frequently post about your services and special offers. You can also use social media to build relationships with local businesses and influencers. For example, you could offer to do a styled shoot with a photographer in exchange for promotion on their social media channels.
7. Keep Your Salon Running Smoothly
Once your salon is up and running, it’s essential to keep things running smoothly. This includes:
- Regularly restocking supplies.
- Maintaining the furniture and equipment.
- Promptly handling customer complaints or concerns.
- Keeping the space clean and organized.
It would help to continue marketing your salon to attract new business and retain existing clients. As you move forward, note what has worked and hasn’t and make adjustments accordingly. If things change or you hit a snag, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your team or a professional salon consultant. It’s essential to make sure you can weather the storm and keep your business thriving for years to come.
Opening a salon can be a daunting task, but it’s doable with careful planning and execution. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when opening your salon, from practicalities like staffing and finances to marketing and day-to-day operations.
Be sure to consult with professionals as you move through each stage of opening your business – they’ll be able to offer invaluable advice and support. With hard work and a bit of luck, you’ll be on your way to running a successful salon.