5 Things to Do Before Opening a Salon

5 Things to Do Before Opening a Salon

Get out there and start making your dream salon a reality!

Spas and beauty salons are becoming more popular as the need for wellness services grows. The rising urbanization and changing lifestyle are the key factors driving the industry’s growth. If we look at the numbers, the salon industry is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%, reaching more than US$217.25 billion by 2026. 

If you’re considering opening your own salon, this is the right time to hit the road. But before you dive headfirst into the world of hair and beauty, there are some things you need to take care of first to launch a successful salon business. From choosing the right location to designing an effective business plan, here are five tips to help your salon run smoothly from day one and avoid common pitfalls so that you are ready to go when your salon doors open for the first time!

1. Create a business plan

A business plan is the most important prerequisite for any type of business. Start with the following areas:

  • your salon’s goals
  • target customer groups
  • your services and pricing
  • marketing strategies
  • funds required
  • financial plan
  • your competitors
  • your unique selling point (USP) 

Once you have chalked out these points, you can move to the next step to finalize the location for your salon.

2. Choose the right location

Now that you’ve got a business plan in hand, it’s time to find the perfect location for your salon. The ideal location for your salon will depend on several factors, like the cost, size, proximity to your competitors and local-specific permissions and licenses. Apart from this, consider details such as foot traffic, parking and demographics. Taking into account the pros and cons of various locations will help you finalize the one that suits your business the best.

3. Get the necessary licenses and permits

Before opening for business, you’ll need to obtain all the required licenses and permits from your local government. While specific salon and general business license requirements depend on your location, these rules are constant (in the U.S.):

  1. All businesses need general permits, which include a federal employer identification number (EIN) for tax purposes and a retail seller license to sell hairstyling and skin care products. 
  2. You need to attain a state government-issued cosmetology or beautician license before the commencement of the salon. The overall licensing fee for a salon is around US$12,000.
  3. You need insurance that covers general liability, commercial property, workers’ compensation and professional liability insurance.
  4. The purchase or rental of a property will require a certificate of occupancy. This document will include information such as what the rented or acquired space is used for, if the place is suitable for the rental purpose and whether the facility meets all applicable building rules.

Be sure to do your research ahead to have everything in order and at the best cost before opening day.

4. Find the right suppliers for your equipment and products 

You’ll need to build partnerships with suppliers who can provide the goods and equipment you’ll need to run your salons, such as hair dryers, straighteners, shampoos and cosmetics. Before you choose your providers, consider these points

  • how distant and easily accessible the provider’s warehouse is from your salon;
  • whether they are a trustworthy provider that will deliver the exact things or services on the planned day and time, as per your specifications; 
  • if you’re negotiating a long-term contract, look for stability (e.g., how long the provider has been in the industry and their reputation);
  • spend some time comparing pricing and services to find the best deals for your company.

5. Hire the right team

Lastly, you’ll need to assemble a skillful team of experienced members who share your vision for the salon and can provide a great service to your clients. Hiring the right team is instrumental to succeed for any business, so take your time finding the perfect fit for each position (e.g., receptionists, hairdressers, makeup artists and nail technicians). 

To find the best stylists, ask for recommendations from people you trust. You can even take the help of websites to hire freelancers before onboarding them full-time, in case of a money crunch. Once you have a few names, ask them to send their portfolios to get a sense of their work. Then, schedule a call or meeting with each of the candidates so that you can get to know them better and see if they would be a good fit for your salon. 

Opening a salon is a big undertaking, but if you’re prepared and have done your research, it can be a rewarding experience. With these five things taken care of, you’ll be well on your way to opening a salon that will thrive for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start making your dream salon a reality!

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Header image courtesy of Freepik

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