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How To Open A Beauty Salon

How To Open A Beauty Salon

Opening a new business is an exciting, yet challenging, venture to embark on. This holds true for beauty salons as much as any other business and there’s a lot you’ll have to consider before your beauty salon is up and running. 

If it’s your dream to run your own hair and beauty salon business, this step-by-step guide will cover everything you need to know and plan for.

How to write a business plan for a beauty salon?

Your first step to starting your salon business is planning. A business plan is an ideal way to bring all your ideas and goals together in one place. 

Start with what type of salon you plan to open — whether it’s a hair salon, nail salon, home salon, or something else entirely. Then consider every aspect of your new business, such as:

  • Who is your target market?

  • How will it operate?

  • What are your pricing models?

  • Who will implement marketing and branding?

  • Sales plan and product lines

  • What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

  • How will you finance your business?

  • What type of business structure will you be forming, eg. a limited liability company (LLC)? 

You should also do your research into other beauty salons in the area, conducting competitive analysis to work out if there are gaps in the beauty industry that your salon or spa could fill. Research local trends, the potential for growth in the local salon industry, and who your direct competition will be. 

Finally, you need to set some metrics for success. Set clear, realistic, and achievable goals for how you want your new salon to grow in its first three years. With these in mind, it’ll be easier to plan for success when you start your business.

What to include in a business plan?

Your business plan is there to give a detailed outline of what exactly your business will be. It needs to set out your core concept and brand image, plus your target demographics, business structure, financial forecasts, and what your plans are for funding.

1. Mission statement and executive summary

The first section of your beauty salon business planning is the executive summary. This is effectively an elevator pitch or mission statement for your business. 

That being, a two-page summary that conveys your core ideas and the general outline of your plans for opening your beauty salon. Your executive summary should cover the following:

  • A short description of your business idea.

  • Your unique selling proposition (USP).

  • Target markets and demographics.

  • Staffing and management. 

  • Financial overview.

2. Marketing plan

The second section is your salon marketing plan. This will lay out how your beauty salon will attract new customers in a market where it may already face significant competition. 

Think about what sets your idea for a beauty salon apart. What is its brand image? Who is it for? What are your USPs, and how can they give you a competitive advantage?

3. Business model

A business model is simply how your business plans to make money. In terms of startups, new disruptive business models have evolved and we’re now seeing businesses in the hair and pedicure industries apply out-of-the-box thinking.

For example, salons like Society and Skin Laundry have set themselves apart with disruptive salon business models based on subscriptions rather than pay-per-treatment models. 

Technology is also an avenue for creative ventures. One example is virtual reality treatments offered by Bellacures and Esqapes.

4. Management

Your beauty salon will only be as good as the people running it. So be sure to assess your credentials and the experience and skill levels for your ideal team. If there are any obvious skill gaps, plan for how you can overcome these.

Finally, your business strategy should include a comprehensive financial plan. You need to provide stats and figures with regards to:

  • Your market and sales forecasts projected income. 

  • Startup costs. 

  • Ongoing costs. 

  • Funding sources. 

  • Profit and loss margins. 

And every other financial aspect of your new beauty salon. Crunching the numbers will show you (and your potential investors) whether your salon will be a viable business.

How much does it cost to open a beauty salon?

There’s no exact answer to this, as it depends on the scale of the salon you’re planning to open, as well as the property prices for your area. 

However, in most cases, it’s likely that your salon will take at least $60,000 to get up and running.

You’ll need to factor in both salon startup costs and ongoing costs when working out how much funding your beauty salon will need. Initial costs include:

  • Salon equipment: Shampoo stations, curling irons, chairs, and mirrors.

  • Supplies: Nail polish, hairspray, shampoo, and skincare solutions.

  • Space and location: Deposit and fees for renting a salon space.

  • Licenses and permits: Eg. certificate of occupancy and a cosmetology license.

  • Salon insurance: General liability insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, property insurance, business interruption insurance, cyber insurance, or equipment breakdown insurance. 

  • Initial marketing costs: Google ads, Facebook ads, pamphlets, and PR.

  • Recruitment costs: Will you be using a recruiter? Or, will you be advertising on job board sites like Workable, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Scouted, and FlexJobs?

  • Website: Will you be hiring a web developer to create a website and set up online bookings? Or, will you be setting up the website yourself using a WordPress theme or website builder?

  • Technical installations and salon software: POS system, scheduling software, and a phone system.

Ongoing salon expenses, meanwhile, can include:

  • Replacing supplies and equipment.

  • Rent.

  • Salaries.

  • Ongoing digital marketing campaigns.

  • Utilities.

  • Sales tax.

How to market a new business?

Your beauty salon’s success will largely rely on how well you market it. Your marketing is how you’ll draw in new customers and build a client base, so without a proper marketing strategy, your salon may struggle to bring in new clientele.

It’s likely that you’ll be competing with other, more established salons within your local area. So rather than trying to beat them at their own game, focus your salon promotion and marketing on what makes you different from your rivals. For example use an online beauty salon directory.

If you have a particular specialty or niche, use this to your advantage. Try to focus on one service that will make you stand out from the crowd. This will help your brand to bring in new clients that may be interested in other treatments.

How to name a beauty salon?

Your salon’s name is a fundamental aspect of branding and marketing. Everything else about your business and its image will center on the name you choose. You should choose a name that fits your brand, target market, USP and immediately tells customers what you offer.

Brainstorm different names, then test them on focus groups to see what they associate with each name. This will help you narrow down your choices to those that best represent your salon’s brand image.

Make sure you research the names you come up with as you don’t want to land on the perfect name only to discover it’s already taken when you try to register it. Check state records, trademark and intellectual property databases, web domain names, and social media to make sure your name options aren’t already taken.

You can also use:

  • Suffixes: Adding a suffix to the end of a word, for example, ly, er, ism, ify, etc. For eg., posh + ly becomes ‘Poshly.’

  • Use a creative misspelling: For example, sassy could become ‘Sessy,’ — which also sounds like a pun (a play on the words) for  the word, ‘sexy.’

  • Create a portmanteau: Join 2 words together to create a new word (eg. ‘posh’ and ‘sassy’ can be joined to form the word ‘Posassy.’

Here are also some useful brand name generator tools (naming conventions) that you can use which might help to inspire new ideas:

  • Dcode: A portmanteau brand name generator.

  • Namelix: This can be used to generate a wide range of naming conventions such as non-English words, misspellings, rhyming words, compound words, etc.

  • Shopify: Generates random business names based on keywords that you enter.

How to make a price list for a beauty salon?

Needless to say, pricing is a vital aspect of how your salon will operate. You should aim for a pricing model that provides value to your customers while also giving yourself the right profit margins to grow your business.

Research what other salons in the area charge for similar services. Then once you have done this you can use their price lists as a guide to form your own. 

Just be aware that if you’re significantly undercharging compared to other salons; then potential clients could jump to the conclusion that your competitors offer a superior service.

You should also take into consideration the following:

  • What is your break-even point?

  • How many services you will offer?

  • Will you be offering any discounts (eg. coupons, refer-a-friend, etc)?

  • Will your product be limited to women, or will include men too?

  • What kind of package deals will you offer for people that want to buy bundles?

  • What kinds of upselling and cross-selling can you offer?

Make sure to take the experience levels of your salon team into account. If your employees are highly experienced, then you can afford to charge more for their services. 

How to run a successful beauty salon?

Successful businesses are built on the strength of their brand, so it’s important to develop your salon marketing ideas in order to build your salon’s reputation.

Your marketing should cater to your target market and demographics. Targeted marketing techniques like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and SEO can all help to get your business seen by the ideal customers. Your salon’s social media is also important as a means to connect with potential clients.

Actively manage your reputation. Look for PR opportunities with local media to promote your new salon and convey your brand image to a local audience. Also, perform review marketing to leverage positive reviews and customer testimonials in your marketing campaigns.

Marketing isn’t everything. That’s why you’ll also need to ensure that your salon is running smoothly. The most important factor in this is your employees; your salon is only as good as your team, so invest in plenty of opportunities for them to develop their skills. Ensuring you have a well-trained team of hairstylists, nail technicians, or make-up artists is a powerful step towards a successful salon.

These tips for starting a beauty, nail, or hair salon business should help you get started with your new venture. This is only a start. Make sure that you undergo thorough research and planning to ensure your salon becomes a big success.

What beauty salon online courses can I take?

Any general management course or business management qualification is likely to help you in running your new beauty salon. 

However, the best results will come from a deeper understanding of the specific challenges of running hair salons, nail salons, or other types of salons, so it’s best to seek out a beauty salon management course where possible.

For example, our course Beauty Salon Management Online Certificate course provides training in all aspects of management, sales, and marketing skills you’ll need to make your beauty salon a successful business. 

The course can be completed in your own time, with lifetime, 24/7 access from any computer or smart device. On completion, you’ll gain a certificate showing that you’ve joined the ranks of professional salon owners and salon managers.

Why Courses for Success?

Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.

You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. With every course we offer created to be as accessible as possible, you can be sure that all of them, from our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, will help to boost your prospects, no matter who you are.

Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued with a certificate online after successful completion of each of the learning courses they do. Our beauty salon courses are no exception. Our online beauty salon certificates are recognized by industry leaders. You could really make a name for yourself by signing up for a Courses for Success short course

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