Opening your own salonDream of being your own boss? Opening your own hair or beauty salon is hard work but the rewards are plentiful. Here are our top 10 tips to prepare you for the challenges ahead.
Industry Knowledge and Experience
You should have a strong understanding of how the industry works, the kind of salon you want to open and what services you would offer to clients. Previous salon management experience would also be beneficial, as would qualifications in salon management or business.
A good business plan is essential and should break down all the information about your proposed salon, from day-to-day operations to financing. Show that you understand the industry. Think about the kind of salon you want to open. Is it a high-end, luxury spa or a small, traditional barbershop?
Seriously consider the costs of opening a salon as these can range widely. Are you going to rent or buy? Would you rather take over an existing hairdressers? How about a franchise? Do you have funding in place or will you need to borrow money from a bank? Remember, you will also need to pay staff, utility bills and taxes and buy equipment, signs and products. Work out your overheads and calculate how much money you would need to make to break even or make a profit.
Do your homework. What kind of clients do you want to attract? Does this location suit your personality or brand? Can you afford this location? Is it convenient for clients and staff? Does this street get much footfall? Is there parking nearby? Are there parking charges? Your salon should be as visible as possible, preferably on a busy street, easily accessible by foot, car or public transport, rather than tucked away down a backstreet. Is the street well lit? This will help clients feel safe and comfortable when visiting your salon outside of 9-5 work hours.
Purchasing or renting a larger salon you can expand into may sound appealing but will be more costly. Do you need that much space? Can you afford it? With smaller premises, make sure you have adequate space to create a relaxing atmosphere and that people can move around freely. Remember, clever interior design, such as using mirrors, can make smaller areas feel more spacious.
Research the local competition. What services do they offer? What do they charge? How long have they been established? Is the area already saturated with similar businesses? Make sure there is a gap in the market for you.
Unique Selling Point
Figure out what makes you different from the other hairdressers or beauty salons in the area. What can you offer clients to help you stand out from the crowd? Unique selling points can include bespoke treatments, new techniques, staff experience, particular products, atmosphere, promotions or superior customer service.
Consider legal structure, insurance, trade organisation, governing bodies and health and safety requirements. Qualifications, such as a degree in Salon Management or Business, may also help you, as could a mentor. Do not be afraid to approach people who run their own salons or other businesses for advice.
You may be looking to employ new staff or already have a team if you are buying an existing salon. Either way, ensure all employees are suited to your business. You may also have the option to employ an apprentice to train. Click here to see the training courses we offer.
Design your salon around the clientèle you want and to fit your budget. What can you afford? Will you buy or lease salon furniture? What colours or styles would appeal to your clients? How can you create an atmosphere to relax them?