How to start a hair salon business?
There comes a time in every hairstylist’s career when they contemplate on opening their own hair salon. As you well know, this leads to a fork in the road - either you continue on the path of renting a space in someone else’s business and daydreaming about owning your own salon, or you actively start working towards making that dream come true. If you have your mind set on the latter, then you need to be aware of what goes into starting your own hair salon business, as jumping into the deep end without prior knowledge can lead to disastrous consequences. So, where do you begin?
Your dream hair salon
Starting a hair salon doesn’t always begin in a linear fashion, in fact, it’s best to focus on the end result. What is your dream business? Is it a humble, double-station salon tucked in one of your town’s side streets? Or perhaps it’s the talk of the town - an exclusive studio for the crème de la crème of customers? Maybe the hair salon decor is reminiscent of a neoclassical art exhibition, or more of a free-spirited John Pollack paint explosion? Who are your clients? What treatments do you provide?
Before you begin to plan how to open a hair salon, you have a rough idea of where you want to go with it. Obviously, this requires that you look within yourself. Your dream business needs to be an extension of who you are and where you feel most comfortable, so make sure to excel in the field that lets you creatively express yourself. Choosing a direction that doesn’t necessarily appeal to you is going to be nothing more than a burden.
Planning your expenses
With your dream salon in mind, you’re ready to begin planning your expenses. If you’ve previously worked in a salon, then you ought to be fairly familiar with utility bills, rent and restocking products, however, that’s just scratching the surface when it comes to expenditures. If you’re opening your own hair salon, bear in mind that you may be required to cover remodelling and renovation costs, as well as fees for taking additional beauty courses, paying for new equipment, licenses, etc.
So, how much does it cost to open a hair salon? The costs are highly dependent on factors such as your business’s surface area, whether you plan to rent the space or purchase the building, the quality of your equipment and furniture you plan on investing in, utility costs, insurance and of course, the location (more on that in a second!). Opening a simple, 2-station salon secluded in a less-busy corner of your town can start at as little as £5,000 - but don’t be surprised if it goes well beyond that.
Choose the perfect location
By far the most paramount factor you need to take into account when opening your hair salon is the location - at least until you make a name for yourself. “How to start a hair salon business” is probably what you’re Googling right about now. If so, choosing a location with a lot of foot traffic is definitely going to come up. Finding the right location for your business is vital, but it isn’t necessarily about foot traffic. Instead, focus on whether or not your target clients are located where you plan on opening your salon and if your desired location isn’t jam-packed with other businesses similar to yours.
There’s nothing worse than opening your salon in a location where your target customer demographic practically does not exist. Picture this - you love helping the elderly and have decided to open your hair salon for the 60+ age group, but in a college town. To your dismay, you aren’t seeing too many clients. Was this foreseeable? Of course. Another foreseeable pitfall many soon-to-be salon owners fail to recognise is opening their business in a location teeming with similar ones. Unless you’re bringing something completely unique to the table, this is definitely not how to start a hair salon business - especially if you begin with a blank slate. It all starts with doing some research on where you plan to open your salon.
Start on the right foot
Before you open your doors and start taking in your first customers, you ought to establish thought-through procedures. How do you plan on organising your team’s workday? Have you thought about how you’re going to market your business? How are you going to keep customer records, maintain stock levels, track sales or introduce commissions for staff? Surely, you have a plan, right? Oftentimes, green salon owners completely omit this vital part when starting their business, which often leads to disastrous consequences. Instead of utilising reliable, time-tested methods to accomplish these tasks, salon owners store everything in a paper notebook, or worse, throw it all into a one-trick stylist appointment app and hope for the best.
In order to truly open your hair salon on the right foot, you need to invest in a reliable digital manager. It’s the 21st century, and paper solutions have been outdated for some time now, plus, going through notebook after notebook isn’t very eco-friendly! But what exactly makes software for hair salons such an important part of your opening? It’s their ability to take the load off of your shoulders. Reliable hairdressing systems automatically send appointment reminders to clients, manage your calendar, track your salon’s statistics, prevent double bookings, take prepayments and so much more.
When it comes to finding the best hairdressing program for you, look for one that not only offers a wide range of useful tools, but also comes with live support, to help you familiarise yourself with the system. After all, what good is a program if you don’t know where to begin? Your best option is Booksy, with everything you need to successfully open your salon in one spot. Sign up for your free 14-day trial and book a tour of the system today!