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How to Open a Salon: The Complete Business Guide

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If you want to make a career in the beauty industry, there’s no better option than opening a salon.

There are some amazing opportunities out there for salon owners, but you have to know what you want to do and how to do it before you get started. There’s simply too much competition out there and if you want to get ahead, you need to be smart.

Today, we’re going to help you achieve your salon dreams by giving you the complete rundown for how to open a salon in 2020. The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be, so take these tips into consideration and get things started off on the right foot.

To Start a Salon, You Need To Have An Image

It might sound silly, but you need to have a strong image in your head of what you want your salon to look like. In the beauty industry, the way you present yourself is really important for attracting new customers, so the more confident you are in yourself and your vision, the better off you’ll be.

You should also have a good idea of the kinds of services you’ll be providing. Sometimes, coming up with a plan in this way can be difficult, so here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get the ball rolling:

  • What are the services you want to offer (hair styling, beauty, wellness, etc.)?
  • What sort of customers are you going to be seeking out (demographics)?
  • How will you stand out from the crowd of other salons in your geographical area?

Make a list of questions like these and add them to your business plan. We’ll discuss your business plan more later on.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Salon?

Understanding the money that goes into opening a salon is going to be important before you go all-in. Depending on how you want to get started, a salon can either cost a few thousand dollars or $50,000, so you’ve got to get your startup goals straight and then raise the proper amount of money.

If you want to go the cheaper route, you can feasibly start a salon in your apartment by getting a chair and a few key pieces of equipment. Doing it this way, you’ll only need a few thousand dollars that you might have saved up.

The more “professional” route is to rent space in a building and filling it with the proper equipment, registering as a business, and hiring staff. To do this, you’ll need to get a business loan.

Making Your Business Plan

When you go to apply for a small business loan at the bank, you’ll need to present them with your business plan. In this important document, you’ll outline various aspects of your business and how you plan to achieve certain goals. This is to show the bank that you’re worthy of receiving the many thousands of dollars that they’re going to be giving you and that your business will be viable enough to pay the money back.

Included in a business plan are things we’ve discussed, like an outline of your goals and plans for achieving them. In addition, you’ll have to give a marketing plan with a budget and research, an operational plan outlining your technological and logistical needs, an outline of who is going to be involved in the business, and more detailed financial plans.

You can find some helpful business plan templates online.

Location Is Important

Finding the perfect location to open up your salon is going to be important. A lot of your business in the beginning will come via foot traffic, so you should be easy to find. That being said, if you’re trying to open up in a larger city, affordable space doesn’t come easy.

Strike a balance between location and affordability, you should be able to compensate for your location with a strong marketing plan.

Getting Equipped

Once you’ve gotten your desired funding and you’ve found the perfect place to open up shop, you need to equip your new salon with all of the things that make a salon what it is. You’ll need chairs, mirrors, desks, and loads of other equipment that would be too difficult to name here.

A helpful way to figure out how much you’ll need is to break down your space into different sectors. There’s the reception area that’ll need a desk, a storage area to keep all of the excess supplies and equipment, a retail area near reception, and the bulk of the space will be dedicated to your work area. Figure out how much square footage you’re working with, draw up a floorplan, and that should help you figure out what sort of equipment you should get.

Launching and Promoting

When you’re stocked up, you’ll essentially be ready to launch. Whether or not you’ve got the resources to hire many, if any, employees will depend on how much you’ve spend up until now and how many customers you’ve got coming in. Many salons will keep a receptionist on staff to help book appointments, but you could do that yourself in the beginning.

The key with launching is going to be having a great marketing plan. Obviously, this is much easier said than done, but having a strong understanding of digital marketing and all that it encompasses will be helpful.

Things like SEO and local SEO, PPC advertisements, and email advertising are going to be a big part of salon marketing. Building a brand with your social media accounts and a company blog will help you grow a really loyal customer base as well.

If you do these things well, there’s no reason that you can’t get your salon off the ground quickly. With the help of digital marketing, small businesses can grow faster than ever before, but you need to stay on top of it to get ahead of your competitors.

It’s not going to be easy opening a salon during COVID-19, but as long as you’re staying compliant with local regulations, you’ll be able to find customers.

Learning How to Open a Salon the Right Way

Now that you’ve got a guide on how to open a salon, you can get started on building your small business from the ground up. With enough hard work, smarts, and dedication, you can turn your small salon into the next beauty hotspot of your town.

If you found this post helpful, come back and visit us again for more on business, advertising, and education.

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