How to open a beauty salon?
Dreaming of opening your own beauty salon? Owning your own salon can be a steady source of income and a great opportunity to gain more autonomy and become your own boss. To help you achieve your salon dreams, we’ve put together a detailed guide so you can start your own salon with everything you need to know to get started.
Green beauty salon
Choose the right place. Location is critical to the success of your business. Keep the following factors in mind:
Go to high-traffic areas. It is ideal to be close to busy streets, malls or high traffic places such as supermarkets.
Try easy access. If parking is difficult and there are a lot of cars on the way to your salon, people might think it’s not worth it.
Stay away from competitors. Don’t put yourself next to another salon – you’ll cancel each other out. Instead, try to plan a place where you will be the only living room for several blocks.
Take care of any licenses.
Unfortunately, running a business requires bureaucracy and paperwork. Here are some things to look out for:
Obtain a business license. All companies in the US must be licensed.
In the U.S., all employees must obtain a permit to be present in person. This includes cutting or coloring your hair, painting your nails, removing hair, and applying makeup. Laws vary from state to state, so check with your local professional and occupational licensing department.
Make sure your salon has access to a medical exam. To avoid fines or (worse) health department closures, make sure your salon is hygienic and follow your state’s regulations. For an example of what is expected, see New York State Salon Requirements.
Hire qualified and trained personnel.
Cosmetic procedures performed by untrained personnel can cause health problems for clients. It is important that you only hire qualified and trained salon professionals.
Remember, as the salon owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your staff are properly trained and aware of each procedure offered.
Experience can provide the salon specialist with the skills to perform the procedure, but without proper training, he will not know the pros and cons of the procedure.
Provide concise and clear guidance on salon treatments as soon as possible, and sign contracts with each employee at the start. These documents are usually easy to find online, and you can customize them to suit your business. If you start now, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Find out how much you need.
Starting a business can cost a lot of money, and most entrepreneurs won’t be profitable for 3-5 years. Here are some things to consider:
Can you still support yourself by running your own business? Calculate how much you need each month, how much you save, and how much you need to earn each month.
Prepare an operating budget. Calculate how much money you need each month to run your business. Includes rent, licenses, training, wages, supplies, and reserves.
Find out how much you will pay for the service.
If you have an operating budget, you know how much you need each month. However, to be profitable, you need to do more than break even. Find out how many services you can do per week (e.g. haircuts, coloring, manicures, etc.) and find out how much they cost you to make money.
Remember that while you have to ask for enough to make a profit, you can’t ask for too much or you will alienate your customers. Try to set a price that is reasonable for your customers and comfortable for you.
Find out how much other salons charge. Browse similar salons in your area and pay attention to the fees they charge. Your price should probably be in the same range.
Do you need a small business loan?
Meet with a loan officer at your local bank or Small Business Association (SBA) and ask him or her to help you get a small business loan.  Before you leave, write a brief summary of your business. How can you expect a salon to be profitable – whether it’s because you offer a unique service, or because there aren’t enough salons in your area.