Salons make up 95% of the hair industry to date, and for good reason, people are serious about having a good hair day. Whether you decide to establish a full-service salon or specialize in something specific, you need to know what steps to take to get your salon off the ground.
Are you wondering how to open a salon? We’ve created a guide that will detail every step you need to take to ensure your success. Get ready for your new salon opening after checking out this how-to open a salon checklist.
The first thing you need to do before opening a salon is take the time to educate yourself. Running a business is about more than just doing hair and providing a series of services; you’ve got to understand business theories and obtain specific skills needed to run a business.
Luckily, several online sources provide the information you need to make yourself an effective business owner. It’s crucial to find different ways to educate yourself because the practices and trends change regularly.
You’ll want to ensure you stay on top of these things to provide your customers with the best experience possible.
As you obtain this new business information, you can add it to your skillset and use it to take your salon to the next level.
Connect With Salon Masters
With the number of salons globally, you can find someone to act as your mentor as you go through the steps to open a beauty salon. We recommend finding someone that has been through the journey you’re about to undergo because they’ll have key insight into things you don’t know about.
Not to mention they can help you avoid making mistakes they made when they initially opened their salons. A mentor is someone you can ask for advice at various points as you continue opening your salon.
It’s a person you can lean on that will understand what you’re going through and you can connect with as a business resource.
Define Your Business
What is the personality or voice of your business? Creating a concise vision for your salon is essential because it will define the marketing strategy you create in the future.
Understanding your salon voice will also help you determine the kind of client you wish to attract and how you’ll offer your services. For example, if your salon is geared towards pets, you’ll want to think about speaking to pet lovers and owners.
If your brand provides a VIP salon experience to customers, this should be reflected in everything your salon name is on. This way, when people see a commercial or sales paper with your salon in it, they will immediately understand what salon it is because of the brand voice and personalization placed into each ad.
Defining your business also means determining the type of salon you want to run. Do you want to run your salon out of your home?
Do you wish to conduct business on wheels? You need to know the type of salon you want to start because it will affect your overall cost moving forward.
Create a Business Plan
Your business plan is crucial because you’ll present it to potential investors in the future to secure salon funding. Think of the business plan as the detailed version of everything you plan to do, from the cost to open a salon to the day-to-day tasks.
People who wish to invest in your company want to clearly understand what their money is going to; this ensures it’s not wasted. Another key reason to create a business plan is to remain on target with everything you want to accomplish before your grand opening.
The business plan will help you complete everything you need to do without missing anything.
Research the Competition
When you start a new business, one thing you want to do is maintain your comparative advantage over other salons in your area. You need to know and understand your competitors’ moves in the market to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes and can perform at a higher quality than they are.
As you research your competition, take time to study how they interact with your ideal customer. What are they doing that works?
What are the things they aren’t doing but you can do? You can note their strengths and weaknesses and adapt to become the number one choice for clients in the area.
Secure Funding & Register Your Business
Now it’s time to take the business plan you’ve created and secure the funding you need. There are tons of ways to fund a business, including:
- Asking family and friends
- Apply for a loan
Determine the costs of running your business and begin to secure the loans you need for this. If you face rejection, continue to try because an investor out there will see the vision you have and provide you with the funds you need.
Don’t forget to register your salon as a business. Before registering your salon, don’t forget to determine the type of business structure you want.
There are several structures to choose from, including a sole proprietorship or LLC. Each business structure comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
From there, register your business because until your company has been registered, you can’t do business legally. Registering your business also means obtaining all the licenses and permits you need.
These again can keep you from doing business if you’ve not secured them before opening day.
75% of companies aren’t insured, leaving them susceptible to paying for insurance claims out of their own pockets. Having insurance will protect you, your business, and your employees if something happens.
There are several types of insurance out there, but we recommend sitting down with an insurance agent and speaking to them about which ones are necessary for your business. You’ll need a plan that provides the proper amount of coverage you need.
The location of your salon matters because you want the building to be visible to the public and easy to get to. You’ll also want to select a location that provides an ample amount of parking for employees and clients that will be entering the salon daily.
Revisiting your salon brand personality can help you determine the type of space you wish to obtain for your salon. Once you’ve determined the salon’s location, take some time to create a cohesive layout.
You’ll want employees to move throughout the space without interfering with the work of other professionals and clients present in the salon.
What’s in a Name?
How will people know who you are if you don’t have a name? Choose a unique name, but not confusing or challenging for clients to pronounce.
After you’ve decided on a name, use a free business name checker. The last thing you want to do is spend time thinking of a salon name only for it to be taken already.
If the name you’ve chosen isn’t available sometimes, the name checker will offer some alternatives that haven’t been taken yet. Who knows, you might find something better that you’d not thought of before.
After you choose your salon name, you can create a logo used to brand salon products and marketing materials. The colors and design of the logo should be consistent with the brand voice.
Order Salon Equipment
Even if you have people renting booths in your salon, you’ll still need to provide some of the equipment they use daily while doing clients’ hair. For example, most hair professionals will bring in their own curlers and combs, but they’ll expect you to provide a sink and dryer for them to use.
Before placing your order, take some time to research the best salon equipment suppliers. Sometimes, when you order in bulk, you can get equipment at a reduced price than if you order at different times.
Keep track of what you order and warranty information in case one of the products needs maintenance in the future.
Select Your Software
Keeping your finances in order is essential because you’ll need to access them when you complete your business taxes. Instead of doing things by hand, we recommend finding software that keeps track of inventory, bookings, and salon finances.
When it’s done this way, you can reduce the number of errors made and ensure you have up-to-date records to pull from.
Decide on a Marketing Strategy
How do you plan to get the word out about your salon? Many people spend a significant amount of their time on social media, making it one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses today.
It’s best to start a social media account for your business and begin to advertise your grand opening. Several other ways to market include hosting a community event or displaying a billboard.
Before you host an event, you’ll want to create a service menu. This menu will detail the services provided by the salon in a unique and trendy way.
How to Open a Salon?
Do you want to know how to open a salon? We’ve created the step-by-step guide for you above; now, it’s time for you to put in the work.
But before you go, continue scrolling through this section and check out some of the other blogs we’ve created for readers like you. You’ll find tons of information about business, taxes, and your finances.