What You Should Learn Before Opening A Salon
Opening A Salon hair shop is a fairly secure bet when it comes to business ownership because the beauty industry is worth $532 billion annually. Additionally, the beauty industry is consistent and frequently unaffected by economic downturns.
Even if you are skilled in styling, starting your own company can be a difficult procedure that calls for persistence and knowledge. A basic setup for a salon costs roughly $62,000, but it can cost up to $500,000 or even more. No matter how much money you put into your new company, you’ll want to take every precaution to make sure your salon’s success.
The cost of opening a salon
Before mapping out your finances and securing funding, you’ll want to consider what, exactly, you need funding for. Here are some common salon setup costs for aspiring owners:
- Licenses and permits: To open a salon, you’ll need a business license and any permits required in your area. If you plan on selling products, you’ll also need a seller’s permit.
- Real estate: You’ll have to find a place to either rent or buy. If you choose to pay a monthly lease, you’ll likely have to provide a security deposit upfront.
- Payroll: This involves salaries or wages for the employees you hire, and all the associated benefits you choose to offer.
- Salon equipment: A salon requires a ton of equipment, like beauty supplies, sinks, chairs and hair dryers. You may also need a POS system, computer, business phone system and more.
- Inventory: If you plan to sell cosmetics or other products, you’ll want to stock up on your inventory before opening.
- Insurance: To legally cover your business, you’ll want to set aside money for a decent insurance plan.
These are just some of the many costs of opening a salon. Keep a checklist of possible salon expenses so you know what to account for when acquiring funding.
Financing for a salon
Salons are often seen as high-risk businesses, and many banks are hesitant to invest. However, there are many alternatives to traditional loans. Here are some popular financing options for salons.
With low rates and fast payback periods, SBA loans are perfect for small startups. However, these loans are relatively competitive, so you’ll need a strong credit score to qualify. Also, if you need immediate funding, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Microloans are much easier to attain than traditional SBA loans, because you don’t need an expansive credit history or time in business. SBA microloans can be up to $50,000. Just make sure you have a solid business plan in place before trying to secure your loan.
Alternative lenders tend to be much more accessible (and immediate) than other sources of capital. If you need quick money, you might consider a term loan, asset-based loan, credit card or business line of credit.
To operate a salon, you need a fair amount of equipment, such as chairs, sinks, and hair dryers. It may be challenging to afford all these products when you first start out. With equipment finance, you’ll get a loan to cover these upfront costs so you can get going without going bankrupt.
Consider leasing equipment to lower the upfront cost rather than purchasing brand-new items. Some lenders also provide equipment financing, where the equipment is used as collateral. You would make recurrent payments until the equipment’s value plus interest is repaid.
How to create a marketing strategy for a salon
Every firm needs to use marketing, but some strategies are more effective for some companies than others. You should put a lot of effort into integrating into your neighborhood when starting a local salon. Building your local following is essential for you to attract and keep repeat customers because you are a brick-and-mortar business (i.e., you operate out of a physical location).
Marketing for salons needs to be strategic and reliable. The following advice can help you promote your salon:
Register with internet directories. You must make sure that your company is listed in internet directories if you want to appear in digital searches.
control online evaluations. When evaluating local businesses, consumers frequently rely internet ratings and reviews. Every review you get needs to be responded to, even the negative ones.
Partner with small, neighborhood businesses. You can increase your reach and establish your brand’s image in the neighborhood by collaborating with another company in the region. To provide your customers a unique experience, host events or arrange partnerships with your business partners.
- List yourself in online directories. To show up in digital searches, you’ll have to make sure your business is listed in online directories.
- Manage online reviews. Consumers tend to trust online ratings and reviews to vet local businesses. It’s important to address every review you receive – especially the bad ones.
- Partner with local small businesses. Partnering with another business in your community will help you broaden your reach and build a reputation for your brand in the area. Host events or coordinate deals with your partner businesses to offer your customers an exclusive experience.
- Offer referral discounts. If an existing customer recruits another client to your salon, you should reward the recruiter with some sort of discount. This will encourage people to spread the word about your business.
- Create loyalty incentives. Loyal customers deserve special treatment. To show your clients you appreciate them, create incentives like discounts, punch cards and special promotions.
- Utilize social media. Your social media is a place for customers to get to know you on a more personal level. Connect with your community by following other small businesses in the area, engaging with your target market and sharing behind-the-scenes content (like before and after photos of clients’ haircuts) to build your credibility and cultivate brand awareness.
Opening a salon
Check out these 10 expert tips to start off your salon on the right foot.
1. Create a salon business plan.
Writing a business plan should be your first step when starting any business. It provides you with a clear objective, outlines how you will achieve that objective, and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to be successful.
“A business plan is key to starting a salon,” said Ali Ryan, owner of The Dry House. “The plan offers a road map for salon owners to follow and helps entrepreneurs consider all areas of the business. A business plan makes sure you set up a metric for success and consider the financials before you invest huge amounts of time and money in a new salon.”
Make sure you have a good understanding of the existing salon market in your area, including how large it is, if it is growing and the trends. This will help you to plan exactly how you will compete against other salons.
Michelle Lee, co-owner and chief designer of Salon Eva Michelle, advised having a clear understanding of your target market. “Consider the type of salon you want to operate, as well as the culture you want.”
2. Examine the rules and laws in your area.
Depending on where you reside and the kind of salon you’re opening, different laws and regulations apply. A salon that only offers hair services, for instance, will need a separate license than one that also provides facial or massage services.
Do your research, advised Jettset Mobile Studio owner and hairdresser Shanell Jett. “Make sure you are abiding by the rules and laws of the state. If laws and regulations need you to make any changes to your plan, do so as soon as possible so that you can prevent having to stop your business later or paying a fine.
The following are some examples of the typical licenses, rules, and permits needed for salons:
3. Find a way to distinguish your salon.
According to Pamela Jeschonek, owner of Everyday Esthetics Eyebrow Studio, “Salons are on every corner, even in tiny towns, so entering the market with a specialization or service niche can substantially enhance awareness and press about your opening.”
Consider what distinguishes your salon from others. Are they the services you provide? Your courteous staff? your personalized encounters? Try to make it the center of your identity, whatever it may be, and expand your company from there. Find your specialty, in other words. It’s lot simpler to expand your firm in a small, specific market than it is to try to do it in a huge, general one.
Through closer consumer interaction, a niche market affords you greater protection against failure and the opportunity to learn what works (and what doesn’t) for your company.
Even if you provide a wide range of treatments, Jeschonek advised, “advertising a specialty or niche service will help you draw in a very loyal clientele and instantly provide credibility to your salon as the experts in your specialized field.”
4. Consult with suppliers.
You must speak with a distributor to order items for your salon, such as chairs, mirrors, washing and drying stations, shampoo, conditioner, pins, and brushes. Local agents can help you locate local, wholesale, or national distributors.
You must collaborate with a sizable wholesaler like Takara Belmont or Belvedere Maletti if you want to sell larger things like chairs and dryers. Smaller goods can be bought directly from a manufacturer like Paul Mitchell or Estée Lauder or from a regional distributor.
When you start looking for a distributor, keep in mind to comparison shop and take into account every possibility. Look at the pricing ranges and customer support (such as guidance or consultation) that various distributors provide, and inquire as to whether they provide any discounts or benefits.
5. Create a reliable clientele.
As a salon owner, you should prioritize your customers’ needs and their whole experience. As a result, you’ll get repeat clients who eventually build a solid clientele.
According to speaker and businesswoman Sandra LaMorgese, “My top piece of advice for prospective entrepreneurs before they open up a salon is to have a number of professional clients of your own that will pay your overhead.” “You’ll be in a better position to make the decisions if you have a strong client base of your own.”
6. When opening your salon, pick the appropriate location.
Your site is one of the most expensive aspects of starting a salon, and whether you own a building or rent a retail space, there are numerous things to think about. It need to be near a lot of people and simple to get to by automobile or public transportation. Additionally, be certain that you are sufficiently far away from rivals who provide the identical services.
According to Jim Salmon, vice president of business services at Navy Federal Credit Union, “get a reliable location with lots of parking.” Making it easy for people to visit your salon will result in more clients, which will result in more sales to pay off your initial loan and cover growing expenses.
7. Work with an artist.
If you have the money, hiring a designer to assist you in setting up your salon can decrease stress and provide a beautiful, practical environment. A designer can assist you in choosing an aesthetic that complements the image you wish to convey.
According to Miriam Deckert, marketing director of SalonSmart, “working with a designer or space planner [can] ensure you are optimizing your earning potential for the area.” “Try to negotiate those expenses in your lease agreement if construction work is required.”
Deckert suggests using the area in the salon’s middle for double-sided stations or couches for waiting clients. Before you go shopping for furniture or equipment, you should be aware of the measurements of each space.
8. Put your staff first.
The staff members you hire to assist in running your salon determine its quality. Because the beauty industry is so individualized, it is crucial to keep a talented, educated, and welcoming workforce.
Jennifer Quinn, a digital marketing executive at Phorest Salon Software, advised new salons to spend time training and inspiring their personnel. The success or failure of your salon will depend on how well-equipped your stylists and technicians are to sell additional services and goods across the entire brand.
Your firm will function more efficiently and keep up a professional image if you take the time to adequately train your staff.
Being enthusiastic about the development of your staff is crucial, Lee stated. “Lead, don’t be a boss.”
Bellacures founder Samira Far advised creating a vision for how clients should feel, what they should experience, and the adjectives they should use to describe their experience. This will aid in creating an environment, look, and feel.
Start by asking your customers for comments on the aspects of your salon they enjoy and dislike. Show your consumers that you value their feedback and take it into consideration by describing in your business plan how you aim to satisfy their requirements and wishes to the greatest extent possible.
10. Set your prices appropriately.
Choosing a price for your services can be challenging, especially in the early stages of running your own business. You should carefully analyze your own abilities and training and decide a price based on that—not what others in your area are charging—after doing some research and getting a general idea of what someone with your level of training could charge.
Sheryl Miller, proprietor of Fringe Hair Art, stated, “You don’t know anything about them or their skill set. “When I first began in a community where the most costly haircut was $38, I charged $60. To get here, I underwent 25 years of training and education. Some individuals believed I was crazy and refused to get it. In addition to getting it, I then increased my charges to $70 and continued billing. People will pay you if you are excellent at what you do.