Thinking about opening and running your salon business?
While a salon can be a lucrative and profitable business, you’ll still need strong planning and preparation so you can beat your competition and grow your clientele.
Below, we’ll discuss 8 key things to do before opening a salon to ensure success.
Location, location, location
The age-old mantra of real estate is still a very important consideration when starting a salon as a brick-and-mortar business. Whether you can get the right location for your salon can literally make or break your business, and as we know, the better the property is, the more expensive it will be.
When considering the location of your beauty salon, you should consider:
- How easily potential clients can distinguish your business from other shops in the area after considering your design (sign, front door, facade, etc.)
- Whether there’s a parking space nearby. Don’t underestimate this factor as it’s very important, also, check whether the location is accessible by wheelchair, which can help with your brand image
- Check whether the location has enough space for your salon. A 500 sq ft location, for example, is adequate for three salon chairs.
- Consider the scalability of the location, whether you can use more space in the future or if there are other properties nearby you can rent to expand your salon
2. Define Your Service
What type of salon do you want to open? We can generally divide salon businesses into different types based on location size and price you charge:
- Beauty parlor: a smaller practice offering basic services, and you use products from lower-priced brands. You will only employ a small number of employees.
- Beauty salon: middle-range prices but you also use higher-quality supplies. You employ at least one professional and you might also offer additional services like manicure/pedicure and skincare.
- Premium salon: a larger wellness center offering a wide variety of services from skincare to plastic surgery. Use higher-end supplies and technologies
- Luxury salon: beauty salon designed for premium clients (VIPs).
Based on the service you’ll offer, you’ll also need to design the concept of your salon from interior design, the color of the uniform, logo, and so on.
3. Do Your Market Research
Now that you’ve decided on a location and a concept, you should perform market research to:
- Determine your target audience
- Check the competition in your area
- Make adjustments to your concept according to the two factors above
The objective of your market research is to determine whether you can create a competitive advantage and offer a unique value proposition for your target audience. You should try to answer the following question.
- Who is your target audience?
- Who is your competition?
- How much money do you need to start the salon?
- Why do you think your salon will be successful?
4. Research Local Regulations
Depending on your location and what type of salon you are opening, the legal requirements will vary. For example, if you offer skincare and facial services, you might need more licenses and permits than if you are strictly offering hair services.
Make sure you are complying with state and federal laws and regulations, but typically you’ll be required to possess the following permits and licenses:
- Salon license
- Building permit
- OSHA compliant
- Cosmetology licenses if you are offering related services
5. Secure Your Supplies
In opening a salon, your supplies like shampoo, conditioner, dyes, and so on will be your primary ongoing expense. So, you’ll need to make sure you are getting these products from a distributor or manufacturer that can offer you the best possible deal in your area.
Also, you’ll need to secure your fixed assets, like chairs, mirrors, washing stations, and so on. For these larger investments, you might want to be more careful and do a bit more research.
Nevertheless, remember to consider all your options carefully.
6. Define Your Pricing Strategy
This is often the most challenging aspect of starting any business: figuring out how much to charge for your services.
The common approach is to analyze how your competitors price their services, but you should also consider your (or your staff’s) level of training and service you provide. It’s okay to charge more than your competitors if you can offer more value.
7. Have a Booking System In Place
A proper scheduling and booking software for salons can significantly help in streamlining your booking process, which can be very important as you grow your clientele.
With Bookeo you’ll gain access to various features to improve your salon’s service quality, including:
- Manage your online appointment calendar from your PC and mobile devices
- Send automatic notifications and reminders to your clients to reduce missed appointments
- Notify staff with automatic email and text notifications for new, rescheduled, or canceled appointments
- Track all reservation steps
- Customize your appointment calendar with color-coding
- Customize your business hours
8. Take Extra Care of Your Staff
Your salon can only be as good as the staff running it. Remember that your salon is inherently a service business, and it’s vital to have a team of staff that is also committed to providing service excellence.
Make sure your employees are comfortable in offering your services, including upselling products, and make sure they are well-trained in various aspects of the salon business: product knowledge, service excellence, hygiene, and so on.
Taking the time to train your staff thoroughly can significantly help in ensuring your salon business’s success by maintaining a positive reputation.