If you want to get into the saloon business, you have come to the right place. We have some excellent tips and best practices that will help you create a successful and effective business plan.
Hair salon businesses are not only a fun niche but also a very safe one. Its estimated yearly value surpasses an incredible $532 billion. At the same time, it excels at generating recurring revenue that is not easily shaken by economic drop-downs and recessions.
Better yet, it lets you showcase your styling abilities, and earn by doing what you love. The only thing which you should learn is how to launch your own business and be successful at it.
On average, launching a hair salon is a $62 000 investment, depending on how you want it to be. The investment, however, will not be the decisive factor for your success. You need to be good at what you do and keep customers coming back.
How much will it cost to open a salon?
The funding sources and the budget can be easily determined by mapping out exactly everything you need. These are the costs that aspiring owners report:
Permits and licenses: Many states and regions require you to have a permit or a license to start your own hair salon business. The permits usually apply to those owners looking to sell products as well as services.
Location & real estate: You need a good location for your salon which you will either buy or rent. Renting on a monthly lease, for instance, also requires an upfront security deposit which you must consider.
Workforce: You will need to hire employees and pay them salaries, depending on their experience and the services they offer. If you are just starting, we recommend you to go slow and only hire employees you can’t go without.
The working equipment: A hair salon may seem simple, but there is a lot of equipment required. You’ll need to buy the chairs, sinks, dryers, and all other beauty supplies. Don’t forget also the budget for a WordPress reservation plugin or a salon management software, phone system, or the very computer you will use.
Products & inventory: Those among you who intend to sell products should plan their stocks and purchases.
Insurance: Hair salons, just as any other business, need to be legally covered. Make sure you insure your salon and invest some decent money into supporting services.
Note: The list doesn’t end here. A hair salon can be costly in many other ways, depending on the services you offer. Yet, it is still smart to begin planning the abovementioned expenses so you know how high the basic investment is.
Familiarize with your market
First, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. Researching the market will be of great help so that you can pinpoint and analyze the opportunities and perils you are about to face. Doing so will also show you who your biggest competitors are, and how you can outsell them.
Get involved. You can join groups of active salon managers on social media and participate in their discussions. Such groups operate on LinkedIn or Facebook, where they also share relevant business news. Make it a daily routine to check what they are posting and take advantage of the groups to promote your services and look for employees. It is the only way to stay on top of things.
Show people that you know what you are doing. Create the reputation of a recognized expert who follows and understands trends. Better yet, one that has nifty ways of incorporating those into his marketing plan.
Location is key
We can’t highlight enough how important location is. Of course, you may start small and do most of the work at home, but this is not an easy and risk-free way to earn money.
What is way more recommended is to open a salon in a dedicated space and give people a storefront they can easily access. The place should be central or in another high-traffic area, ideally with parking possibilities. If your focus is on affluent clientele, select a more upscale district with cafes or shopping possibilities. If you are situated in a big city, it may be smart to look at new and upcoming neighborhoods.
Do the paperwork
Once you’ve selected the place, assemble the necessary legal documents. This could mean getting a building permit, a business permit, or simply a signed approval from other people living and operating the area. Clarify this with the local authorities before you pay for the place so that you know what the exact requirements are.
Meet the competitors, and learn from them
You may be business-savvy, but you are still doing this for the very first time. You can avoid unnecessary costs and save yourself a few troubles by simply looking at what the competition is doing.
Define a pattern among similar businesses in the area. Define your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to them. Next, learn how they are targeting customers and what they are charging them. This way, you can obtain a competitive edge by simply knowing what not to do.
Learn continuously and be part of all expos and trade shows related to your niche. We are discussing a very scalable and dynamic industry, and you’ll want to stay on top of things.
Assemble the best team you can
You may not be able to serve many customers at once at the beginning, so be realistic about your options. Hiring people may sound like an unnecessary investment, but you are paving the way toward more appointments, and more profits. This advice matters for retail owners who also sell products.
When hiring, be rigorous about your needs and expectations. Personnel does not only need to be qualified, but also friendly, inviting, and experienced in working with people.
Start gathering clients in advance
You should divide prospective clients based on their income and demographics. The sooner you know who you are targeting, the sooner you can turn them into paying customers. By this, we mean creating actual marketing personas, and channeling all your marketing work in their direction.
For instance, you can choose to work only with women or high-budget clientele. Some of you may focus on elderly people, while others on millennial clients. Be as specific as possible at the beginning. You can always expand the client base in the future.
Buy the necessary items in advance
It doesn’t make sense to launch any business without the necessary equipment. Stock up the inventory and buy some trendy, comfortable furniture that will make customers feel welcomed. Suppliers, the same as your personnel, should be reliable and professional. They should keep the collaboration ongoing even with special discounts or express delivery.
Invest in marketing
The hair salon niche is not an easy one to succeed at. It will be a continuous struggle to keep up with competition and to impose yourself on the market. Luckily, this can be done with a strong marketing strategy that lets you be there for customers even when you are not. Consider creating a website, outlining your services and prices in popular groups, and even running a blog that underlines your expertise. Remember that all content needs to be optimized for search engines.
In this aspect, social media is the most helpful tool for brand awareness. Select the platforms most used by your target audience and create your page there. You can even enable clients to make appointments on social media.
Finally, make sure the salon is listed in all relevant directory services. Users will then be able to find you based on their location or specific needs and even to further recommend your services to friends and relatives.