How to start a salon business

Learn how to start a salon business, and you'll be helping people like this in no time ... photo by CC user Sérgio (Savaman) Savarese on Flickr

So after a few years of working for a boss, you’re bound and determined to strike out on your own in the beauty industry.

While passion and determination are two important pre-conditions for success in the marketplace, you’ll need to crush a few benchmarks before you get to the point of having a place that is overflowing with repeat customers.

Get out the dreaming phase and into action: here’s how to start a salon business…

Raise the necessary startup capital and get licensed

Like many other brick and mortar businesses, the costs of owning and operating a salon is not small. As soon as you make the decision to open one, begin to save money and solicit financing to cover the initial costs required to purchase equipment, paying business licensing fees, and secure a commercial condo in which your salon will be located.

Depending on your situation, securing a small business loan of a certain size will probably be needed to tide you over until you begin to turn a profit on a consistent basis.

What services will you offer, and how much will you charge?

In order to determine how much money you will need to save at the outset and the size of the business loan that you’ll need to secure, you will need to determine what services you’ll provide, and how much you will charge for them.

Defining the former will allow you to identify the equipment you’ll need, and the latter will let you project revenue numbers based on the underserved share of the market where you’ll be locating, which will help you make a successful pitch to banks and lenders when you are in the process of hustling for a small business loan.

Set up systems that will help you deal with the management aspects of the business

Running a successful salon involves more than just cutting hair or filing nails better than your competitors. In order to thrive, you’ll need to figure out a way to manage the backroom aspects of your enterprise without having them dominate all your free time.

One of these tasks is effectively scheduling your customers that phone in for availability prior to them arriving at your establishment.

For example, a useful way to manage salon appointments is to venture past the paper ledgers of decades past and to move it into a fully integrated software suite, which not only keeps track of when your customers are coming, but it also allows you to undertake marketing activities with the client information that you gather from them during the booking process.