how to open your own beauty salon

Will you be opening a salon in 2020?

It’s never been a better time to start, and we want to help share with you what it takes to open a hair salon today.

However, before we start, let’s look at some numbers I think you’ll find interesting.

Here Is A Bit Of Market Research For The Hair Salon Industry

  • The estimated revenue is projected to be over $47 billion.
  • The hair Salon industry is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2019
  • The industry has grown 2.1% per year on average between 2014 and 2019.
  • The estimated employment is 317,210 hairdressers.
  • Employment rise is up by 1.5%
  • The average hourly wage was $14.51 an hour, up from $11.89 in May 2018.
  • The annual wage of a hairstylist is $30,190.
  • The rise in wages will be estimated at 0.7% growth.


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As you can see from the statistics above, being a hairstylist in 2020 is a growing profession.

However, we aren’t here to talk about being a stylist; we are talking about becoming a becoming salon owner.

We are here to discuss opening your own hair salon business and becoming an entrepreneur.

Hair salon ownership plan

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Let me set the path to what I think will be one of the most rewarding journeys you will take in your career.

Here are a few reasons it’s rewarding to own your salon.


Benefits Of Owning A Hair Salon On Your Own.

  • Let’s start with the obvious you get to be your boss and business owners.
  • You get to design your salon the way you want.
  • Choose the haircare product brands you enjoy working alongside.
  • Build the team you always wanted to do with or fly solo as a solopreneur.
  • Make more money and decide your pricing and worth.
  • You get to call all the shots!
steps to being a hair salon owner

Take These Steps To Open Your Own Hair Salon Business With Confidence

Take These Steps To Open A Salon With Confidence

If you are serious about opening a salon, you will need to sit down and put a plan of action.

Making such a big decision should never be taken lightly or rushed.

Let’s look at the fundamental decisions you will need to make when opening any business, including a hair salon business & marketing.

Commission Or Booth Rental?

Are you prepared to go all in and hire staff and manage others?

Today’s hair salon industry is broken down into two types of models.

Commission based salons and booth rental/suite salons.

Let’s look at both.

Commission Salon Model

The most traditional salon model is to hire a stylist and pay them a commission on services they provide to customers.

For years salons have worked in this manner where you are the employer and stylist are employees.

Although a more complicated approach, it can be gratifying.

It requires more from you as an owner with such things as providing the entire salon’s products, payroll & taxes, and marketing for the whole salon.

Running a commission-based hair salon may also require you to balance taking care of your own client’s needs and your employees and their client’s needs.

It may be a good idea to hire a salon manager to help with daily systems and structures.

Booth/Suite Rental

A similar way about going into business for yourself as a hair salon owner is to find a booth rental salon and rent a chair weekly.

Today there are companies like Phenix Salon Suites where you can rent a suite.

Renting a booth/suite lets you live your dream of owning a hair salon and not worrying about hiring staff, payroll, or marketing others.

You can book your clients when you want and have the freedom to be responsible for yourself.

Here is an excellent article on starting a salon booth rental business from Salon Iris.

Open Your Own Hair Salon Business Solo Or With A Partner

Start a hair salon partnership

Let’s say for this article; you decide to go for all the glory and open a commission-based salon.

Something you might consider is having a business partner.

Lots of successful businesses start with partnerships.

Having someone go in on your dream of owning a salon business can take some of the pressure of running the daily task off just you.

Maybe you handle the creative responsibility, and your co-owner takes the bookkeeping and managerial responsibility.

Another reason for having a business partner is the startup cost.

You both would bring financial funding to the new business, and most banks look kindly on partnerships when giving financing of a small business loan.

When doing a partnership, make sure your relationship is, and you can communicate well.

Like all relationships, communication is, and the ability to let go of the reins sometimes will take much stress off of you.


Write A Detailed Hair Salon Business Plan

Ready to open your own hair salon business

Don’t go in without a plan of how you will go about opening your dream salon.

It’s a huge decision, and having a detailed business plan will help you lay out all the critical decisions you will have to make.

A business plan requires you to do some intense research, which is necessary.

Think of it as a road map to follow even a year down the road; you will have it to revisit.

Most local colleges in your area will have a small business class you could take if you feel stuck.

Don’t rush and take your time with your research. You will thank me later.

Most people think they only need to write a business plan if they need to borrow money.

By the way, if you don’t need to hire cash congrats, you are ahead of the game.

Although it is a great tool to help a bank or a family member understand you are serious about opening your dreams’ hair salon.

So What Is Included In Your Business Plan?

According to the small business association, here is what you should include.

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections
  • Appendix

To understand these points visit the US Small Business Association Website.


Make Sure You Have The Financial Funding You Will Need To Open Your Own Hair Salon Business

How will you finance your new salon? One of the biggest reasons salons fail is weak financial planning.

Once you figure out how much you will need to get started, you should have six months of reserve in your bank account to cover expenses.

You have options to financing your business; let’s take a look at a few.,

  1. Your savings – have you been planning and saved enough to start your new business?
  2. Local Bank – Do you have a relationship with your bank? Banks are tight when it comes to financing a new business but worth a try. I’d say even if they don’t offer you a loan, stay in touch as, after the first year in place, you could apply for a line of credit.
  3. Friends and family – Who believes in you more than your close ones? Talk to them about helping you get started. Work out a contract that will allow you to pay them back once you are up and running. I bet you will be surprised by the support you will receive from them.
  4. Grants – Check with the small business administration to see if you qualify. There are individual grants for minorities, women, and ex-military.

Remember, you will have to pay back any loans after you open your salon.

If you find getting a business loan is more than you are ready to take on, consider starting in a salon suite and continue to save more money until your ready.

Find A Location & Space For Your New Hair Salon.

hair salon location

As the old saying goes, location, location, location.

Finding the right space for your hair salon is one of the most important decisions you will make.

Decide how many hairstylists you plan on hiring and the stations you will need. Also, will you be selling retail products?

Will the new location provide easy access to parking and enough spaces for your clientele & staff to park?

When leasing a space is sure and asks the landlord what all is included in the monthly rent.

Are there CAM charges built-in, and what is covered.

Are they willing to offer a few months of free rent while you build the space out?

Do they offer any money toward the build-out?
Ask if you sign a longer lease, with they consider a discounted rate per month.

Ensure the HVAC maintenance is covered, and the roof is covered as well.

Before signing the lease, have a general contractor inspect and give you a bid on the build-out.

You should know precisely what it will cost you to get the building space ready to open before committing to a long lease.

While looking and choosing a location, make sure it has good traffic flow and visibility.

What are the demographics of your clientele you want to reach?

Are there big-box retailers nearby that can attract customers your way?

It’s essential that customers can find you and you have plenty of parking and outdoor lighting.

opening your own hair salon

What Equipment And Products Will You Need To Start Your Own Salon Business?

Purchasing Or Leasing Which Is Right For You?

Equipment and products can quickly eat into your opening budget.

Your options are to buy new equipment or look online for a closed salon that is selling off used equipment.

The savings can be huge, and after you are up and running and generating profit, you could purchase new chairs and shampoo bowls.

Another option is to lease your equipment.

Minerva Beauty is the leader in salon equipment and offers to finance on their beautiful styling equipment.

Leasing is helpful when money is tight in the beginning. 

You can also write it off on your taxes, which is a benefit.

You are going to need Miscellaneous equipment as well as washer & dryer, Phone systems, computers, and even a sign for the front of the building.

Be sure and shop around and again consider buying used if possible.

Retail & Backbar Products

When it comes to products and opening your new hair salon business, it becomes more personal. 

As a hairstylist, you probably have a company you enjoy working with.

Contact the company and ask if they offer a new salon discount and if they will help you get set up in your retail area.

Trust me; they will want to support you since you will frequently be ordering.

Most companies have back bar programs and offer discounts when you buy in bulk.

Having a sound inventory system in place can save you much money over the years.

Retail sales will never make you rich but can offset your monthly expenses like rent and utilities.

Legal Requirements For Opening Your Own Hair Salon Business

To start a salon business, you will need specific licenses to operate legally.

Now I’m no lawyer, so I advise contacting an attorney that deals with setting up small businesses.

You can also check with Legal Zoom; they are a great resource and can be a little cheaper than local attorneys and send updates when it’s time to renew your licenses.

  1. Here are some ideas of the licenses you will need to obtain if you want to open your own hair salon businessState Cosmetology or Beautician’s License
  2. Salon Retail Seller Permit
  3. Salon Business Operation License
  4. Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  5. Certificate of Occupancy

If you are resourceful most, all the local state agencies can provide the information online google each license + state.

If you are resourceful most all the local state agencies can provide the information online just google each license + state.
Hire staff for your hair salon business

Hire Staff For Your Hair Salon Business

Finding a qualified hairstylist for your new hair salon business is the next thing you will want to do. Maybe you know local stylists in your area who are qualified.

Offer an incentive to have them come and interview at your new salon or do an open house and send out invites to have them do a tour.

While you have them in the salon, explain what your goal is with your new salon.

When you open the hair salon business, you must hire at least a couple of experienced hairdressers to start.

Then maybe contact your local schools and ask for their top students to come to do a tour.

Hiring from schools can create an opportunity to train the future of our industry.

Set up a training program and teach them everything from the start.

Go to the schools often and volunteer to teach a class for the teachers.

There is no better way to connect with cosmetology students than to motivate them with a technique they haven’t learned yet.

Here are some schools you might try reaching out to if you have them in your area.

Paul Mitchell, the School

Aveda Institute

Toni & Guy

Attract New Customers With Your Hair Salon Marketing & Social Media Planning

Website Design

The first thing you want to do with your marketing when you start a salon business is to hire a professional web designer.

Your hair salon website will be the foundation for all your future online marketing.

Your website’s design should reflect a strong brand and incorporate the color scheme of your logo and salon interior.

A website should have a homepage, about page, services page, contact page, and landing pages for each city you serve.

If your salon software supports it, you can integrate an online booking feature.

Having an online booking feature is like having a receptionist 24 hours a day, and clients can book even when the salon isn’t open.

We suggest hiring an expert web design company like Top Social Leads who specialize in web design, SEO, and Online lead generation for Hair salons.

Next, we will go over (SEO) Search engine marketing and how powerful it can help new customers find you online.

Salon Emiliano Breit Salon Spa

SEO Search Engine Marketing

If you are going to open your own hair salon business, you will want to do SEO.

Each month people search for a hair salon near me 817,851 times in the United States alone.

I promise you will want to be the hair salon in your local area to monetize from Google.

hair salon buford-ga google search

One of the first things you will do is set up a Google my business page for your new salon.

Then have a Seo expert write content for your new website.

Someone who understands what exactly Google wants to see on your web pages.

Next, you will want to expose your website to online directories such as these below.

SEO is one of the best ways to market your website organically.

I would at least advise having an SEO expert do a setup for your business online.

Social Media Marketing And Your New Salon.

It’s 2019, and if you aren’t marketing your hair salon or any business on social media, you may be the only one.

The internet is a busy place; it’s easy to get lost without a defined plan.

Focus your social media marketing in these two ways.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social media marketing account, local marketing keeps your focus on the local client.

Many hairdressers spend way too much time posting and don’t direct it toward the clients.

Instead, they use #hashtags that focus on the industry, techniques, and products.

Look for local forums on Facebook and interact with the locals.

When time is right, and it feels natural, then invite them to visit the salon and offer them a new customer voucher.

When posting on Instagram, look for #hashtags with your city in them.

You can still add the industry tags but use local ones in your post.

Post with intent – You always want to inform the user and educate.

The second option when posting on social media is to send traffic to your website.

Now, why would we want to do this?

The more traffic your site gets, the more it shows Google that you are doing something right and that if people are visiting, then you must be sharing useful content.

Google loves content.

The more traffic your website gets, the higher in the search engines it will rise.

Traffic to your website will help new local customers to find your salon.

Any marketing, including social media, is not an overnight opportunity.

It will take time and many posts to see the maximum results.

So if you are going to open a new hair salon business, you will want to set up a social media marketing plan.

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