The Business of Beauty: A Cosmetologist’s Guide to Starting a Salon

Combined barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists make up 656,100 of all jobs held by professionals in 2019 alone. That number is only going to continue growing, especially as more people seek cosmetologist degrees.

If you’ve already secured your degree, the next thing on your mind is starting a salon. But, you might be wondering what steps and things you need to know when opening a salon?

Check out all the tips and details we’ve got to offer you below.

Think About Your Business Model

When you open your own salon, there are a couple of business models you can choose from. The first business model you might consider is a chair-rental model.

With this type of model, each cosmetologist working within your salon will need to have their own insurance coverage. They are allowed to work in the salon as long as they provide you a percentage of what they make while working there.

The other option you have as far as business models are concerned is the commission model. Instead of the stylists paying you, they are paid out commission by the salon on a payment system.

It’s essential to think in-depth about which type of model will serve you the best since you’re in the beginning stages of your salon.

Create a Business Plan

Your business plan is an essential part of starting your salon, especially if you’re in the process of looking for funding. When you’re applying for loans, they are likely to ask what you require the loan for.

When asked, you can present them with the business plan that details how you intend to use the loan funds to start your business. As well as, how you intend to pay back the loan that you’ve received.

If you’re speaking with investors, they will want to know exactly what they’re putting their money into. A business plan provides them transparency and gives them the information they need to move forward with their investment decision.

Ensure that you do some research when developing your business plan and take the time to think about the expenses that you will have as a startup salon.

Find Your Shop

What’s a salon if you don’t have the right space to conduct business? When you’re choosing your salon space, there are some things that you need to consider beforehand.

Where is the salon located? Will customers have a hard time getting to it? What’s the traffic like in the area?

You want to choose a location that can easily be seen by people passing by daily without too much traffic. It’s also beneficial if you choose a big enough space to hold your equipment and the equipment of other stylists.

Before deciding on the salon space, take the time to discuss with the landlord what the cost of rent would be and decide if renting or purchasing is in your best interest.

Hire Staff

The people you allow to work inside your salon are just as important as any other part of the salon. They will become walking representations of your business and everything it stands for.

While you’re in the process of hiring staff, make sure that everyone has the proper licensing and training to do their job. The best way to find people to work in your salon is to contact the beauty schools in your area.

They will be able to give recommendations about their current students and those preparing to graduate with their certifications.

Obtain Permits

Without your permits, you’re not going to be able to run your business legally. Take the time to file the paperwork needed for occupancy and obtain your tax identification number and other things like that.

Depending on the situation, the paperwork could take some time to process. Therefore it’s in your best interest if you file the paperwork at the beginning of your business journey rather than waiting until later.

It would be best if you had someone come and perform a health inspection to ensure that your salon is up to code and secure your business license.

Start Marketing Your Salon

How are you going to get clients if you don’t market your business? There are several marketing channels that you can get the word out about your salon, whether it’s through social media or doing it the old-fashioned way and getting out in the community.

If you’ve started an Instagram page and have an eyelash extension kit that you want to share, information about this would be the perfect place to advertise it. You could show followers how it works and everything that the kit comes with.

It’s also useful to sit down and create a website where you can post pictures of your recent work, services, and hours of availability. Don’t forget to include a space where potential clients can schedule their appointments.

Choose a Salon Name

Make a list of names you’re thinking about using for your salon and check to ensure that none are currently being used. When you pick a salon name, choose one that makes your business stand out from others in the area.

If you’re not good at coming up with names, there are several tools online that ask for specific information and generate a list of names for you to choose from. Remember the name that you choose will be the name that people associate with your salon; make it good.

Starting a Salon: Turning Up The Blow Dryers

Starting a salon can seem overwhelming if you don’t know what you need to do before opening day. Ensure that you hire the right people to work in your salon, and don’t forget to obtain all your professional licensing.

If you’ve found this post useful, leave us some feedback about other posts you’d like to see. And don’t forget to check out the other things in this section.