How to Open a Hair Salon

Nowadays taking care of our hair is becoming more and more important. People view our hairstyle as a part of our personality and style. A good hairstyle can make a person look much more approachable. Having your own hair salon can be a lucrative business, but opening one is a process that requires a lot of thought and careful planning. From this guide, you can find out everything you need to know about opening a hairdresser.  

Step by step guide to opening a hair salon 

  1. Think of a concept for your business.  

Not all hair salons are the same. You have to decide whether you will specialise in men’s or women’s hair, or maybe both. You also have to decide whether you will be offering only haircuts or also colouring and styling. An important part of thinking about a concept for your business is also coming up with a name for it. It needs to be easy to pronounce, original and memorable.  

  1. Check legal requirements.  

If in addition to opening the salon you want to work there yourself, you will need a qualification that will allow you to take care of people’s hair. In the UK there are several options to get it: 

National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) there are four levels to an NVQ if you want to work at the salon you need to at least get to level 2 
An apprenticeship during an apprenticeship, you will get theoretical knowledge, as well as professional training  
Workplace assessment you can first start working in a salon as an assistant after a while, you might get enough experience to qualify as a hairdresser 

Before you open a salon, you will also need to check health and safety regulations that you will need to follow. When looking for a place to open your business make sure to check whether the venue meets these requirements.  

  1. Create a business plan 

Once you have a general idea regarding your new business, you should make it more detailed and create a business plan. Writing it is a crucial step in starting your own business.  

A few things a business plan for opening a hair salon should include are:  

section of a business plan what should it cover 
Summary  Overview of what the business plan will cover, as well as main information about your salon like the location or the name. 
Description What type of hair salon will you open and what services your business will be offering. 
Market research Overview of what your target market is, what the expected demand for your services is, what is your competition in the area. 
Marketing plan How will you advertise your salon and attract customers. 
Financial plan How will you fund your business and how well do you think it will it perform financially. 
  1. Precisely what services you will offer 

At this point, you should have a general idea on what type of hair salon you will open. Now is the time to make these ideas even more detailed so you can have a concrete proposal of your salon’s offer. In addition to hair treatments, you can decide to provide beauty services such as manicure and pedicure, eyelashes extensions, massages, professional make-up for various occasions, or hair removal.  

  1. Get funding 

Opening a business requires a big financial investment. Before you decide to get a loan, think about how much money you will need to pay for the equipment, rent, advertisement, and wages.  

Based on these expenses, you can decide how much you will charge customers for each treatment. You have to think about how many customers will have to visit your salon each month for you to make a profit.   

  1. Choose the location and the right premises  

The location is very important as it can affect how many people see your salon. Finding a location where a lot of people will walk past your salon can increase your chances of getting new clients.  

When deciding on a location for your business, you also have to think of the size of your salon, the competition, and the number of people living in the area. 

  1. Purchase equipment 

Without the right equipment and appliances, your salon will not be able to operate. There are many things that you will need to buy but the main ones are: 

  • scissors and blades 
  • towels 
  • protective gloves 
  • aprons and gowns for clients
  • shampoo and conditioner 
  • brushes 
  • hair washing sinks 
  • hair dryers 
  1. Hire employees 

It is very unlikely that you will be able to run the salon and take care of customers’ hair all on your own. When you are looking for employees make sure they are trustworthy and amicable as they will represent you and your business in everyday relations with clients. Personality is extremely important when it comes to building relationships with customers and encouraging them to visit your salon again in the future. 

  1. Advertise your salon 

A good marketing strategy is essential to showing people why they should pick you and not your competitors. You should start by creating a website that will explain what services you offer and what are the prices. You should also focus on building your social media presence and interacting with customers there.   

How to develop a marketing plan for a hair salon 

There are many marketing tactics that you can use when you open a business. The ones that will work best for a hair salon include: 

  • Managing online reviews – you should encourage your customers to leave you reviews after their visit as through them you can build your reputation. You should reply to all the reviews and engage with customers. Even if at some point you get a bad review, you should respond to it, apologise for the situation and promise that the mistake will never happen again. 
  • Partner with local businesses – it’s a good idea to reach out to small businesses in your area and host an event together or create special deals for customers. This way you will expand your reach and promote your brand. 
  • Introduce referral discounts – if a customer recommends your salon to a friend or a family member, they could get a discount for treatment during their next visit. Referral discounts are a great way to spread the word about your business.  
  • Develop a loyalty program – if a customer stays loyal to your salon and keeps coming back, they deserve a discount or a bonus treatment. Loyalty programs are a great way to keep your existing customers satisfied.  

How to decide on prices  

When you compare various hair salons you can notice that the prices they charge for their services vary greatly. When you deciding on prices, you should consider training and experience that you and your staff have. If you’re great at what you’re doing and you offer better skill than anyone else, you can set high prices and be sure that customers will still use your services.  

Who is a mobile hairdresser? 

Some people who do not want to work for someone else but are hesitant about opening their own salon decide to become mobile hairdressers. These professionals work outside of the premises of hair salons and often travel to customers to take care of their hair in their homes. Mobile hairdressers are usually as qualified as regular hairdressers. 

Opening a salon vs mobile hairdresser  

type pros cons  
mobile hairdresser flexibility – mobile hairdressers are usually self employed  better relationship with customers – visiting them in their homes can help build a closer bond lower costs – there is no rent to pay and less equipment and tools to purchase no staff – mobile hairdressers have to do everything on their own  limited services – not all beauty treatments can be done at home less customers – all clients have to have an appointment 
hair salon more customers – walk-ins are possible possibility to expand – as your business keeps growing you can add more services or even open a new branch staff – you will have several qualified employees to help you out higher costs – you will need to pay rent, wages and buy more equipment limited to one area – customers who live further away might not be willing to travel 

Both types of business have pros and cons, but in the long run, opening your own hair salon gives you more stability and possibilities for growth. You could incorporate the services of a mobile hairdresser as a part of your salon’s offer, which would be a unique solution giving you the chance to stand out and beat the competition. 

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