A hair salon can be a steady, profitable business, but before you open one, you need a strong business plan and preparation. Finding a niche for your salon helps you attract a loyal client base. The most important things a salon needs to succeed are a good culture, knowledgeable employees and an understanding of what its services are worth.
But even if you have the styling skills, launching your own business can be a challenging process that requires patience and know-how and no matter how much you invest in your new business, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure your salon’s success.
Check out these expert tips to help you start your salon on the right foot.
- Create a salon business plan
Writing a business plan should be your first step when starting any business. It provides you with a clear objective, outlines how you will achieve that objective, and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to be successful.
Make sure you have a good understanding of the existing salon market in your area, including how large it is, if it is growing and common trends. This will help you to understand exactly how you will compete against other salons.
You should also have an idea of who your target audience is, think about what kind of salon you want to open, that will also help you out.
- Find a way to make your salon stand out
With salons on every corner, entering into the market with a specialty or service niche can dramatically increase people patronizing your business.
Think about what could make your salon unique. It could be the services you offer. Whatever it may be, try to make it a focal point of your identity and grow your business from there. In other words, find your niche. Growing your business in a niche market is much easier than trying to succeed in a larger, general market.
A niche market provides you with more security against failure and a chance to find out what works well (and what doesn’t) for your business by allowing you to interact more closely with your customers.
- Talk to distributors
To obtain products for your salon – such as chairs, mirrors, washing and drying stations, shampoo, conditioner, pins, and brushes – you will need to contact a distributor. You can find local, wholesale or national distributors with local agents.
- Develop a solid client base
As a salon owner, you should place your clients and their experience at the top of your priority list. This will create return customers who, over time, will form a reliable customer base.
- Choose the right location to open your salon
Whether you buy a building or rent a shop space, your location is one of the biggest expenses of opening a salon, and there are many factors to consider when making this decision. It should be in a well-populated area and easily accessible. You should also make sure you are far away from competitors that offer the same services as your salon.
- Charge what you’re worth
It can be difficult to decide how much to charge for your services, particularly when you are just starting out with your own business. After you do some research and get ideas of what someone with your personal level of training could charge, you should carefully consider your own skills and training and determine a price based on that – not what others in your area are charging.