Starting a business needs a lot of planning apart from capital and other forms of investment. Same follows for setting up your own salon. Here are a few easy to follow steps and check lists that will help make sure you stay on track:

Figure out how much money you need:

Starting a business can cost a lot of money, and most entrepreneurs don’t turn a profit for the first year or two. It is important to make sure that you can support yourself while your business gets up and running. Calculate how much money you need for monthly expenses, how much of a cushion you have in savings, and how much you absolutely must make each month to stay afloat.

Come up with an operating budget. Calculate how much money you’ll need to run your business every month. Include rent, licensing, training, payroll, supplies and an emergency fund.

Figure out how much you will charge for services. Once you have an operating budget, you’ll know how much money you need to break even each month. To make a profit, though, you’ll need to do more than break even. Estimate how many services (such as haircuts, colors, manicures, etc.) you might perform in a week and figure out how much they need to cost in order for you to make money.

Keep in mind that though you need to charge enough to be profitable, you can’t charge too much or you will drive away customers. Try to set a price point that is both fair for your clients and prosperous for you.

Get an idea of what other salons charge. Browse comparable salons in your area, and take note of what they charge. Your prices should probably be in a similar range.

Do you need a small business loan? Make an appointment with a loan officer at a local bank, and ask him or her to talk you through the process of getting a small business plan. Before you go, write up a quick summary of how you expect your salon to be profitable whether it’s because you offer a unique service or because there aren’t enough salons in your area. For more on financing your business, visit this link.

Figure out how you’ll pay taxes. Paying taxes as a small business is different than doing so as an individual, so be sure to figure out what you need in advance.

Take care of any licensing:

Unfortunately, running a business means having to deal with red tape and paperwork. The first step is to get a business license. All businesses must be licensed.

Make sure your salon can pass a health inspection. To avoid fines or (even worse) being shut down by the health department, make sure your salon is sanitary and following the guidelines that are laid out by regulatory bodies.

Choose the right location:

Location is critical to the success of your business. Get into a high-traffic area. Busy streets, malls or spaces next to locations people visit often (such as grocery stores) are ideal.

Try to have easy access. If parking is a hassle and traffic is thick on the way to your salon, people might not consider it worth the effort.

Stay away from the competition. Don’t situate yourself directly next to another salon you will cancel each other out. Instead, try to stake out a place where you will be the only salon for a few blocks.

Hire qualified and trained personnel:

The cosmetic procedures performed by untrained personnel may cause health problems to the clients. It is important that you hire only qualified and well-trained beauticians, stylists, and other personnel.

Remember, it is your responsibility as the salon owner to ensure that your personnel are adequately trained and understand each procedure offered.


Experience may give a beautician the expertise to render treatment, but, without proper training, she would be unaware of the merits and demerits of procedures.

Have a short but clear salon procedures manual in place as soon as you can, and give each employee a contract when they start. These documents are usually easy to find on the internet and you can then customize them to your business. It will save you a lot of headaches in the long run if you are set up properly at the beginning.

Create a clean and safe atmosphere:

Salons thrive on an environment that is clean, safe and relaxing, where customers can receive prompt and professional service.

Cleanliness is a particularly important element that can draw clients in again and again. Be sure your towels, foot baths, and other equipment are washed, clean and odor-free.

Keep your tools sharp and current. Your clients must be able to trust that the products and tools that you use on them are of top-notch quality and safe. You cannot afford to put your clients at risk from infections, as it could damage your reputation.

Make the atmosphere relaxing. Play soft music, use gentle lighting and keep loud chatter between your employees at a minimum.

Offer a wide range of services:

This could give you a distinct advantage over those who offer only one or two types of services. Many clients prefer to have their hair, nails and face done in one place, instead of going to three different places.

While you can specialize in one main area (e.g. hair), giving your clients the convenience of a one-stop beauty shop can set your business apart from your competitors.

Keep your clients satisfied:

It is important that your business create and maintain the desirable reputation as a quality hair and salon operation, so that your clients keep returning for maintenance. Try to give them the best possible experience each time, and go out of your way to make them feel valued.


A salon’s best marketing tool is word-of-mouth. If a client is happy with the results, he or she will come back to your salon. Satisfied clients can then help advertise your business to their friends, family, and colleagues. Word can easily spread about the great look and outstanding personal service that your salon provides.

Collect contact information from your clients e.g. an email address or cell phone number, and if you have a computerized system you than then easily text or mail them with updates on new products/services, and any special offers you have.

Following these simple steps can help greatly while setting up your new salon. Follow these tips meticulously and take help from experienced people as well. By doing that you can ensure that any error due to carelessness is minimized. You can find some good business consultants using the QuickSearch website.

Written by Taarini Chandramouli

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