Opening a hair salon business has a lot of moving parts and requires a lot of attention and focus. Here are ten steps to help you successfully open your hair salon business. 

  1. Do Your Research. Geographical location and demographics, needs, industry services, and specialities as well as potential areas for growth in your desired community.
  2. Create a Launch Checklist. Cover everything a business plan would (e.g., business structure, name, location, etc) as well as the tangible things (e.g, chairs, shampoo bowls, insurance, staff, marketing, supplies and suppliers). Everything that you and your clients touch, see, and interact with while in the salon should be on the list.
  3. Determine Costs. Be honest about how much money needs to be financed, it could take months or even a year before you see a profit. Plan for operating costs as well as startup/build-out costs.
  4. Write a Business Plan. Your plan should balance out the costs of services with the costs of operating. Strategize ways to elevate your clients’ experience to justify your prices and services. 
  5. Get Licensed. Professionally and with the city. Licensure protects you and your employees.
  6. Choose Location. If you already have clients, a general rule of thumb is one square mile from where you were previously located. If you are new to the area, choose a location that offers amenities that you and your clients can benefit from.
  7. Get Insurance. Get insurance on and over your business as well as your location. There are many riders, or add-ons, that can come in handy should your salon be destroyed or an employee embezzles money from the company.
  8. Hire Staff. Who you hire—receptionists, assistants, and hairstylists—plays a large role in the culture and success of your business. Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool and unfriendly staff can cost you your business.
  9. Advertise and Build Clientele. Reach out to old and current clients and tell them you’ve moved or are opening your own salon. Host a grand opening event. Post onto social media. Be excited and share the joy.
  10. Grow Intentionally. Prioritize customer experience over big new spaces. Max out your experience before trying to open a second or bigger location so that you know you can handle all of the expenses that go along with it.

Offering complimentary soda, water, coffee, and making sure your clients are comfortable goes a long way in keeping clients and stylists. It’s the small things that generate big business.