If you have a passion for helping people look their best, opening a hair salon is a solid business model. Most people don’t know how to cut their hair themselves, and practically everyone needs regular haircuts or shaves. Other services like waxing and manicures can also help a hair salon turn a tidy profit. As long as people want to look good, hair salons have a good chance of being successful. However, this doesn’t mean that you can get away with not having good business sense or a solid plan before opening your salon. Here is what you need to know to become successful in the beauty business.
Making a Business Plan
A business plan is a kind of road map that guides your business through the earliest phases. In order to get a loan or funding, you generally need to provide a thorough business plan. The plan should include a description of your business, what kind of customer you will cater to, how your salon will be successful and how you will deal with problems that crop up.
You probably can’t pay for your entire business out of pocket but you still need money to purchase professional beauty supplies and salon furniture. This means that you will have to get funding somewhere else, either in the form of a bank loan or a personal loan from friends or family. Check the prevailing loan rates for your area to make sure you are getting a fair deal, and always draw up a loan contract, even if you are borrowing money from someone you know very well.
Hiring Qualified Staff
Your salon is only as good as its staff. Make sure your stylists are not only skilled at cutting hair, but also provide good customer service and are friendly. If your salon is big enough, you may also want to hire support staff such as a receptionist or book keeper.
Finding a Location
Location is important when it comes to opening a salon. You want to be in an area with a lot of traffic so you can attract the attention of customers, but you don’t want to end up on a block where the rent is so high that you struggle to pay it every term.
Building a Brand
Picture the ideal customer for your salon. Is she young or old? Thrifty or willing to splurge a little? Trendy or timeless? Once you know who you want to appeal to, you can create an advertising and marketing plan that appeals to the type of customer you want to attract.
Making a Marketing Plan
Once you have made some progress building a brand, you can begin advertising. Start with signage; making your storefront memorable is a great way to attract potential customers who happen to be in the neighborhood. If you think you need a popularity boost, place advertisements in relevant publications or hand out fliers. Just remember your ideal customer and try to target her with your advertising.
With a smart business plan and a little elbow grease, operating a salon is almost certain to be a solid and smart business venture.