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What it takes to open a small beauty salon

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Learn what it takes to open a small beauty salon and start your own business

Learn what it takes to open a small beauty salon and start your own business

The dream of starting a small business is one many people share, particularly those who are skilled in a service that?s in high demand. Say you have a knack for cutting hair and making customers feel like a million bucks, but you?re tired of forking over hundreds of dollars to rent a chair each month at someone else?s salon. It?s time to go your own way, but first you have to know what?s in store.

If you want to know what it takes to open a small beauty salon, pull up a chair. As with any business venture, there are many factors to consider before jumping in. Between finding quality beauty supplies and financing, to business cards for reaching your potential customer base fast, getting this type of business off the ground is hard work, but it?s worth it.

Though the state of today?s economy is bleak for job hunters and many small business owners, it?s actually not a bad time for the beauty and spa establishments. During stressful times, people value small luxuries like a fabulous hair cut or getting their nails done for a big interview. 

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Where to begin

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the first thing you should do is evaluate your options and choose an approach. The three main options include opening a franchise and gaining the advantage of instant brand recognition, buying an existing business from an owner, or starting your own operation from scratch.


The right choice for you depends on your resources, business acumen and how much you?re willing to pour into branding and marketing. If you already have a name and loyal clients from previous work, launching your own venture make sense.


Anyone who’s worked in the industry for even a small amount of time already has a good idea of what it takes to open a small beauty salon. Flexibility is key in attracting the widest range of clients possible. As many professionals work 9-5 during the week, having weekend and night hours will make a huge difference in turning a profit. 

Know your competition

Having the competitive edge doesn?t necessarily mean you have to offer the lowest prices. A number of salons and spas keep extended hours during peak seasons and open seven days a week. If you don?t want to turn loyal customers away during the prom rush and busy wedding months, learn to flex your schedule to client needs. 

In general, early evening and lunch hours are the busiest in both metro areas and small towns. When in doubt, mirror your hours to local retailers to catch sidewalk traffic. Also, keep an eye on deals and packages local competitors are offering and create your own customer incentives to get new faces through the door and retain those who come back.

Leveraging your resources

Money is always nice to have when starting out, but it?s not your only resource. In fact, plenty of successful salons start out on a shoe string budget. The trick is knowing how to leverage your other resources.

Before opening your doors, invest time in building a web presence. Start a basic website as well as social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. To save time, sync your accounts so one post populates multiple locations. Create a Pinterest account to feature unique styles and popular hair trends. Use these sites to offer promotions and encourage happy clients to spread the word on your new business.

Knowing what it takes to open a small beauty salon is clearly more involved than this bird?s eye view. The most important thing to know is that this is an obtainable dream and a life worth striving for. In the beauty industry, no week will ever be like the next. You?ll hear all kinds of stories from clients at different stages of their lives, happy to support a business that aims to help people put their best face forward. 


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