For many stylists, their ultimate goal is to own their own salon. Some stylists spend years working in salons owned by others, perfecting their skills, learning more about the business aspect of salon ownership, and creating a loyal client base, all while saving their money for their own salon.
However, taking that big leap and stepping out into the void can be a terrifying prospect. However, aspiring salon owners should remind themselves that they’re not alone. Every year thousands of people make the swap from employee to employer. While success might not be immediate, many people are very happy working for themselves, making their own decisions, and realizing their own potential.
One thing that stylists have in their favor is the fact that the salon industry in the United States generates more than $4 billion annually.
Business experts say it’s one small business that has the most earning potential. So if you’re a savvy stylist with the drive and the capital to open your own salon, these are a few tips to help you get started and on your way to realizing your dream.
1. Secure the Right Space
Most people in the business world know that location is everything and this is doubly true for salons. Whether you’re able to find an existing salon space that’s for rent or sale or you choose a space that you’ll essentially build from the ground up the location can make or break your business.
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Another aspect to consider is the community you live in. Small town? Big city? These factors are important when choosing your space; you want to be accessible to walk in clients as well as established ones.
2. Get All of Your Licenses
Licensing is an important aspect of any business and depending on where you live you may need business licenses from the state, county, and city. Be sure to do you research so you’re not missing any crucial parts of the licensing process. If you do you run the risk of being shut down until you’re in compliance.
You’ll also want to be sure that all of your employees are licensed as well but how you choose to employ them makes a big difference in that aspect, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
3. Hiring Your Staff
Talented stylists are in high demand, which you already know because you are one. Finding the right people for the salon is not just about resumes; it’s about finding people that share your vision and having a loyal client base they can bring with them doesn’t hurt either. You’ll also need to hire someone to manage the reception area and bookings.
Additionally, you’ll also want to decide if you want to hire your stylists as employees or as contractors. Each has its benefits and drawbacks so do your homework and see which is best for your business.
4. Get Technical
Just like most other businesses salons have gone high tech in terms of the way they’re managed. No longer are appointments written in a ledger; today’s modern salon uses unique salon software to manage everything from inventory to your client’s preferred color and cut.
Another advantage of these types of salon specific software is that a lot of the work is done for you. Email reminders are automatically sent to clients, you can keep track of employees’ schedules, and even have payroll done in an instant. Additionally, most of these tasks don’t even require you to be in the salon. Your smartphone can help run your business for you.
5. Easily Market Your Brand
Marketing in today’s digital world is easier than ever. Through a website that it properly SEO optimized and a strong presence on social media platforms you can reach hundreds of people in your area and introduce your brand. Keep a regularly updated blog that contains information relevant to your business and be sure to engage with people when they post comments or questions.
Be active in your community as well. Take part in fundraisers for local charities, donate your services to assisted living communities, and be generous with your time. It’s not only a wonderful way to help your community but it pays off in the end.
Opening your own salon might have been your dream for a while but it’s time to make it a reality. Utilize some of these tips and with time, patience, and hard work you can find the success you’ve always wanted.