Beauty Salon: How To Open Your Own Beauty Salon

How to open a beauty salon? The salon market may seem crowded – it’s hard to walk down the street and not meet a beauty salon or at least a hairdresser. But in fact, this is an extremely promising and developing business. In addition, a really beautiful and status business is a separate world that can bring good money – especially good if it is not one project, but several (a network of salons). In this article, we will discuss how to open your own beauty salon.

Beauty Saloon Your Business Is Only Yours

The project needs to be lived – salons that open as an “airbag” for owners or entertainment for a bored housewife eventually close or are sold. You can leave the business to professionals, but this should not exclude control and involvement in the process – otherwise, the salon will turn into a faceless something, of which there are millions.

But the first thing the future owner of the salon should do is explain to himself that salons are a small-margin business that needs to be done and that needs to be loved. And you need to start thinking through every little thing even before the opening. I will tell you what you need to think about before your salon opens its doors.

Beauty Salon Concept

The main thing you have to decide from the very beginning when opening a beauty salon is what you want to work with. The trend of the last few years is a mono-salon, that is, a salon with narrow specialization. It can be a barbershop where only men cut and shave, a small manicure studio, or a brow bar where they work exclusively with clients’ eyebrows.

First of all, decide on the structure – you will have such a mono-salon or a full-cycle beauty salon with medical services. This is where the concept comes in. Today, the situation on the market is such that it is stupid to open something that is not permeated through and through with the concept. The idea should run like a red thread through your entire business. It can change, but if it doesn’t exist, there is only one way out – to go to the economy class, open a hairdresser there with small pricing, and just plain work.

The economy class beauty salon lives by different rules. These salons, as a rule, live “here and now”, that is, they are aimed at a large flow for a one-time visit. This is a common model, but if you want to grow your business, visits don’t have to be one-time visits. There is a lot of competition in economy class today. To be successful in economy class and not close, you need to do a great job and keep the client not only by the price but also by the speed of service, provide the client with a minimum service for comfort.

And in the economy class, a common thing is the lack of service standards, sloppy toilet areas, and craftsmen with obviously little work experience. Whatever one may say, the client returns or does not return to the salon due to the emotional state that he receives in the salon. Always remember that visiting a salon, of any class and segment, for both men and women, is not only quality service. Not only!

So, if there is a desire for something bigger, an interesting project, the first step is the concept. A good concept consists of branding, marketing plan, PR strategy, visualization, segment definition, and average check (customer the business is aimed at). It is also desirable that “in case” variations be spelled out. The target audience plays a major role here. Study it as best you can. This will help you answer many questions about your project idea.

Initially, it is important to plan for growth. In most cases, only the network gives income – that is why mono-service salons have been so popular lately – this is the easiest model to scale and test on the target audience. 

You do not have to develop a concept if you decide to open a franchise salon, in this case, everything has already been thought of for you. But I will say a few words separately. The most profitable here are, again, mono projects, that is, barbers, manicure salons. Large projects are poorly protected in legal terms: there is a lot of judicial practice specifically about franchises. It is worth mentioning here the registration of copyright in the name: today there are more and more violations. Also remember that if your salon has procedures that only you do, be sure to patent the services.

Where To Open A Beauty Salon

If the site for a beauty salon is not provided for by the concept, then the first question that arises is the center or sleeping areas? And, as a rule, most entrepreneurs choose the center. However, today the map of cities is changing very much – sleeping areas are developing, new parks and squares are opening on the periphery – concentrate on them! Until now, most of the beautiful, interesting salons are located in the city center, and people have to go here – this is not only about Moscow and St. Petersburg, this happens everywhere. And it is a mistake to think that it depends on the segment and your target audience.

As mentioned above, plan growth from the very beginning – it’s easier to do it not in the center, again. Remember that the rent should be no more than 20% (23% is already critical) of the volume of business. You also need to strive for the option of paying a percentage of revenue – but for this, you need to be sustainable for the landlord. Don’t underestimate the figure of a landlord!

You need to make friends with him, make him your client, and maintain good relations with him. You must be partners and the landlord must understand that you are stable, this is extremely important in the current conditions. Unfortunately, more than one business has already suffered because he could not agree with the landlord, and it is important for you not to become the next one.

Having decided for yourself the question of where and from whom you rent a room for a beauty salon, take a critical look at its internal content. It is very important to think of a separate room for a warehouse and a separate one for decontamination, the first one should be further away, and the decontamination room should be closer to the client.

Separately think over the area for the sale of cosmetics for home care, it should be sufficient, but not excessive, and attract the attention of the client. This is not an attempt to combine the incompatible, but they need to prolong the procedure – the client must know how to maintain the beauty induced in the salon. This is respect for your client.

Another important point. When you do interior design, it is not necessary to choose designers who have worked with the salon business, you can take anyone you like, but the designer’s consultant should be a person who is engaged in professional equipment for a beauty salon. A big mistake is to buy unprofessional furniture.

“I saw a designer chair, and let’s remake it into a hairdressing salon” is not such a rare situation. But this way you will make the client’s stay with you not comfortable. A professional car wash is not just professional, and it can cost about a million rubles for a reason. It takes into account the physiological structure of a person, and only because of the wash will the client return to you.

You can save on furniture by choosing Russian suppliers. Five years ago, there were only a few manufacturers, and furniture took as much as repairs. Now there are many Russian analogs of excellent quality on the market. If before a manicure table cost 100,000 rubles, now we can buy our tables for 40,000 rubles, and sometimes they are even better than tables of foreign brands.

You Are Hiring Staff For A Beauty Salon

So, when the premises and the concept are chosen, it is important to start recruiting right away. Yes, right now, and not after the salon is fully ready to open. No need to wait for a final repair to show it to an employee. For a competent employee, it is not the external gloss that is important, but, above all, the concept, design (legislative relationships), working atmosphere, and corporate culture.

As a rule, everyone is looking for professionals who will immediately start making money, and there is a reason for this – at least a good master will bring several of his regular clients with him, and this will be your initial base. Do not hesitate and do not be afraid to outbid the masters – this is a normal practice in the market. If you do not play dirty games, there is nothing shameful in this – in the salon, the master goes through a certain stage of his professional growth, and this is normal.

Use castings during interviews, and interviews in several stages (acquaintance, professionalism check, final meeting). Remember that you need a base team that believes in you, in your concept, and not using you to “intersperse”. But the most responsible thing is to select management personnel – their instability can be detrimental to business.

Establishing Relationships With Partners Of The Beauty Salon

The beauty salon business is not done alone, and the salon business is no exception. It is important to have good partnerships with everyone your business depends on. We have already spoken about tenants above, it is also important to build trust, and partnership relations with distributors – not the kind that is simply called “buy-sell-forget”. Invite representatives of partner businesses to the events of your salon, and negotiate a system of discounts. Select distributors who provide you with support, and training, both professional and executive, as many large suppliers now do.

Beauty Salon Automation

Owners of beauty salons who come from a structural business – banks or large corporations, where everything is built and adjusted, immediately begin to think about automation. People who come from creative professions, of which there are many or former craftsmen, rarely think about automation at all. And it is very important, if not the key component. 

The beauty salon automation program provides all business reporting – costs, warehouse inventory, funnel, audience … When we sit down at a planning meeting, we look and we can understand the numbers – are these the results that we wanted to get, or do we need to reconsider? Maybe it’s a too expensive supplier, or is the brand out of the budget?

Automation of a beauty salon establishes and reflects all work with a client from and to, making it easier to understand who your client is, and what average check he leaves. It is automation that helps to build a marketing policy and a PR strategy, as it shows what sources customers come from and in what proportion, what service absorption you have, what new services to introduce, and in what volume – the maximum possible options for how you do business. 

The beauty salon automation system must be open source so that the system can be adapted specifically to your salon and take into account all the features of your project – for example, only 1C: Beauty Salon has such functionality, and this is extremely important. Beauty salon automation is a breath of fresh air for managers. Previously, painstaking, tedious, hard work took up 90% of the time of managers and took the time of working with your employee, now accounting, taxes – everything is calculated with the click of a button.

When You Can Relax And Breathe Easy

Never! But I will tell you when to expect the first results of the work – in a year, not earlier. At the concept stage, the financial model should also be calculated. Here let us assume a roll of 20-30%, but no more. Increasing revenue – in stages. It is important to let the project breathe, analyze the clients you accept, and learn how to work with them. 

Three months after the opening of a beauty salon, you need to bring a mystery shopping (mystery shopper) and evaluate how correctly the employees convey your concept. If there are any flaws, at the very beginning they are easy to fix – conduct training.

The opening of a beauty salon as a ceremony should be done no earlier than six months after the real opening – otherwise, it will turn out to be something like a holiday for girlfriends, and you will only spend money on champagne. The opening of a beauty salon is an informational occasion for your clients, and your main task is not only to make yourself known but also to bind the client to you and give him a holiday. At the event, you can make a sale of programs, present a loyalty system that you have already figured out, and also meet new customers who are most likely to be brought by customers.

And most importantly. Your beauty salon – like any business – is built on customers. But you should never think that there is such a thing as your customers – they are not yours! The client has the right to choose. No matter how trite it may sound, few people understand it. But you can make yourself loved for a long time. And how you do it depends on how thoughtfully you work with those points that we talked about.

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