6 Crucial Factors To Consider Before Opening a Salon

Luxury salon
While salon businesses are among those affected the most throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, they have shown signs of bouncing back throughout 2021. At the same time, there is a wide availability of great locations at a discount, and so if you are planning to open a salon business (or re-open your existing brand), there has never been a better time than this start of 2022.

However, while a salon business can definitely be a lucrative business opportunity, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically achieve success as soon as you’ve opened one. You’ll still need careful planning and thorough execution of your business plan, so you can attract your ideal clients, beat your competitors, and grow your business.

Below, we will discuss 6 of the most important factors to consider before opening a salon business.

1. Decide On The Type of Salon To Open

Before anything else, decide on the type of salon you’d like to open and the services you are going to offer. You can either be a specialist and focus on just one type of service (i.e. hairdressing) or offer everything in a single place.

Here are some of the most popular services offered by a salon business:

  • Hairdressing and styling (hair coloring, cutting, etc.)
  • Manicure and pedicure (nail treatment)
  • Skincare treatments (including facial)
  • Tanning salon
  • Waxing/hair removal
  • Massages and spa

Depending on the experience/expertise level of your beauticians/therapists and your location/decor, you may also decide to offer different pricing ranges:

  • Luxury salon: all-in-one beauty salon services designed for premium clients, you’ll need a premium location, decor, and high-quality supplies/services
  • Premium salon: Higher-end supplies, technologies, and therapists, typically offer a wide variety of services 
  • Beauty salon: middle-range prices, you employ at least one professionals and you may offer additional services besides basic hair-styling services
  • Beauty parlor: smaller salons that offer only basic services and typically you’ll only use more affordable products and supplies.

2. Choose Your Ideal Location

For a salon as a brick-and-mortar business, choosing the right location is extremely important. On the other hand, it’s no secret that a property in a premium location will be more expensive.

In choosing an ideal location for your salon business, you should consider the following:

  • Parking space availability and whether the location is accessible via public transportation.

  • Whether prospective clients can easily distinguish your salon from other shops in the area. Obviously, decor and things like signage design will also play a part in this.

  • Whether there’s enough space for the services you are going to provide. A 500 sqft salon is ideal for three hair salon chairs.

  • Plan for scalability. For example, check whether there are other properties nearby you can rent to expand the salon when the time is right.

3. Compliance With Local Regulations

Different locations (i.e. different states) may have different legal requirements before you can open your salon business. Also, depending on the types of services you are offering, the regulations may also vary. For instance, if you offer facial and skin care services, you may need to possess more permits and licenses compared to if you are strictly offering hair services.

Check with the local trade associations in your area and make sure you can stay compliant with applicable state and federal regulations in your area. However, at the very least you may be required to possess:

  • Salon license
  • Building permit
  • Relevant insurance
  • Cosmetology licenses depending on the services you are offering

4. Market Research and Competitive Analysis

To plan a comprehensive marketing strategy, you should first perform a thorough market research and competitive analysis to:

  • Determine who your target clients are 
  • Check the direct and indirect competitions in your area 
  • Make adjustments to your salon concept/design based on your target clients and your competitors 
  • How much money will you need to start the salon business

5. Establish Your Online Presence

In this digital age, you won’t be successful without a strong online presence, and you’ll need to focus on these four areas:

I. Professional website

With platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and even the handy WordPress, there’s simply no excuse not to have a professionally-designed and functional website. The website will often be the first impression of your business to potential clients, so make sure it has intuitive navigation, is mobile-friendly, loads fast, and contains all the information your clients will need.

II. Online reservation

Clients nowadays simply expect 24/7 online reservations, and proper scheduling and booking software for salons can help in facilitating this by offering easy integrations of online appointment functions to your website.

III. Local SEO

Your prospective clients will use queries like “salon near me” or “salon in (city name)” when they are looking for a salon. So if your salon doesn’t show up on the results of these queries, you’re going to miss out on potential clients.

Google now prioritizes results from Google Maps for these kinds of queries and will put Google Map results above organic results. So, it’s crucial for salon businesses to make sure the business is visible on Google Maps, and in short, we’ll need to perform local SEO by:

  • Claiming and verifying your listing on Google My Business
  • Optimizing our Google My Business listing, focus on providing complete and accurate information for your target clients 
  • Encouraging your existing clients to leave positive reviews on your Google Maps listing, as well as on relevant third-party sites
  • Building local citations by listing your salon business on relevant online directories

IV. Social Media

It would only make sense to promote your salon on social media where your target clients are. The question is, how?

V. Understanding of your target audience

Creativity and understanding of your target audience are the secrets to success. An effective way is to partner with relevant influencers in your area so they can help promote your salon business to their followers.

VI. Careful Pricing Strategy

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a salon business is figuring out how much to charge for your services. Charge too much, and prospective clients may run afraid, charge too little and it may hurt your salon’s profitability.

The common approach is to analyze how much your competitors price their services and price yours accordingly. However, you should also consider your staff’s level of training, location, decor, and quality of services you provide.

Remember that charging cheaper isn’t always better. It’s okay to charge more than your competitors if you do offer more value than them.

Wrapping Up

Running and especially marketing a salon business isn’t easy, but taking the six things we have discussed above into consideration before starting your salon business can significantly help in catapulting your salon’s chance to succeed.

Above all, the secret to growing your salon business is to consistently deliver high-quality services and improve your clients’ overall experience.