Beauty services are in constant demand. People tend to spend more and more money to stay healthy and beautiful. That is why all the beauty and healthcare businesses are in trend. Among the most popular niches are hair salons. There are several reasons why:
Haircuts are in demand among both men and women, kids and adults.
There is no need to invest a lot in the beginning + the payback is pretty fast.
With proper knowledge and preparation, even a beginner can start a hair salon.
It is always possible to grow and scale a hair salon.
You can open a hair salon by yourself and from scratch. You will need a well-thought-out business plan to start. There is also a less risky option for beginners – opening a beauty salon by a franchise.
This article explains all the advantages and disadvantages of opening a hair salon. In addition, we have prepared the ultimate checklist on opening a hair salon from scratch with all the hidden rocks and expenses.
#2 Hair salon VS Beauty salon
What is the difference between a hair salon and a beauty salon? – you may ask. The difference is quite relative. The main thing is that in a hair salon, the main focus goes on hair services. Naturally, this type of salon provides only hair treatment and all that is connected to it. The beauty salons are multifunctional. These salons often offer almost all the possible services – starting from hair and nail services and finishing with cosmetology. Logically, to open a beauty salon, you will need many permits and licenses. However, when starting a hair salon, everything is less complicated.
On the other hand, many people think that hair salons are economy class mainly because this beauty salon can't offer all the spectrum of services. Well, yes and no. It depends on the conception and the initial investment. You can always start a luxury hair salon with unique hair treatment offers. Plus, remember that the process of opening a hair salon is way easier than starting a multifunctional beauty salon.
Hair salons are perfect for beginner entrepreneurs. You won't need many licenses, and it will be easy to attract customers at affordable prices. Then with an effective promo campaign, the number of customers will grow, so will your income.
Possible services to provide in a hair salon:
Haircuts and hairstyles for women, men, and kids.
All types of coloring.
Special occasions hairstyles.
Beard/mustache trimming and shaving.
It is always possible to add some extra services to attract more clients. For example, you can also provide:
Braids, dreads, and weaves.
Hair botox and nanoplasty, keratin straightening, lamination.
Haircare and treatment.
When a business goes up, you can add even more services. Then, think about rebranding as you can work as a multifunctional beauty salon.
There are several life hacks to grow:
Collaboration with a cosmetic brand.
To hire a professional SMM manager.
#3 The importance of hygiene in a hair salon
The 21-st century taught people to pay attention to hygiene and health even more than we did before. Nowadays, with the global pandemic of Covid-19 and its restrictions, hair salons have to remember the importance of hygiene.
We are sure that every hairdresser knows its importance as even without the total restrictions, a hair salon has to stay clean and safe. Today, people also pay attention to its spacing, zoning, disinfection, and equipment.
Who is responsible for hygiene in a hair salon? Actually, every employee is. It is the responsibility of everyone who is working within your hair business. There are several legal rules of keeping a beauty and hair salon clean and safe both for staff and visitors:
A hair salon premises have to be kept clean all the time.
Treatment areas like, for example, benches have to be disinfected after each client, or a clean covering has to be placed over the treatment surface.
Masters must keep all the creams and liquids in single-used containers to prevent self-contamination (no double-dipping).
When starting a hair salon, please pay attention to the state laws as they often depend on the area. Then, check the needed hygiene standards for your state and be sure you do everything right. We've mentioned the basic principles of hygiene in beauty and hair salons to show the main tendencies.
#4 How much does it cost to open a hair salon
Let's see how much it costs to open a hair salon in the USA. Of course, the price will depend on the location, premises, hair salon class, etc. We've calculated the average costs needed for opening a hair salon.
The average price of starting a hair salon from scratch is $15 000 – 20 000. However, there are always ways to save or spend even more. Hair salons aren't as difficult to open as beauty salons, but they still require attention, time, and money. Statistics show that over 60% of hairdressers who've decided to start their hair salons from scratch felt unhappy or dissatisfied initially.
Starting any business is hard, so be ready to work well, and everything will be alright.
The direct expenses of opening a hair salon are:
Its cost depends on the location and usually starts from $10/sqft to $25/sqft.
Usually they include electricity and water bills. Utilities depend on the location. Usually, hair salon owners pay to start from $50 to $300 for electricity and $30 to 150 for water.
Then hair salon equipment. It is pretty expensive as you will need all the hairdryers, coloring and styling stations, chairs, scissors and so on. Its average price is about $4000.
Cosmetics for hair
Most hair salon owners spend approximately $200 – 300 per month on professional cosmetics. Sometimes the expenses can go up to $600 per month.
The average hairdresser's salary starts from $25 000 to 50 000 per year.
Promo and advertising materials
Out-of-home and online ads are very helpful. Sometimes, you can even advertise a new hair salon online for free. Anyway, to get the best results, you'll need to spend up to a few thousand dollars on the signage, leaflets, billboards, online ads, etc. Then if you'd like to hire an SMM specialist, be ready to pay him up to $50 000 per year.
Licenses and permits
Depending on the state, you'll need different permissions to run a hair salon legally. Plus, insurance will significantly help to avoid financial troubles in case of an accident. Usually, it costs up to $150 – 1000 depending on the location and size of the premises.
Salon booking system
A sound CRM system will significantly help to attract and retain customers. It offers 24/7 online booking via a stylish, customizable widget and a personal page that works like a mini-website, many promotional tools, etc. EasyWeek salon booking software costs pretty affordable and offers seven tariff plans to suit every company.
#5 Steps for opening a hair salon
It is high time to start a hair salon after you've coped with writing a business plan and finding investments. There are several steps to follow:
Decide on the legal form of organization: LCC or sole proprietorship. The best idea is to consult a specialist so that you will analyze all the pros and cons of both options.
Rent or buy premises: it makes sense to negotiate the rental holidays with your landlord if you rent them. They often agree as later they will get a good income as well.
Renovation: almost, in any case, you will need a renovation to start working. Follow all the rules and laws of your state, paying attention to hygienic norms and fire systems.
Cope with licenses and permits: you won't need too many of them as hairstylists don't deal with injections or anything like that, but there are the essential licenses and permits to get. Consult your local authorities to see how it works in your case.
Hire a dream team: you'll need a manager and at least three hairstylists. Pay attention to their professional and communicative skills. Effective communication in a hair salon is as important as quality services.
Select a salon booking system: try EasyWeek salon software to see how well it works for your hair salon.
Launch a promo campaign before the opening.
Welcome your first clients!
#6 Hair salon clients
We've already mentioned that hair services are popular among people, but it doesn't mean that everyone can become your client. So let's go back to the planning stage and see who is your target audience.
Researching your target audience is the first step to attracting new clients.
What does influence your target audience?
Location: residential area, city center, mall, or entertainment center.
Hair salon class: economy, business or premium.
Hair salon working hours.
Online presentation: website, online maps, social networks.
Online appointment scheduling.
How to promote a new hair salon?
Create a website and register your hair salon on social networks. Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are in trend, + your target audience loves visual content, so why not? Instead of making an expensive website, you could use free options, like, for example, EasyWeek with a feature of a personal page that works like a mini-website. It is created automatically and works as a landing with 24/7 online booking, information about the team, and provided services.
A catchy name. Create a unique name following the central concept. The title will be another factor in attracting customers.
Inform locals about the opening of a new hair salon. For example, get signage and posters. And, remember that all the locals are your potential clients, so do not lose this promo opportunity.
Print leaflets, then distribute them to get even more attention.
Insert the data about your hair salons into Google Maps and start getting orders via the salon booking system!
What has to be done once after opening a hair salon?
Order leaflets, decorations, and balloons. Locals have to know that there is a new hair salon nearby.
Launch a promo campaign dedicated to the opening.
Makes sure that the team knows all the communication rules and can provide quality hair services.
Share posts and highlights on social networks.
Set up targeted ads to increase coverage.
Motivate visitors to share their beauty experiences on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.
#7 Hair salon staff
Hiring the right team is very important. Your staff is your key to success. Very often, clients go to a particular hair salon to get a service from their favorite hairstylist. So, hire him!
Polite hairdressers + quality services = success!
You can hire both experienced hairstylists and beginners. Remember that even a beginner can cope with the tasks if you trained him well. Plus, hiring beginners is a bit cheaper. However, there are also cons. Usually, inexperienced hairstylists are slower and have no client base at all. Anyway, both options are reasonable, and you have to understand what you select.
It is good to hire hairdressers of both sexes. This way you will attract more clients as some people like to be served by a particular sex.
Where to find a team?
Use recruiting websites.
Use social networks.
Attract students: + they are usually eager to work for less.
PS: When interviewing, pay attention not only to education but also to the communicative skills of the person. They are almost as important as professional ones.
Salary can be fixed, can depend on the number of hair stylist's provided services (percentage) or fixed + dependant on the master's revenue. Hiring staff officially will save you from many inspections and the team from uncertainty.
Except for hairstylists, you will also need to hire a hair salon manager. He will be responsible for all the organizational details and processes. A manager is better be a person you trust with good communication skills and nerves of steel. If you are a low-budget hair salon, it is better to work as an administrator by yourself. This way, you will skip all the problems with managing a budget to hire a professional whom you can trust.
Salon Software helps an administrator and increases hair salon revenue. Signing up a hair salon to the salon booking software, you will get handy scheduling, 24/7 online booking, widget, website, booking link to place on social networks, etc.
Employees require motivation to stay tuned and professional. Never forget to praise for wins, even for tiny successes, etc. However, if any accident happens, you have to collect fines or warn the employee. It is also essential.
Staff training plays a key role. The beauty industry requires flexibility as trends are changed every season, if not even faster. To stay tuned, the whole team has to learn new techniques and grow every day. Their skills are your earnings.
#8 Risks and prospects of a hair salon business
There are several essential moments when starting a hair salon:
Thought-out business planning.
Understanding of your weak and strong sides.
Creativity and the ability to stay trendy, using a salon booking software.
Quality services and effective communication in a hair salon.
The beauty business is a good niche to start, but it still has many advantages and disadvantages. First, let's see how to avoid common mistakes.
General risks of the hair salon business
The pandemic. Covid-19, with its restrictions, killed many businesses. It is crucial to understand all the risks and pay attention to the zoning in hair salons.
Expensive equipment. Everything costs money. That is why be ready to invest in quality. Never buy low-quality cheap equipment because if anything happens, you will pay even more. If you cannot afford the expensive stuff, consider buying second-hand equipment, but check it very well.
Strict laws. Laws vary from state to state. Usually, you will be able to cope with all the licenses and permits without any difficulties, but the process is stressful and barely depends on you.
What can happen when running a hair salon?
Accessibility changes: road repairs, subway closures, and other circumstances may affect the work of the hair salon. Plan everything to retain loyal clients and attract new ones.
Another hair salon nearby can open. Do not be shocked because it's not the worst that could happen. Research the competitor, see their services, target audience, etc. Then decide how to stand out.
Inadequate quality services = no clients. We hope it will never happen to you, but anyway it is a frequent problem. If anything happens, talk to staff and then launch a promo campaign to attract and retain clients.
We wish you luck with opening a hair salon. It is not that complicated as it seems. It just takes time and money. So be ready to work hard to succeed. And EasyWeek will help you to grow. Try our free two-week trial to see how well it works for your company!