Opening Your Very First Salon 

The salon industry has recovered. In fact, it is now growing at a steady rate and attracting many new entrepreneurs. The timing to enter the market is good, but others have a similar idea as you. Rest assured that it takes much more than a good idea and an abundance of determination to put together a flourishing storefront. It is of the utmost importance to invest thought and effort in planning and designing the salon. There are many moving parts to grasp here, so you might want to take a deep breath. Here is a guide on how to get your shop up and running.

Creating a sound plan

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Note that no business should operate without a solid business plan in place. It is your roadmap for navigating market wilderness and reaching your goals. Thus, define what your business is all about, what it promises, and how it will outmaneuver the competition. Gather all the info you can about the local business landscape as well as your potential customers. Use facts and figures as building material for the document. There are many free business plan templates that can help you flesh out your ideas.

Furthermore, there is no shortage of vital choices to make. We have high-end boutique salons with a full package of services and salons that are less traditional and offer little more than a blow-out and a line of hair products.  What you are going to do depends on who your customers are and what they need. Feel free to ask around and see how other businesses are doing. At this stage, it might also be a good idea to find a mentor, someone who knows the market like the palm of the hand.

Fuel for the long race

long race

Next, figure out how much money you will need to launch and fuel your operations. When crunching numbers, make sure to factor in all the expenditures like hiring, renting space, purchasing equipment, doing marketing, etc.  Once you have the exact figure, identify the most suitable source of financing. You can rely on a traditional bank loan, ask family for support, tap into alternative funding, etc. Just bear in mind that financial management does not stop here.

Namely, it is also necessary to keep tabs on the money flow and project future growth and revenue. Approach these tasks in a systematic and organized manner: set up an accounting and inventory program. Likewise, it pays off to have a long-term financial strategy in place, both regarding your personal and professional life. Plan retirement well ahead of time and take control of your superannuation accounts.  They can help you handle and consolidate all the different fees, investments, and insurance.

Brick and mortar meets digital

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Moving on, it is time to pick the location, an element that can really make or break a salon business. In a nutshell, it should be visible, have ample parking, and a plenty of foot traffic. Moreover, it must be close to where your target demographic lives. So, take your time to look for vacant properties and decide whether it makes more sense to lease or purchase the place. For starters, the former option is the more prudent one.

At the same time, note that these days, people like to use smartphone apps to find local businesses. So, make sure you get in front of them online. Build a digital presence, assemble online payment gateways, and fill your books. Use powerful platforms like social media to spread brand awareness, build followers, and foster their trust and loyalty. Interact with people as much as possible. One of the most common mistakes of new salon owners is not doing enough marketing or using the wrong channels for it.

Finally, remember to provide impeccable customer service. This is what really keeps people coming back and turns them into your devoted ambassadors. To ensure the nurturing care and love for customers, pay close attention to who you hire. Do it based on both personality and skill. When you enter full swing, and customers start frequenting your salon, you will be able to focus on growing your business, instead of just getting by.

Right on track

Hair salons can be rather profitable, but it is the amount of due diligence in the planning stage that determines how well your salon will do after opening. Therefore, work out a business plan and lay out financing requirements. Do your homework to get familiar with the local market, competition, and level of demand.  Find a killer location for your storefront and tailor it and your offerings to the client base. Ensure that people enjoy coming in and spending time in your salon. Make it happen: get on the fast track to success ahead of the competition.

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