Opening and running a salon is not easy.
It is quite a complex business model.
Most salons offer a long list of different services, which makes some day-to-day tasks difficult to keep up with.
For example, inventory management and profit and loss monitoring.
Opening a salon is something you need to go into with your eyes open.
Here are some of the things you need to consider before embarking on this entrepreneurial journey!
4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Opening Your Salon
1. Is there enough demand?
Before doing anything else, ensure that there is sufficient demand.
That requires you to look at the following:
- The demographic breakdown of the people who live in the catchment area your salon will serve.
- How often that demographic has their hair cut and how much they spend on average during each visit.
You can find that type of information online. Here’s an example.
- Whether existing salons in the area are busy and at what times of the day they have the most clients.
Have your hair done in a few of the local salons.
It is amazing how much information you will glean from just a few conversations with your stylist.
2. What services do people want?
While having your hair done, locally, take note of the services that are on offer. Digital displays for salons can be very revealing. If a service appears on virtually every salon’s list, you need to offer it too.
3. Are those services profitable enough?
The services offered list will also help you determine how much you can charge.
This is important because without that information you will not be able to work out if a salon that you open in the area is likely to be profitable enough.
Bear in mind that most only make around 8.2%. That is a pretty tight margin.
The demand has to be there, and you have to understand the true cost of every service you are planning to offer. This article provides you with a process that you can follow to evaluate profitability.
4. Is the right location available?
You need to open your salon in the right location.
It has to be somewhere that is convenient.
If people need to go out of their way to get to your salon, they are highly likely to use one of your competitors instead.
There should be somewhere to park nearby or access to public transport that runs very regularly.
The area cannot be run down and if you are planning to stay open in the evenings, it needs to be in a safe part of the city or town.
Draw up a list of what you are looking for in your business premises and adhere closely to it.
Don´t be tempted by cheap rent and rates.
If you cannot find the right premises, bide your time.
Waiting for a property that meets your criteria to come up is much better than spending thousands setting up a salon that is never likely to be viable.
Defining your salon concept
Developing your salon concept before you start looking for premises is a good idea.
It will help you to choose an area where the type of people who are most likely to want to be your customers live and work.
It will also make it easier to create your branding, design your salon and choose the right décor.
You can use this article to help you to come up with some ideas of your own.
Create a proper business plan
Having a comprehensive business plan is one of the key components of success.
Without a proper plan, it is all too easy to go in the wrong direction and end up wasting a lot of money.
It should include:
- Your mission and vision statements;
- An executive summary;
- A detailed picture of who your target customers are;
- Details of who your competitors are and how they are performing;
- An outline of your financial plan.
It is also a good idea to include monthly, quarterly, and annual goals.
As well as details of how you plan to reach them.
For example, which forms of marketing you are going to use.
If you need finance to get started, having a solid business plan is even more essential.
Also, it will be easier to put this plan into action if you are using a salon management software solution right away.
Monitor your spending from day one
An awful lot of new business owners are not strict about keeping track of their costs during the set-up phase.
Often, spending spirals out of control and you end up spending money that you have not got.
It also means that you will not be able to offset all of your start-up costs against your turnover.
Leaving you paying more tax than you need to.
The above are the most important considerations, but it is also worth networking with other salon owners.
Most people are happy to speak about their entrepreneurial journeys and provide guidance to others.