One of my close friends in the business is currently starting a new salon shop and looking for a space. When a hair stylist decides to make the leap and become a small business owner there's some very important steps to cover to make the process as smooth as possible. It's easy to get overwhelmed when taking on such a big responsibility, but we're hear to map out the process and give you some tips to make your dreams of opening up a salon, become a reality.
1. Size and Staff
The first thing to consider when crafting your business plan, is to decide how big of a space you'll want to take on. Are you looking for a small studio to support just you and your clients, or do you want to manage a larger business with multiple stylists. The size of your salon will determine what utilities will be needed in your new space.
2. Retail Space
Once you've decided on how many chairs you will have, you can start looking for retail space. Renting retail works differently than renting an apartment. Often you are required to put up multiple months of rent if you have no income yet to show from your business. A landlord is looking for a guarantee that even if you don't make money with your new business, they will.
Even if you don't have business income to show, don't let that discourage you from finding the right space. You can use a guarantor or figure out a negotiation with the landlord that will work for both parties.
One last very important thing to keep in mind when searching for a salon space is to make sure that the building can support your electricity and water usage. I once worked in a salon space that we ended up having to move out of because we were blowing fuses and running out of water left and right.
3. Buying Equipment
Once you've determined the size of your staff, you'll want to first start with the shampoo bowls. I think a good rule is to have 1 shampoo bowl for every 2-3 stylists. Obviously you'll need a station for every stylist, and then you'll need to determine things like the front desk, changing and break room areas.
It's important to have high-end looking space, but don't go too crazy when first outfitting your salon. It's very easy to overspend, and you're better off buying only the essentials, and then splurging on the extras as your business brings in revenue.
4. Staging Your Salon
Now that you have all of your necessary salon equipment, the fun can begin. How you paint and decorate your space is going speak volumes about your business. Whatever your personal style is, there's a few important things to take into consideration.
Paint: Choosing the right paint color for your salon walls is extremely important. It's amazing how much hair color can change when it's against certain colors. For example, clients often complain of having red tones in their hair, so the last color you want to put on your walls is something warm to accentuate that. Cooler colors tend to work better in salon settings.
Light: Be it natural or synthetic, we all now how important it is to have proper lighting when working. Yes, sometimes mood lighting can be sexier, but there's nothing sexy about a haircut that's been botched because the stylists was working with minimal light.