How to Start a Salon? Perfect Business Plan

In 2023, a man and a woman both desire self-care and self-beauty. They are willing to spend money for a salon visit anytime when they feel low or when they want their hair done. So, if you are going to get into the salon business, you should be happy that you will be attracting both genders to your wonderful space. The estimates in 2011 show that the beauty industry counted to nearly $19.067 billion. The salons and spas are growing, and the demand is plummeting too. 

Even with moderate capital, you can start a salon business. Initially, your focus should not be on creating the perfect ambiance but to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction. If you are serving the best and using high-quality products, your business can boom within a month. 

In this post, we will discuss the salon businesses and leave the spas for the next time. A salon could be basically for any kind of beauty services such as nail care, hair care, facial care, and so on. You can provide all the services under one roof or choose a specific niche such as nail care in your venture. 

Let us get started with the valuable tips that can help you start a salon business 

Business planning in the initial stages

Opening any business could be overwhelming, and you might make a few decisions in panic and excitement. For instance, you might buy salon equipment at discounted prices from a store, but they won’t be of the desired quality. It is always advisable to buy equipment and other resources of excellent quality, even if it costs you substantially. 

So, never make any decisions without trusting anyone or without trusting your instincts. Even if someone offers you a place at a cheap rate, do not take it on the lease without sufficient discussion. When you have a salon idea, chalk it out on a piece of paper and consult experts. You can research salon experts in other areas or ask a mutual friend of yours to talk to a salon pro. In this way, you will know the tactics and patterns of starting, thriving, and growing a salon business. 

First step is to draft a business plan and mention all the essential components like your target market, location selection, interior and exterior designing expenses, all other expenses, marketing strategy and growth strategy. Perfect business plan is the first step you should follow.

Choose a perfect location

Even if you have an online presence and build an attractive website, you are supposed to provide salon services only in the offline mode. You cannot deliver them through online means. Hence, choosing a physical space for your salon is a crucial thing to decide. Now, this could be tricky because you are still not in the business. 

If you are a franchise for a particular reputed brand, you can start a salon at any location, and you can find clients swarming to your place. This is because the clients know that those hair stylists or experts of a specific brand provide the best kind of services. They will remark, “Hey, it is too far, but I won’t mind going there because they are the best.” 

But if you are completely new and trying to establish your brand identity, then you should choose a high-class location for your space. You have to admit that no client will try to find you, but will surely test your services if your salon is at an eye distance for them. They might say, “Hey, this seems good. Let me try this time.” 

Also, you should determine how much space is available to you for salon business. Does it accommodate your resources because renting another space could be too much on the pocket? 

Complete legal formalities

This is one of the basic steps in which you should take license from the governing authority. For example, The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology is the authority that takes care of licensing in California. You should know the basics of legal formalities like setting up an entity, bank account and to hire a bookkeeping service.

License required for opening a salon business

  • State Cosmetology License
  • Beautician License
  • General Business License
  • Salon Retail Seller Permit
  • Salon Operation License
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Salon Insurance

Maintain cleanliness and hygienic standards at all times

You must have noticed the astonishing ambiances of some salons and spas as if they make you feel like a queen when you enter that space. On a small budget, you might not be able to create the perfect surroundings, but you can surely maintain a high level of cleanliness and sanitation.

Customers will love it if you have clean, sparkling spaces all the time. Also, try to ensure disinfection measures as the current situation demands it. 

If a client spots an employee using the same set of towels used by the previous customer (without washing them), they will surely not return to your salon. But if they notice how hygienic the salon conditions are, they will recommend them to other friends too.

So, train your staff and orient them with the right cleanliness measures to be adopted regarding the tools, floors, spaces, linen, and others.

Moreover, there should be a lovely aroma lingering in your salon, so ensure that you use the right kind of diffusers. The clients should not feel suffocating with the scents, but they must feel pleasant and happy for the rest of the day. 

Hire the best talent force and arrange for the right kind of training

A beauty salon is not only about the tools, equipment, products, and ambiance. It is more about the services that are offered. Remember that salons fall under the category of service industry and not product industry. So, our next important tip is to hire competent, experienced, and humble staff who can take care of the services and guarantee client satisfaction. 

When a client steps in your salon, they don’t remember which product or which treatment was done; they always recollect the kind of experience it was. You can observe how people say, “The facial was amazing. I don’t remember which one, but the lady was gentle, and didn’t skip a step.” They never remember anything which does not include the services offered by your staff. 

It could be hard to find staff for your salon in the beginning because experienced candidates ask for higher compensation. And if you hire a novice, they demand rigorous training and hands-on experience. So, don’t worry. You can create attractive compensation packages for your employees and train the new ones under them. It will take couple of months for you to settle with the right and efficient staff for your organization.

Patience is the key, but retaining the staff is also crucial, so treat them well; they are the assets of your venture. 

Never compromise on the quality of beauty products and tools used

As we already mentioned, you should never try to buy things that are cheap and non-branded. Yours is a salon business, and you might use a hairdryer a hundred times a day for several clients. If you buy the cheap ones, you could be doing nothing but re-purchasing the same equipment. So, consider these purchases as your salon investment and go for the best, branded, and excellent quality ones. 

Set high standards of customer satisfaction

Generating customer satisfaction does not always depend on the staff; it depends on the employer and how you set standards for the business. When you establish a brand of your salon business, you should add customer satisfaction elements to it. 

When your customers are happy and delighted with the services, they will spread the word to others, and this will create a chain of revenue for your business. Hence, convey to your staff how they should be serving the clients and set rewards for the same. Any rude or hostile staff doesn’t deserve a place in your organization. 

Briefly, you have to think about more such things as mentioned above while setting up a salon business. You can decide the offers and packages you wish to offer to your clients, but certain things depend on the current situation and your mission as well. 


1. How do I start a salon?

The first step in starting a salon is to identify your target market, create a business plan, secure funding, acquire licenses, and find the right location. You will also need to determine the services you will offer, purchase equipment and supplies, and staff your salon.

2. What licenses do I need to start a salon?

The exact licenses required to start a salon vary by state, but typically include a cosmetology, barbering, manicuring, and/or a business license.

3. Do I need to purchase special insurance for my salon?

Yes, you should secure a business insurance policy to protect your salon from liability.

4. How do I develop a business plan for my salon?

A business plan for a salon should include an executive summary, objectives, market analysis, market segmentation, product services, pricing, distribution, advertising, and operations.

5. How can I find the right location for my salon?

When selecting a location, consider factors such as foot traffic, parking, zoning regulations, demographic profile of your target market, and competition in the area.

6. What are the services I should offer at my salon?

The services you offer at your salon should reflect the needs and preferences of your target market. Popular services include hair styling and coloring, manicures, pedicures, and waxing.

7. What kind of equipment and supplies do I need for my salon?

Essential salon equipment includes blow dryers, curling wands and irons, scissors, clippers, straight razor, steamer, shampoo stations, trolleys, and spa chairs. You will also need basic supplies such as combs, brushes, towels, and capes.

8. How can I staff my salon?

You can staff your salon with experienced professionals or hire recent graduates from cosmetology schools. Utilize online job boards and networking to find qualified candidates.

9. How can I advertise my salon?

You can advertise your salon through digital and print media, local events, and social media platforms. Focus your advertising effort on your target market by emphasizing the characteristics that differentiate your salon from competitors.

10. How do I develop a pricing structure for my salon?

Your prices should be both competitive and reflect the quality of service provided. When setting prices, consider factors such as overhead costs, industry standards, and experience of staff.