Please give careful thought to every aspect of running a business. Location, written agreements, business regulations, laws, insurance, salon operations, record keeping, policies, contracts, stylists, etc.
You want to house your salon in a location that has a population/demographic large enough to support your salon. Try to locate your salon amongst other businesses (i.e. restaurants, malls/stores, supermarkets, etc.). Clients love being able to take care of many of their errands with one stop. Unless you have a huge advertising budget, you want your salon in a high-traffic area. Keep in mind that you have a target demographic/market and that area should reflect that. Most importantly, if at all possible, consider a high-traffic area that can also be accessed via public transportation.
Study the size, income and spending habits of the people who reside in or frequent the neighborhood. Are they the customers you’re looking for? Visit other business owners in the neighborhood to see what they think of the area. They will undoubtedly share with you how business has been for them. Do not put your salon in an area that your customers do not frequent or customers who cannot or will not pay the price of your services.
Salon should be seen by all who pass by. I advise you to get an eye-catching sign to attract the attention of anyone passing by. Keep the area in front of your salon, clean, clear of debris and when possible, decorate it in an inviting manner. Nothing should block the entrance of your salon or your business signage.
You want to have adequate parking to accommodate your clients. There is nothing worse than customers not having simple and convenient parking when patronizing your salon. Convenience of parking should be a top priority when choosing a salon location. If you keep late hours, the parking area should be well lit for security. Public transportation comes in handy once again for clients who do not drive and when bad weather discourages driving. On a personal note, if your share parking with an adjacent building, please establish assigned parking spots to keep the peace. There is nothing worse than a disgruntled neighbor who constantly rants and raves about the parking lot and lack of available parking for their or your client. Trust me on this! I have lived this nightmare for 2 years now.
Avoid placing your salon next to other salons that provide the same types of services or service the same demographic. Place your salon in a location where you are the only salon of your type. If you are a natural hair care salon, you are safe opening up near a salon that services customers with chemically-treated hair. Both salons should make money because they service different clienteles. For salons in the area that service similar clientele, THAN DO SOMETHING TO SET YOURSELF APART FROM YOUR COMPETITION! In my case, I offer a healthier braid technique then my direct competition. While our prices are not the same, I can guarantee minimal to no hair loss…..THEY CAN’T DO THAT!
This is a matter that angers my heart. This is something I had to learn the hard, costly way. If you are moving into salon space that requires some renovation/alteration/repair, to prevent the argument of who should pay for what….GET IT IN WRITING! Again, I did not do this and the slum lord I lease from, stuck me with the high cost of renovation. I was not prepared financially for this costly expense, but I did not cover myself by having the building owner put his responsibilities in writing. I did not have a leg to stand on and it cost me four times my move-in budget to get this space salon-ready. Till this day, the building has no heat, but I refuse to install a heating system for this owner, and we have made due with very pricy heaters that keep our clients VERY WARM AND COZY. Cover yourself…..GET IT IN WRITING!
Every successful business needs their plans for success outlined. You have to be able to finance your dreams. Provide
the blueprint for future growth. Describe your business, the services you will provide, number of employees/contractors, salary/commission, price structure, equipment, supplies, repairs, advertising, profit and loss, taxes, insurance, etc. EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND HOW IT WILL GROW INTO THE FUTURE! If you have no idea how to devise a business plan (I didn’t) then consult a professional. Word to the wise, make sure you have enough money to open the doors to your salon. Clientele takes time to build, you want to make sure your doors stay open while your clientele grows. I started with a dream, I didn’t have a business plan to follow. Trust me, if I could do it over…..I WOULD NOT HAVE OPENED THE DOORS WITHOUT ONE!
Whatever you need…..GET IT! Local/City regulations usually cover your building zoning and regulations (local business codes).Federal law addresses Social Security, unemployment compensation or insurance, cosmetics & luxury tax payments, OSHA requirements. State laws cover sales tax, licenses, and employee compensation. Income tax laws are covered by both the state and federal government. Insurance covers malpractice, liability, fire, burglary, theft, and business interruptions. Make sure you are covered for anything and everything! In operating a salon in Savannah I will say that I HAVE LICENSES FROM THE FEDERAL, STATE, and CITY/LOCAL LEVELS AND TRUST THEY ALL HAVE THEIR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS! You HAVE TO PAY EVERYONE TO OPERATE A BUSINESS.