So you want to open a beauty center and grow it into an empire. Striking out on your own and starting a business is always a gamble, but with the right tools and preparation, you can make sure yours is a success story. Make sure you do thorough research on the market on a global and local level before venturing out. To help you out, we’ve created a list of items to consider before you set up shop.
Have a business plan
It is almost impossible to predict everything that will occur when starting a business, no matter the branch, but some things you can plan for. Creating a business plan for a beauty center will help you outline every aspect of your salon, from your mission statement to marketing strategy, to hiring staff and setting up your finances. Your salon business plan is not just a document that you create and never touch again. It is a living document that you can revise to set new goals for your company and integrate the experience gained along the way.
Do your research
The legal requirements for starting a business, such as permits and licenses, vary from state to state, so it is important that you do your research. In addition, your salon must comply with state hygiene, fire, and electrical regulations. Knowing the documentation you’ll need beforehand will save you work in the long run, providing you with a checklist of requirements for your chosen location as well as a rough idea of any contractors or consultants you may need to commission even before starting.
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Apply for a Salon Owner License from your local State Department of Cosmetology or Licensing Agency. Depending on whether you’re leasing or you’ve purchased the location for your future beauty center, you may also need to sort out a Certificate of Occupancy. Make sure you and your employees have the proper license for the hair and nail services that your salon is offering.
It is of the utmost importance that you protect your clients, but also your employees, yourself, and your business. Business insurance is one of the expenses that is sometimes overlooked when planning a business but is both crucial and legally required. Most commonly, start-ups will get general liability insurance, which will cover most of your business needs. Additionally, esthetician insurance provides financial support and coverage for incidents involving your clients, adding an extra layer of protection to your business.
Location, location, location
Depending on your needs and your budget, you will need to decide whether you wish to buy or rent. A good location can mean life or death to an up-and-coming business. Scouting the neighborhood around any location is vital – you can see the population and their potential needs, estimate the foot traffic, scope out the competition. A beautiful storefront will be worthless if the services you provide are not needed in the area or are eclipsed by already established businesses.
Hire the right people
You can have the best location, all the permits, training, and products, but you are in the service industry and, as such, your people are a prominent feature of your business. Hire like-minded, skilled individuals, starting small and expanding your team as you grow. Your workers will set the tone of your space, their skills will build your reputation, so choose carefully.
Although word of mouth is a wonderful thing and possibly the best promotion you can have, it takes a while to be recognized in this way. Marketing is your starting and permanent choice for getting the word out there that you exist and you offer a service. Here are a few suggestions on how to increase your reach:
- Build a website
- Be active on social media
- Offer a loyalty program
- Keep a blog
- Offer online booking
- Advertise locally
Unfortunately, money will not come as fast as expected and you need to think of how you distribute every single penny you earn. Keep in mind that you need to cover operating costs (rent, utilities, insurance, inventory, supplies, salaries, advertising) at all times and that profits will not come for at least a year. An additional source of income can also be selling retail products along with salon services, but as you need to buy stock up front, keeping a small supply may be the wisest choice in the beginning.
Despite the recent restrictions, beauty centers offer services that improve people’s quality of life. Opening your own beauty center is a bold endeavour, but with good customer service, and employing skilled technicians, a solid business plan and reasonable spending, it is sure to be a success.