The hair and beauty industry is quite lucrative. In fact, it is one of the few sectors projected by economists to bounce back and grow exponentially in the post-coronavirus economy. That’s music to the ears of anyone who wants to start a business in the sector.

But, and this is a big BUT, statistics from Investopedia show that about 1 in every 5 new businesses collapses before their second anniversary. This is not to discourage you. Take it as a forewarning that as lucrative as hair businesses might be, you have an 80% chance of failure if you don’t start yours in the right way.
Now the question arises: Which is the right way? How do you ensure that your startup salon business survives the first two years and thrives after that?
Having a strong passion for hair and beauty, an unwavering desire to become self-employed, and unbeatable willpower to overcome business obstacles is a good place to start. But that won’t be enough. You need a surefire business plan, unbeatable hairstyling skills, and impeccable decision-making abilities if you are to set your salon up on a steady growth path. What else do you need to do for your startup hair salon to thrive?

1.Write an efficacious business plan

Don’t rush to open your salon because that will only increase your chances of erring, getting stranded mid-way, and eventually failing. Don’t rely on guesswork either or unverifiable research findings because that will only lead you astray. The surest way of finding your route to success is if you create it yourself in the form of a good business plan.

A business plan is a roadmap that guides you through each and every step of opening and running your hair salon. It actually gives you a way to ponder through the probable challenges and, important aspects of your business, long before you open it. Most importantly, an efficacious business plan will come in handy if you need to convince investors or partners to come on board.
What to include in your hair salon business plan:

A description of your business

Who is your target customer? What pain points does your hair salon seek to address in the target market? What are your vision and mission? What sets you apart from other hair salons? Which location(s) are you targeting? Where do you see the business in 5-10 years?
An analysis of the hair salon market
Give an analysis of how well you understand the target market. Who is your competition and what chance do you have against them? What are they doing to succeed and how can you beat them in their own game? Which part of the market have they neglected and how can you tailor your services to fill that void? A thorough competitive analysis will get you answers to all competition-related questions.

Services and product information
Which hair services will you prioritize? Do you have specific brands in mind that you can partner with for easier, more affordable access to quality hair products? Will you include a retail section in your hair salon? If yes, describe the products you intend to sell.

Organization and employee structure
Write an overview of your hair salon’s legal structure. Create a hierarchy chart to lay out the responsibilities of your key departments and their leaders. As the owner, what role do you intend to play in the hierarchy?

A marketing and sales strategy
How are you going to attract and retain customers? Which marketing methods are you going to use? How big do you think your initial marketing budget should be? If you intend to market your salon on social media, how different will your approach be from everyone else in the digital marketing space?

A financial plan
Where will you get the upfront capital? How much do you need for a start? What are your must-have salon equipment? How much can you afford to pay your stylists at first? How do you intend to manage your profits once they start trickling in?

2.Equip yourself with the right skills

Being a brilliant hairstylist doesn’t automatically qualify you as a good candidate for hair salon business manager. You need to have the training, mindset, and discipline of a business mogul for your business to survive the first two years. You must work on your people skills including communication patience, listening, good judgment, and empathy, among others. All these will help you relate better and retain both employees and the clients portal.
Business managers need the flexibility to adapt in the face of change and/or uncertainties. Are you flexible enough? You also need to sharpen your time management, finance management, inventory management, and employee management skills. You can do that by taking a salon management course or working with a reliable, experienced mentor.

3.Find the perfect location

This goes without saying: Finding the right location for your new salon is critical to its success. Which factors should you consider when choosing the perfect location for your location?

How visible would you want your hair salon to be?
Do you want it to be adjacent to a major road? That would be a perfect location if you want potential walk-in clients to spot the salon all the way from the road. The disadvantage of such a location is that it discourages high-profile clients who need a little more privacy.

Do you want it tucked away a little for extra privacy? That would be perfect if your target is the high-end market. Most high-end customers prefer appointment-only hair salons, so you won’t really need walk-in clients to spot your salon all the way from the street.

Accessibility and security:
You want your doors to be open to everyone including the old and the handicapped. You also want customers to feel safe when visiting your salon.

Other businesses in the locality:
Who are your neighbors? Do they offer services that your ideal customers might need? Businesses that complement each other have a higher probability of thriving within the same neighborhood. In your case, choose a location that has clothing stores and gyms, for example. These businesses target people who want to look good, and your job is to make people look good. Perfect for everyone!

4.Invest in an online booking system

The modern customer lives on the internet. She wants to do everything online, including
booking appointments at your salon. Successful hair salons are already using salon software
so that their clients can book their appointments online. You too should follow suit.

Salon online booking systems bring an array of benefits. For starters, a good system enables
you to automate tasks that eat into your and your employees’ time, e.g. inventory
management and after-sales marketing. In addition, it gives you access to business analytics
such as customer preferences, population demographics, spending habits, and more.
Strategizing and brand messaging becomes easier when you already know who your
customers are."


Opening a hair salon that grows successfully starts with making the right decisions from the word go. Make sure that you have planned well and made decisions that are well thought through. It will save you a whole lot of regrets and definitely set your hair salon up on a growth trajectory.

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