Opening your own salon is the most crucial decision in a beauty professional’s life. We are here to help you with basics of setting up shop, before you don the entrepreneur’s hat.
“It’s five years,” you recount, as you chop your client’s hair or glide the make-up brush with effortless ease. A dream looms in your eyes – that of owning a plush salon someday. But before you put in your papers and chase your ambition, make sure you have a plan in place. Take heart, as we get established salon owners to spill the beans.
Make a difference
“There will be salons dotting every street in the city. Do a thorough research on what they offer. Next, figure out what will make your salon different from others. Design an approach that will help your salon sustain in the long run,” shares Shruti Ghadi-Pevekar, owner, Oranze Owwsm. Shruti strongly believes that no matter how big or small your salon is, a satisfied customer will always bring in more clients.
Chart out a budget
Your operational expenses will comprise rentals, interior design, salaries, supplies, licensing and more. You will need funds to keep you afloat till the salon is up and running, and a stable bank balance to back you up. Calculate your monthly expenses and ensure your initial earnings sustain your business till you break even. You may also consider taking a loan from a bank.
Build a team
Your staff should be a good mix of experienced hands and freshers. “Keep in touch with hair and beauty academies to source trained staff by providing them with advanced courses as that will add on to in their qualification,” advises Shirin Merchant, owner, Kut N Make Salon. It’s crucial to negotiate salaries of your experienced staff. While your staff is bound to leave for higher salaries, you can always design a strategy. “I keep upgrading myself with regular training, and in turn organise training for my staff. My employees sign a bond period and in return, I promise to share my knowledge,” says Shruti.
Keep aside a small budget for advertising. Use a combination of attractive packages and social media networking to increase footfall. “I keep uploading my work, before/ after shots, shoot stories, testimonials on my Instagram wall. Use your hashtags smartly to grow your organic presence,” suggests Shruti.
Choosing the right location
Busy streets, residential complexes and malls and office areas are perfect to get a good footfall. Do a thorough study of the income groups in the selected area, to get a fair idea of how much the client would spend on your services. Says Tejal Shah, owner, Little Beyond Hair Salon, “My salon is located in a quieter locality. Initially, I was really anxious because it isn’t right on the road. But over time, I realised that my clients like the peace and relaxation that the place has to offer.”
A mid-sized salon can have two or four work stations and a reception-cum-retail counter. You can also have a special nook for hair spas. A clearly marked area for the beauty section is imperative. The space can include a mani-pedi corner with a nail bar and separate rooms for waxing and facial treatments. Depending on your budget, spruce up the interiors with indoor plants and lighting. Create a soothing environment with scented candles and diffusers and most importantly, good music.
Tips and tricks
- Invest in on-going training for your staff.
- Install relevant software for customer data, appointments, supplies, staff salaries and retail sales.
- Even if your staff is well-trained, consult your clients personally and supervise the treatments.
- Politely offer to redo treatments in case you or your team messes up.
Make sure the rentals and salaries are cleared on time.