Opening a Hair Salon: Checklist

Opening a Hair Salon: Checklist

So, you're thinking of opening up your first hair salon? Great! Let us help you out with our quick checklist to get your business started.

Opening a Hair Salon Checklist

1. Competitor Analysis and Business Plan!

Planning is key to any successful hair salon. Before any money is exchanged, any leases signed etc.; you need to be sure that you have a solid business plan that identifies your key competitors, how much money you should expect to make, and outlines your own competitive strategy.

For your local competitors, don't just consider hair salons. While other hair salons in the vicinity of yours are a threat and you need to ask yourself if you really want to open so close to another, it is worth considering other beauty businesses in the area as competitors that may branch out into hair treatments in the future. Similarly, setting up a hair salon near an already existing beauty salon will make it harder for you to expand your business into other treatments.

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What should a business plan for a hair salon include?

Your business plan should include:

I.The Executive Summary-this will completely summarise all the sections of your business plan and should be able to stand alone from the rest of the document. Try completing it while writing each section of your plan.

II.Business Overview/Company Description-this will go into depth about your intended business activities, the business structure, competitive strategy and advantages, intended customer base and more. Explain what problems your business is going to solve. In the case of your hair salon, who is your salon going to serve? Is your strategy to be the cost leader in your area? If so, how are you going to achieve that? Or are you going to offer high-end luxury treatments?

III.Market Analysis-before you open your hair salon business, you need to do some market analysis. This will include who else is operating in the area? Has a salon operated in the location you are planning to set up in before and, if so, why is it no longer operating?

IV.Operations Plan & Management-who is going to be running your salon? Who will fulfil the key responsibilities? Will it be a solo operation? Will you hire employees? Will you have partners? or will third-party hair technicians rent spaces in your salon? If you are renting spaces, what will be the technicians' financial obligations to your salon?

V. Marketing Plan-how will you promote your business? Flyers? Social Media? Paid advertising? Outline this here.

VI. Funding -Where are you getting the funding for your business? Loans? Personal savings? Private investor?

VII. Financial Projections-these projections should cover the next year along with projections for the next five years. What will be the cost of running your business for each year? How much money do you expect to make? Will you be able to pay back any business loans while paying staff on time?

VIII. Appendix-you can also include any relevant documentation to support your plan in the appendix.

Check out your competition in the area and the amount of foot traffic you should expect throughout the week.

2. Secure funding

Setting up a business is not free, as you will well know. Will you be funding the set up with a business loan or your own savings?

3. Choose & Register Your Business Name

One of the most important parts of branding your business will be the name. However, it's essential to make sure that you a) don't have the same name as another hair salon in your area b) don't have the same brand as another hair salon in the area. If you happen to find a salon with a similar name to you on the other side of the country, it's still important to make sure that your brands are completely differentiated as this may confuse customers when they search for you on Facebook or Google

When choosing your hair salon name, it is also worth considering how easy it is to spell or pronounce. If you're relying on word of mouth or memory, your clients need to be able to go to Google and quickly recall your name to find you.

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4. Premises Location

Once you have decided on opening up a hair salon, it is time to identify your ideal location. You probably already know the general area you're planning on setting up, but there is one key question you must answer. Are you going to open your hair salon in town, on the high street, on a small parade in the middle of a residential area, or in your own home?

More expensive commercial spots in the centre of town benefit from heavy foot traffic and have a higher chance of drop-in clients. Meanwhile, more out the way commercial spots on a smaller parade of shops, a mobile hairdressing business, or even a set up in your own home will require a strong social media presence and a great reputation.

5. Equipment

You should factor in the cost of equipment and insuring your equipment when you draw up the costs of setting up your hair salon.

6. Social Media Presence

What social media profiles do you need as a hair salon?

Facebook and Instagram are a good start, but also consider a Yelp profile, Tripadvisor and Salonspy as your customers will likely look to outside sources and reviews for advice.

Your Facebook and Instagram profiles should have your business name and "hair salon" or "hairdressers",, etc. to help your clients find you.

Your branding should also be strong and consistent across your profiles and posts. Make sure to post regular examples of your best work. Having one or two images might indicate that good work, or customers, are a rarity. In your business, vanity metrics are important, so keeping an up to date profile with consistent interactions is a must.

7. Qualified Hair Stylists

The success of your business largely hinges on the people you keep around you and the quality of the work they do. As a small independent hair salon, it can be hard to get started and guarantee profit. Keeping operations small at the start can minimise risk, especially if you are opening your first hair salon.

One way to meet the demand for stylists without needing to pay salaries before your business is making a steady profit is by bringing in a few freelance stylists who can rent a chair in your salon for a share of their takings.

If you are renting out chairs in your hair salon, make sure the terms are clear before you start.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RENTING A CHAIR IN SALONS ON OUR DEDICATED BLOG POST: 8 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT RENTING A CHAIR

Similarly, you might decide to bring in some teenage assistants early on to help to tidy up and doing initial hair washes for clients. If this is the case, check out our article on managing teenage workers in a hair salon to ensure that you are not breaking any employment laws that could invalidate your employers' liability insurance.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HIRING TEEN WORKINGS IN OUR DEDICATED BLOG POST: HAIRDRESSING INSURANCE TIPS -HOW TO MANAGE TEENAGE WORKERS

8. Hair Salon Insurance

For any business, a Business Insurance Policy is highly recommended to protect you against property damage, theft, liability claims and business interruption for insured losses.

While the equipment, fixtures and fittings you own will be your responsibility to insure, check who is responsible for the buildings insurance with your commercial landlord.

If you have employees working in your salon, you will likely be legally required to take out Employers' Liability. At Insync, we have extensive experience working with Salon Owners across the beauty industry and securing the right employers' liability cover for your business.

9. Products

If you are opening your first salon, you will likely want to sell the products that you most believe in to your clients. However, remember to take out products liability insurance before you do.

As a hair salon owner, you could be held liable for any personal injury caused by a product you have sold or given out as a free sample. This is why, at Insync, the public liability cover we provide as part of your salon policy will automatically come with products liability cover as standard!

If you offer homemade products like organic masks, shampoo etc., you must inform us when you take out cover. We will advise whether what you are selling can be covered and anything you need to do to protect yourself from a claim.

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Checklist for a successful hair salon

1. Competitor analysis and business plan!

2. Secure funding

3. Choose and register your business name

4. Premises and location

5.Equipment

6. Social Media Presence

7. Qualified Hair Stylists

8. Hair Salon Insurance

9. Products

Free insurance review!

Please find out more about business insurance for a hair salon with Insync from one of our qualified team by calling us on 01200 309516

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