Beauty School Grad: A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening Your Own Salon

After graduating from beauty school, it’s easy to feel lost. You have to make a decision about your future and what you’d like to do. For some, this means finding an open position at an established salon. Others are motivated to open their own businesses and be their own bosses. With around 77,000 beauty salons in the United States, you’ll have stiff competition if you’d like to open your own. That means it’s critical that you know how to start and run an incredible business. Do everything you can to bring in and keep clients.

Your salon’s reputation is extremely important and you’ll need to establish a great client base immediately. If you’re hoping to open your own business, here’s what you need to do.

Step One: Handle business particulars.

Before opening any business, you have to make sure all the paperwork and finances are in order. You’ll need to begin by doing research on the industry and determining how your business will stand out. Are you planning to cater to a niche audience that doesn’t have another place to go? Does your town only have chain salons, so your independently-owned business will stand out? All of this research will help you create your business plan, which you’ll then use to help gain investors and backers.

A detailed business plan will help you get your company off the ground and be prepared for whatever is to come. Figure out finances (do you have savings you’ll be using or are you relying on a business loan?) and register your business with the state and local government. Consult an accountant on tax and financial matters. All of these things need to be done before you can do anything else and don’t underestimate how much time each task will take. Once you’ve handled all the business particulars, you can move on to the really exciting steps.

Step Two: Find your space and fill it.

Now it’s time to find your business’s location. Work with a realtor to find a great spot in your neighborhood. You want to be away from the competition but still accessible to clients. You may want to consider a spot downtown that’s within walking distance of shoppers or you might prefer a location further away that has parking. Your realtor can help you find the perfect location.

Once you’ve found it, you’ll need to start purchasing supplies, including salon chairs. Keller 4 Salon offers high-quality equipment for stylists and barbers. Having the right salon furnishings will make your clients feel pampered and cared for. Plus, potential stylists will want to work there when they see the amazing equipment you’ve bought. You will have plenty to purchase in the beginning, including shampoo and dryer areas, salon chairs, mirrors, and tables, so buy the best items and set yourself up for success.


Step Three: Create goals.

You have everything you need to get started. Now it’s time to create concrete goals. Goal setting will ensure your business stays afloat and continues to grow. With OKRs, you can set ambitious goals and consistently evaluate how well you’re reaching these benchmarks. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. You set an objective or goal for the company, yourself, or a team member. Then you identify the key results that will show you’ve achieved that goal.

If you’re hoping to grow your client base, a key result might be adding five new clients to the customer relationship management system every month. Remember, even if you only bring in three new clients in the first month, you are still making progress towards your goals. Review your OKRs every month, at least, and determine how well you’re utilizing them.


Step Four: Throw a grand opening party!

You’ve done the hard work. Now it’s time to throw a party! Invite everyone in the neighborhood and offer free services. Your neighbors will love being pampered and will remember your business when they need a cut or dye.


Don’t panic after graduation. Start working towards opening your own shop and you’ll be your own boss in no time.


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