I’d love to open a beauty salon – what do I need to know?
Many people dream of opening a beauty salon. It’s easy to see why; it offers a rewarding career in an exciting – and booming – industry. The global spa and beauty salon market is expected to grow from around $128 billion in 2017 to over $190* billion by 2024.
But the dream isn’t just about making money. Beauty salon owners tend to be driven by a desire to help people and be of service. They recognize that women enjoy beauty treatments for a wide range of reasons.
Beauty treatments that empower women
Perfectly manicured nails, lashes and brows can give women a huge confidence boost. Visiting a salon for a massage or facial is also a way for a busy, stressed woman to relax and have some time to herself. And, it’s a social experience; many beauty salon customers welcome the opportunity to talk to other women in a friendly, supportive environment.
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, ambition and people skills to open a nail and beauty salon there are lots of practicalities to consider. Even though it’s a booming and largely recession-proof market, running a business is challenging. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before you jump in.
1. Should I ‘go-it-alone’ or invest in a beauty salon franchise?
This is a key decision. Many people find the idea of opening a beauty salon completely alone so daunting that it stops them pursuing their dream. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Franchising means you’ll still be your own boss, with all the financial rewards and personal satisfaction that brings. But, you don’t have to figure it all out for yourself. Instead, you’ll benefit from the expertise of an experienced franchisor brand.
If you don’t want to make costly mistakes by going-it-alone, investing in a franchise with a reputable brand gives you all the tools, support and guidance you need. By choosing an established and recognizable brand, you can also have the reassurance of an instant clientele from day one, irrespective of your location. Franchising with N.Bar is a safer way to accomplish your business ownership dream.
2. Do I need to write a business plan?
If you’re opening a beauty salon on your own, you’ll definitely need a detailed and structured business plan to present to lenders. It will also be useful to refer back to throughout the development phase of your business. If you choose the franchise route, your franchisor should support you with everything from salon location and design to service procedures and recruitment.
You’ll also benefit from the franchisor’s research, experience, supplier networks and brand reputation. Your franchisor should also ensure you have all the necessary permits and licenses. And, they’ll be able to advise you early in the process if your business plan is risky or simply not viable.
3. How can my nail and beauty salon stand out from the competition?
This is an important question. The beauty business is highly competitive and you’ll need to decide what services you will provide. They will probably include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Manicures and Pedicures
- Acrylic and gel nail extensions
- Nail art
- Shellac, gel and standard nail polish
- Foot spa treatments
- Cuticle oil treatment
- Hand massage
- Nail extension repair and take off
- Lashes and brows
- Facials and massages
You’ll also need to ensure you have the processes, procedures and training in place to ensure that every member of your team delivers an excellent standard of customer care. No matter how much you spend on salon design or purchasing the best products, if the service doesn’t meet customers’ expectations, they won’t return.
If you’re part of a reputable franchisor family, a lot of this work is done for you. Your franchisors will have the technology systems and business training to teach you everything you need to know about running a business. Even once your salon is open, they will still be there to support you and add value with ongoing training in new products and services, professional marketing and social media campaigns, and general business advice.
4. How do I find the right location for opening my beauty salon?
There are lots of factors to consider here but the key ingredient is visibility. If you’re opening a high-end beauty salon, you might be challenged trying to balance luxuriousness with convenience. While it’s important to attract your target customer, you also want to be noticeable to people on the street.
You could start by thinking about the restaurants or shops that are popular with your target customer and choose a location nearby to benefit from spontaneous purchases. Again, a franchisor can help you with this decision. They’ll already have done extensive research into what makes a good beauty salon location and they can also offer support with property leases, building improvements, interior design and equipment.
5. What’s the best way to market my beauty business?
Start by thinking about your ideal customer. It’s likely that she’s someone who cares about her appearance and wellbeing, appreciates style and has disposable income. Nail and beauty salons tend to attract customers of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and income brackets. However, some brands, products and services can appeal to specific niches. For example, bright, colorful, innovative designs and nail gems might appeal more to a younger clientele.
You can use a variety of marketing techniques to promote your salon. Distributing flyers in places frequented by your target customer, such as shopping malls, boutiques, restaurants and gyms will help with awareness. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, particularly visual platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, where you can showcase examples of your work and highlight any special guests. Don’t forget to ask for customer testimonials for your website; people now rely on reviews more than ever and having five-star ratings really makes a difference.
If you choose to invest in a franchise, your franchisor will have a professional marketing plan in place; including a grand opening to create a buzz around your business. They’ll also be there to help you adapt as your business grows or the market evolves. The beauty sector is highly dynamic and new trends can emerge practically overnight; you should choose a franchisor that has a network of innovative product suppliers and is continuously investing in the latest technology and best marketing practices.
6. What other expenses do I need to think about?
When opening a beauty salon, you’ll need specific furniture and equipment for the different services your offer. For example, professional chairs for pedicures and display casings to show your products. As an example, here’s a basic list of the things you’re likely to need for a nail bar:
- Nail scissors
- Buffers, blocks and files
- Cuticle clippers
- UV and LED lamps
- Nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Paper towels
- Hand soap
- Complex tools for acrylic and gel overlays.
In a Covid-19 world, making customers feel safe is essential. All the evidence supports the view that exceptional hygiene is now front of mind when customers are choosing beauty and personal care treatments.
If you’re looking to make your beauty salon business dream come true, don’t let a lack of business management experience hold you back. Opening a franchise with a supportive, expert partner could be the perfect option for you. If you’re determined and hard working find out more about an N.Bar franchise.
Together, we can support and empower women with premium beauty and wellbeing experiences.