keys to opening a hair salon and becoming a business owner

Keys To Opening a Hair Salon and Becoming a Business Owner

You Got The Keys

If you have always been a master of hair design and dream of having your own business, you may consider opening your own hair salon. There are a lot of elements to make this happen but don’t fret, Private Label Extensions has compiled the steps to success. Take a look at our guide to get you started down the path of prosperity.

Business Plan

No business can function adequately without a business plan. You need a reliable roadmap that will guide your business to success. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out. There is no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs. If you need a little help getting started, you can always research online or visit your local small business association for assistance.

Type of Business

Determine whether you want the legal structure of your business to be a sole proprietorship, partnership, a limited liability corporation (LLC), or a corporation. You can apply for your legal structure, LLCs and corporations must go to the website of the IRS to apply for a federal tax identification number for tax purposes.

Accounting Plan

Whether you decide to hire an accountant or you will handle the accounting duties, having an accounting plan in place is going to be an essential element of your hair salon’s success. If you decide to handle the numbers, there are several accounting tools to help keep your figures such as QuickBooks.


You cannot operate a salon without a business license. If you fail to do so, the consequences may be fine, and in some states, you will lose your cosmetology license so take the necessary steps to avoid the hassle. Obtaining a business license can be done through your state’s cosmetology board. The requirements of your licensing agency depend on which state you live in and which types of licenses they provide.


Insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses. Employees, clientele, and space need coverage in case the unexpected occurs such as damage, theft or a fire. As the saying goes, it is Better to be safe than sorry. Your stylists will need to have the proper licensing to do hair, nails or whatever services your salon intends to provide.

Funding and Cost

Whether you’re borrowing money through a bank loan or have an investor, you need to figure out how much money you need to get started, and where it will be coming from. Consider your budget and be sure not to go too far over your limit. Consider the cost of the following:
  • Equipment such as hair dryers and basins
  • Chairs/stations
  • Hair styling tools such as flat and curling irons
  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Towels and drapes
  • Supply trolleys for holding rollers and rods
  • Nail and body products

Hiring Staff

As discussed in a previous post, hiring the right staff members is key to the success and longevity of your salon. Take the time to recruit employees who match your brand and are committed to the salon. Your staff needs to display superb customer service at all times.


A significant part of choosing the salon location is to make sure it is located centrally for easy access. The ideal spot will be where there is lots of foot traffic, and there’s plenty of room for parking. Before you start picking out furniture and lighting, make sure that your décor and layout matches the kind of clientele you want to attract. Do your research to know the demographics, the local competitors, and think about how your customers will get to your salon. You want to learn everything possible so you can choose the perfect area before you select a place. If your clientele is younger, you may want to go with a fun and energetic look that is accompanied by new school music. If your clientele is older, you may want to consider a more classic look with old school or jazz music. The point is that you want the vibe of your salon to fit the intended client base.


First, you need a great website. If you have the money, hire a professional to create your website, or if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of DIY website platforms out there such as Squarespace and WordPress. Your site should be attractive, easy to navigate, and ideally include helpful information for your customers, such as hours, location, contact info, and pricing. Setting up an online booking system is also a good thing. Your website information should be available on all of your social media handles such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The key to gaining more followers which will eventually turn into clientele is to post captivating content consistently. Don’t forget about one of the oldest tricks in the book: word of mouth. Create a brand that will make people talk about your salon and lead clients to your shop. You can also think of creative ways to market your brand with ideas such as hosting an event like a ribbon cutting, spa day or a party to attract more customers. You want to get the word out about your salon!


Most salons sell and promote a hair product line. You may or may not make a lot of money from the sales. Be mindful when selecting the type of products. Make sure they match your clientele and their needs.

Bottom Line

It takes a ton of sleepless nights and dedication to open a hair salon. All of the blood, sweat, and tears will be worthwhile once you open the doors and walk into your own business. Take the time to thoroughly research the “ins and outs” of starting your own business. Think about ways to stand out and tackle your competitors. A solid plan will lead you to a not only a successful business but also one that will withstand the test of time. This guide will help you along your way.
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