3 Things to Consider When Opening a Salon

It wasn’t that long ago that I was living and working in the Bay Area in California in the realm of the fast-paced high tech arena.  At that time I had been doing the same thing for over ten years.  By that time I was ready for a change, perhaps a drastic one at that.  I was offered an opportunity to open my own salon about five years ago in Florida.

With my family being in the salon industry in Florida for over ten years, I considered it for a while and decided maybe it was time for a change.  With the help of my family, I was fortunate to have had their help to succeed.  However, if you don’t have that support system and are looking to open your own salon, here are three things to consider.

Firstly, are you a salon professional? Have you been exposed to the industry? If you’re not, like myself when I got into the business, it may be best if you got your license in the profession that interests you and work for a salon for a little while rather than jumping into it blind. If you know someone that owns a salon perhaps you could shadow that person in their salon to see the inner-workings of the day-to-day. Most of the acquaintances I know have been either working in their profession for a period of time and made the transition from employee to employer. It may be best to get a taste of what goes on daily to see if it’s for you.

Secondly, are you going to be an employee as well as employer? For those that have licenses in their profession, it may be something to consider. If you’re just starting out, working as one of your own salon as opposed to just running the salon may be an excellent opportunity to cut down some payroll costs. However, there are trade-offs. If you’re going to work as an employee, you may need to consider hiring someone for the front desk.  Customer service is paramount, more-so in this industry than most, and if you’re working on a customer and the front desk is empty, your customer service may be deemed lacking. Having customers wait at the front desk can be the difference between keeping that customer or losing them to your competitor down the street.

And finally, if you already have a salon and considering opening your second salon, time is of big consideration. Having helped my family running between their salons, it obviously doesn’t give you much time to spend at any one particular place. There is a lot to be said about building a report with your customers. We are a creature of habit and with this industry, where customers need to come back every few weeks for a haircut of to get their nails filled, seeing a face they recognize and are comfortable with goes a long way to keeping that customer.

While there are plenty of considerations, these three things are a good starting place and top my list to get you thinking about what you may be getting into. Once you have gone through this thought process, it is time to move on to other and bigger considerations.  Stay tuned.