How to Open a Beauty Salon Business

Have you thought about opening a beauty salon business? In the UK the health and beauty sector is a billion pound industry. No small wonder then that some beauty therapists aspire to opening their own salon. The question here is, how would you go about it?

There is an old adage in business: Stick to what you know. This makes opening a beauty salon the perfect business for fully qualified beauty therapists. Of course if you don’t plan to personally deliver services your background is less important but in that case it would make sense to explore a joint venture to build the credibility of the business. And for anyone wondering whether this is a suitable business to start during a recession, worry no more.  The beauty business appears to weather economic downturns well. It seems beauty products and services are an affordable treat people will buy no matter what the wider economy is doing.

When it comes to the financial side of things you should budget on at least £50k for set up costs to cover fitting-out premises, treatments, equipment and securing staff.  It’s also possible to buy an existing business but this will cost you more.  If you have ambitions to set up a spa with more extensive treatments costs can easily reach £150,000-£250,000. But it can be a good thing to start small because smaller salons with a more personal approach tend to retain more customers.  And starting smaller will help to build your confidence. You may also be able to find second hand equipment to allow you to spend more capital on finding the best location you can. Footfall and parking are just two considerations.

When it comes to equipment there’s nothing like researching what your competition uses. You can also join trade organisations and visit trade shows to help you find equipment and treatments and keep on top of new developments. You will also need to think about branding. This isn’t just about the shop front and fittings but will also include uniforms. For example, Alsicare offers beauty tunics in a wide range of colours that can be branded with names or your logo. Looking stylish and professional will give customers confidence in your service. It will also help support premium pricing.

When it comes to the financial side it you need to know what margins you can expect and how many clients a week you need to make the business profitable. On average a small salon should be operating at a 65% margin and have 115-135 customers a week. All this sounds fine on paper but it’s essential you devote time to working out how you will bring customers into your salon. Marketing is important and you might want to consider having a formal launch where you can invite the press. A website can be useful. Include testimonials and tips to help build trust.