Everything You Need to Know Before Starting a Hair and Beauty Salon

Written by Conal Yarwood-Frost

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Hair and beauty is a serious business and some people dedicate their lives to the pursuit of aesthetic perfection. These crimped and clipped creators sometimes even take the next step and begin the process of starting a beauty salon business of their own. 

Some of these starry-eyed beautified buffs will be old hands at the beauty business while some will have nursed dreams of owning a salon without being a hairstylist. In either case, both will need a strong, thought-out business plan. 

This blog will lay out the basics of what needs to be done when starting a business and will describe what’s needed in an “opening a beauty salon” checklist. 

Build a business plan 

Beauty, as they say, is pain and there are few things more painful than a poorly planned new business opening. There are a hundred and one different things that can go wrong when opening up a hair salon business. The best way to mitigate potential disasters is to plan for as many outcomes as you can. This is where your business plan comes in. 

Your business plan is an essential part of starting your salon and will be a guiding force as you build the business. Generally, your business plan will include your business concept, a business and marketing strategy, and more. 

If you’re new to entrepreneurship and writing a business plan is a complete unknown, don't worry, they’re easier to write than you may think. It’s best to break it down into simple steps that you can tackle one at a time. Here’s some examples of questions you should be asking yourself when writing your business plan: 

  • Salon opening costs - How much will it actually cost to open your salon? This cost will vary from business to business and will depend on a number of different factors. Think about physical location, the size of your unit, how much it will cost to outfit it, and your initial stock buy.
  • Your future salary - How much will you make as a salon owner? After you have a general idea of salon start up costs, factor in your projected overheads and markups. This will give you a general idea of your profits and how much you’ll be able to pay yourself. 
  • Target market - Who is the intended crowd for your salon? There are several different niches you can occupy and it’s important to work out who you’ll market your business to. 
  • Your profits - How much will your salon make? You will need to consider inventory costs, your prices, staff salaries, and your projected profits. It may help to find examples online and base your financial projections around that. 

Once you have a fully fleshed-out business plan, you’re in a good position to start your salon. Make an appointment with your bank and share your business plan with them. If they approve it, they’ll help you set up a business account and ensure you secure the correct business licence. 

Many governments also offer small business loans and funding to help entrepreneurs get their foot on the ladder. Make an appointment with a financial adviser and see if you’re eligible for extra funding.

With a dedicated EPOS solution for salons, Epos Now technology has the perfect hardware and software options to suit your needs:

  • Choose from mobile and fixed terminals, build a site-wide printer network, and benefit from a co-ordinated hardware system
  • Select your favoured apps from the hundreds available to create a bespoke set up for marketing, accounting, booking, management and much, much more
  • Control your business with ease using simple staff management, speedy inventory control, streamlined pricing structures on flexible software

Software     Hardware

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How to build a profitable salon

A good business plan will set you up for success but it’s important to consider how you’ll make your business profitable.  Before you break ground on your salon, read these tips on how you can ensure many happy years with a hairdryer in hand. 


Perhaps the biggest initial challenge your salon will be attracting new clients over from their current. People can be very attached to their hairstylist and if you’re not reaching them with your marketing, they’ll never switch over. 

As you’ll most likely be starting with a single salon, the best marketing options available to you will be word of mouth and social media. Word of mouth is pretty simple. If you offer an exceptional customer service experience, your clients will spread the word and your reputation will grow. 

Social media marketing, while a more involved process, can be a very powerful tool in getting your business out there. Think about the content you consume from hair and beauty creators, what do you like about it and could you create your own version of it? Research social media advertising and tailor your content to be more effective. 

Social media allows you to reach your customers while they scroll through their profiles. Some platforms allow you to specify to whom your ads are served. This means that you can target social media users in your area. 


Successful hair salons tend to come fully equipped. The more equipment they have, the more services they can offer, and the more customers they can attract. Of course, good tools are expensive and this can eat into your profits. 

Your goal should be to source quality equipment that doesn’t break the bank. This may mean seeing if you can get your stylist chairs second-hand and sourcing your mirrors from furniture wholesalers. Instead of an albatross around your neck, try to see these budgetary limitations as an opportunity to introduce idiosyncratic charm into your salon.

Some well-known hair care companies such as Kao and L’Oreal partner with salons to use and sell their products. This means you can have your scissors, brushes, and various products provided to you. You will have to sign a contract before you enter into a deal like this so make sure the terms are fair. 

Boost your profits with superior POS 

A superior electronic point of sale (EPOS or POS) system is vital for the smooth running of a new business. The Epos Now Barber Shop solution is built with hair and beauty stylists in mind and features the following benefits: 

  • Online booking that makes it simple for your customers to book their appointments
  • Staff profiles that let them manage their clients
  • Loyalty schemes that reward your customers for repeat business

If you’d like to learn more about how Epos Now can help your salon, get in touch with our team below.

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