Hair Salon Business: Simple Steps to Start a Profitable salon in 2021

hair-salon-business
hair-salon-business

Hair salons have proven to be one of the places where women go to unwind, discuss, and meet new friends. In fact owners of hair salon businesses have been saving the lives of numerous women since forever.


Additionally, the industry is growing and constantly opening opportunities for entrepreneurs to step in and start running their own business.

In 2019, the hair salon industry generated a revenue of $46.5 billion according to market research by IBIS World. This just proves how lucrative the business is and how much of a good idea it is for you.

So, if you are looking for a place that carefully states the process involved in starting a hair salon business, then you’re in the right place.


This article explains the simple steps involved in a hair salon business, how to make it profitable, how to name your business, and most importantly, what you should expect to do as a new hair salon owner.

Let’s get started.

Description of a Hair Salon Business


A hair salon business is a business that offers professional hairstyling services for men and women. Many hairdressing salons are located in shopping areas or regular neighborhoods in towns and cities.

Small salons may employ few hairdressers due to their capacity, while large hair salons employ lots of hair stylists that make the place buzzing and everyone is attended to.

Some of the services rendered in a hair salon include cutting, coloring, head and scalp treatments, nails, makeup, and styling of hair.

In a typical hair salon, there’s a reception desk and a waiting area. Other higher salons require their customers to set an appointment first before visiting the salon.


They also have hairdressing stations. Usually, they’re in a row along a countertop and mirror attached to the wall.

Each station has a comfortable chair that eases the hairstyling operation, and also wheel carts that carry different hair products being used.

Starting a hair salon can be exciting, however let’s see if its really worth the time.

Requirements to Open a Hair Salon

Below are the requirements you need to start your own hair salon.

  • Salon Name
  • Bill of Sale / Lease Agreement
  • Tax IDs.
  • Administrative materials like office telephones, file cabinets, office supplies, cash registers, and credit card terminals.
  • Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Proof of Inspections.
  • Cosmetology / Salon License.
  • Business License.
  • Marketing plan
  • Salon equipment e/g lighting fixtures, plumbing, washing section, tools
  • Location
  • Furniture

Opening a Hair Salon Checklist

While preparing to start your hair salon business, it’s important to have a checklist of the things you’d need to start your hair salon, whether big or small.

Having a checklist prevents you from forgetting the most important things to set up your business. So, here is a sample checklist to try in no particular order.

  • Write a business plan
  • Hire staff
  • Register the business and name
  • Get insurance
  • Obtain local permits to operate
  • Get insurance
  • Get a location
  • Contact suppliers
  • Purchase hair salon tools for the hairdressers
  • Purchase salon furniture
  • Choose your legal entity
  • Train your new staff
  • Start marketing
  • Start booking

Hairdresser’s Tools List

Since you’re just starting out, there are some basic tools you must have. Below is a list of them

1. Combs

combs-for-hair-salon-business

Having a variety of combs will make your job easier. A comb set featuring a tail comb, a short cutting comb, a long cutting comb, and a wide cutting comb will cover all of the bases.

2. All-purpose Shear

The standard size most hairdressers use is between 5.5 inches and 6.5 inches depending on the results they want.

A 5.5-inch shear is ideal for precision cutting, while a longer shear, say, between 6 and 7 inches, is perfect for bigger jobs like large sections, compressed cutting, and deep texturizing.

3 Blending shear

blending-hear-hair-salon-business-cards

The blending shear should have convex blades and opposing grip handles so that it is reversible.

4. Sectioning clips

sectioning-clip-hair-salon-business-checklist

Clips are ideal for sectioning hair while styling, cutting or coloring. 

5. Blow dryer

blowdryer-hair-salon-business-checklist

You want something light enough that it won’t feel like you’ve been lifting weights at the end of the day, and look for those which speed up drying time, reduces damage, and leaves locks looking shiny and frizz-free.

6. Razor

hair-razor

This one is ideal for removing hair quickly while building incredible texture.

7. Paddle Brush

brush-for-hair-salon

This is ideal for flat-wrapping or volume wrapping hair before finishing.

8. Round Brush

This is ideal for executing flawless blowouts.

9. Water bottle

hair-salon-water-bottle

Get one that fits perfectly in your pocket and can be used to moist or saturate hair

10. Curling Iron

curling-iron-hair-salon-business

Have a 1 inch curling iron because it is suitable for creating a variety of looks.

11. Texture Iron

texture-iron-hair-salon-business

Also called mini crimping iron , it can be used to create large volume and texture in hair.

Hair Salon Business Cards

Another way to make your hair salon business card stand out is to have a business card. Business cards have a long role to play in your business. They help your customers remember you as well as help to advertise your business.

So, when creating a business card, ensure you have a business name and logo. Because they are two of the mot important information that should be on your card.

Additionally, add other relevant information like your contact details which include name, title (optional), telephone, address / location, and email address.

You can get a graphics designer to create one for you or even better, use any design tool available like Canva, Adobe Spark to create one for yourself. Trust me, it’s really easy to do.

Here is a sample of what a hair salon business card should look like.

hair-salon-business-cards

SEE THIS POST ON Salon Business Cards: Catchy templates and Ideas to inspire you (+ quick tools) TO UNDERSTAND BETTER.

What Will Be My Business Name?

This is the biggest and most challenging part of being a business owner. Because, your business name is what you will sell to people. If it’s not well crafted, can affect your business negatively and we all don’t want that.

So I suggest, you take your time to think about what name you want your hair salon business to have. Think of something that aligns with your business’s vision and mission, and portrays you in a good way.

Additionally, think of something that is memorable, simple, and clear. Most of the clients you will get will be referred to you through word of mouth, and if your business name isn’t memorable, you can lose clients.

So, if you don’t already have a name in mind, go to our How to Choose Business Name guide and get help coming up with that beautiful and befitting name.

How To Start a Hair Salon Business

If you want to start your hair salon from the ground, here are the steps to take. Following these guidelines will help you run a successful hair salon.

1. Get prior experience

Before running off to start your own hair salon, it’s important you have prior industry experience. It’s okay if you just attended a cosmetology school and learnt how to be a good hair stylist, but its even better if you volunteer or apply to work in another salon first.

This will help you get insights on the day-to-day running of the business, make new friends and build relationships. You can even meet people who will be willing to teach you all you need to know about starting a hair salon business.

2. Develop a Business Plan

The next thing to do is to develop a workable business plan. One that tells you how you’re going to earn money, attract customers, manage your staff, and expand when the time comes.

A few questions to ask yourself while coming up with a business plan include;

  • How much will it cost me to start up and run?
  • Who are my target audience?
  • What will be my business name?
  • How do I intend to make money?

Not to worry, there are a lot of resources that offer hair salon business plans that you can customize. And guess what, we really want to see you succeed with your hair salon business. So, you can access our wide range of business plans tailored distinctively for your business.

These plans were curated by experts in business management and you can be rest assured that they’d provide positive results.

3. Set a Budget

After you have drafted a business plan, you can go ahead and set a budget for your business. Setting up a hair salon business can be very expensive, and may vary depending on the size and location.

Many hair salon owners report investing an initial sum of $95,000 – $200,000 depending on the services offered, size, and location.

So, set a minimum and maximum amount you can put into starting your hair salon business and stick to it.

4. Get a Location

While coming up with a business plan, you’d have also come up with your target market. Target market here means the group of people in whatsoever age range or income range, who you intend to provide your services too.

After you have known your target audience, you can now get a location right in the middle of your target market. This means that, if your target market is the affluent class, then your hair salon should be located in an upscale shopping area. If you intend to work for the young class, then locate your hair salon in a lively, and trendy place.

5. Set up your store

Congratulations! You now have your hair salon. But you’re not done yet. In fact there’s more. You have to set up your store. And to do so, you need tables, chairs, mirrors, hair products, washing and drying stations, and lots more.

You can even decide to stock up on some products that your customers can use on their own. Additionally, you can contact some hair brands and have them give you permission to sell their products at your store.

The whole idea is to make sure that whatever your customers need for their hair can be gotten in your store. That way, there’s more money for you! However, be careful to not overdo it.

6. Get a Team

In as much as it’s your whole idea, you can’t run a hair salon business alone. You need to hire people with the same vision and drive as you. Many salons have more than one stylist available to attend to a large number of clients so that no one has to wait.

So, you want your hair salon business to be amongst the best? Hire a worthy team. People who are friendly, share your vision, and are ready to work wholeheartedly.

7. Come up with a good marketing plan

As soon as you have gotten a good location and have set up your store, start marketing your business. In fact, before you officially launch, you should start marketing your store in other to create suspense and buzz about your business.

You can pay for local website ads, local newspaper ads, or promote your business through its social media account. Afterwards, you can host a launch event when you are ready to open your store.

All of this is to make sure that people are aware that there’s a new store in the corner. However, to continue receiving clients, you also have to develop another marketing plan.

8. Obtain necessary permits

Depending on the location of your hair salon, you’d be required to obtain a certificate of occupancy, local, and business permits to be able to operate in that area. Check with your business attorney or your local government office for the necessary documents.

Failure to do so may attract high fines or total shut down of your business. And you would wanna avoid that since you are a startup.

9. File for Taxes

Now that you will be running a business, it becomes imperative that you pay taxes. So, register for both the federal and state taxes to avoid having issues later on.

10. Set up a business bank account

To further make you appear more professional, you can decide to open a business bank account. Opening a business bank account is necessary for personal asset protection. Additionally, it makes tax filing and accounts easier.

Similarly, you can get a business credit card. It helps you put all your business expenses in one place, and also gives your hair salon business a good credit history that can be useful for investments later on.

So, get a business bank account and credit card if you can. But, don’t do so in a rush. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Follow these steps and you’re on your way to starting your own hair salon business. Let’s go over how to make your business more profitable. Moreover, that’s the aim of every business.

Is Owning a Hair Salon Profitable?

The answer to this question is Yes. Owning a hair salon is absolutely profitable provided the salon is managed properly.

The average hair salon owner makes $245,000 as revenue in a year. This number can be more for you depending on the number of sales you make from salon services and retail products.

Also, the profit margin in a hair salon business is about 8.2% which makes it possible for you to have an annual profit of $19,000.

This doesn’t have to be the same for you. The key thing in improving your profit and revenue is in the sales you make.

So, increase your price if you have to but don’t make it overly expensive, sell more expensive hair products that are in demand, get your marketing right so that you don’t have to run out of clients visiting your store.

Do all this and you are well on your way to making your salon business more profitable.

How To Make Your Business Profitable

Just providing services to your clients can make your business profitable. However, there are a few other strategies you can employ to ensure you always make profit. The following are the most successful strategies.

  • Make it easy for your customers to get to you. Provide an online scheduling service and stick to it.
  • Create How-to styling videos and upload them on your website or social media handles. When people see that you are a leader in your industry, they’d make appointments to visit the salon. More reason number 1. should be in place.
  • Offer incentives to your customers. You can decide to come up with a loyalty card system or a discount system. Customers who visit the salon at least five times a month get a 50% discount or a free hair service. People love it when they can save money.
  • Offer services that go together with hair styling such as nail, skincare, massage, to name a few. Personally, I love to do all my stuff in one place. Get my hair and makeup done, as well as my nails. Easy, with no stress.
  • Don’t just offer hairstyling, you can sell the products as well. Let your clients find the products they need right at your store. Retail sales have proven to supplement a hair salon’s income.

What Typically Happens In a Hair Salon?

As a hair salon owner, your regular salon day will be a lot different as compared to the other stylists. There’d be a number of activities that’d keep you busy during the day. Some of which are:

  • General management of the salon and ensuring it’s clean always.
  • Learning new hairstyle techniques.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing tools
  • Scheduling appointments, answering the phone, receiving and sending out emails.
  • Recording, updating, and maintaining client records
  • Accepting payment
  • Recommending the best hairstyles for clients after assessing their hair and facial features.
  • Recommending the best hair products for your clients.

Additionally, at least weekly you’d have to restock on already sold out items and update your records. If you have a team, you can assign some administrative duties to them too.

In Conclusion… Just Do It

Yes please! Just do it. Start that hair salon business you’ve always wanted. It just gets better after you’ve started. Don’t wait till you have all you need. Truth is, you may really never have all you need at once so just start.

I hope these steps help you start your dream hair salon.

Good luck!

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