a clean and modern salon

How to Start a Hair Salon

January 25, 2024

Share this:

Starting a salon can be an elaborate undertaking. With finances, marketing, staffing, and other crucial considerations, careful planning and preparation are vital. Technology and software can be fundamental for any startup business owner.

Do you dream of owning a hair salon? Use this comprehensive guide to salon business planning to give you some pointers.

Steps to Open a Successful Salon

What do you need to start a hair salon? How can business management software facilitate this process? Learn how to open a salon with the tips and best practices below.

Formulating a Robust Salon Business Plan

You’ll need a well-researched business plan before opening a salon. This plan can help you make the most informed company decisions, providing a detailed roadmap to success. A comprehensive plan may also help you secure funding from grants and investors.

Prospective lenders or investors will ask to see a complete company analysis before they take a chance on you. With that in mind, here are some essential components of a salon business plan.

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is an your business plan in a nutshell. Try to keep this section as concise as possible — no more than one or two paragraphs. While this summary is an introductory section, it’s practical to write it last after you’ve gathered all data points.

2. Company Description

Your company description should include details like the location, concept, theme, and target market. You might also sprinkle in some of its origins, like a brief bio of yourself and any co-owners.

3. Products and Services

List and describe all products and services your salon will offer, such as:

  • Cuts
  • Color
  • Extensions
  • Waxing
  • Perms and relaxers

Explain what problems your salon can solve and why consumers can benefit from them. By investing in salon and spa software like Meevo, you can persuade your clients to schedule additional services that earn you more revenue. We design our software to prompt for upsell services when clients book through your website or at your physical location. Some examples might include:

  • Combining injectable dermal fillers to a facial.
  • Adding deep conditioning to a standard haircut.
  • Boosting a massage appointment with aromatherapy services.

4. Market Analysis

Your market analysis should clearly define your target audience. Explain how your products and services will appeal to them and how you plan to reach these clients.

You can also list your competitors, highlighting how your salon stands out from these companies. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can you capitalize on them? Create a SWOT analysis for your business. Identify what qualities give you a competitive edge and how you plan to address any potential vulnerabilities.

5. Management Team

This section should illustrate your business’ structure. List all management team members, including owners, founders, advisers, and board members. Provide a summary of each person’s role and expertise. Think of this section as a collection of mini resumes.

6. Marketing Plan

A detailed marketing plan can help increase your salon’s visibility upon opening your business. Include all these elements.

  • Positioning statement: A powerful positioning statement can help clients perceive your brand positively. Describe qualities that set your salon apart from others. Use compelling evidence and real-life scenarios to illustrate how your products and services benefit customers.
  • Target market: Your target market is the segment you aim to reach with your products and services.
  • Pricing strategy: Your pricing strategy should factor in your business objectives and the current market. Compare what competing salons charge for the same services and consider whether you can afford to set slightly lower prices.
  • Promotion strategy: Explain how you’ll promote your salon and increase visibility, like social media campaigns. Discuss on-site marketing plans, such as referral incentives and loyalty programs. An aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly website and profiles on review sites can also help build exposure.

7. Financial Plan

Financing and budgeting for salons is another area to cover. This section of your business plan should include the following.

  • Startup costs: Estimate the initial overhead costs to open a hair salon. That includes hair products, chairs, cleaning supplies, and anything else needed to get your business off the ground.
  • Funding options: Specify whether you will fund your business independently or ask for money from investors.
  • A break-even analysis: Show how much revenue you need to account for your spending. Potential investors should see how much you’ll need to spend upfront and how long it will take to break even.

The Integral Role of Technology in Managing a Successful Salon

Technology plays an instrumental role in starting a salon. Many features can attract and retain clients.

  • Automated bookings
  • Easy payments
  • Discount opportunities
  • Rewards programs

Let’s review how all-inclusive business management software can help you open and run a successful salon.

Streamlining Salon Operations With Meevo

Meevo is an all-in-one, cloud-based salon software that makes business management a breeze. It delivers everything you could want in a salon management system, including:

  • A best-in-class marketing suite
  • Industry-leading reports and analytics
  • Fast appointment bookings
  • Robust security controls

As a current or aspiring salon owner, you understand the ups and downs of opening a business — and so do we. People who understand the beauty industry designed this software. We would love to walk beside you and help you succeed.

Meevo streamlines three fundamental business areas.

  1. Client management: Seamlessly keep tabs on your clients with Meevo. You can create a database of their preferences, learn who spends the most money, and see who is overdue for their next appointments. You can encourage repeat visits by creating a membership program. Meevo’s booking feature also makes it easy for guests to schedule their next visit.
  2. Business operations: With Meevo’s Business Operations feature, you can set and adjust business goals, track employee performance, manage different salon locations, and monitor your inventory.
  3. Marketing: Access various marketing features, like automated email campaigns, email performance analytics, segmented client lists, social media posting, and more.

The Significance of a POS System in a Salon

A point-of-sale system digitally manages all parts of a sale, including transactions, payments, and receipt distribution. It helps track customers and appointments, process payments, and oversee inventory.

Meevo is a POS software that aims to enhance client experience through mobile optimization, easy and secure payments, targeted product recommendations, and other features. Here’s how it simplifies transactions.

  • Mobile checkout: This feature lets clients pay on their mobile devices from the comfort of their chairs. That way, your front-desk staff can focus on answering calls and greeting incoming guests.
  • Flexible receipt options: Meevo lets your guests choose how they’d like to get their receipts — printed, emailed, or both.
  • Discount opportunities: Meevo can automatically apply discounts at checkout. Customers can also input discount codes manually.
  • Personalized product recommendations: Meevo tracks clients’ previously purchased products. The POS software informs them when they’re due to restock, making for a quick and easy checkout.
  • Secure payment methods: Keep your salon payment card industry-compliant with Meevo. This software securely stores clients’ preferred methods. That way, they don’t have to rummage through their wallets to find cash or credit cards after their appointments.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Local SEO for Salon Marketing

In today’s digitally driven world, cultivating a robust social media presence is one of the best ways to build buzz around your new salon. Connect with fellow local small businesses, clients, and members of your target market. Post engaging content — such as before-and-after hair photos and videos — to entice prospective clients to reach out or book an appointment.

You can also attract local clientele through search engine optimization. SEO helps your website rank higher in search engine results when users search for related keywords, such as “haircuts near me” or “best colorist in (your city’s name).”

The Imperative of Client Management in a Salon Business

Effective client management can help you exceed your clients’ expectations, quickly address potential issues, and improve your overall service quality.

Below are some ways you can better grow and manage your client base.

Cultivating a Loyal Client Base

Customers are the heart and soul of any successful enterprise. Therefore, finding ways to build a loyal client base should be a top priority for your salon.

Here are some tips for attracting and retaining long-term clientele.

  • Provide excellent customer service: Remember that good customer service and a positive environment go a long way. Greet guests with handshakes, eye contact, and genuine smiles. Clients are more likely to return when you warmly welcome them and make them feel appreciated. Consider offering them a complimentary snack or beverage while they wait. You can also let new clients tour the salon so they can feel more at home.
  • Collect feedback: Feedback and reviews can help you pinpoint growth opportunities. You can learn what your clients want and use their insights to improve your business. Request feedback after appointments. For instance, you might send a follow-up email asking them to rank their visit and leave comments about their experience.
  • Offer a loyalty or membership program: Try to reward repeat guests for patronizing your salon. Demonstrating your gratitude and appreciation makes people more likely to return. For example, you might offer service discounts to clients who sign up for your loyalty program or give them a complimentary product for every 10 appointments scheduled. Discounts and freebies can incentivize them to book again.

Embracing Online Booking and Digital Appointment Management

An online booking platform lets people schedule appointments whenever and wherever it suits them, without calling or visiting your salon. You can even accept appointments outside business hours. Meevo’s appointment scheduling feature offers a simple way for your clients to book online in seconds.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Running a Salon

Employee management and inventory tracking are typical challenges in any business. Fortunately, a few tips can help you manage them.

Effective Staff Management and Training

Hiring a quality salon staff is critical for a successful business. Create a list of traits you’re looking for in candidates. For instance, how many years of styling experience should they have? Should they be proficient in cutting and coloring? Here are some other skills you might look for in stylists:

  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Dexterity
  • Physical stamina

Be sure to examine personality, attitude, and work ethic. These attributes determine a candidate’s reliability, customer service skills, and ability to work with others.

Your stylists should reflect the culture you wish to infuse into your business. Are you aiming for an upscale, luxurious atmosphere? Will your salon be more casual and family-friendly? Whatever your values may be, you’ll want to instill them into your team.

Employees should also undergo a robust training program. That way, they fully understand the goals and expectations for your salon. Continuous staff training can cultivate higher employee retention, enabling your team to grow personally and professionally while building their skills. Higher retention can translate to a better business image.

An efficient employee management system like Meevo makes it simple to track and monitor staff activity, including:

  • Scheduling
  • Clock-ins and clock-outs
  • Payroll
  • Raises and promotions

Simplifying Inventory Management

Effective inventory management helps your salon meet product demands. You can manage your expenses better, yielding more revenue in the long run. Meevo’s point-of-sale system can also assist with inventory tracking and ordering. Gone are the days of managing all your stock manually.

With Meevo’s mobile management feature, you can walk around your store, take barcode photos, and enter product information from your mobile device. You’ll then receive real-time inventory updates, eliminating the risk of human error.

Meevo can also order products automatically based on stock levels, ensuring you never run out. Additionally, you can track merchandise around your salon by assigning individual floor locations to products.

Setting Financial Goals for Your Salon Business

Establishing clear, realistic financial goals is essential for building a profitable salon. You may have included these objectives in your business plan. Here are a couple of tips for setting and achieving your financial goals.

  • Identify improvement opportunities: Are you looking to increase booking frequency or new clients per month? Maybe you’d like to increase target retail sales. Finding key performance indicators can help you build financial goals accordingly.
  • Work with a professional: If you find it challenging to manage finances and set realistic goals, consider hiring a financial consultant or accountant. They can work with you to analyze your current budget and pinpoint improvement areas.

Leveraging Meevo for Goal Reporting

With Meevo’s goal-tracking software, you can set and track progress for goals in various categories, like:

  • Retail sales
  • Request rates
  • Frequency of salon visits
  • Productivity

You can set long-term business goals or have your staff create individual objectives. Determine whether you’re on the right track or need to make any changes, such as:

  • Adjusting your marketing strategy
  • Modifying your business hours
  • Opening a new location
  • Promoting top-performing employees

Get the Salon Business Resources and Support You Need With Meevo

Opening a new salon can be equal parts exciting and stressful. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Meevo is here to help you manage different aspects of your business. You can oversee your marketing, inventory, transactions, staff performance, business goals, and other areas — all from one convenient interface.

Are you ready to learn more about how Meevo can support your salon business journey? Schedule a demo of our software today.

You May Also Like:

Education at your fingertips

Subscribe to our monthly Meevo Inspo newsletter and be the first to know when our latest content has been added.