Have you gone past these points?
Before you open up your salon, before you take that plunge, you must take a 360-degree consideration of what being a salon owner looks like. Make sure you have thought about these essential points, have read through your checklist, and asked yourself these questions. And only after moving past the below-mentioned points & getting a yes in all the questions you are ready to move forward & open your salon & be the owner.
Here are the eight questions you must ask before you open a salon.
1. Are you sure you want to do this?
Opening a salon is not a Child's play. Once you commit to it then, there is no looking back. As a salon owner, you are not only fulfilling your wish but making so many other people a part of your dream. Giving employment opportunities to your staff, providing business to your vendors, and providing service to your clients. A lot of different people get involved during the process. Therefore once you decide on this, remember you are impacting many other lives.
Consequently, it's essential to be aware that it won't always be a bed of roses; you may have joys mixed with days of stress. There will be overflow & even underflows at times. You must know it needs patience & also some skills to make your way through. Therefore, if you are passionate enough & ready to commit to everything it brings along with itself. Then congratulations, you have taken your first step to being a salon owner.
2. Have you done your market research well?
We can't stress enough the importance of planning. One day you decide to open a salon & the next day, you become a salon owner? No, it doesn't work like that. A lot of thought, planning & preparation goes into it. Important decisions are to be made. It can sometimes get confusing as one has to look into many points. Therefore, doing complete research is the best bet. Topics like the place, staff, service, products, pricing, competition, target audience, etc., are a few key points you have to research. All this will help you decide what & how you want your salon to be. The results from this analysis will help you answer all your questions & help you choose & build on better solutions for your decisions related to the important topics of the salon.
3. Is your plan ready?
Once you have done the research & understood the market, now is the time to get into action - prepare a plan & execute. Project on every important area that you will have to deal with. A few topics include - branding, customer base, a place set up, team, legal formalities, finance, time frame, etc. In this third step of yours, make a decision (at least vaguely) in your head. For example, related to staff - have you thought about what kind of team you want to build? Who do you want to include, and how will you hire?
Similarly, for other critical departments (mentioned above), get yourself to answer such similar important questions. Making a blueprint is the best thing you can do now as it will help you bring all your thoughts & ideas into one place - into writing.
Also, there are other points that you have to keep in mind, like finding your niche, licensing, permits, documentation, plan B, etc. Keep all these points in your plan too.
4. Finalize your stuff. Make your purchases.
Once you have designed all your ideas, it's now time to put them to action. Get your idea into action. Start with finalizing your brand. Finalize your location, build your team, and get the staff on board. Finalize all the categories that were planned till now. From paper, now is the time to get it to reality. It is essential to keep a checklist of all the essential things.
Every choice has its advantage. You decide & finalize in this same step. Remember your actions may depend on various factors. To name a few - capacity, capability, future growth prospect, scalability, financial budget, etc.
Topics to finalize on -
Brand - name, logo, sign, color, idea, mission.
Location - do you want to rent it, buy it, choose the main area or a place away from the crowd.
Design & ambiance - colorful, monotone, muted, smell, lighting, sound, etc.
Team - do you want to hire the best, most experienced, fresher, full-time, part-time manager, or do it yourself? Do you need an auditor, marketing manager, etc.?
Furniture & Equipment - from chairs & tables to desks & appliances. To rent, purchase, or get second-hand stuff. It also includes decisions on the fridge, oven, kettle, coffee machine, etc.
Tools - nail service, hair spa, hair service tools, facial tools, etc.
Products - professional, dealers, sales, etc.
Suppliers - beauty products, pantry, refreshments, tools, cleaning products, etc.
5. Build your team.
A team is what can break or make your dream, & help you make your business successful. But firstly, let's begin with finding clarity on the fact - Are you going to be an employee or just the owner?
Next, many different kinds of people holding expertise in different categories are needed. Not just a knowledgeable one but also a creative, passionate, and smart one. You will have to find a balance. You need a manager who will take care of everything and ensure the daily activities run smoothly—stylists and beauticians, who shall provide the salon services. Assistants who shall help with minor work like hair washing, keeping the tools clean, etc. Also, you may need aestheticians, electrologists, and massage therapists if you want to provide these services. Also, the housekeeping staff who shall maintain cleanliness & take care of the salon maintenance. Here you also have to work on the payroll - the salary & wages, the benefits you want to provide them, their growth, value, etc. The moral of the story - you will be working with many people from different kinds of backgrounds. Be sure you do it well.
6. Small but critical point.
The next step is to look into these little different areas of essential categories.
So topics may include the waiting area, snacks for the guests & clients & staff. Do we need a reception? Some modes of entertainment like tv, magazines, etc. Do we provide the service of car parking, smoking areas, etc.?
All these may not seem so important to set up a salon but to build your salon & make a difference, it indeed is essential. These are your secondary important topics that indirectly will have an impact on your salon for sure.
7. Marketing your work.
In today's time when the world has gone all digital, having or maintaining a team who promotes & advertises your business & salon is quite crucial. Now it's all about advertising; make sure you have a marketing team who can provide various activities like - building your website, building customer relationships, and maintaining client databases. Also, a few other tasks would include working on market campaigns and promotional activities, maintaining the social media pages, interacting continuously with the outside world, & showcase the salon's work. You have to be seen if you want to grow your business. So make sure your marketing game is bang on.
8. Technology or no technology?
Do you want to automate a lot of services? Having management software for maintaining attendance, building data, maintaining financial records, tracking stock availability, monitoring staff performance, saving appointments, and automating payrolls will simplify the process & give information correctly. But it will surely cost a lot of money too.
It is up to you if you want to work manually or go all-digital or balance the two. There's no right or wrong to this. Get deep into technology, use it initially, or leverage it slowly - you have to see what works the best for you.
For the new you who is just starting off to set your salon, remember it requires a lot of backend work before moving into the action. Therefore, a little help & checklist hurt none. It's essential to have a list that will help you focus on crucial tasks from time to time. The eight points mentioned above will surely help you through. And if you have passed through these eight questions. You are ready to open up your salon.
Want to open your own salon? Or have recently opened your salon?
Do share with us your thoughts.