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Open a hair salon

Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

This is another article in our series of business ideas for businesses you can open with little or no money!

How to open a hair salon 

A hair salon is a popular business and something that you can get into without a huge investment. There are a number of ways to do it and we will help to guide you through what to think about before opening and how to run it at a profit. 

If you look around, you will probably see that there are a number of hair salons. Some are always busy and some are a bit quieter. You need to investigate a bit to find out why. This can be done through observation, chatting with people in the community and the customers. Spend some time thinking about what makes some more popular than others. 

  • Get some training and experience 

You do not need to spend years training and be a professional but you certainly need to know what you are doing. Many existing salons will offer a free internship or training in return for your work. You might have to wash hair, clean up and do other chores but you can learn a lot without spending a lot of money. 

  • Consider a mobile salon

We will get into the specifics of opening a salon but another option is to have a mobile hair salon. There are many people, potential customers, that do not have the time to visit a salon. They would prefer someone to come to their home. The same is true for the sick and elderly. Often they need to get their hair done but cannot get to a salon. 

The beauty of a mobile salon is that, apart from your transport costs and materials, you have no major expenses. It is also an option if you do not have money to rent a salon and want to start building up your business and attracting customers. 

This will allow you to save money and get known in the community. You can then open a salon once you have built up some money if you wish. 

  • Find the right position for your salon

If you are going to open a salon, it is very important that you find the ideal position. You want a high traffic area with lots of passing trade. A well-established salon can get away with being in a slightly less busy area but if you are new you want lots of people walking past. 

Have good signage and and a clean and attractive entrance to attract customers. 

  • Create a warm and friendly environment

Visiting a hair salon is about a lot more than simply getting your hair done. While that service is the main reason people visit most customers also want a happy and entertaining environment. Your interaction, your staff, the music, the setting, and other aspects will all add to this Another critical aspect is the cleanliness of the salon. People will not be comfortable in an untidy or dirty salon. 

Offer tea and coffee and other basic refreshments. This is a small investment that will make people happier in your business. This means that they will stay longer and come back more often. Hopefully, they will also tell their friends. 

  • Keep in touch with your customers 

Getting new customers can be a challenge. It is easier to get existing customers to come back. Get their cellphone numbers and keep in touch on WhatsApp and Facebook. Remind and encourage them to come back. 

  • Consider your initial expenses

If you are going to open a salon, there will be some upfront expense you need to consider. Again, you can always start small and build it up as you earn a profit. 

You will need basic equipment and supplies. If you are renting a salon, you will need a deposit and first month rental. Don’t forget to budget for the cost of electricity and water. 

You might also want to put some money aside for marketing and advertising as well as operating expenses until you start to make a profit. If you are going to hire someone to clean and do other jobs in the salon, consider that cost. 

It is best to make a budget of all expenses.

  • Sell retail products 

Your salon service is only one way to make money. You can also make great money by selling hair products, accessories, and related items. Do some homework to see what is popular with people in your area. Start with just a few items and build the range and stock up over time. 

  • Offer other services

You might also want to offer additional services such as nails, makeup, face/skin treatment, and other services. You could do this yourself if you are not too busy with hair, employ someone to do this, or rent out space to others that offer this service. 

This can bring in extra money, lower your costs, or both.  

  • Get the word out there

Once you have your salon set up, you need to attract customers. You can consider handing out flyers in the street, posting the news on Facebook and other social media platforms, using local adverts, and posters.

The best way to secure long-term business is to make your customers happy and keep them coming back. They will tell their friends and family and this will help to grow your business. Treat them well, give a good and well-priced service, and with a bit of time you will have plenty of business. 

  • Manage your cash flow

Keep an eye on expenses. It is no good making lots of money if you spend more than you make. Take the time to manage cash flow and keep a close eye on it. If this is not your skill it might be worth paying someone to do it when you get bigger but it is always better if you can do it yourself. 

A salon is a great way to make money and can be started with very little cash. The tips above should help you on your way. 

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