What You Need to Know About Running a Salon


open beauty salon

If you’re a health and beauty professional with a loyal following, you’ve probably thought about opening your own salon at one time or another. You know that running a business isn’t as simple as nailing up a sign and opening your doors. You need a business plan and skills to start right and make sure your salon remains profitable for the long term.

10 Things You Will Need to Do to Run Your Own Salon

  • Develop a Health and Beauty Business Plan: A well-developed business plan will provide you with a solid foundation and strategy for success. It should include such components as:
    • Your Target Market
    • Potential Competitors
    • Expected Revenue and Expenses
    • Financial Plan
    • Marketing Plan
    • Profit Projections
  • Choose a Location: Choosing the right location is probably the most important decision you will make for the success of your salon. You will also need to have a basic understanding of plumbing and electrical systems to avoid any business shutdowns. A nice entrance with great landscaping will also help attract new customers.
  • Marketing: Marketing refers to promoting and selling of products or services, including market research. If you want to attract new clients, you need to promote your business through advertising, special promotions, and social media.
  • Accounting and Finance: There are many expenses in running your own salon and you will need a reliable means to keep track of your revenue. Even if you hire an outside accountant, you should have a good understanding of how to measure the profitability of your business.
  • Adhere to Health and Safety Regulations: There are many federal (OSHA) and state regulations you will need to follow to keep your customers as well as your employees safe.
  • Practice Good Communication Skills: Whether you are writing a Facebook post or a thank you note to a good customer, you’ll need to be at the top of your game with great communication skills. Listening well while discussing what type of style a customer is looking for will also be critical to keep customers coming back.
  • Human Resources: As your salon grows, you may need to hire additional stylists and service providers, as well as administrative and cleaning staff. A good knowledge of human resource requirements regarding non-discrimination and the minimum wage requirements of your state will be very valuable.
  • Purchasing: You will need equipment and supplies to set up and run your salon and you’ll want to be sure you get the best quality at the fairest price. The more you can learn about the art of purchase and negotiation, the more profitable your business will be.
  • Acquire Good Computer Skills: You will probably not have the time to book appointments, process payroll and keep all your business records using pencil and paper. You’ll want to increase your computer skills and learn about special software for running a salon.
  • Ongoing Professional Development: New styles, techniques, and technologies are always on the horizon. If you want to keep your business running well, it will be part of your job to find good training programs and workshops for you and your staff members.


Now that you know what you’ll need, how do you acquire these important skills? At National American University, we offer an online Associate degree in Health and Beauty Management that will help you get you the skills you need to run your own salon. Do you already have some experience or a certificate in a cosmetology or massage therapy field? You may be able to transfer those credits to your degree program so you can start ahead. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information.


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