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The Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Salon: Steps to Success

Wondering how to start a salon with a solid foundation for success? This no-nonsense guide provides the step-by-step instructions you’re looking for. From navigating legal requirements to setting a budget, choosing your location, stocking up on the right equipment, and hiring a dynamic team—the insights here are geared to get you moving from daydreams to opening your salon’s doors. Prepare for a journey through the critical decisions and strategies that lay the groundwork for a flourishing salon business.

Key Takeaways

  • Starting a successful salon requires understanding industry dynamics, including potential challenges and market expansion, alongside critical decisions on concept, niche, and a solid business plan.

  • Opening a salon involves careful consideration of location, legal requirements, insurance, budgeting and securing financing for startup and operational costs, as well as equipping the salon with the necessary tools and supplies.

  • Effective salon management hinges on hiring a skilled team, implementing management systems, marketing strategically, delivering exceptional customer service, and adapting to industry changes and trends.


  1. Understanding the Salon Industry
  2. Defining Your Salon Concept and Niche
  3. Crafting a Comprehensive Salon Business Plan
  4. Legal Requirements and Documentation
  5. Finding the Perfect Location
  6. Budgeting and Financing Your Salon
  7. Salon Equipment and Supplies
  8. Assembling Your Dream Team
  9. Marketing and Promoting Your Salon
  10. Implementing Salon Management Systems
  11. Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences
  12. Monitoring and Adapting to Changes in the Industry

Understanding the Salon Industry

Embarking on the journey to open your own salon, is a promising venture. However, the salon and beauty industry isn’t without its challenges.

The path to start your own salon may involve a new business venture, collaboration with a franchise or running an independent business. Whichever path you choose, it’s crucial to consider factors such as:

  • Startup costs

  • Legal obligations

  • Location

  • Marketing strategies

Defining Your Salon Concept and Niche

Establishing your own beauty salon concept and niche is a key aspect of initiating your salon. This allows you to differentiate your salon from competitors and build a dedicated customer following. It also helps in determining the right beauty or hair salon equipment to invest in. Developing your business within a niche market offers a simpler path to success compared to competing in a broad, general market.

Selecting a clearly defined niche and prioritising the development of a tailored client experience can be effective approaches when starting your own salon. The offerings should be intricately aligned with the salon theme and encompass a comprehensive array of beauty or hair services that are in high demand among clients.

Salon guide

Crafting a Comprehensive Salon Business Plan

Drafting an extensive business plan is an indispensable procedure in launching your salon. A well-crafted business plan can:

  • Mitigate potential challenges

  • Distinguish your salon in a competitive market

  • Form the cornerstone for guiding the entire planning process

  • Preempt unforeseen complications and costs.

An effective salon business plan should encompass:

  • Thorough market research

  • Analysis of the target audience

  • Detailed financial projections

  • A well-defined vision for the salon’s future

Market research is vital for assessing the demand for the salon and attracting sufficient new business, to ensure its sustainability. Additionally, understanding the economics of the salon, including startup costs and pricing standards, can reduce unforeseen variables that can lead to failure.

Check out Sleek’s Free Business Plan Template. Free download

Legal Requirements and Documentation

During the initial setup of your new beauty salon or hair salon, awareness of the necessary business license, permits, and occupational and professional licensing documentation is crucial. These requirements may vary depending on the types of services offered and the salon’s location. It’s also important to plan for health and fire marshal inspections and understand additional obligations.

Adhering to specific hygiene standards is a legal requirement and is crucial for maintaining the health and safety of both clients and staff. Business insurance is also a legal requirement and provides protection against a range of unforeseen expenses. When establishing your salon, it’s important to carefully assess the initial setup expenses, potential liabilities, and secure appropriate business insurance.

Find out the legal steps required for opening a business in Australia. Read more.

Finding the Perfect Location

Choosing a suitable location for your salon holds paramount importance, as it can significantly impact the success of your own beauty business. The location choice should vary based on the type of salon. For instance, a business and luxury salon would do well in the city center, while an economy-class beauty studio is better situated in a residential area.

Key factors to consider when choosing a salon location include:

  • The availability of nearby parking

  • The potential for advertising on the building

  • Proximity to shops and malls

  • Ensuring adequate plumbing for salon operations

  • Exterior signage is also essential for a new salon as it plays a vital role in attracting initial clientele.

Budgeting and Financing Your Salon

The financial planning for your salon necessitates an estimation of initial and recurring costs. The initial expenses for launching a salon can vary significantly, influenced by factors including location, size, range of services, and the level of luxury provided.

Potential sources of financing for a new salon may include:

  • Personal savings

  • Contributions from family and friends

  • Loans and grants specifically tailored for industry startups

Selecting the appropriate financing option is essential to ensure that the salon has sufficient funds to cover both startup costs and ongoing expenses while maintaining the financial stability of the business.

Salon Equipment and Supplies

Securing the required salon equipment and supplies aids in delivering top-notch beauty services everywhere. Salon proprietors have the option to either purchase or lease equipment, with leasing offering reduced upfront costs and the ability for salons to regularly update their equipment.

The necessary equipment and furniture to establish a salon include:

  • Salon chairs

  • Backwash stations

  • Reception desks

  • Waiting area furniture

  • Trolleys

  • Product display stands

  • Lighting

  • Wall art

  • Shelving

  • Drying hoods

  • Blow dryers

  • Clippers

  • Curlers

  • Heat lamps

  • Washing machines

  • Towels

  • Aprons

The total expenditure for new salon equipment and tools can amount to approximately AU$27,000, with consumables typically ranging from $1000 to $15000.

Assembling Your Dream Team

Building a team that is skilled, passionate, and reliable is fundamental to the success of your salon. Some strategies for advertising and recruiting staff for a salon include utilising a mix of digital channels such as job websites and social media platforms, in addition to traditional offline methods.

Having a skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly staff is crucial for the success of your hair salon. Clients rely on the staff for professional styling and personal care advice, making it essential to invest in good staff and their education.

The primary distinction between a leader and a boss in salon management lies in the leader’s commitment to fostering staff growth and creating a positive work environment conducive to success.

Marketing and Promoting Your Salon

The promotion of your salon necessitates:

  • The creation of a compelling brand identity

  • The application of digital marketing strategies

  • Active engagement with the local community to draw in new clients

A salon marketing plan is a comprehensive strategy outlining the target audience and methods for engaging them.

One effective strategy to promote the opening day is to:

  • Use window signage to attract attention

  • Utilise social media channels to spread the word

  • Provide discounts and specials to incentivise customers

  • Offer free treatments to local influencers in exchange for social media promotion

These tactics can generate buzz and attract new customers.

Establishing a local following is crucial for a salon’s success as it emphasises the salon’s integration into the community, which is essential for attracting and maintaining loyal clients. Supporting local businesses, like salons, strengthens the community as a whole.

Implementing Salon Management Systems

The integration of salon management systems can smoothen operations and augment the customer experience. Salon management software is a comprehensive solution designed to assist salon owners in effectively overseeing various aspects of their business operations, including:

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Inventory tracking

  • Employee management

  • Customer management

  • Point of sale

  • Reporting and analytics

By implementing salon management software, salon owners can streamline their operations and provide a better experience for their customers.

The essential management tools required for a salon include:

  • Cash register

  • Computers/laptops for running the salon

  • Salon software for scheduling, appointments, stock tracking, POS system

  • Phones

Implementing a beauty salon POS system can streamline day-to-day management by integrating the payments system with other beauty salon equipment, operations and apps, such as appointment scheduling, employee management tools, and bookkeeping software.

Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences

Delivering superior customer experiences serves as a cornerstone in retaining clients and expanding your salon business. A salon can enhance a customer’s experience through various strategies such as:

  • Improving communication

  • Fostering a warm and personable environment

  • Building strong relationships

  • Demonstrating honesty and integrity

  • Establishing customer loyalty programs

  • Sharing behind-the-scenes content

  • Educating the team on products

  • Actively seeking feedback through surveys

Customer satisfaction is a pivotal factor in the expansion of a beauty salon business. It results in heightened customer loyalty, favourable word-of-mouth recommendations, and augmented revenue. Contented customers are inclined to revisit and endorse the salon to others, thus fostering a devoted clientele and an outstanding reputation.

Monitoring and Adapting to Changes in the Industry

Staying abreast with industry changes, encompassing emerging trends and new technologies, is crucial for sustaining the salon’s competitiveness and ensuring its longevity. Trends in the beauty salon industry, which is such a personal industry, undergo annual changes, with new behavioural and technological trends consistently emerging.

Being proactive and adaptable to these changes can set your salon apart from the competition. It is important to stay informed and be willing to adjust your business strategy to incorporate new trends and technologies to stay ahead.


In conclusion, starting a successful salon involves several steps, from understanding the beauty salon industry and defining your salon concept and niche, to crafting a comprehensive business plan, meeting legal requirements, finding the perfect location, budgeting and financing your salon, acquiring necessary equipment and supplies, assembling your dream team, marketing and promoting your salon, implementing salon management systems, providing exceptional customer experiences, and monitoring and adapting to changes in the industry. With careful planning, dedication, and a customer-centric approach, your dream of owning a successful salon can become a reality.

Helpful resources to read next

Now that you’re on your business creation journey, why not check out some of our other helpful resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to open a hair salon in Australia?

Opening a hair salon in Australia can cost around AU$27,000 for a brand-new set of equipment, with the option to lease and make monthly payments. This cost may vary depending on the provider and future equipment decisions.

How to open a beauty salon in Australia?

To open a beauty salon in Australia, you need to first pick your business structure, apply for an ABN, register a business name, obtain insurance, sort out finances, and obtain necessary permits and comply with hygiene and safety standards. Good luck with your dream business endeavour!

How do I start a small hairdressing business?

To start a small hairdressing business, you’ll need to write a small business a plan, create a budget, choose a good location, obtain necessary permits, stock up on inventory, hire a team, and create a marketing plan. Good luck!

How many employees does a hair salon need?

The number of employees needed for a hair salon depends on factors like the salon’s size, customer volume, and range of services offered. A larger salon with many services may require more staff, while a smaller boutique salon may only need a few hair stylists.

What are some effective strategies for promoting a salon’s grand opening?

Promote the grand opening through window signage and social media, offer discounts and specials, and provide free treatments to local influencers in exchange for social media promotion to generate buzz and attract new customers.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be specifically relevant to everyone’s personal situation. It should not be considered financial advice or a substitute for professional tax or accounting advice. Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and laws can vary. For tailored advice, please consult a qualified professional. Contact Sleek for further information on how we can help you.

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