When is the Right Time to… Open Your First Salon

August 31, 2023

Opening your first salon can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s also a significant step that requires careful consideration and planning. This week, salon owner Sue Hall shares her top tips for recognising if the time is right for you to make the jump to salon ownership.

  1. Have you established clientele and demand?

One key indicator that you’re ready to open your own salon is having a strong and loyal clientele. It’s essential to have a solid customer base that trust your skills and regularly seek your services. Pay attention to the demand for your expertise – if you have built up a significant client base as a freelancer and need premises in order to service them better, or you’re the most in-demand stylist at the salon you currently work for, the chances are it’s time to consider making the move.

  1. Are the finances in place?

Before you take the first step towards becoming a salon owner, it’s crucial to evaluate your financial stability. There are a lot of costs involved in opening a salon, including leasing or purchasing premises, equipment, products and marketing expenses. Take time to assess your personal finances and create a comprehensive business plan that includes a budget, projected revenue and strategies for managing expenses. Speak to your business partner, such as L’Oréal Professionnel, to receive business advice, support and guidance.

  1. Do you have enough industry experience and leadership skills?

To run a successful salon, you’ll need a solid foundation in hairdressing techniques, people skills and customer service. You will also need effective communication, team-building and decision-making abilities. Being able to guide and motivate your team will contribute to the smooth operation of your salon and its growth. You know yourself better than anyone — do you feel confident that you could lead a team whilst still juggling everything else that running a new business will involve? Would you benefit from spending more time working for a salon and gaining management experience first?

  1. Have you done your research?

Choosing the right location for your salon is crucial. Conduct a thorough market analysis to identify areas with high foot traffic, a target demographic that aligns with your services and minimal competition. Consider factors like parking availability, accessibility for clients and nearby amenities that can enhance the salon experience. If a property that meets these criteria is available, then it’s another green light for opening a salon.

  1. Do you have passion, drive and long-term vision?

Ask yourself if you’re genuinely passionate about the hairdressing industry and if running a salon is really what you want from your career. Sometimes we aim for something because we feel we should rather than because it’s what we truly want. Being a salon owner involves wearing multiple hats, including managing staff, handling finances and dealing with many challenges. There is no shame in deciding this isn’t for you. There are plenty of other ways you can develop as a hairdresser and lots of other paths you can take in your career.

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