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Salon Business Development - Keys to Success for a Salon or Spa Business


Starting a Salon Business or Spa Business (Part 1)

The Hair Salon, Nail Salon, Beauty Salon and Day Spa Business
Beauty salon and spa business has grown rapidly over the past decade. Latest extrapolations from U.S. census data place the salon and spa service industry at over $35 billion annually. And that figure doesn't include the retail sale of professional beauty products which is at least another $7 billion annually. While traditional barbershops, hair salons and nail salons have experienced moderate growth, high end beauty salons and day spas have seen significant spikes of revenue in recent years. Click here for U.S. Census Data on the Salon and Spa Service Business

Starting a Salon or Spa Business
A basic hair salon can be started with light to moderate capitalization. More full service beauty salons and day spas may require more funding to get started. The first step in starting a salon or spa business is to define the extent of services and products that will be offered. Here are some of the most common services and products offered:

Salon and Spa Services:

Hair Salon Business Services:
  • Haircuts, styling and trims.
  • Hair coloring and highlights
  • Hair and scalp treatments.
  • Hair shampoo and conditioning.
  • Hair relaxers and perms.
  • Hair curling, reconstructing and waving

    Nail Salon Business Services:
  • Manicures.
  • Pedicures.
  • Nail polish.
  • Nail repair and sculpting.
  • Hand conditioning.

    Day Spa and Beauty Business Services:
  • Body scrubs.
  • Body wrapping and herbal wraps.
  • Massage and aromatherapy.
  • Hot stone therapy.
  • Acupuncture and Reflexology.
  • Derma abrasion.
  • Anti-aging.
  • Facials.
  • Makeup and makeovers.
  • Skin cleansing and care.
  • Body waxing.
  • Polishing, buffing and bronzing.
  • Tanning.
  • Piercing.
  • Salon and Spa Products:

    Hair Salon Products:
  • Shampoos.
  • Conditioners.
  • Extra hair treatment.
  • Pre-styling products.
  • Hair styling products.
  • Hair finishes.
  • Brushes and hair tools.

    Skin Care, Nail and Beauty Products:
  • Face skin care products.
  • Body skin care products.
  • Makeup.
  • Makeup tools.
  • Nail polish products.
  • Nail finish products.
  • Nail tools.
  • Perfumes.
  • Bed and bath products.


  • Salon and Spa Business Start Up Requirements:
    The amount of capital needed to start a salon or spa business will vary depending on the type of services you will offer, the salon and spa equipment required, the basic fixtures and administrative equipment required, the opening inventory of products you will offer, and deposits for rent and utilities.

    Salon or Spa Business Location:
    Location, location, location! For most hair salons, beauty salons and day spas, choosing a location will be one of the most important elements that will lead you down the path toward building a successful business. Of course, ultimately your ability so provide excellent services and have high customer satisfaction will be the key to your success. But having a good location will set you up to expose your business to new customers. If you are considering starting a small one or two chair salon, or home massage business, you may be able to do so with a 300-500 square foot room in your home, but you must also pay attention to commercial / residential zoning restrictions. For most hair, nail and beauty salons, and day spas, you will require 1000-2000 square feet or more. If you can find a location with parking available and alot of daily foot traffic and car traffic, that is optimal. Strip malls and shopping malls are good because of the large amount of foot traffic. If you can find a smaller place that will save you rent in the beginning, with possibility for expansion as your business grows, that is also a plus. Retail rental rates vary widely across the country. For smaller cities, rent in commercial areas may be around $1.00 per square foot, but in larger metropolotan areas, rent may run as high as $2.50 per sq ft or even more in premium big city business areas.

    Building Improvements, Fixtures and Design:
    Depending on how recently the business location was built, and how well it has been kept, you may need to spend hundreds, to several thousand dollars to improve the building and utilities. If you are offering shampoos and conditioning, you will probably need to install plumbing for washing basins. Costs of building improvements aside, you should probably set aside between $500 and $3000 for interior layout and design, flooring, painting, window fixtures, indoor and outdoor signage and general decorations.

    Salon and Spa Equipment:
    The equipment you need to buy depends on the services you will offer.

    Administrative Equipment:
    In addition to the specific salon and spa equipment you will need some basic administrative equipment. You will probably need at least one cash register and computer, phones, basic office supplies, desks, and furniture as appropriate.

    Spa and Salon Business Development Articles:

    Check out these articles on salon business development:

  • Starting a Salon or Spa Business (Part 1)
  • Key's to Running a Successful Salon or Spa Business (Part 2)
  • Salon Marketing and Spa Marketing (Part 3)
  • More Tips for Marketing Your Salon or Spa Website (Part 4)
  • Salon Recruiting and Human Resources (Part 5)

  • Fundamentals of Running a Beauty Salon (Forbes.com - External Link)

    Salons, Spas, Beauty Services and Health Service Information:

    Salons, Spas, Beauty and Health Services
    Check out these articles for information on beauty, health and personal care services:

  • Beauty Salons and Beauty Salon Websites
  • Hair Salons and Hair Salon Websites
  • Nail Salons and Nail Salon Websites
  • Tanning Salons and Tanning Salon Websites
  • Barber Shops and Barbershop Websites
  • Day Spas and Day Spa Websites
  • Destination Spas and Resort Spa Websites
  • Medical Spas and Medical Spa Websites
  • Wellness Centers and Wellness Center Websites
  • Fitness Centers and Fitness Center Websites
  • Massage Centers and Massage Center Websites


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