The salon should fit in with surrounding services. For example, a small shopping strip or mall with several types of businesses, such as a restaurant, an insurance office, a real estate office, an accountant, a doctor, dentist, or optical store, and a tanning salon would make an ideal location for a beauty shop (Constant-content.com).
If you are going to own your own shop, you need a business plan. Your plan should include short-term and long-term business goals; a financial assessment of how much the start-up costs will be and whether a business loan will be necessary; a detailed list of necessary equipment (including how much the equipment will cost); a plan for partnerships (if you intend to rent out salon booths), and a marketing/advertising strategy. For example, you might put ads in local papers and on placemats at local restaurants with a coupon offering a special deal for the first haircut. Local radio advertising aimed at people driving is another good bet (but more expensive). Many shops have their own websites now, too. It is best not to "put all your eggs in one basket," but spread your budgeted advertising money around for balanced coverage. That way, if you don't reach your targeted audience in one place, you may in another. KudosBoard on the internet offers consulting services it says will "accelerate the ability for your customers and business partners to refer your beauty salon business to others! They offer three packages: (1) Referral Accelerator, (2) Reputation Builder, and (3) Donation Motivator (Hair Salon Marketing web site).
Someone who wants to own their own salon also needs to find out the county, city, and state requirements for opening a beauty salon in their area. Even if you plan to open a shop in your own home, there are still regulations. You'll need to study the rules and become familiar with all of them right away. You'll need to get a business license immediately, before you open your doors, and look into what taxes and fees you'll be expected to pay.
It will pay to consult an accountant for help setting up a bookkeeping system to keep track of income, expenses, and taxes, and to plan a workable budget.
An operational plan will be needed where you think out how the salon will be run and managed. What will the hours be? Who will work in the shop? Will there be music, coffee, magazines? Will you make appointments, and if so, how will you manage them? How much time will each customer get? Will your place be an inexpensive "in-and-out quick service" type place or will the pace be more elegant and relaxed? If you plan to rent out salon booths, you'll need to work out how the salon is to be organized and who will do what. Everyone should have a part in cleaning, keeping organized, giving exceptional customer service, etc.
If you rent booths, it will no longer just be you representing the business to the community. You will need everyone to contribute to your good image and you'll want to find ways to promote team work. All this requires communication. How the communication will take place should be part of the plan.
An example of an outstanding success is Edris Nicholls who opened a salon in New York City. She started out working in a chic salon on Madison Avenue where she specialized in great haircuts. Two years later she moved to another salon where she became an assistant to a well-known stylist with celebrity clients. In 2000 she decided to launch her own business in downtown Manhattan. Because she was black, she had to get a white friend to rent space for her. It cost her $250,000 to build her 3,000 square foot space into a full service hair salon. She financed it with a combination of savings, stock sales, a $40,000 business loan, and a home equity loan. She got an extra $100,000 from the building's landlord for changes to the building's infrastruture that he would have had to make anyway. He also gave her a year's free rent. She specialized in upscale services, $200 haircuts, for example. Now she has four stylists, two colorists, a makeup artist, a manicurist-pedicurist-waxer, four assistants-in-training, and