So, you want to open a beauty salon?
The U.K beauty industry is worth £17 billion to the UK economy, and consumers are expected to spend an average of £342.90 on beauty and skincare this year – a record high. The business of beauty can be a lucrative industry to be part of , however, if you are thinking of starting out in the beauty sector with a beauty salon, consider these factors first…
Location is everything when opening a beauty salon, however, finding a premises that is accessible to the masses and noticeable by passers-by can be hard to find and will most likely come at a cost. But having a great location will improve your chances of success so try and find somewhere with a high footfall, passing traffic, easy access and, ideally, car parking on site or near-by.
Set up costs
Set up costs will depend largely on the type of treatments you offer customers. Some machines can be very expensive to purchase or rent whilst some treatments will only need minimal equipment. The interior of your salon is important for attracting customers and the salon should be cleaned to a high standard. However, many salon owners spend far too much money decorating their salon and spending money on features which are just not necessary. An impeccable clean salon is more important than one with bespoke chairs.
It’s very common for customers to stay loyal to their hair stylist or beauty therapist for years and years so try and hire staff that are great at what they do and have a strong client base that they can bring along with them. Your staff are essentially an advertisement for your business so hiring qualified and experienced staff is a must if you want your beauty business to succeed.
Establishing what to charge your customers is crucial in order for your business to make money. This will depend largely on the location of your premises, the experience of the staff you have and the procedures you have to offer. For instance, a salon based in central London will be able to charge a lot more than a salon in a smaller city such as Swansea. Before printing off your price list and opening the doors to customers, it’s important to carry out sufficient market research in your area. Find out what your competitors charge and establish how much customers would be willing to pay at your business.
In order for your business to attract customers and generate an income, you need people to know about your salon. Social media is a great way to reach new people for free and let them know about you, but enticing them into your salon can be tricky if they are already loyal customers to a different beauty salon.
Offers and discounts have been proven to be very effective at luring in new customers and loyalty reward schemes are an effective way to keep those customers coming back. However, the most powerful way to gain new customers is from word of mouth. When you provide top quality service and the customers are happy with the results of their treatment, naturally, they will tell their friends. Reputation is everything and the core of your marketing should be amazing customer service.
Before you open the doors to your business and welcome customers, it’s vital you have all of the correct legalities in place first. Will you need licensing to operate certain beauty machines? Will you and your staff need specific qualifications and licensing to offer certain treatments?
As the business owner, it is your duty to make sure that the staff and customers in your salon are kept safe and out of harm’s way. This means the premises must meet health and safety regulations. You can find out more about health and safety in business here.
Insurance is considered by most as one of the most important things to have in place before starting your business. If you are employing staff in the U.K it is a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance but you should also consider public liability insurance too as you are dealing with customers and members of the public on your premises.
Employers’ Liability and Public Liability insurance will not only provide you with financial protection against the cost of personal injury compensation claims, it will also cover you against accidental property damage claims made by staff, customers, members of the public and other third parties.
You may also want to consider building and contents insurance to protect your business against and the cost of damage, loss or theft that takes place within your salon.
Without the right business insurance, if a claim is made against you or your business, you are legally responsible for paying any compensation claims, legal fees and costs associated with theft, loss and damage – costs which can be very expensive and detrimental to any business but especially any startup, including a beauty salon.