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Salons have been part of our community or society for as long as one can remember. Having a regular salon visit although being a necessity, can be an indulgence or a very relaxing and enjoyable experience for many. Gone are the days when visiting the salon meant only getting a haircut or a shave. Today salons offer a wide range of services related to hair and skin. Moreover, the salon business is no longer confined to catering only to women customers; men’s grooming is on the rage and is a whole new and booming market.
Salons have, thus, turned into a huge money making business. Today there are not only stand alone salon businesses but many national and international franchises as well.
Starting a salon business does require a substantial initial investment but the return is that much more lucrative once the salon is popular and enjoys a huge customer base. Salon business relies heavily on its reputation and the quality of services provided to the customers. Once the customers are satisfied with the level of expertise and the quality of service that is provided to them, chances are the business has got a long term customer. Customer loyalty does not shift much in this business unless they have a bad experience.
The quickest and easiest way to start a salon business is to acquire a franchise of a popular salon brand and hire professional hairdressers and trained skin care experts to provide various skin related services. The other way to salon business is to start from scratch and build one’s own brand. In either case, having a well defined business plan is the key to having a successful business.
About Salon Business Plan
The essential details to be analyzed and included in making a business plan for a salon business are discussed below.
Location and Space
Location is the most crucial element in the salon business. The location of the salon business should be at a very convenient yet at a very visible place. The space of the salon can be small initially. Many entrepreneurs can start a salon business even from the comforts of their home. As the business grows with increased clientele, the entrepreneur can look for bigger spaces. The decision to rent a space or purchase one will be based on the financial viability of each option.
The ambiance of the salon has to be very relaxing and comforting at the same time look as professional and upscale as possible. This will make the customers enjoy the experience at the salon even more. Many salons play music constantly to entertain the customers while they are getting their services done or waiting for their turn.
The staff of the salon is the most crucial element of this business. It can either make or break the business. The staff of the salon should be well trained and have some professional backgrounds or education in the hairdressing or skin related services. The staff also has to be polite, humble and capable of listening and respecting the customer needs and requirements.
Customer analysis is a very important part of the business. The phrase ‘customer is the king’ is the thumb rule in the salon business especially in today’s world where a single bad review can snowball into a huge loss for the business. The salon business will thrive by correctly estimating the customer dynamics of its location and surroundings. The customer analysis will enable the business to provide tailored services to its customers as well as promote the products best suited to them
Competition analysis is required in any business venture. Knowing the competition enables the business to provide better services to its customers and create a place for the business in the market. Competition analysis also helps with the pricing policy of the business, getting better equipment, materials as well as creating better marketing and promotional strategies.
The financial plan of a salon will require thorough analysis of the current business scenario as well as the capability for the business to sustain and eventually grow. The entrepreneur has to provide detailed financials like income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet as well as future income projections to attract potential investors and lenders.
The operational plan of the business relates to the steps involved in execution of daily operations, meeting the objectives and goals set by the entrepreneur at the onset of the business. It also involves the assigning of personnel or staff to the customers as per their requests or the best fit possible to provide a good quality service to the customer. The operational plan will also have to consider the daily revenue generated whether it is with the financial goals set or needs to be worked on or reviewed.
Marketing and promotion strategy
Marketing and promotion of the salon is of utmost necessity to gain more customers. Small salon businesses cannot afford to have huge page advertisements in the newspapers or have television commercials. The best marketing and promotional strategy for small businesses is the age old word of mouth publicity. Entrepreneurs can also make use of social media to promote their salons and the various services offered by them. If the salon has certain unique selling points like a very well trained and popular staff member or a unique product like disposable or contactless wax procedure, etc. such features have to be highlighted in such social media accounts. Another promotional strategy is membership cards or discount offers to frequent customers. This will ensure retaining the customers and may also bring in more. Salons can have tie-ups with various beauty brands to promote their skin care or hair care products at the same time such beauty brands can promote the salon or the franchise by signing exclusivity contracts with them.
In many cases, the owner of the salon usually does not provide any hands on services to the customers except in special cases or for most valued and regular customers. Even then, a constant presence of the owner or manager of the salon will ensure the customers the quality of the services to be provided and can report to them immediately in case the customers are not satisfied or have an issue with the service provided. This will ensure that the owner or the manager can take timely action in the event the staff member is at fault or provide remedial services or complementary services to retain the customer.
The above pointers care some of the key elements to be considered while opening a salon business. Entrepreneurs can take professional help as well to draft a good business plan and to provide guidance and clear direction to their business.
1. Can a person start a salon business from their home?
Yes. Salon business can be started and operated from one’s own home in the initial stages of the business.
2. Does the salon business require license and registration?
Yes. The entrepreneur has to get a license to run a salon business as well as get it registered under the state laws.
3. Does the salon business fall under the ambit of GST?
Yes. Salon businesses are liable for GST and have to file timely GST returns.
4. Is opening a salon business for men a viable business option?
Yes. Men’s grooming is a rising trend, hence, opening a salon for men exclusively is a very viable business idea in today’s market.
5. Can anyone become a successful hairdresser?
No. Being a professional hairdresser requires talent, skill and excessive training. Salons will never hire untrained persons as hair dressers as that will hamper their reputation.
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