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Having a well-thought-out salon business plan can mean the difference between success and failure. All too often, new businesses fail due to poor planning and lack of funds to help it stay afloat during its early years of operation.
Last week, I talked about the first 5 steps of creating a salon business plan:
- Describe Your Company
- Figure Out Your Finances
- Define Your Target Market
- Create a Marketing Plan and an Initial Marketing Budget.
- Describe Your Products and Services
This week, I’ll cover the remaining 4 steps to complete your salon business plan.
Step 6: Identify Your Management Team
Successful salons rely on the skill, experience and reputation of the owner and staff. Ultimately, it will be your and your staff’s clients who will comprise the base clientele for your new salon. In this section of your salon business plan, identify your stylists and describe the scope and depth of their expertise.
Include a brief, professional biography highlighting your and your staff’s experience and qualifications. Include their names, job duties and details about their skills or training. For stylists, this means their education, years in the profession, certifications and past working experience at prominent salons. For other staff such as receptionists, you might include information about customer service experience.
If you think your target clientele may want straightening, color treatments or hair extensions, among other specific offerings, include these specialties in each stylist’s individual bios. This will broaden the description of the salon by demonstrating the variety of experiences available for new clients.
In addition, you may also want to include bios of any co-founders or investors with a management stake in the company.
Step 7: Outline the Day-to-Day
One of the crucial aspects of building a successful salon is the support you’ll need to run your new business day-to-day, so you want that to reflect in your salon business plan. It’s important to outline in your salon business plan what these roles are and what daily duties each person will perform in your salon. In this section, list the day-to-day activities needed to market, open, manage, provide services and close the salon. Indicate who on your team is responsible for each activity.
Here’s a few examples to get you started:
- Salon Manager. The salon manager can handle tasks like paperwork, recordkeeping, employee scheduling, and purchasing. They also can oversee salon maintenance and handle facility management issues.
- Hairstylist/Cosmetologist. A hairstylist/cosmetologist typically provides hair services such as cut, coloring and/or chemical treatments.
- Manicurist. This professional provides services like manicures, pedicures, and specialty nail services like acrylic nail application, gel manicures or nail art..
- Esthetician. This service provider can perform salon services that include facials, waxing, and makeup applications.
- Shampoo/Salon Assistant. This employee shampoos clients’ hair. He or she may also assist with the drying or finishing of hair styles, fold towels, sweep up hair clippings, and provide other general assistance around the shop.
- Receptionist. In addition to greeting clients, the receptionist answers the phone, books appointments, gives directions, cashes out clients, and performs various other customer service duties like making coffee or even hanging up coats for clients. This employee should be extremely knowledgeable about the salon products you sell.
Step 8: Appendix
This section of your salon business plan should include additional support documents or materials such as business licenses and permits, health department or state occupational permits, and trademarks.
Step 9: Executive Summary
Now that you’ve gathered this great information in the first 8 steps of your salon business plan, write an executive summary to use as the first section! This one- to two-page summary should provide an overview of your salon business plan, quickly highlighting important features of each succeeding section.
3 Parting Pieces of Advice
You’ve compiled and written a great salon business plan. Congratulations! But you’re not quite done.
Before you start shopping your salon business plan around, you need to think about 3 more things:
1. Choose the right location. Location is critical to the success of your salon. Consider these factors:
- Look for a high-traffic area. Busy streets, malls or spaces next to locations people visit often (such as grocery stores) are ideal.
- Make access easy. If parking is a hassle and traffic is thick on the way to your salon, people might not consider it worth the effort.
- Locate far from the competition. If you establish your salon directly next to another salon, you'll cancel each other out. Try to find a place where you'll be the only salon for a few blocks.
2. Take care of any licensing. While you’re focused on creating your salon business plan, you need to assume that you’ll secure the funds you need to eventually open the doors to your very own clientele. It pays to plan ahead – and think positively! That’s why you need to do some additional paperwork.
- Obtain a business license. All businesses in the U.S. must be licensed. Check out the Small Business Administration website for more help.
- Learn employee licensing rules. In the United States, all personal appearance workers (including salon assistants) must be licensed. That includes cutting or coloring hair, painting nails, hair removal, and makeup application. Rules vary by state, so contact your local Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to find out what their requirements are.
- Research health inspection regulations. Make sure your salon is sanitary and follows the guidelines laid out by your state.
3. Choose a Salon Management Software
To keep track of your money and growth, you’ll want to implement a salon management software that can help you track inventory, as well as revenue objectives, profit objectives, numbers of new clients, and specific marketing and operational activities.
Ideally, a salon management software should give you all the tools you need to manage your business’s bookings, marketing, POS, eCommerce, customer records, employee schedules, and reporting.
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