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Owning a Salon

February 14, 2012

Owning a salon is the dream of many professionals in the beauty industry. A salon is a type of business where clients visit to get haircuts, hair coloring, hair styling, manicures, and pedicures. Many salons are now also offering a full range of waxing and spa treatments to increase revenue and attract more customers. Most salon clients are women, but they do offer their services to men. The salon industry is growing, and while it is competitive, studies have shown that salon services are in-demand and consumers are willing to spend more money on them now than they ever have before.

Startup Costs

The most expensive aspect of opening a salon is leasing salon space. A small salon typically has five to six chairs, and at least 1,000 square feet of space. According to Forbes.com salon space generally costs between $75 and $125 per square feet to lease each month. In busy urban markets, such as Los Angeles or New York City it is not uncommon to see salon space renting for as much as $300 per square feet. When renting salon space the owner must remember that most leases require at least a one year commitment, and rent is going to be due whether the salon is successful or not. Many salons can be rented fully equipped, but it can cost several thousand dollars to outfit an empty salon with items such as sinks, chairs, vanities, and mirrors. Supplies, such as towels, shampoo, conditioner, hair color, and hair products are a necessary purchase, and must be available for all appointments. Most salons are only as good as the stylists that they employ, so a startup budget must include capital to pay employees. Other costs include taxes and monthly utilities such as water and electricity.

Legal Issues

Owning a salon requires signing legal documents, such as a lease. It is in the best interest of the owner to consult an attorney to review the terms of a lease to ensure that the owner’s interests are protected. A business license and tax I.D. number are also required before a salon can open. Salons are subject to business taxes, which must be paid on time to avoid fines and late fees. Many local governments also require an inspection of a salon to make sure that it is sanitary and hygienic. Any employee providing grooming services must also be in possession of a state issued cosmetology license.

Types of Salons

A salon can be a small, privately owned business, or part of a large corporate chain. Many franchise opportunities are available, in which a salon can use the name and management model of an established salon brand. Some salons specialize in only styling hair, while other types offer a full range of beauty and grooming services. A new trend in salons is the mobile salon, where stylists can be hired to perform services in the convenience of a client’s home.

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