How to Start a Nail Salon
Are you dreaming of opening your own nail salon someday? Undoubtedly, these beauty-oriented businesses are exciting and lucrative. But, like any other venture, a nail salon takes hard work, dedication, and preparation to achieve success.
In this article, we’ll discuss the general steps on how to start a nail salon, from business idea to opening day. We’ll also look at the essential details you must consider, like associated costs and potential pitfalls.
How to Open a Nail Salon: Getting Started
Starting a nail salon is just like opening any other retail business. You need to find a suitable location, secure funding, hire staff, and market your venture.
However, nail salon businesses are unique because they are skill-based. If you’re the nail shop owner, but you don’t plan to do any manicuring yourself, you should still know the industry’s ins and outs. Ideally, you should have some professional salon experience. Short courses or trainings are great resources when you’re starting your endeavor. You also might want to connect with other salon owners who can support you on your business journey.
Before jumping in, you may be wondering how much you can earn from a nail salon business. The typical annual revenue of a salon can average $40,000 to $75,000. Additionally, owning multiple salons or franchises is a popular way to scale the business. Keep in mind, these figures are estimates and your earnings may vary.
How to Start Your Own Nail Salon Business
Set Your Business Goals
Opening a nail bar starts when you write down your vision for the venture. After you have your dream goals, you need to establish the concrete steps to get there.
Create a Detailed Plan
You can do this with a nail salon business plan. This document describes — in great detail — what your salon will look like and how it will operate. For example, you should estimate the amount of seating and the overall square footage. You should also define the intangible aspects of business planning, such as your company culture, hiring philosophy, and ideal client persona.
Obtain Your Business License and Permits
Next, get the necessary permits and licenses required by your city and state to operate a business. Depending on the state you live in, you may want to hire a lawyer or consultant to help you breeze through this step.
Find a Location
After you’ve crafted a business plan and secured your licenses, you’ll tackle the most vital step of all—securing your location. Your salon needs to be in a highly visible area that is easily accessible to your target market. If possible, you should find an area with high foot traffic, like in a mall or a popular pedestrian street. If you can’t find an open location in a highly trafficked area (or you can’t afford those prime leases), you may want to look for a spot along a major road where you can easily advertise to passing cars.
Your salon should also be spacious. Most experts recommend at least 1,000 square feet of space. During this time, you can actively source and purchase your nail salon equipment and furniture as well.
Once you have your location, you should turn your attention to hiring your staff. It is recommended to hire technicians and nail professionals whose skill set matches the services you want to offer. And while skill is an essential criterion, never underestimate the importance of personality. Remember, a nail salon is very much a social experience for your customers, and friendly staff can make or break their outing.
Promote Your Business
As you near opening day, focus on promoting your new business in the local community, as well as through digital marketing channels like social media or email. The more you promote your services, the more hype and attention you’ll have when you finally open your doors.
Costs Involved in a Nail Salon Business
A nail salon or bar is a moderately expensive venture. Construction for opening a nail salon cost can average $100,000. Then, you’ll need to purchase nail salon equipment, which can vary based on the services you want to offer. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2,800 to $15,000 on equipment and fixtures. For more information on equipment costs, see the list below:
- Manicure Stations: $200-300
- Stools: $100-$200
- Pedicure Chairs: $1,000-$3,000
- Drying Lamps: $50-$200
Owning A Nail Salon: Tips for Business Owners
Understanding the basics of how to start a nail salon will rarely be straightforward, no matter how prepared you are. But hopefully, the following tips can help make your journey a little less complicated.
1. Set Reasonable Wages for Your Staff
Don’t overpay your technicians, no matter how good they are. It might seem like a good idea to offer high commission rates to attract the best talent, but you risk going beyond your budget by doing so.
2. Business Comes First
Never forget that you’re a business owner first and a nail artist second. Your focus should be on creating systems, managing the operation, and promoting your business. If you’re spending too much time attending to customers or rendering services yourself, you risk neglecting your biggest responsibility.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Finances
Always look at your numbers. Be obsessed with your books, your expenses, and cash flow. One of the biggest reasons most businesses don’t make it past the first three years is that they’re massively underfunded. Even a well-maintained, high foot-traffic nail salon will not survive if you don’t have enough funds to cover day-to-day operations.
Contact L3 Funding
To ensure you have enough cash to operate and grow, consider L3 Funding’s financing options. Contact us today to get started with our merchant funding solutions.