Crops, cuts, dyes, and highlights—hair salons are bustling microcosms of personal change and amusing exchanges. If you’re thinking about starting a salon of your own, the best place to start is with a solid business plan.
The question is: what goes into a business plan for a hair salon?
The short answer: A mission statement, a financial plan, and all the details about how the actual business will run. Of course, if you’re looking to write a hair salon business plan, you need more than the short answer. That’s why we’ve outlined every aspect of building a successful salon business plan, so read on for all the hair-splitting details.
Why build a business plan
Before you write a business plan, you might be wondering what the point of creating it is in the first place. After all, if the business is your personal passion that you’re willing to stake your time and effort into, is it really necessary to put so much of it in writing?
Actually, a business plan has two distinct values to anyone starting a salon (or any other spa business).
Value for investors
A salon costs money. Even if your staff is providing their own supplies, you have plenty of overhead and start-off costs, from signing a lease to keeping the lights on.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to all the funds necessary to start your salon—whether from your savings or your friends and family—that’s great, but for most small businesses the only way to secure the capital to get a business off the ground is through taking out a loan.
You can secure funds from:
- Small business loans – Federally subsidized small business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administrations (SBA) are an option for your burgeoning salon business.
- Individual investors – Often high-income individuals are looking to invest directly into business opportunities including salons. You can meet with investors to get their ideas about how they can contribute financially to your small business.
To convince anyone to lend you the necessary capital to begin your salon, you’ll need a thoughtful business plan. As the business owner, you’ll present your plan directly to lenders and answer any questions they have about your proposal.
Ultimately, your hair styling business plan is your ticket to the financing you need to achieve your dreams of great ‘dos.
Value for the business
The flip side of your business plan is recognizing all the details, and planning is necessary to assure your business finds success. Committing to laying the groundwork on your business in print means a smoother opening, and a clearer picture of what needs to happen to get the doors open and the customers flowing in.
Your salon can use the business plan to:
- Analyze potential risks
- Develop a thorough layout
- Outline your target market
- Explore the possibilities of daily operations
You may think you’ve already got it all figured out, but throughout the process of building your business plan, it’s quite likely you’ll stumble across something that will make you rethink your original vision. Embrace the change—it’s time to jump into the plan.
Part 1: The cover page
Name, number, address, email—any and every way to contact you. The worst possible scenario is having an investor fall in love with your proposal only for them to have no clue how to get in contact with you.
While it may seem obvious, your cover page is the first thing any potential investor will see, so make sure everything looks pristine, professional, and eye-catching. Why not add a table of contents on the reverse side to give your audience an idea of what to expect as well? The extra polish might go a long way.
Part 2: Executive summary
Think of the executive summary as the simple synopsis, or the trailer for the big movie that is your new salon or spa. It needs to be short, touching on your goals and visions without getting too bogged down in the details. For your salon summary include information like:
- Your five-year plan – Do you see yourself expanding your business, offering more services, or opening up a second location? Share what your plans are for the future and where you see your salon going.
- How your salon will impact the community - Consider detailing how your salon will function as part of a larger community. Think about reaching out to neighbors and other local businesses through Nextdoor to get a better idea of the landscape you’ll become a part of.
Part 3: General description and company history
It’s time to talk about what sets your salon apart from the others. The general description and history pages are there to establish why your community needs your new small business. That means elaborating on specific things:
- Atmosphere - What feeling(s) does your salon evoke? Describe the feeling every customer will have upon viewing the facade and arriving inside. For Cedar Park salon owner Leslie Reeves, “It’s all about making kids feel amazing in their own skin.” She runs Sit Still, a kids salon committed to keeping its guests comfortable.
- Location – You’ve picked the perfect spot to begin your new salon business. Now let potential investors know why the location you’ve chosen is more than just practical—it’s purposeful. Whether you’ve studied the foot traffic of the neighborhood or noticed a dearth of other salons nearby, give them a reason why you’re putting down roots where you are.
- Services – Are you the first salon in your neighborhood to offer a service combination never seen before? If you’re styling hair like no one else, be sure to talk about it in your summary.
- Personal history – What about your past has come to inform you about starting a salon? If you’ve spent a decade in the beauty industry, worked in a variety of salons, and studied the ins and outs of the business, it’s worthwhile to include all of that.
Part 4: Mission statement and management plan
How are you going to do what you do? Keep your mission statement focused on things such as:
- Hiring and training practices
- Retail plans
- Customer service expectations
- Inventory management
- Business software
Tackle each aspect of how your salon will operate day-to-day before moving on to the management plan, which will essentially detail who is responsible for each task. These sections are interrelated and should complement each other. For each aspect of your mission statement, there should be a correlated part of your management plan.
Think about the role of each employee—from the front desk to the manager—and outline their expected compensation as well. Include yourself, as the owner, too. You have some big responsibilities, after all.
Part 5: Marketing analysis and plan
If you’re looking to open up a salon, you should spend time researching precisely what’s happening in the beauty industry, both locally and nationally. This in-depth research will go a long way in presenting your business plan as thorough, objective, and well thought-out.
You can also position your salon filling a hole in the market as Allyson Davoll, CEO of Inspired to Enhance Roanoke did, stating, “I always knew when I had my salon, I wanted to diversify and make sure everybody knew how to do everything.”
Present your marketing analysis and then explicate your plan to capture your customer base. That includes things like:
- Your market position – Do you specialize in classic cuts for young professionals or are you catering to an older crowd looking to keep up with current trends? Explain exactly who your target demographic is and why you’re in the position to cater directly to them.
- Create marketing goals - Create realistic goals for the immediate future when it comes to your small business marketing plans. Who and how many are the key takeaways from these goals, and don’t forget to imagine how you might expand your target demographics in the future.
- Identify branding – Slogans, images, and potential advertising materials can all be detailed in your marketing strategy. Show your potential investors exactly how you plan to appeal to your target demographic and explain why you’ve made the choices you have.
Part 6: Financial plan
If you’re looking for someone to invest in your salon or spa business, you’re going to need to prove that the investment can be lucrative with a shrewd financial plan. This section can be the most complex, especially for those with a specific financial background, which is why many small business owners turn to a professional.
A certified public accountant (CPA) is an individual with the knowledge and accreditation to guide you through any financial questions you might stumble upon while preparing your financial plan. Seek out any resources and help you might find necessary to build a proper business plan for your hair salon.
Your financial section should include the following information, though it’s important to note that much of it will be projected data based on research unless your beauty salon is already up and running.
- Profit and loss statement – Exactly what it sounds like, this statement will account for your income generating costs (products, commissions, retail sales), as well as your monthly operational costs (rent, utilities, insurance).
- Break-even analysis – Where costs intersect with profits. You can create a graph detailing exactly how much time it will take for the initial investment to be made back in full by the business.
- Cash flow statement – This section will account for all of the money that flows in and out of the business. Whether to pay for services or pay off loans, every penny should be accounted for.
- Business ratio – The projected sales and growth over one year can be identified in the business ratio. It’s a good way of asserting how and why your business will succeed and expand.
Part 7: Appendix
This final and optional section is where you can place items that you think are important but might not have their own proper section. These miscellaneous items could include:
- City permits
- Building leases
- Your resume
If you believe you have an item that could help you secure financing for your new beauty salon be sure to include it.
Business plans are typically under 12 pages, so as always, keep things as concise as possible and exercise restraint whenever possible. As well, note that you can (and likely should) revise and change your business plan as you encounter new information and develop new ideas. It’s a living document with the flexibility to change when necessary.
Nextdoor: The best plan for your business
Now that we’ve outlined the nitty-gritty of getting your salon’s business plan off the ground, you’re likely posed over your keyboard ready to get started bringing this essential document to life.
Hang on for just a second and click on over to Nextdoor. Nextdoor is the place to turn for getting the word out about your new beauty salon business, gathering recommendations, connecting with potential customers who are also your neighbors.
At Nextdoor we know it takes a village, so why not get in touch today.
Impact Newspaper. Sit Still Kids Salon aims to create calm space for haircuts. https://communityimpact.com/austin/cedar-park-leander/business/2021/09/13/sit-still-kids-salon-aims-to-create-calm-space-for-haircuts/
Roanoke Times. Business Intel: Salon offers inclusive hair care services at Valley View. https://roanoke.com/business/local/business-intel-salon-offers-inclusive-hair-care-services-at-valley-view/article_96c21ddc-ffa1-11eb-9097-df80c4c4542b.html
SBA. Small business funding programs. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs