The ever-changing field of cosmetology attracts creative, expressive, unique individuals from all walks of life to build a career focused on making a difference in the lives of their clients. While many just love the experience of making their customers look and feel great, other cosmetology experts yearn for a position where they can develop their leadership skills and use their entrepreneurial spirit to create a salon of their very own. Building a salon from the ground up is no easy feat, though. Luckily, with cautious, thoughtful planning and a strict budget, you can realize your dream of being a business owner in an industry you adore.
Starting a business requires a lot more than some funding and an idea. You need to have a detailed plan in place that will help you run your business and convince lenders you know what you’re doing in the long run. Consider what you want the salon to become. What kind of atmosphere do you want to cultivate? What sort of services will you offer? How will your salon be different from others? In this stage, it may help you to write a mission statement that can guide your thought process while you’re structuring the business on paper.
Once you’ve made a highly detailed business plan, you can begin scoping out potential salon locations. Some vacant spaces may include or exclude particular amenities or features, so be sure to read over the lease carefully before signing. Look for ways you can reduce rent, as well. Some landlords offer a discount on rent for long-term agreements, for example. Before you exchange any money for décor or equipment, make sure you obtain the proper licenses, building permits, certificate of occupancy, fire permit and state licensing documents.
Starting a brick-and-mortar business is nothing if not expensive. Some would-be salon owners end up spending thousands or hundreds of thousands trying to get their business off the ground. Many even make the mistake of withdrawing their retirement savings or draining their bank accounts to make it work. Though we’re often told to avoid debt entirely, sometimes accepting a loan or gift money from friends and family is the best option. If you’re a first-time business owner, you’ll have a very hard time getting the capital from the bank. For this reason, you should take your time saving your own money and any loans you can gather from your loved ones. It’s recommended you have six or more months of expenses in your account before starting the process. Once you’ve been in business long enough, you can approach banks for financing options. Remember to take it slowly, though. If you can’t afford more than two or three chairs month-to-month, it’s okay to stick with just a few until you’ve paid down debt.
You may be a champ with a spreadsheet and a whiz behind the chair, but if you’re going to bring in enough money to pay off your debt and rent and put a little in your pocket every month, you need a team to help you out. Research competitive pay and budget your labor dollars before searching for candidates. The better you pay your team, the harder they’ll work and the longer they’ll stay with your business, attracting more clients to your salon.
As a licensed cosmetologist yourself, you would never dream of hiring a person who wasn’t qualified to cut someone’s hair or perform a facial. Ask detailed questions about your candidates’ training and licenses during their interview and let them tell you their career goals. You may be able to grow together if your goals align.
At this point you will have invested a lot of your own hard earned dollars and time into creating your business, and the future success and viability of your salon will be heavily reliant on the quality of the people you hire. Take all the time you need and make the vetting process as rigorous as need be to make sure you’re getting the right people!
Before interviewing a candidate, though, ensure your business is equipped with a detailed and straightforward employee handbook that can highlight expectations for potential employees.
Get the Right Training for a Career in Cosmetology at Houston Training Schools
If owning your own salon is part of your dream career path, you’ll need the right knowledge to help you enter the industry and build capital in preparation for opening your own business. The cosmetology industry is always growing, so learning the latest techniques and methods can help you stay on the cutting edge and ensure you’re offering the services modern customers are seeking.
Ready to invest in your future? Houston Training Schools is dedicated to preparing you for your career. Our experienced instructors offer hands-on learning opportunities in esthetics, manicuring and cosmetology as well as real-world knowledge that can expand your career options and impress future employers. Contact us online or call 877-640-4747 to schedule your tour of one of our four Houston campuses or to apply today!