How to Start Your Own Beauty Salon Business
Updated: Oct 12
So, you want to open your own beauty salon.
Perhaps you’ve always been interested in the beauty industry and already have a diploma in salon management plus a number of certificates in beauty therapy. You’ve also been working with a well-established salon for several years.
Now you feel like you’ve learned all you could, and it’s time to move on to the next step in your career journey: open your own beauty salon.
That’s a major step, and you know it, so you’ll need all the help you can get.
Here’s some advice on how to start your own beauty salon business.
Know what motivates you
Before you hand in your resignation letter and walk out the door, take some time to reflect on why you want to go on your own. Being your own boss certainly gives you freedoms you may not enjoy right now, but is it enough to drive you to succeed? Or maybe you have something new to offer, and you think it's unexplored territory that could lead you to success.
Whatever your answer is to the ‘why’ question, mull over it carefully and then write it down. If it’s a compelling enough reason, it would serve as the primary starting point and inspiration for your future beauty salon business. It will also help you visualise what kind of salon you want and the path you’ll take to make it in the beauty industry.
Time to get started
Now that you’re clear about what inspires you to go on your own, it’s time to get down to business and take concrete steps to realise your vision.
The first item you need to decide on is the business structure, as it will determine your liabilities and tax obligations. For this, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each. Should you start as a sole trader, partnership, company or trust? Also, know that you can change the structure later when you want to.
While considering the different structures, try to cover the bases too, including:
• The location of your business: Do you have space at home that you can convert into a beauty salon? Is your address in a good area where you’re likely to attract customers? Or should you lease a space in a commercial district? You could even consider operating as a mobile salon.
• The assets you need to acquire: What tools and equipment do you need to get started? How about the beauty products you’ll be using for the treatments you’ll offer?
• Business banking: Do you already have a business account and an online payment system, including the devices to run such a system?
If you already have a ready business plan (which would have been crucial to make before leaving your job) in place, chances are, you’ve covered most if not all of the above. Doing so gives you a fair idea of how much you’ll need to invest to get started financially and otherwise.
There are several more steps you need to take to open your beauty salon. The following items are some of the most crucial steps you’ll have to take care of:
• Apply for your Australian Business Number (ABN): This is your business’s unique 11-digit identification number that you’ll need for government transactions, including registration with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
• Register your business name with ASIC: You can get all the information you need on the ASIC website, and the business registration process is fairly simple. You can register your business name via the Australian Government Business Registration Service (BRS) or by doing it directly through ASIC Connect.
• Get insurance: You’ll need some form of business insurance to operate your salon and minimise any risks. You’re also likely to need worker’s compensation insurance if you’ll be hiring salon staff. Make sure you research what insurance you need to protect your beauty business, or get business advice from a professional.
• Build your business website: Today, all types of businesses can benefit from having an online presence. This includes having a website that provides details about your business and the services you offer. You can explore various website builders (free and paid) like WiX, WordPress, HostGator, Duda, Google My Business and GoDaddy. If you have the funds, you can hire a web designer to help you with this. You can also set up your business page on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
• Create a marketing plan: You could have something unique to offer or have the expertise to deliver high-quality results. But without a marketing plan in place, it’ll be hard to drive traffic to your beauty salon door. So, get the word out. Promote your business and website on social media. Ask friends and family to help you spread the word about your beauty salon. Take photos or videos of your salon and make sure you announce the services you offer. You can even include actual footage of beauty treatments being done (with permission from the customers). Be active on social media and make sure you answer queries promptly or direct people to your website to get the information they need. Register your salon in local business directories so people searching for salons in your area can find you. Marketing is a major task, so get help if you need it.
• Get all local council permits: Sort out any business permits you may need to get from your local council, including those involving shopfront modifications.
• Organise your finances: It may be tempting to handle everything on your own. However, sorting out the financial aspects of your business is another major task that may require the assistance of a bookkeeper or accountant.
• Familiarise yourself with hygiene and safety standards: For your business to uphold the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, get to know your state’s beauty industry hygiene guidelines. Ensure you have the tools, equipment and products to help you meet those standards and deliver quality products and services to your customers.
• Protect your trademark: You could consider getting your trademarks (business name, brand or logo) registered to keep your business identity unique and prevent others from copying it. This is especially crucial if you’ll be formulating and launching your own beauty products or treatments.
You’ve finally covered all the nitty-gritty of starting a salon business.
And as long as you stay motivated and consistently deliver quality products and services, there’ll always be cause to celebrate.