Step-by-Step Guide on Starting Your Own Nail Salon

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How to start a profitable nail salon business. Very few nail salon owners are able to demand high rates or scale a high-class status. Fortunately, nail salons who succeed enjoy thousands of dollars in sales each year. Without having the right financial planning or interior design, even a highly popular nail salon can easily close down. Other reasons can be not having the right nail salon interior design.

How to Start a Nail Salon Business: Step-by-Step Guide

There are a number of moving parts that needs to be thought out and organized before deciding to open up a nail salon. Here are critical steps needed to ensure you start out your business the right way:

1. Create a business plan: Pick the right business format to follow regardless if it’s from a successful business plan template or a book containing business references.

2. Make an initial start-up cost estimate: Make an assumption that your nail salon start-up as corporate fees. Picture equipment, rent, and ongoing costs as salaries, loan payments, and marketing costs.

3. Have enough capital to jumpstart your business: This can be from a member of your family, relatives, or friends. Or they can be from your bank savings, lender, or a venture capitalist.

4. Ensure you’re able to get the necessary licenses and permits: These would typically include a business license, business name permit, employer identification number, land use permit, zoning permit, sales tax license, and land use permit.

5. Acquire a permit for the health department: You’ll need to run a check to see if your locality would require nail technicians to have a professional license.

6. Score the right location for your business: Go for a location that’s populated and affordable. You can seek help from a realtor who specializes in commercial property.

7. Clean and remodel your business space: Paint, replace anything broken, or even do a small renovation before making any equipment purchase.

8. Make your equipment purchase: Important equipment for your nail salon should include chairs, tables, nail polish, nail brushes, nail removers, nail clipper, dryers, LED/UV lighting, and other essentials.

9. Purchase a POS software: It’s imperative to go for a cash register and a POS (Point of System) software to accurately monitor sales and taxes. You should settle for a software that lets you print out reports to help look into your nail salon’s performance.

10. Hire qualified nail technicians: Opt for nail technicians who have years of experience and enjoy giving quality service to customers. Just to be safe, hire those who have a professional license.

11. Purchase a reliable payroll program: Go for a payroll software with timekeeping and printing features. Ensure that that program meets payroll deduction compliance.

12. Begin training your staff: Ensure your nail salon staff understand your procedures and policies before officially opening. Seek advice from family, friends, salon owners, and experienced nail technicians to volunteer for manicures and pedicures as a form of training for your staff.

13. Advertise your business or make discount offers: If you’re still not sure how effective your staff is with their jobs, do a soft opening to get a feel for any necessary fixes that need to be made before officially opening.

14. Digitize your business: Kick off an online marketing campaign through e-mail advertisements. Put up an official website that allows customers to book an appointment online. Ensure your website is optimized and accessible through any mobile device.

nail salon business

Things to Consider in the Nail Salon Business

Just like any new business venture, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider in today’s competitive nail salon business. These include:

1. Settle for the right business model.

Varying salons operate on varying business models. Is it necessary to start your nail salon from scratch, purchase an already established salon, or settle for a franchise? Will you run a business on a commission basis or by means of a rental model?

If you’re going for chai rental, your nail technicians will end up working as independent contractors carrying their own insurance. This will only work if you’re working with a few friends and running a small nail salon.

If you intend to expand your nail salon, the commission-based model is recommended. But there’s a downside: as an owner, you’ll be tasked to cover varying employee-related fees (including compensation insurance). While some nail salons operate on a “hybrid” model, there’s a risk of running one business model and making a switch in the later: your staff may not like the change and would rather leave.

2. Start forging business partnerships.

Always look to partner with experienced and/or successful business partners, regardless if it’s a group of mentors or an investor. A majority of successful nail salons are those with individuals who concentrate on day-to-day operations and another group in charge of the “creative” side of the business.  It’s advisable to partner with brand or a company line.

3. Go for financing.

With little or limited cash, you’ll need to consider third-party financing. Since business is a seasonal cycle and it takes a bit of time to be fully established, it’s advisable to have a minimum of six months of capital in the bank at the start of your how to start a nail salon business. It’s rare for startups to qualify for business loans. But you can always ask for personal loans from family, relatives, or other parties.

Once your nail salon is established for a year or so, you can give credit unions and banks a try. But expect strict standards and a long wait for approval and funding (which can take weeks or months even). If you fail to succeed with lenders, you can always explore lenders online. They’re less strict and funding can be made within a short period of time.

4. Hire wisely.

Hiring is one known struggle for nail salon owners seeking for a skilled and trustworthy staff. The key here is how you’ll seek out your stylists. You can forge relationships with beauty schools in your area to ensure a potential supply of graduates. When seeking for candidates, it’s crucial they get the right training and educational plan.

5. Set financial goals.

A budget typically involves making sure costs won’t succeed revenue. You’ll need to roll up your sleeves, do a bit of math, and understand how much it would take for your salon to succeed — even if it would mean keeping tabs on the cost of a nail brush. Review your books frequently with your accountant. Having an accountant ensures the creation of weekly goals and annual budget.

When financial goals are set, you can seek ways to meet them. This could mean promoting your nail technicians to a higher salary grade, providing new treatment trends, or playing around with shop’s opening hours. If you stick within the numbers, it’ll give you an understanding as to what needs to be done in your business without having to second guess anything.

6. Take part in associations

Professional and trade associations offer content for a wide range of industries that you might find useful. These associations contain essential “blueprints” for nail salon owners in the form of marketing strategies, manuals, forms, and HR manuals.

Thinking of your nail salon as a full-time business, hiring quality staff, monitoring progress, facilitating teamwork, and letting your community know about you and where your shop is located, are just some ways to help you become one of the top how to start a nail salon business salons in the country.

Read more blog posts about starting your own nail salon business here.