There are a lot of reasons to go to beauty school. It can lead to a fun and rewarding career in an industry full of people who have similar interests and passions as you. Another thing that gets people excited about working in the beauty industry is the potential to become your own boss.

Believe it or not, becoming a beauty professional can be a very streamlined way to becoming a business owner. You may be surprised to find that many salon and barber shop owners are beauty school graduates. If you love the idea of working in the beauty industry and are also the type of person who dreams of owning your own business, this may be a perfect path for you.

If being a beauty industry entrepreneur sounds appealing to you, here’s some of things that it takes to open your own salon or barber shop:

proud salon owner standing at desk

Build A Business Plan

When you decide to open shop, there are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration. Of course, you will learn as you go, but here are a few things you’ll need to think about when getting started.

Finding a Place

Finding somewhere to open up your salon or barbershop is one of the first steps. You’ll want to find something that is in the right location. Ask yourself “who are my main customers?” You’ll want to find a location where those people work, shop, and live.

You will also want to think about what kind of store it is. For you to have a great salon or barber shop, you’ll need chairs for customers to sit in while waiting, barber or salon chairs, counter space for each booth/station, enough power outlets, and the right kind of flooring to name a few things. Are you going to lease a store that already has some of these things, or are you going to hire a contractor to build your store to suit your needs?

beautiful salon interior

Creating the Right Atmosphere and Ambiance

Once you have the physical location picked out, it’s time to start thinking about what you want it to look and feel like. How are you going to decorate the inside? Is it going to be modern and edgy? Classic and cozy? Again, think about what kind of customer you want to attract and create an interior that they’ll love. Creating the perfect vibe can really help your beauty business soar.

Customer Service

Opening a salon or barbershop in the right location with the perfect interior doesn’t do any good if you have poor customer service. Before opening your business, make plans on how you are going to give your customers an extraordinary experience. If you can do this effectively, your customers will be coming back time and time again; and that’s good for business.


When you’re ready to open the doors, it’s important to get the word out. Here are some good marketing ideas to help potential clients find your business.

  • Build a website
  • Post on social media
  • Hold an “Opening Day” event
  • Hold promotional events
  • Get involved in the community

There is a lot you can do in terms of marketing. You just want to make sure that your business is visible on and offline.

Make it Comprehensive

A few other things you may want to consider putting in your business plan are:

  • Which product lines to carry
  • What system you will use to collect payments from customers
  • How much you are going to charge for services
  • Whether to do booth rentals or hire employees

Your business plan will be like a roadmap to follow or a checklist to mark off as you open your business. Make sure you take your time and cover all your bases. Think about all the things that could come up or that you will need to do for your business to take off. Write it all down so you can refer back to it and make sure the important things get done.

licensed cosmetologist working in salon

Licensing and Regulations

In addition to creating a solid business plan, you will need to figure out some of the technical parts of opening your own business. Getting correct licensure and following regulations set by the government are good example of this.

Most, if not all, states will require that you have a business license before opening the doors to your new salon or barber shop. Because the process will be slightly different for each state, you will have to do some research. In Nebraska, for example, you can fill out a questionnaire and they will provide you with a list of the forms you will need to fill out to get your business license.

Your barbering and cosmetology licenses are another important ingredient to getting your operation going. You and anyone you hire will need to have their license or certification for the state in which you’re going to open your salon or barbershop.

Find Funding

Starting a new business can end up costing some money. In the beginning, you’ll need to pay for everything in order to get your salon operational. This includes the rent for the store, your first batch of products, tools, any construction costs (unless you rent a place that was already used as a salon), payroll for anyone you choose to hire, marketing expenses, and more. The idea is that once you open for business, the revenue from your sales will cover all these expenses in the future. But how do you cover them when getting started?

  • Bootstrapping: This means you use your own money or find unique ways to raise the money to cover your expenses. Bootstrapping usually requires little to no payback, but is very difficult and can take a long time.
  • Loans: You can go get a loan to cover the initial costs of opening your salon or barbershop. By doing this you can get all the money you’ll need, then pay it back over time with the money you make from the business. This is a simpler, quicker way to find the funds you will need to get started. To get a business loan you will have to find out how much you need, who the best lender is, and whether or not you can qualify.
  • Investors: Finding investors is another option for financing your new business. Investors will give you the money you need up front and you will repay them once your business is up and running. The repayment may come in different forms. Interest, partial ownership, or profit sharing are all options. You can find an investor that works with what you want to do so it’s a win for both parties.

You can use any one of these or a combination to help find the funds you need to get your dream off the ground.

passionate barber giving client a shave

It’s All About The Attitude

One of the most important ingredients to starting a successful business is your attitude. You have to be fully committed and enthusiastic about jumping in and getting things done. Opening your own salon or barbershop will also require that you learn a lot of things as you go. Don’t be afraid to make calls, ask questions, and do research when you hit a roadblock.

Excitement and determination will go a long way when starting your own business. It will also help you when it is fully operational. Many successful business are run by people who are intensely passionate about what they do. Use your passion to fuel your new business venture.

Play to Your Strengths

A fantastic business strategy is to do what you’re best at and let other people help with the rest. Build a team that can help your business soar to new heights. For example, if your weakness is accounting, then hire an accountant to do that for you. This will free up time on your plate to do more of what you love.

Getting an Education

At College of Hair Design, you can learn a lot of things that will help you with starting your salon or barber shop. Both our cosmetology and barber arts programs delve into the business side of things. You can also build a strong network while you’re in school. You can call on people in this network for help when you are ready to open your salon or when you want help getting your barber shop to new heights. Getting a beauty school education is the first step you should take to opening up your beauty business.

Get Started

If you’re ready to take your first step to building your own beauty business, contact us. We can help you get started on learning some of the basic things you will need to run a successful salon or barbershop.

Don’t wait. Start working toward your dream today!

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