Choosing the Right Location

Location

Location, location, location.
When you choose a location to open your salon make sure it is in a highly populated residential district nearby to universities, schools, libraries, and offices, etc. Plus, other beauty and hair salons in residence at the location is a strong indicator of local demand for the services you can provide.

You can choose from several different locations, such as a town centre—which is classified as a prime location—or opt for a secondary location situated on the outskirts, such as a high street. The positive attraction for deciding on a prime location is increased footfall and potential walk-in trade. However, the downside is more expensive rent and rates, therefore, you will need a lot of cash flow to get the business off the ground. Also, you may not have an overly strong negotiating position when it comes to discussing  lease terms with the landlord; as there is high demand for prime locations.

Other things you need to consider; do you have the draw to pull your clients to the town centre where they may have to battle for parking? Will a secondary location work better for you because of this—where there is plenty of parking nearby and less traffic. These types of locations can be ideal for smaller businesses, as usually landlords are more flexible on lease terms so rents and rates are usually lower. 

When considering location, being in the same vicinity as other local amenities can prove wise. Easy parking and convenience can be major draws for your potential clients.

Buy an Existing Business or Start from Scratch?

Business Plan

After you have selected your location, then the next decision to make is whether you want to open a brand-new salon from scratch or buy an existing salon for sale.

Whichever one you choose will depend on your finances, experience, and time. Do your research and then construct your business plan accordingly.

For more advice on writing the perfect business plan for a beauty or hair salon business, click here. 


     
     Existing Beauty Salons for Sale

  • Check out websites such as businessforsale.com or Daltonsbusiness for current beauty salons, hair salons or tanning shops for sale. You may find a real gem!

  • You can find many salons for sale where the owners have spent a lot of money on new flooring, shop fronts, and the interior design of the salon.

  • Some may even be in prime areas making you wonder why they are selling!

  • Typical reasons the owners may give are, "I have other business commitments", "I’m moving abroad" or "I’m retiring". 

  • Take these reasons with a pinch of salt as they really mean, “I’m bored of this business” or "I made a mistake on my target market and I’m moving elsewhere".

  • Turning a business like this around will take time, energy and experience on your part. Be sure to know what you’re getting yourself into before you buy an existing business. Do your homework; research the area, the popular demographics in the area, and the competition. It maybe you can spot something the ex-owner couldn’t to turn it around.

  • However, if the owner is genuinely moving to retire and they have good financial accounts, then this is a great way to enter the salon business to get started without the hassle of building from nothing.

     
     Begin from Scratch

  • For some people, the challenge of beginning from nothing is the appeal itself. So, the other option is to find an empty shop, then design and decorate the salon you envision in your imagination. 

  • An additional benefit to remember; renting a new shop allows you to negotiate favourable lease terms for your new business with the landlord. 

  • Look for a shop that is at least 1,000sq.ft to allow space for treatment rooms, a reception area, a kitchen/staff space, toilets, and some space for the stock room.

Your Salon’s Image

How you set up and design your salon depends on what image you want to portray and what treatments you are going to do.

Be careful of the style you select for your salon/clinic. Pitch the class and trend of your design to suit the clientele that you’re aiming for. This is not an area to scrimp on; the face of your business will determine the level of customers you attract.

Choosing a Beauty Salon Name
Choosing a good salon name and logo is important as this is how customers will remember you. Beauty salons are renowned for having the worst business names; such as “Jess’s Beauty Salon” (who is Jess?) or “Wax On & Wax Off” (which communicates that you only do waxing). Be sure to think carefully before deciding for definite on your brand’s name. Your business name and logo will be used on your stationary, leaflets, business cards, shop front, and website; and all of this marketing and advertising will have an impact on your clientele.

The Shop Front
Aim for a salon with lots of window space to allow the light in, let passing customers see inside, and to advertise your services well. If you’re located in a basement or on a 1st floor, then it is difficult for passing trade to see you. Be sure to up your advertising to compensate for this.

Beauty Salon Decor
The design and décor depends upon your budget and target group. You want to leave a lasting impression on your clients. In my experience, I’ve discovered that theme rooms can create a real wow factor. Your décor and treatments are the stamp that will stay with your customers so you want to ensure it’s striking.

Here are some examples of our theme rooms for inspiration:

Planning the Layout
The design of the shop and rooms should be big enough to allow your therapist’s and their equipment can move comfortably. Remember your staff are working long hours so they need to enjoy  their surroundings. Ideally, each room should have an air con unit which acts as both ventilation and heating for the salon.

A good typical size room is around 3.4 m x 2.2 m with plenty of wall sockets for equipment.

Salon Furniture and Equipment
When you kit your premises with salon furniture and equipment, I recommend you buy from a UK based company that provides solid aftercare service and extended warranty. You may end up paying a little more with a UK company but if any of your equipment or furniture breaks or you need new parts then you have a local organization you can reach quickly. I have learned from experience if you buy from some eBay stores or from abroad the aftercare service can be poor, so you may want to pay that little extra for a better after sales plan.

Beauty Salon Statutory Legal Requirements

Licences to Trade:
Do your research on the type of licence you require from your local council to carry out your treatments legally.

Special Treatment Licence
Each local council in the UK has different criteria which must be met for being licensed  as a hair or beauty salon and  there are different fees involved. For example, our Paddington branch is licensed by Westminster Council, and they charge £1,600 per year for a laser treatment licence.Whereas for our Slough branch they only charge £300 every two years, and some branches do not even require a licence. 

Laser Protection Advisor
If you are going to be carrying out laser treatments, then you will require a certified Laser Protection Adviser (LPA).Again, this will all depend on your local authority but most insurance companies will require you to have an LPA and failure to provide documents will result in insurance claims not beingeffectively covered.

An LPA provides:

  • Site Inspection
  • Risk Assessment
  • Local Rules

This usually costs around £500 per year but the cost will vary on who you go with.

A PRS  for Music and PPL Licences
If your business plays recorded music or music videos in public—including radio or TV—you will almost certainly be legally required to have a PPL licence.

PPL licences collect and distribute money for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers. 

And guess what, you’ll also need a licence for PRS for Music.

A PRS for Music licence collects and distributes money for the use of the musical composition and lyrics on behalf of authors, songwriters, composers and publishers. Be smart and be licensed.

Health & Safety Requirements
You need to ensure all your equipment over 12-months old are all PAT tested. This is a routine check which should be carried out by a certified electrician. You will also need staff booklets, a comprehensive first aid kit,appropriate fire extinguishers, and an accident book in the staff area. Your local Health and Safety department can carry out an inspection at any time so be sure that all of these are up-to-date and ready for them.


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