How to Set Up a Hairdressing Business

Written by shanika chapman
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How to Set Up a Hairdressing Business

Are you a hairdresser who is considering starting your own business? Being your own boss can be a rewarding experience but it isn't without challenges. As a salon owner, you will be responsible for all accounting such as business profits and losses, employee payroll, hiring and firing stylists, designing your store, advertising, and maintaining a high level of professionalism and customer service.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Location
  • Salon Equipment
  • Stylists
  • Insurance

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  1. 1

    Contact your state cosmetology board to determine if you need an establishment license and for information on health and safety regulations for hairdressing salons. Purchase hairdresser's insurance (See Resources).

  2. 2

    Determine how you will stand apart from other salons, either by offering a low cost salon or a more upscale salon. Before you can hire beauticians, you must decide what clientele you hope to pull in. The services you offer will vary significantly depending on the expected income levels of your potential clients.

  3. 3

    Hire licensed beauticians such as colourists and manicurists, based on the services you intend to provide. Ask former co-workers that you respect to join you or visit beauty schools in your area. You may choose to do perms, cuts, colour, braids, weaves, waxing, electrolysis and nails. You will likely be renting the stylists you hire a chair. Draw up a contract that states the conditions of their employment and any rules on how you want them to maintain their station. Make sure that they understand the professional image you are trying to present. Your stylists must project that same image. Consider having a dress and hair code. Your stylist's hair should look top notch at all times to encourage customers that they know what they're doing. Keep your stylist up-to-date on industry trends. Consider subscribing to trendy magazines such as those offered by or

  4. 4

    Find a location large enough to accommodate your stylists. You will need plenty of electrical sockets, a booth for each stylist, room for three to six washing stations, a private bathroom and break room, a reception area including 10 to 20 chairs or a several sofas or benches, and three to six dryers. Expect to need at least 800 square feet. If you intend to sell hair products, you'll need extra display space. Consider having a coffee station and background music. Your location should be convenient for your customers, such as in a mall or shopping centre.

  5. 5

    Purchase heavy duty equipment such as dryer chairs, salon stools, tanning booths, shampoo chairs, reception desks, display counters, steamers, lamps and manicure tables (See Resources).

  6. 6

    Purchase wholesale hair care products, combs, brushes, colouring solutions, shears, lotions, spa products, cuticle nippers, capes and aprons (See Resources). You can buy cash registers, paper and other accounting supplies at Visit to set up a merchant account so that you can accept credit cards.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a catchy name for your salon and incorporate your business. Becoming a limited liability company can offer a number of advantages and should cost about £162.
  • Create a business plan, especially if you will need to apply for financing.

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