The Top Tips for Cosmetologists Starting Their Own Salon Suite
You know what we love most about the cosmetology industry? The insane versatility.
Not only are there, like, thousands of unique niches you can nestle into and find success, but you can also run your career in pretty much any setting that you want.
Want to be a mobile cosmetologist? Go for it. Prefer to work for someone else in an established shop or salon? Live your dream, fam. Want to set up your own, unique business in a customized salon suite? Pal, we are here for it.
If we totally hit the nail on the head with that last example—setting up your own kickass salon suite, then we’ve got good news—you’re in the right corner of the internet.
Your own salon suite probably sounds like the ultimate dream, but if you—like so many other stylists—aren’t quite sure how to kick-start your own salon suite, the idea of even beginning the process can seem overwhelming.
Our advice? Don’t sweat it and start reading.
We’re laying out some of the top tips for starting your own salon suite—we’re even sharing our own eBook with you that takes a deep dive into the process of setting up your sweet suite.
Check out the Salon Suites: Everything For Your New Beauty Business eBook ASAP!
The Top Tips Every Cosmetologist Needs to Start Their Own Salon Suite
First things first, we want to specify something—these set of tips are specifically directed at salon suites.
While some of this advice will totally lend itself to renting a booth in a salon or working directly for an established salon, it’s going to really benefit you if you’re working for yourself, own your own business, and can make (mostly) all the decisions for your professional career.
We’re not hating on working for other people—some of the best jobs out there are at established salons and learning from the best.
But if you’re striking out on your own and you’ve chosen to embark on renting or owning your own salon suite, then this is the perfect set of advice for you!
How To: Start Your Business
First things first, you’ll want to find the right location. Ultimately, we know there’s no such as the perfect location, but we also think with enough legwork and patience, you can find something pretty dang close to perfect.
If you’re looking for turnkey solutions and salon suites that are already basically set-up for your purpose, check out options like:
- Salons by JC
- Phenix Salon Suites
- Sola Salons
- Total Salon Studios
- My Salon Suites
There are plenty of other options out there, but this list should get you a good start! You’ll want to consider things like:
- Salon suite rental prices
- Lease term agreements
- Salon suite location
- Salon suite licensing insurance (lowkey, you guys, we’ve got you covered on this one)
Next, you’ll want to consider how you’ll setup your salon—yep, we’re talking about esthetics and logistics.
You’ll want to start thinking about things like theme, brand, what you need, what’s provided at your suite, the equipment you’ll need, the layout that makes using that equipment as seamless as possible, what type of technology you’ll need, and beyond.
This part might seem overwhelming, so we suggest sitting down in your bare-bones space and imagine going through a day in the shop.
Is there a natural flow to the suite? Walk through an entire day and take notes on what you’ll need, what’s most conducive, and what could be a roadblock.
How To: Find Your Clients
Finding clients is the first step, and we think this all starts with knowing your niche. You don’t want to be everything for everybody, right? Not only is that super overwhelming, but it’s also damn near impossible. Finding your clients is all about knowing who you’re looking for in the first place.
Figure out your target demographic and who your market is, then you’ll have a better idea of how to chase them down.
A super-easy way to break into the market is to partner with influencers and ambassadors. Offer them low-to-no rates on your services in exchange for some serious social media boosting. You can even open up your services with a just-opened special rate (only temporarily) to build up some buzz around your new biz.
Another way to find clients? Start networking, start marketing, and start making sure it’s SO easy to get in touch with you. You could be the best stylist around, but if no one has ever heard of you or knows how to contact you, you’re kind of out of luck.
We’ll get to the marketing thing in a minute, so hang tight for more insight on how to kickstart this process.
As a note, if you’re coming from working somewhere else, don’t feel bad about carrying over clients from your previous business. No, you don’t want to poach clients, but it’s okay to reach out to some of your old regulars and let them know this update. They’ll more than likely want to come to you again!
How To: Pick the Perfect Services
Again, this begins with knowing your niche.
You’ll want to make sure you’re offering the perfect services to meet a specific set of needs. Think about your target demographic—what are they coming to you for? What are they after, exactly? If you’re unsure—ask.
Set up a brainstorming session with someone from your target demographic (that you know and have worked with, hopefully!), other stylists, your mentors, and more. Pick their brains, use their feedback, and apply all of that to your service list.
Another great idea? Figure out who your competitors are and see what they’re offering. We swear this isn’t considered spying. Eyeing your competitors and learning from them is actually a super savvy business practice and is highly encouraged to help you better understand your market.
It’s important to ensure that you’re offering relevant, on-trend services, too. Sure, it’s important that you know how to do everything, but is that really where your bread and butter is?
People are coming to you because you’re the expert in something—and it’s a rare skill to be the expert in every single service niche.
How To: Make Your Salon Suite Profitable
Admittedly, taking on the job of boosting your profitability can seem scary AF, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not such a big.
Our best advice for making your salon suite profitable? Get customers in the door and try to cut costs where you can. We advise emphasizing marketing yourself, creating a kickass loyalty program, and investing in networking.
We’ve combined some excellent resources here that we think can help you kick this process into gear:
Are you all about this kind of industry insight? If you made it all the way to the end of this article we’re going to go ahead and assume this is totally your thing.
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