How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (2023)

The barbershop industry wassteadily growing since 2013, as more and more men began to realize the importance of hygiene.

With the growing needs there has also been a revolution in trends and styles. In the last decade several tools and services have emerged that have made the sector better known and more robust.

Therefore, owning a hair salon can be very profitable if done right. But that's easier said than done, after all, the road to success in the hairdressing industry is long and comes with its own set of obstacles.

In this article we will help you understand how to open a hair salon and choose the right path to achieve your goals.

Follow these steps to find out how to start a hair salon

  1. define your goals
  2. understand your market
  3. Identify a niche in the market
  4. create a budget
  5. Take care of your finances and taxes
  6. Look for an ideal place
  7. Decide on a legal form
  8. Get your licenses
  9. Hire the right team
  10. Start building your customer base
  11. Use the right tools for efficient operation

Step 1. Define your goals

How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (1)

The first step is to define your short- and long-term goals. This is important as it helps you prioritize the things that need to be done. When you have something to work on, stay focused and motivated.

Below are some things to consider when setting a goal.

1. Set clear and quantifiable goals

When you keep goals measurable, you'll know when you've achieved them. For example, reaching a certain number of repeat customers can be a long-term goal. Or the creation of barbershop chains in the years to come could be one of them.

2. Must be worth your effort

Investing a lot of time and energy but still being far from the goal can be demotivating. Instead, you should push yourself as hard as possible towards a goal that is likely to be successful.

3. Set deadlines

Once you've set your goals, try to define the things you need to do to achieve them within a realistic timeframe. Goals without deadlines indicate that you are not fully committed.

4. Don't forget to celebrate your achievements

Whenever you accomplish a goal, it's good to mark and celebrate the occasion. Whether you've really tried hard or things seem to be going your way, you should cherish this time with your partners or co-workers.

Step 2. Understand your market

As a new player in the barbershop business, you need to have a general understanding of the other barbershops in your area. For example,By knowing your competitors and their niche, you can design your business to stand out from them.


  1. Average turnover of the different barbershops (national and local)
  2. Your average profit margins
  3. The range of products and services they offer
  4. The price points for your services
  5. Finally, also have an idea of ​​the size of the team and the location you need.

To do this kind of research, you need to put in some work. Here are some steps to guide you through this process:

  1. Research online, for average barbershop sales. The number varies within a state and between different states in the US. Online research involves readingArticle, annual industry reports and online forums on the subject. The same method should be used to determine average profit margins.
  1. To get an idea of ​​their services and price ranges, you shouldcheck their website/price list. You should also try to make appointments with them to get this information. If they don't accept online reservations, consider signing up as a customer and take a look at their services and prices.
  1. The size of the team and the location you require depends a lot on your needs. Get an idea of ​​your own needs by visiting other barbershops with different skills and staff.

Step 3. Identify your market niche

How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (2)

Finding a niche in the market can be the key to your hair salon's success. Instead of trying to meet everyone's needs, you can do thisFocus your efforts on a smaller portion of the marketwhich has more specific requirements.

An ideal niche market would be something that is in high demand but relatively untouched. From a technical point of view -a market with a low supply/demand ratio.In addition, you should also keep in mind the personal skills and interests of your team.

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A niche can be based on any of these aspects:

  1. Price (Luxury or Economy)
  2. Quality of service (premium or moderate)
  3. kind of service
  4. Target audience (by age, neighborhood, community, etc.)
  5. Target psychological (based on your attitudes, values ​​or interests)

This process of finding a niche will help you set direction for everything from designing the right website for your target audience to attracting more relevant leads.

A good example to explain this is, if you are a famous barber, your barber shop will provide you with superior service at a generous price. Your website and all of your ads will also be designed to show off your premium branding.

The process of finding your niche can be challenging or time-consuming, but it's worth it, especially in the long run. Also, it doesn't have to be as soon as your hair salon opens. As your business grows, you can experiment with different options and see which one works best for you.

Step 4. Create a budget

After the market research phase, the question arises: how much does it cost to open a hair salon?

The best way to figure out the answer is by budget to get a rough estimate of how much money you'll need to get started. The cost of starting a hair salon can vary widely depending on the following list of things:

  • The total fee for registering a company in the United States of America- 750 $
  • work space costs– depends on the size of the venue, whether you want to buy or rent it and your location
  • building-costs(including plumbing and electricity)
  • secure- Speak to a licensed representative to determine what guidelines you need
  • Necessary admission requirements– Hire a local lawyer to find out this and its costs
  • Marketing Materialssuch as gift vouchers, newspaper ads, business cards
  • shop equipment– Cash register, booking software, signage
  • Invent– Chairs, mirrors, waiting chairs, scissors, trimmers, razors, combs, shaving cream, aftershave, hair dryers, etc.
  • furniture and various necessities
  • Business website for your hair salon

Many of these things can change over time and in any location, so it's best to do a little research for your area and do a lot of reading.Articlededicated to this topic.

Step 5. Take care of your finances and taxes

How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (3)

Then it's time to set up your bank account and get financing. A bank account is necessary to receive financing and also to pay taxes.

Set up your accounts

First, you need a business bank account and a credit card to manage your finances. Using your personal account for business purposes puts your personal assets (like your home, car, and other valuables) at risk if your barber shop is sued.

A separate business credit card is also helpful as it helps build business credit that can help you make better investments later.

get funding

Secure financing for your hair salon now. There are four options for financing:

  1. your savings,
  2. Loan,
  3. line of credit (from financial institutions, creditors or even payment processors),
  4. Help from relatives/friends.

Your funding can also come from a combination of these different sources. The most common choice is to take out a loan.

There are different types of loans with different maturities and interest rates. The amount of the loan depends on many factors, such as your region. So the best isGet advice from housing and credit advisorseresearch properly.

Once you have the funding, it is important that you plan all of your expenses so that you can do thisget out of debt as soon as possible. Project your annual income to get an idea of ​​how long it will take to repay the loan.

register for tax purposes

You must register for a variety of state and federal taxes before opening a barber shop. Below we have listed some registrations that you need to make.

  1. Employee identification number(A)
  2. Electronic filing and tax payment system(EFTPS) - if you have employees
  3. Register as a company– for all legal forms except sole proprietorships
  4. Register in your state– for income tax, sales tax and wage tax
  5. Enter your company name, slogan and logo

Taxes vary widely for different states and legal entities so it is advisabledeepen even moreon topic. The best place to get more information about taxes is theIRS-Website.

Step 6. Look for an ideal location

How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (4)

It is important to select a facility/location that suits your needs as this will help reduce change costs. Also, finding the right location to set up your hair salon will increase your client base tremendously.

Here are some steps you can take to choose the right facility for your business.

1. Find a suitable location

The most important point to keep in mind is that your location needs to be accessible and easy to find. No one wants to go through the extra effort looking for a place to get their hair cut.

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2. Think about your installation needs

Try to imagine your dream barber shop: the interior layout, the amount of usable space, the provision of necessary resources such as water supply and electricity, the external appearance. Check this out at every establishment on your list now.

3. Think about the community around the store

Is the store in the middle of the city or on the outskirts? Is it in contact with the rest of the city (by subway or even streets)? Do the people who live in this area fit your target group? Is it a well connected barbershop location? The answers to these questions will help you determine if the facility's environment fits your niche.

4. Pay attention to the number of participants

As you discover different locations, take the time to consider the other barber shops in the area. If the number of competitors in an area increases, individual sales are likely to fall.

5. Set up your barber shop close to other hangouts and businesses

To maintain a successful business, it's a good ideaSet up your hair salon in a busy area, where several companies operate, as this can attract new customers to you.

To explain it, imagine this scenario: you set up your barber shop near a profitable local coffee shop. So the customers of the cafe will remember your shop and maybe the next time they visit the cafe they will have plans to cut your hair.

you could toodiscuss co-marketing plans with them, which can increase the number of customers for both companies.

6. Choose between buying and renting

Once you've determined which facility and location suits your needs, an important question arises: should you buy the facility or rent it? make aCashflow-Analysecan help you answer this question.

Analyzing your cash flow will determine the amount of money you will need to cover the cost of each alternative, i.e. H. Purchase or rent, would have to put aside. To do this, you need to consider federal and state rates, cost of capital, life expectancy of the property, rental terms, etc.

Based on your cash flow analysis, the amount of financing received and your preferences, you can choose between buying and renting.

Step 7. Decide on a legal form

Deciding on a legal form for your business is necessary as it determines, for example, which tax return form you need to file in order to pay taxes. There are many cool structures so you should choose one based on your hair salon idea.

If you plan to run the hair salon completely yourself without employees, then you should choose aone-man business. If you want it to be an entity separate from you, you must choose onegroup.

Do you have friends or family willing to open a hair salon with you? then onepartnershipIt is an ideal option. There are two kinds:partnership in general, zlimited partnership.

Finally your barber shop canLimited Liability Company (LLC). It allows owners, partners or shareholders to limit their personal liabilities while enjoying the tax benefits and flexibility of a partnership.

For a more detailed and comprehensive source of information on this topic, seeIRS-Website. We also recommend that you consult a lawyer as they would consider other factors such as location etc.

Step 8. Get your licenses

To start a business, you need a license. Hair salons are no exception. Contact your local hairdressing regulatory agency to determine licensing requirements.

While these requirements vary in specifics, you generally must be a legal adult with at least a high school diploma. You also need at least the following licenses:

  1. Licensing and business registration: You must register your business in the state, city, or locality where it will operate.
  2. Employee identification number: If your hairdressing business is a partnership or corporation; You must obtain an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service.
  3. Dealer Certificate:If you want to sell retail products, you need a resale certificate. You can avoid paying sales tax on your inventory by providing your wholesalers with a copy of the certificate.
  4. The inspection:State and local laws may require that your workplace be subject to inspections by building and health authorities.

An advice

Licenses and other requirements can vary widely by region. It's a good idea to hire a local attorney who specializes in small business matters. With professional help, you make fewer mistakes.

You also need to be thorough with your own research. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visitingSBA referencegovernment licenses and permits.

Step 9. Hire the right team

A team of associates working in an established environment is very different than when you start a barbershop business. Most important are employees in the initial phase of a professional barbershopmust be adaptable and have a range of relevant skills. This ensures that fewer people are needed to run the barbershop business successfully.

(Video) How to open a beauty business without opening a salon. A Guide to becoming a mobile hairstylist.

Since you also go to workHire people who complement your skills. When you cut hair, you hire employees who can help you manage and grow your business. Otherwise you have to run the business and hire barbers to cut your hair.

Choosing a good team of professionals is essential to achieve your business goals. Spend time in the hiring process anddo it right!

Step 10. Start building your customer base

How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (5)

For a business to be successful and self-sustaining, it must have enough customers. Attracting these customers is not easy, especially when the business is in its early stages.

At this stage you mustadopt marketing strategieswhich cost less and most people taketo learn as much as possible about your new hair salon. Getting your first customers is important, but spending large sums of money on elaborate marketing plans is a waste of time and resources.

There are many easy ways to start building your customer base, we've highlighted the must-haves here.

1. Create local entries

The first step for any business is to create local listings on Google My Business or other web directories to increase your visibility (where people can leave reviews).

After you create a Google My Business profile,be listed in "Reserve with Google".. This allows users to book an appointment with you directly from your business listing on Google.

It is also recommended that you list your business in barbershop specific web directories such asbeauty seeker. This will help people easily find your hair salon online.

2. Reach out to old customers

If you've previously worked elsewhere, you can also reach out to your old client base. You can lure them into your new business by giving them a discount for the first few months.

Place advertising signs near your old hair salon to ensure all customers, including your past customers, see them.

3. Go online!

Creating your websites and social media handles for your business will help you in the long run. You can also add booking CTAs like aBooking widget for websiteand a Book Now button for yoursFacebookeInstagramClaw.

4. Use local advertising methods

Consider local advertising methods such as newspaper, television, radio, etc. based on location and demographic profile. Attractive posters in the right places also help a lot. Business cards are a great way to add a professional touch to your business.

5. Try co-marketing with local businesses

If you've opened your barber shop near other types of shops, you can brainstorm ideas to attract more customers together. This can be as simple as gift cards or packages combined with a points-based shared referral plan.

For example, your hair salon could partner with a nearby coffee shop to offer discounts on drinks to people you meet. To get these discount offers, your regular customers will also visit your store.

6. Build a network

Participate in events and competitions to build a better network. You can use this network to reach out to bloggers or influencers so they can try your services and help you promote them if they wish.

7. Consider deploying internal services

Mobile hairdressers provide in-home services for clients. This way you can promote your brand across the city instead of just having a customer base in your area.

At-home services are especially handy during the COVID-19 era, allowing your customers to practice social distancing from others to get their hair cut. Mobile hairdressers can be prepared with PPE and other supplies to protect them from the virus.

Once you've built your first client base after following the steps above and exhausted all the options, don't stop! Keep marketing your hair salon in a different and more innovative way.

Another article detailing barbershop marketing strategies and ideas is in the works! Keep an eye on our blog for more cool tips, or leave your email below and we'll send it straight to you as soon as the article is published!

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How to Start a Hair Salon: A Complete Guide to Getting Started (6)

Keeping everything organized and making sure all processes are running smoothly can be difficult. Hiring managers for work is a simple solution to this problem.

But in this age of tools and technology, the right choice of tools can be more efficient than a manager and at a much lower cost!

Here's a list of some tools you should definitely use to save time and provide a great customer experience:

1. Appointment Scheduling Software

using aScheduling software for hair salonseliminates hassle for your clients when they book an appointment with you. Customers can book, cancel and reschedule appointments themselves.

Furthermore, using a scheduling tool is much more efficient and reliable than hiring a receptionist or a manager, mainly because it avoids human errors like duplicate appointments, wrong times, etc.

2. Payment System/Gateway

Using a reliable payment gateway streamlines your checkout process so customers can easily pay for your services. It also acts as an intermediary to ensure customer data is encrypted and secure.

3. Customer Database Management System

A customer database is a very important tool from a sales perspective. When you have details about all your customers and prospects, you can make faster decisions and provide a more personalized experience. You can also target narrower demographics with information about prospects.

Too many tools? We have the right solution for you -Called.

Appointy is a barbershop software that puts at your disposalall the tools listed above in a single product!And that's not even the full extent of its benefits.

Appointy helps you manage appointments, send automated emails or SMS reminders, integrate with social media platforms and Google Calendar, accept prepayments online, create gift cards, manage staff shifts, plan resources and much more more by using a centralized dashboard to streamline business processes.


Starting a barbershop business definitely takes a lot of planning and work, but it pays to build your business from the ground up the way you want it. If you plan correctly, follow all the steps and stay in a good mood, everything will go smoothly.

Also, at the end of the day, you will do whatever you want, however you want; and that in itself will be incredibly rewarding.

If you have something you want to ask us, leave a comment below! We'd love to hear from you!

About Ernennung

At Appointy, we help entrepreneurs grow and run their businesses with our online appointment scheduling software. This blog was part of our Run Your Business category, where we provide expert tips and resources, or just talk about the challenges small and medium-sized businesses face every day.

If you have any thoughts about this blog or would like to share your business struggles and successes, let us know in the comments below.

We love good conversations!

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