So you’re thinking of opening a salon business—congrats! Gearing up to owning your own business is a huge step.
But if you’ve never owned a salon before or are simply looking to give your existing business a refresh, you’re probably thinking, “Where do I even start?” Well, the first step is to write a salon business plan.
What is a business plan for a salon?
A salon business plan is a written document that covers your business goals and how you’re going to reach them.
Every business plan looks different. But for a salon, your business plan will likely include details like who your target customer is, where your salon is going to be located, what salon services you’ll offer, and more.
Why you need a business plan for your salon
As a salon owner, the thought of writing a detailed business plan might immediately put your stomach in knots. But we promise that the time and effort you take to put a business plan together for your salon will pay off in spades.
Here are some reasons why you should have a business plan for your salon.
To prove your salon business is a good—and profitable—idea
As entrepreneurs, we often have a million great ideas. But a new business is a big commitment and investment.
Your decision to launch a salon is most likely a great one. But a business plan doubles as a gut check to make sure that you have a solid plan in place. This way, you can open your salon doors with confidence knowing that you’re almost guaranteed to be a success.
To help you reach your short and long-term salon goals
What are your business goals? What steps do you need to take to reach them? How long will it take to reach those goals?
A well-written business plan answers these questions and more. It’s essentially a roadmap that answers all and helps outline how you’ll reach your business goals. Then as you open and grow your business, you can look back and make sure you’re on track!
To help you get funding (and other loans)
Banks and investors often want to see a business plan before they provide you with funding. Having a business plan shows that you’ve done your research, have a plan in place, and that you’re less likely to be a risk.
Even if you don’t need a loan or an investment, financial products like credit cards can be hard to come by if you don’t have a business plan.
To determine your revenue and labor costs
Salons often need multiple stylists and administrative staff. Depending on your goals and the size of your salon business, a business plan can help you determine how many employees you need to hire and train to serve your customers.
Without forecasting your labor costs, you can find yourself with too many customers and not enough workers—or vice versa.
Things to consider before you start writing a business plan for your salon
Before you can start writing your business plan, it’s time to do a bit of brainstorming and research. There are some key questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you start putting pen to paper.
- Where will your salon be located?
- What experience do you have that will help you grow your business?
- Are there similar salons in your area?
- Is there something that will make your business stand out from other salons?
Once you’ve spent some time thinking about these factors, it’s time to get writing.
How to write a salon business plan in 7 steps
Here’s a simple step-by-step breakdown of how to write a business plan and the important tidbits you need to know as you get started.
1. Executive summary
The first thing anyone will read in your business plan is the executive summary. Think of it like an elevator pitch. It’s a brief summary that covers all the most important details so the reader wants to learn more about your business.
As a general rule, your executive summary should cover:
- A short overview of your business venture
- Your salon mission or vision
- Your short and long-term business goals
- Highlights around why your salon will be successful
2. Company overview and description
This section should be an overview of your company and what makes it unique. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it?
Don’t be afraid to dive into your background and the circumstances that led to you wanting to start your salon business. This is your opportunity to tell your story and share what makes you and your business special as an entrepreneur.
3. Market analysis
There are almost a million salons in the US—and that only covers hair salons. The thing about salons is that they can be similar and still be successful. But it’s important to understand how your particular salon will stack up.
A market analysis looks at all the competing salons in your region—and beyond—to help you understand your positioning in the market. This then influences everything from your pricing strategy, your service offering, or even your location.
For example, in your market analysis, you might find that you fall into the category of a premium salon, which means you’ll need to target a more affluent market. Or you might find yourself looking in an oversaturated area, so you’ll want to choose a location with less competition.
4. Salon business offerings
Not all salons are alike. For example, your salon may specialize in blowouts. Or you may have a full-service nail salon.
Before you open, you should have a clear understanding of the services and products that your salon business might offer. Think of this section of your business plan as a menu of services that your potential customers can choose from.
5. Salon operations and management
This is where you’ll talk about the operational side of your business. Some things to think about around salon management might include:
6. Marketing and public relations (PR) strategies
As much as we wish customers would appear out of thin air, for the most part, you need to drum up excitement for your business. That’s marketing.
In the marketing section of your business plan, you’ll want to Include details such as your brand messaging, how you’ll reach potential customers, and what marketing and PR investments you plan to make.
7. Financial projections
Calculating your financials isn’t the most glamorous part of owning a salon business, but it’s one of the most important.
When writing a business plan, you need to review your short- and long-term financial projections. This is essentially an estimate of how much money you expect to spend and make over the course of the next few years.
The goal is to show that you’ll have a profitable business. And if not, it allows you to tweak your business strategy so you can create a financial plan that you feel comfortable with.
Free salon business plan template
Need some help getting started?
We’ve put together a free template that covers all the basics. Use this as a starting point, so you know that your business plan is comprehensive and includes everything you need ahead of opening day.
Download your free salon business plan template here.
Business tools as sharp as your shearing scissors
Once you have a salon business plan, it’s time to make a plan for hiring and managing your employees. Homebase is the all-in-one employee management tool loved by 100,000 + salons and small businesses.
With Homebase, you can: