Salon Start-Up Checklist: 8 Essentials You Need to Know When Getting Started

Are you excited to open your own salon business? In 2020, one of the hardest hit of the lockdowns are salons but, with the world slowly opening up again, using your money to start this business may be a good idea. 

Even with the economic problems due to the pandemic, industry players still believe that salons are a profitable endeavour. According to the IBISWorld analytic, the revenue for the Hair and Nail Salon industry in Canada may have decreased by 11.8% due to the global situation, it is expected to rise at an annual rate of 0.5% in the next few years. So, if you’ve been dreaming of a salon, read up to find out how you can get started. 

How to Start Your Salon Business

Opening a salon is an exciting venture. However, pulling your dreams together entails a lot of work and a long to-do list. To help, here is a list of things that you will need to start in realizing your dream:

  • Business Papers

In starting a business, the most crucial thing to consider is securing all necessary permits for operating such. The basic steps include:

  • Finding out what licenses and regulations are needed for your type of business.
  • Choose the business structure and register the business.
  • Determine if collection and remitting HST is needed. 

The business needs licenses and permits to be secured from the federal, provincial, and municipal levels. Some of the common permits to secure are: 

  • Hairstylist Certification – For businesses that offer hairstyling services. Each employee tasked to handle clients who want to trim, style, treat, or colour their hair should be licensed. Each territory has a guideline on licensing or certifying individuals to become hairstylists so you need to look for this before hiring someone.
  • Cosmetic Program – This applies to salons that also manufacture or distribute beauty salon supplies in Toronto and other Canadian territories. You need to submit a Cosmetic Notification Form to Health Canada and have your products and ingredients subjected to guaranteeing and labelling according to health regulations.
  • Tanning Salons Guidelines – In order to provide tanning services, you need to adhere to the guidelines for tanning salons and meet the legal requirements for operating. 
  • Laser Technology – Since most salons also offer beauty treatments like laser hair removal, acne scars treatment, and wrinkle reduction, securing this permit is necessary. Health Canada issues the license and approval of treatment technology.

Depending on your planned business location, the list of papers you need may be fewer or more. Secure these papers first so you will not have any problems with the authorities. 

  • Determining the Service Offering

Decide on what type of services you want to offer your clients. The top salon offerings are haircuts, hair styling, nail cleaning, and waxing. Since many people would prefer to avail of different services in one location, expanding your service offerings may be necessary. You can combine spa services with salon offerings to give your clients an option to beautify while relaxing. Create a list of desired services and proceed to hiring qualified individuals. 

  • Business Location

Where you want to put up your business is a crucial factor to the success of your endeavour. Ideally, you want to position your store where there is heavy traffic but with little competition. You have to look for a place to rent or buy. Consider the lease or payment options that are available and how they can affect your starting capital. 

  • Salon Equipment

After real estate, salon equipment takes the biggest chunk of your capital. You will need a lot of beauty supplies, sinks, chairs, hair dryers, towels, and lights. A point of sale (POS) system, computer, business phone, and other office equipment are also needed for online booking and other tasks. The more services you offer, the more equipment you will need. If you are renting a small space, you can look for a self-storage facility in North York or anywhere near your place of business to conveniently put things away and maximize the space.

  • Salon Interior 

Not all salons are created equal not only because of the services offered and skills of the personnel but also in the overall look of the place. The interior decoration of your salon is part of your branding. If your place of business is in a high-end location, you may want to create a salon that has a classy and expensive ambiance. If you are in a middle-scale business center, you can make your interior more minimalist and functional. You can ask the help of a trusted interior design professional in Mississauga to help you design your dream salon. 

  • Taxes

Businesses are expected to pay taxes depending on their nature, location, and the sales generated. If you are situated in a business district, you are expected to pay larger taxes. The greater sales generated, the greater the government share as well. You can hire an accountant to help you with proper tax planning so you can foresee how much you will be paying up at the end of the fiscal year.

  • People

A salon is a service business which means you need qualified and skillful people for you to operate. The most important qualification to ask for is a certification that qualifies a person to practice and give professional services. However, you also have to consider the personality of the people you want to hire. Being in the service industry, you need people who are patient and well-rounded. You want them to not only deliver great service but also to make them feel comfortable and happy that they will come back. The key to a successful salon business is the right people. Be sure to choose them well.

  • Insurance

Have your business legally covered and set money aside for a decent insurance plan. Accidents are not totally avoidable in the salon business and you want to keep your distance from financial distress in such cases. 

Opening a salon business makes a promising future if you know where and how to start. Combined with the right business strategy, you can lead your business to prosperity and success.

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