Business Overview

American film and TV actress Joan Crawford once said, “I think the most important thing a woman can have—next to talent, of course—is her hairdresser.”

Hair salons offer clients a safe retreat from the worries of daily life, a place to get pampered and walk out feeling ready to conquer the world.

Who is this business right for?

Hair salon owners vary in age, gender, and experience. The one thing they all have in common is that they are passionate about helping people to look and feel spectacular. They enjoy working around people all day and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

What happens during a typical day at a hair salon?

While it’s not required to run a successful beauty parlor, many salon owners spend at least a portion of their day working with clients’ hair. As owner of a hair salon, there are a number of other activities to keep you busy throughout the day, including:

  • Analyzing clients’ hair and facial features to recommend the best style and cut
  • Learning and perfecting new hair techniques
  • Answering the telephone and scheduling appointments
  • Updating and maintaining client records
  • Accepting customer payments
  • Demonstrating and selling hair care products, based on their individual needs
  • Sanitizing tools and maintaining a clean salon
  • Laundering towels and smocks

At least weekly, you’ll also need to restock inventory and pay any unpaid invoices. Once you’ve built a team, you can delegate the administrative duties to your staff and focus on managing your team and maintaining your marketing strategy.

What is the target market?

While some salons specialize their services to fit one demographic, most fulfill the needs of men, women, and children. Consumers spend approximately $20 billion annually at the salon, with most women paying an average $1,800 per year. Thus, the female population is who you’ll primarily be targeting in your marketing strategy.

How does a hair salon make money?

Prices are set by the salon owner or individual stylist, depending upon the salon’s business plan. Each client is billed based on the goods and services they receive. It’s standard procedure for tip to be added by the customer, which goes directly to the hair stylist who performed the services.

What is the growth potential for a hair salon?

Twenty years ago, beauty parlor owners worked hard to make a good living, making a majority of their income by being the primary stylist at the shop. Now, with advanced business tools at our disposal, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to grow their business into more than “just” an honest living. Many are building salons they’re able to sell for multi-millions, offering real value and financial freedom to those committed to growing their business. Owners of Sola Salons, Stratton Smith and Matt Briger, turned their franchising dream into a reality. Making Forbes’ best franchises list in 2015, they now have more than 240 locations open across the country.