Small Business Brief

Hair & Salon

Is Owning a Beauty Salon Worth It?

Salons offer a lot of essential services, and they provide services to people of all ages. As a result, you’ll find more than 80,000 salons in the US. 

If you have a cosmetology license, you might be thinking about opening your very own salon. Owning a salon is a great way to make money, but you’ll need to prepare yourself for the work it takes.

Here is a guide to help you learn the work it takes to own and manage a salon. As you learn more about this, you can decide if owning one is right for you. 

Learn the Legal Requirements in Your State

Before you make any decisions, you should learn the requirements to open a salon in your state. Every state makes its own rules, and you must follow those in your location.

For example, some states require cosmetology licenses for salon owners. Other states might have other rules about owning a beauty salon. 

Additionally, salons must pass state examinations for cleanliness, certifications, and licensing. Once you find out the rules in your state, you can decide if you meet the requirements. 

If so, you can begin evaluating other aspects of owning a salon, as this is essential before you take the next step.

Research the Costs Involved With Owning a Salon

Next, you might want to evaluate the cost of owning a salon. During this step, you won’t need to worry about the initial starting costs, as we’ll discuss that later. 

For now, you’ll want to calculate the ongoing costs of owning a salon.

You can begin by considering the monthly rental payment you must make. How much is rent in your area? It probably depends on the location, size of the space, and the condition. 

The monthly rental fee is one of the most significant expenses you’ll have. Next, you’ll have utility bills to pay. You’ll also have to pay for insurance for the salon. 

These are the main expenses of owning a salon, but there is another one – the products. 

A salon uses a lot of different products, and you must buy these in advance. For example, you’ll need shampoo, conditioner, and hair color products. You might also need to buy supplies for the other services you offer. 

Most salons also sell the products they use to their clients. If you want to do this, you’ll have an initial cost for buying the products in bulk. 

Once you add these up, you can see how much money you must spend each month just to keep your salon open. Next, you’ll need to determine how much money you can make from your business. 

Consider the Services You’ll Offer and the Profits

Calculating the profits is often the hardest part of the planning stage for a salon. First, you might need to consider the services you’ll offer at your salon.

Some salons offer haircuts and other hair-related services only. The profits from a haircut might be less than the profits you make from other services. 

For example, if you charge $30 for a haircut, you might make almost $30 for this service, assuming you do the haircut yourself. If you pay an employee to do it, you might make only 50% to 60% of the price. 

Coloring someone’s hair might result in a higher profit, as the service requires more time and work. If you offer perms, you might make more from those, too. 

Many salons also offer additional services, such as eyelash extensions. While you must buy the products from an eyelash extension supplier to offer eyelash extensions, you can make a large profit from the service. 

Other services that offer larger profits include facials, pedicures, manicures, and hair extensions. 

Evaluate Your Business Plan

Another vital step in this process is evaluating your business plan. A business plan consists of several critical steps. Here are some of these:

Target Market

A business plan includes determining the target market. The target market is the clientele you hope to attract to your salon. You can determine the demographics of the types of people you want to attract.

You can also conduct research to determine if there is a demand for salon services for this group of people in your area. 

Methods of Advertising

Advertising is a necessity when opening a salon, and your business plan should include your plans for how you will market your business. 


Your plan should also include the details of your employees. How many do you plan to hire?

How will the pay work? Will you charge a chair fee or a commission-based fee structure? 


Another vital aspect is the profitability goals you have for your new salon. You can use the information in this article to analyze this further. 

Determine the Initial Costs

It’s always wise to compare the pros and cons of owning a salon. One of the benefits is that you’ll be the business owner, which means you’ll be in charge. 

One of the downsides is the initial costs of opening a salon. It can cost a lot of money to start your own beauty salon. 

First, you’ll need money to rent a place to operate your business. Next, you might need money to renovate the building, so it works for a salon.

After that, you’ll have the costs of buying the equipment you need. You’ll have to purchase sinks, chairs, tables, and a lot of other things. You’ll have the initial costs of the inventory and products you use, also. 

If you want to open a salon, you must work out a way to finance these costs, as this is a vital step in opening a salon. 

Research Everything Before Starting a Salon

Owning a salon requires a lot of work, but it can also be a profitable venture. The best thing you can do is to research everything before you start one. 

When you spend time researching these things, you can decide if opening a salon is right for you.