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When wanting to start a new business, you should first reflect on your talents and skills. If one of your talents involves beauty or hairstyling, maybe it’s time to put your expertise to use in a small salon business! This essential checklist for opening a salon will keep you confident and motivated as you move through each goal and progress toward opening day.

Get Certified

The first step for running a salon business is to obtain a beauty license from a beauty school. If you’ve already done this as a prerequisite to work in a salon, you’re one step ahead. Make sure when picking out classes that you focus on salon ownership as well. Just knowing the basics of beauty salon training will make you a wonderful stylist but won’t teach you much about becoming an entrepreneur. Both business training and salon training are incredibly important when wanting to open your own beauty salon.

Have a Location in Mind

Do you want your business to be in your home or a business studio? Know the costs of the location you’d like to rent so you can begin budgeting. A home salon business can save you rental costs but may require extra additions to your home based on state regulations.

If salon ownership has always been a dream of yours, you may already have a name picked out for your new business. If you don’t, brainstorm some salon names with a group of friends and try to come up with a logo. Don’t be afraid to hire a graphic designer for a professional-looking logo—you’ll have enough on your plate as it is.

Using your new brand, start setting up your state’s legal employer requirements and a tax ID. It’s always wise to open a bank account for your business that’s separate from your personal bank account. Don’t forget to create a website for your salon! Websites provide patrons with online check-in tools and important information about your store’s business hours.

Decorate and Personalize

Your salon should be a second home for you and your customers. Style your business with the right furniture that fills your needs and sets a relaxing mood. Take note of all the services you’d like to offer at your salon and order the necessary equipment for your business. Make your salon a safe place for women to get beautified, share how their weeks have been, and inspire one another. Make the rooms come alive with inspiring framed art and quotations.


The last piece of advice on the essential checklist for opening a salon is to get the word out about your business. Tell your friends, take out a newspaper advertisement, and place signs with your grand opening date on them. It’ll be nerve-racking to begin your first day as a salon owner, but you’ve got this. You’ll have your talents, your faith, and your employees on your side the whole way.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.