Setting Up A Hairdressing Business

Setting up your own business is more popular than ever before. Business student Chloe Nagle takes a look at some of the issues and opportunities awaiting start up entrepreneurs in the high-growth sector of Hair and Beauty …

Did you know that there are over 39,000 hair salons in the UK? So providing this type of service is clearly a very viable business opportunity. But where to start?

In order to set up your own hairdressing business you will need to have a business plan. Firstly figure out how much money you need? Starting a business can cost a lot of money; can you still support yourself while your business gets up and running?

Costs to Consider

  • Calculate how much money you need for monthly expenses and how much you absolutely must make each month to stay afloat.
  • Calculate how much money you’ll need to run your business every month. Include rent, licensing, training, wages, supplies and an emergency fund.
  • Check all licences that are required to open up your own hairdressing business, like the Public Liability licence; you will need insurance for your business building.
  • Make sure your salon can pass a health inspection, to avoid fines or being shut down by the health department, make sure your salon is sanitary.

Location Location

  • Choose the right location – location is critical to the success of your business.
  • Get into a high-traffic area; busy streets, malls or spaces next to locations people visit often are ideal.
  • Try to have easy access; if parking is a hassle and traffic is heavy on the way to your salon, people might not consider it worth the effort.
  • Think about  the competition. Don’t situate yourself directly next to another salon.

Salon Image and staff

  • Decide on a short but suitable name for your hair salon; something that is easy to remember and ensure that this name is not already taken by another hair salon otherwise this could cause confusion for the clients.
  • You will need posters with hair styles being modelled and displays of consumables such as hair products that reflect what type of service you offer and will appeal to your target customers. Everything from the theme of your interior to the waiting area to the choice of magazines and chairs in the waiting area to the dress code for stylists will convey a message about your brand.
  •  It is important that you hire only qualified and well-trained stylists. When employing staff, ensure that they are qualified or have completed and passed a course with a GNVQ level 2 with an advised 5 years’ experience. They will also need to be interviewed and trainees will need to be trained.
  • You will need to decide the right level for employee’s wages.
  • Also, create a clean and safe atmosphere, salons thrive on an environment that is clean, safe and relaxing, where customers can receive prompt and professional service.

Hairdressing Equipment

You will clearly need furniture and machines as well as other equipment for your hair salon. Consider whether leasing hairdressing equipment versus buying it would beneficial for your business. Leasing enables you to pay for essential hairdressing equipment over its useful life via regular payments, normally over 2-5 years, avoiding the need to find large sums of money upfront and protecting your cash flow and other lines of credit.

You can lease almost any type of equipment as well as salon fit out costs, including

  • Lighting and flooring and acoustics leasing
  • Cashier equipment and computer reception area where appointments can be made
  • Clocks, chairs, mirrors, decorations leasing
  • Electronics- hair dryer and straighteners leasing
  • Sink and chair area for the hair washing station leasing
  • Bins and waste disposal units leasing
  • Kitchen area, where staff can make coffee leasing
  • Music system and AV system leasing


  • Advertising your hair salon in the local newspaper or magazines is a great way to send across the message to people living within the area that a new hairdressers has just opened up.
  • Set up a social media page or a website for your new business that is well- presented, clear and informative about your services, with directions and prices, this will grab people’s attention and create a good impression of your business on that individual.
  • It would be beneficial for your business if you advertise deals, discounts and good offers for the services available in your hair salon, as this will entice people to come to your hair salon. If customers think that they are saving money on a great service, they are more likely to return and tell others about you and support your independent hairdressers rather than a branch of a well-known hair salon.


Finally, it is worth mentioning that the competition between branch owned hair salons and freelance hairdressers is actually not as tough as people might think, and the reason for that is that they are offering two very different types of service, depending on the prices and deals of the services offered at each salon or a hairdresser which is convenient for the customer regardless of whether it is a branch or independent.

In summary, it is important that your business creates and maintain the desirable reputation as a quality hair and/or beauty salon, so that clients keep returning for maintenance. Try to give them the best possible experience each time, and go out of your way to make them feel valued.

Download the Guide To Leasing Hairdressing Equipment

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