Have you always dreamed of being successful in the beauty business? Here's how to launch and establish your very own beauty salon. Steps 1. Do your research and ensure that you will be able to manage all aspects of running your own business. Go to your local bank or enterprise aid organization and meet with someone who can talk you through the financial and accounting aspects of the business. These organizations will also be able to provide you with a template for a business plan which is a vital tool in your project as it will give you all the information you need to be aware of in running your own business. The best therapist in the world will fail if not properly equipped to deal with the administrative side of the business. Once you feel you understand the burden of administration you can decide if you can handle it yourself or need to budget for a part time bookkeeper or receptionist/administrator to help you. 2. Choose the right location. Location is critical to the success of your business. You need a location that is strategically situated on one of the busiest streets in your area, if not in a mall. Some salons employing well-known hair stylists (e.g. "stylists to the stars") can put their business anywhere and clients will still flock to them. If you don’t have a well-established reputation in the business and a long list of loyal clientele, find a high-profile location with an easy access from all parts of town. 3. 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. Cleanliness is a particularly important element that can draw clients in again and again. Be sure your towels, foot baths, and other equipments are washed, clean and odor-free. Your clients must be able to trust that the products and tools that you use on them are of top-notch quality and safe. You cannot afford to put your clients at risk from infections, as it could damage your reputation. 4. Offer a wide range of services in one setting, which will give you a distinct advantage over those who offer only one or two types of services. Many clients prefer to have their hair, nails and face done in one place, instead of going to three different places. While you can specialize in one main area (e.g. hair), giving your clients the convenience of a one-stop beauty shop can set your business apart from your competitors. Always buy the right products, and if a beauty salon pick a recognized skin care brand which will draw clients to your salon. 5. Hire qualified and trained personnel. The cosmetic procedures performed by untrained personnel may cause health problems to the clients. It is important that you hire only qualified and well-trained beauticians, stylists, and other personnel. Experience may give a beautician the expertise to render treatment, but, without proper training, she would be unaware of the merits and demerits of procedures. It is your responsibility as the salon owner to ensure that your personnel are adequately trained and understand each procedure offered. * Have a short but clear salon procedures manual in place as soon as you can, and give each employee a contract when they start. These documents are usually easy to find on the internet and you can then customize them to your business. It will save you a lot of headaches in the long run if you are set up properly at the beginning. 6. Keep your clients satisfied. A salon’s best marketing tool is word-of-mouth. If a client is happy with the results, he or she will come back to the your salon; after all, it's a question of trust. Satisfied clients can then help advertise your business to their friends, family, and colleagues. Word can easily spread about the great look and outstanding personal service that your salon provides. It is important that your business create and maintain the desirable reputation as a quality hair and salon operation. Collect contact information from your clients e.g. an email address or cell phone number, and if you have a computerized system you than then easily text or mail them with updates on new products/services, and any special offers you have. Tips * Also consider providing training classes on a regular basis to your personnel to improve their product knowledge and skills as well as awareness to trends. * This is a beauty business; you're expected to look your best! Have in your procedures manual what you expect as a minimum in grooming for all staff and set a good example yourself. * At the beginning you may not be able to pay big salaries to staff, but there are many other things you can do to create a 'feel good' factor. Be reasonable about time off and take time to devise a time in lieu give and take system - staff can take time off and then pay it back during busy periods. Have a staff night out every two to three months - a pizza and wine night won't cost much but creates a real team feeling. Introduce a commission based system so staff are motivated to grow your clientele. Set up your salary system and holiday system so that staff get paid on time and up to date, and can check their time off entitlements. These are all small things but they make a BIG difference to staff. Warnings * You need to be aware of the liabilities that you and your business can be subjected to as a result of accidents and botched procedures (from rashes resulting from improper waxing procedure to damaged hair). Check with your insurance company on policies that can protect you and your business from liability and lawsuits that may arise from customer complaints. * Have a procedures manual, a good salary system, contracts for staff and make sure you are compliant with your current employment legislation. If you have your paperwork in order then should any dispute arise it will be a lot easier for your to deal with it.