A home salon business can allow you to set your own work hours and be your own boss. It can also create a more intimate atmosphere for your clients and help you save money on the expense of renting or owning a work space. To start your home business, you will first need to register and insure it. You can then determine what services you will offer and set up your salon so it is accessible for your clients. You will need to work hard, and smart, to ensure your home salon is profitable for years to come.
EditMeeting Initial Requirements
- Obtain permission to run your business from your landlord, if you are not the owner. If you do not own your home, you will need to ask your landlord or mortgage provider for permission to run your business in your living space. This will ensure the owner of the home is comfortable with you operating your business from the home.
- If you already own your home, you do not need to worry about this step.
- Determine the legal structure of your business. Start by deciding if you are going to be the sole owner of the business. If this is the case, your legal structure is a sole proprietorship. If you are operating the business with a partner as co-owners, your legal structure is a partnership. You can then note the legal structure of your business when you apply for a business license and register your business.
- For more information on determining the legal structure of your business, contact your local Small Business Association.
- Get a business license through your local business council. You will need to get a business license to operate your salon from home. You can do this by registering your business with your local city or town council. The requirements for getting a business license will vary from state to state and country to country. Check online or call your local business council for more information.
- In some U.S. states, you can apply for a business license online through your local city council’s website.
- In some areas in the U.S., you must get a business license within a certain number of days before you can legally open your business to clients.
- Most areas require you to have a Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN) to apply for a business license, which you can get through the government tax authorities.
- Get business insurance. Your home insurance may not cover your business needs. You may need to add insurance for home businesses so you are covered in the event of an incident. Business insurance usually covers your stock, your electronics, and your liability for clients who come to your home salon.
- Speak to your home insurance provider for more information on home business insurance.
- Speak to an accountant about paying taxes on your business. You will need to organize your business taxes so you pay them properly and your business is seen as legitimate by the IRS. Ask your accountant for advice on how to determine how much you will pay in taxes each fiscal year.
- The legal structure of your business will affect how you do your taxes and how much you pay in taxes. Talk to your accountant for more information.
- Get a cosmetology license, if required by where you live. You may need to have an up to date cosmetology license to operate the salon legally where you live. If you do not already have a license, you can apply for one at your local beauty school or institute. You will have to do training and classes to become certified and earn your license.
- Look online for beauty schools in your area who offer cosmetology licensing. You can also contact a beauty institute in your area to find out if they offer licensing.
EditDetermining Your Services
- Offer basic services like hair cutting and styling. You may do haircuts and styling yourself or hire stylists to work in your home salon. You may focus on particular clientele, such as women or men only. Or you may be open to anyone, regardless of gender.
- You may also cater to a specific hair type, such as Black hair or hair that has been treated or dyed.
- Think about what areas you are interested in focusing on and what suits your skills best as a hairdresser or stylist. You may also look at what any competing hair salons in your area are doing and focus on hair types or styles that they do not offer.
- Include services like blow drying and shampooing. You may offer these services free of charge for your clients as part of their haircut. If you do blow drying and shampooing, you will need to make sure you have blow dryers on hand as well as shampooing stations in your home salon.
- Consider doing hair coloring and hair extensions to boost your business. If you want to add some variety to your services, you can also do hair coloring and dyeing. You will need to have the necessary coloring and dyeing materials on hand to do this.
- You can also offer hair extensions to your clients. This may be a good option if you are skilled at doing hair extensions and want to attract clients who use hair extensions to your salon.
- Add services like facials and make up styling for variety. Some salons will offer additional services that fall outside of haircare, such as facials, make up styling, and waxing. You may offer these services if you want to offer some variety to your clients. However, you may need to hire staff to help you do these services.
- You may start with basic services first and then see if adding other services like facials, make up, and waxing make sense for your home business. They may be good options if you are not getting as many hair clients as you’d like or if you’d like to try out different skills on your clients.
EditSetting up Your Salon
- Name your home salon. Choose a name that will be catchy and memorable to clients. Keep the name short so clients can remember it easily. You may name your home salon after yourself or after a close friend or family member. You can also pick a name that suits a salon and gives off a calming or attractive vibe to clients.
- For example, you may choose a name like “Cynthia’s Salon” if your name is Cynthia. Or you may pick a name like “Pink Blossom Salon” if you like flowers and the color pink.
- Create a budget for materials and equipment. Determine how much you can afford to spend upfront on materials and equipment for your home salon to get it going. A basic set up with a salon chair, a salon sink, and a salon mirror can cost $1000 USD new, or a bit cheaper used. Look at your budget and determine if you can afford to buy new or if you need to get used materials and equipment.
- Keep in mind you will also have to invest in hair products on a regular basis.
- You may also need to pay to make surface adjustments to your home, such as painting or decorating it, so it looks appealing to clients.
- Get financing for the salon. Starting a business from home will require a certain amount of financing to be successful. You may apply for a business loan from your bank or ask family or friends for loans. You can also try mortgaging your home or selling personal property to finance the salon.
- Another option is to find an investor who would be willing to put money into the salon as a silent partner or as a co-owner.
- Invest in a good salon chair. Your home salon will need at least one good quality salon chair so you can service one client at a time. To save money, get an all-purpose salon chair so you can use it when you cut, style, and shampoo your client’s hair.
- You can buy salon chairs at beauty supply stores or online. They range in price from $100-$300 USD.
- You can save money by buying a used salon chair. Make sure the chair is in good condition before you buy it.
- Get a salon sink. You will need a large, ceramic sink to wash and shampoo your clients’ hair. You may decide to get the sink wall mounted in your salon or invest in a wet station, which is a sink on wheels. The wet station can be moved around your salon as needed and often includes extra storage for hair products.
- If you are short on funds in your budget, you can use your home sink or bathtub to wash your clients’ hair.
- Put up a mirror for clients. Install a large mirror in front of the salon chair so your clients can see themselves as you cut or style their hair. You can buy mirrors made for hair salons at a beauty supply store or repurpose a large mirror for your salon. Make sure the mirror is good quality and reflects your clients properly as they sit in the chair.
- Depending on the size of your home salon, you may install several mirrors so your clients can see themselves in different areas or from different angles.
- Buy hair products. Stock up on hair products like shampoo, conditioner, and toner. You may also invest in hair spray, hair gel, and hair mousse so you can style your clients’ hair.
- Look for brand name hair products that your clients will be familiar with and trust. You can buy hair products at a beauty supply store or online.
- If you are offering hair coloring and hair extensions at your home salon, you will need to stock up on products for these services as well.
- Arrange the salon so it meets the requirements for home businesses in your area. Depending on where your home salon is located, you may need to make adjustments to the space so you can operate your business legally and safely. You will need to put up a permanent wall between the salon and the part of the house where you live. You should also try to have an entrance used by your clients at the salon, and not for people going in and out of your house.
- You may also be required to have a separate bathroom for your clients that isn’t used by the rest of the household.
- Contact your local business council to find out the exact requirements and make sure your home salon is up to code before you open it.
EditMaintaining a Profitable Salon
- Advertise your home salon to potential clients online. Use social media to promote your home salon to clients. Make a Facebook page for your home salon and invite friends to like or share the page. Create an Instagram account for your home salon and update it regularly with photos and videos that show off your hair styling or cutting skills.
- You can also build a website for your home salon or hire a web designer to do this for you.
- You can also put print advertisements or flyers for the salon in the local newspaper and in your neighborhood.
- Keep your prices reasonable and competitive. Look at what your competitors are charging and keep your prices within range so they are reasonable for clients. Make sure your clients feel they are getting good services for their money.
- Do not undersell your services or offer too many discounts, as this can lead to a loss in profit. Try to keep your prices competitive and the quality of your salon high so your clients keep coming back.
- Offer return clients incentives and rewards. Give return clients a discount on their services. Create a promotion where clients can earn rewards or points for every dollar they spend at your salon.
- You can also create a referral program, where clients get a discount for referring friends or family to your salon.
- Join a professional organization for salon owners. Look for a Professional Beauty Association in your area. Become a member of the organization so you can get access to professional guidance and support for salon owners. You can also network and meet other salon owners through these organizations.
- Some professional organizations charge a fee upfront or on a yearly basis to join.
- Adjust your salon as it grows. As your home salon business flourishes and you attract more clients, you may consider adding in a second salon chair or another wet station. You may also hire another stylist to help you serve more clients. Adjust your salon as needed so you can keep up with demand and ensure your business grows steadily year after year.