At some point, just about all experienced hair stylists will inevitably come to the realization that they could be putting more money in the bank by going into business themselves. Becoming entrepreneurs. Free agents. More money? It sounds like a no-brainer move.
But hold up. Before making the move into your own space, equip yourself for the challenges that are ahead of you. By taking the time to plan strategically, you’re more likely to be successful in your endeavor. Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
- Weigh the financial risks. Do you take out a loan? Or save up before making the big move? Decide first what you want. Opening your own salon can cost an average of $100,000 — including the real estate, equipment and products. On the other hand, you can minimize your upfront expenses by keeping your expenses down. One of the simplest ways is cutting down expenses for overhead by renting a booth.
- Calculate hidden costs. When comparing the journey from commission to renting, make sure you take into account all expenses. While you’re likely making about 50 percent of the cost of your services on commission, you won’t simply make 100 percent of that income when making the switch. But you already know that. It’s just a matter of taking it a step further to figure out how much you actually will make. For example, calculate the costs associated with purchasing your own products, maintaining equipment, training and booking appointments and other support services. Make sure you calculate an hourly rate for the time you invest in non-service tasks.
- Find an ideal salon. Searching for a booth rental situation is not one to be taken lightly. Avoid the temptation to go with the cheapest booth offer. Select a booth that will help you build your reputation as an independent hair stylist. It should reflect you and your professionalism. Carefully analyze all aspects of the arrangement to make sure it is one you’re comfortable with.
- Determine location. While it’s important to select a location that’s ideal for your current clients, think long-term as well. More than likely, you’re trying to grow your business with new clientele. Determine which location is more likely to attract your ideal client. Young professionals in an urban location? Or suburbanites?
- Assess your current situation. Are you ready to make the move? If you have a substantial number of clients already, moving to a booth rental model could have immediate pay-offs. If you’re still trying to make a name for yourself, develop a long-term marketing plan to increase your personal brand. The cost of promoting yourself through Facebook and other social network channels isn’t an expensive undertaking — but it can have significant payoffs.
Ready to start your own business? You’ll be able to manage your schedule, your clients, and other aspects of your hair styling operations with Stylie, an online scheduling and point-of-sale tool for independent beauty professionals. Contact us for a free 30-day trial of Stylie to see how it can help you.
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