The Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Professional Hairdressing Business


People are looking for solutions that can make them better. From skincare to hairdressing, the desire to look good is increasing. That’s why starting a salon can be a nice investment. With a salon, you have a business that lets you unleash your creativity and quench your entrepreneurial thirst. However, before starting a salon, it’s important to invest in proper planning. So, if this has been your desire, here is a salon startup checklist to help you start your dream hairdressing business without any difficulties.

The Basics

After going through a cosmetology course, you might want to explore different career options—including hairdressing. In most cases, students prefer starting their own hairdressing businesses. With hairdressing, you have a dynamic field that has so much to offer. The industry is highly rewarding and can take you to greater heights in terms of career. However, a hairdressing business is like any other business. Starting a successful venture and running it profitably isn’t that easy. So, irrespective of your experience in hairdressing—including how to use professional hairdressing scissors for stylists—you need to follow some guidelines. Have the right tips. They will help you start and run a successful hairdressing business.

Have a Clear Business Plan

Start by drafting a comprehensive business plan that incorporates a company description, a mission statement, a market analysis, a financial plan, as well as a description of your services. You can create this document with the help of free online templates. If you need to seek funding from an external source, then a well-crafted plan is a must-have.

Have a Legal Structure

Decide if you want your business’s legal structure to be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership, or a limited liability corporation (LLC).  If you want it to be a sole proprietor based business you will be responsible for all operations of the salon business. You will bear all the risks—including answerable to your clients.  Your clients can also sue you for mistakes arising from your business. On the other hand, an LLC limits all personal risks. However, you will need to contact the Internal Revenue Service for federal tax identification based number.

Select the Location

The location of your business is extremely important. When choosing a space for your salon, consider foot traffic and visibility. You also want to make sure that there are enough stylish chairs in your salon, parking space, and room for additional services.

Purchase the Right Equipment and Furniture

When opening a salon, you need chairs, mirrors, as well as a reception desk. Shampoo bowls are also needed along with the professional services of a plumber for correct installation. Even more, hairdryers plus laundering equipment are needed for cleaning towels and other essentials.

A computer system featuring the latest salon scheduling and management software can also make it easier for you to fill your books and effectively manage your business. Credit card machines, telephones, as well as cash registers should also be put in place.

Buy Salon Supplies

For your salon business to be successful, you’ll need to purchase shampoos, drapes, conditioners, and towels. Plus, you’ll need to get yourself the best professional hair cutting scissors from, hair coloring products, combs, rollers, brushes, and styling products.  

If you’re tired working in a salon, then working in a mobile hairdressing salon can be an incredible way to start up your own enterprise without the need of a physical premise.

Mobile hairdressers effectively move to their client’s locations, allowing them to cut, dye, and style hair with increased convenience. This can work perfectly for normal routine cutting as well as specific occasions like weddings and proms where customers wouldn’t want to visit the salon.

Get the Necessary Equipment

To set up a mobile hairdresser, you’ll need to have the right tools. So, shop around for quality hairdressing equipment, including professional hairdryers, curling irons, straighteners, bleach resistant towels, and an extensive range of scissors as well as combs.

After purchasing the equipment, take time to learn how each of them works in order to get fantastic results without necessarily feeling like you’re experimenting! And if you’re planning to offer services like dying permanent waves, or bleaching, you’ll also need to find a reliable supplier for these types of chemicals.

Aside from having all these tools, you’ll need your own car plus a professional looking case to carry them to your clients’ locations. Of course, it’s possible to operate a mobile salon without a personal car, but it’s probably going to be more tedious and cumbersome.

Find Clients

If you’re a startup business, you’ll first need to find some initial customers to get the ball rolling. Let your friends and family know about your enterprise, as most of your initial clients will come from your friends as well as word of mouth recommendations.

Print attractive business cards and give a couple of them your friends and family members. You may also want to set up a calendar using some software so that you can easily take bookings when customers call or email you.


Do extensive marketing. Take your business online. Take your game to the social media platforms. Be sure to artistically brand your business.

For most hairdressers, the circle of friends they can draw in via personal recommendations won’t be enough to keep their enterprise in the black. So, it’s advisable to consider other marketing strategies in your local area.

And one of the best ways to go about this is to develop a dynamic website for your business that explains the services you offer, showcase examples of your previous work, and also explain your prices. In addition, it should explain how far you’re willing to travel.

To attract more customers, however, you need to assist people to find your site by ranking top on Google search results for hairstylists in your local area. You can hire a professional SEO company to help you achieve this, or attempt to learn about SEO yourself. Including a blog on your website with interesting content about hair care plus the latest trends in hair could help improve your standing with Google.

Social media marketing is also an incredible tool for marketing your hairdressing business. So, make sure that you have got a Facebook and a Twitter handle where you can post about your offers and photos of your customers before and after your work. Get your customers to follow you and then share these posts to help spread information about your service through their social networks.

It’s also important to consider paying for targeted advertising across social media platforms such as Facebook and Google that’ll be shown to people living within your local area. If you intend to focus on wedding hair, for instance, consider showing your ads to those who’re interested in bridal topics. For those who already have the skills, investing in a mobile hairdresser can be an affordable way to start your own business.

Hands-on Experience

The first step is to have the right experience. Getting adequate industry experience will help you familiarize yourself with this sphere. So, after finishing a course in cosmetology, consider working at salons, spa, etc. Doing this will help you understand daily workings, how to handle clients, what you need, and many more. Understanding how the industry is run and operates will get you to the success zone. Plus, you can also look for a mentor to guide you through the whole business operations.

Strategizing and Planning

Of course, the excitement of starting your own business can be huge. It can make you want to jump into starting things in the shortest time possible. However, this can plunge you into problems. The best way to draw an elaborate plan. With a business plan, you have a blueprint that will help you strategize. Plus, it will help you manage the funds correctly. A business plan will help you execute the day to day operations.

Budget Well

It’s important to budget well. Budgeting involves meticulously assessing the cost of running a business venture. Remember, you will need to rent a property, purchase equipment, work on the interiors, and even hire assistants. So, having a clear budget is important. Write down all the things you need. From professional hairdressing scissors to round brushes, listing your wants will help you draw a clear budget.

Select the Best Location

Location plays a key factor when it comes to the success of any business. Be sure to get it right. Get a strategic location. Choose a location that’s close to clients. The area should be easily accessible by your potential clientele. For instance, you can choose a street featuring high-end shops if your aim is to nail affluent clients.  From here, work on the interiors of your shop. Choose exciting colors. Design a customer care desk. Bring in entertainment features into space. In a nutshell, the interiors of your salon should have the right vibe. This will give you more clients and elevate your reputation.

Get All the Necessary Permits, Licensing, and Insurance

Obtain the necessary legal permit. Talk with your local government body that regulates the hairdressing industry. Get all permits requires. Ensure that your hairdressing business meets all the health regulations. Having all legal documents gives you the peace of mind you need to concentrate on other important matters.

For smooth operations, you should get all the .licensing. Also, besides licensing, you need the right insurance for your salon. So go to the Department of Cosmetology. However, it depends on your state. The bottom line is to get the right licensing from the right state agency. In most cases, a representative will be sent to your location. He/she will assess your salon to ascertain if you meet the requirement before giving you the license. Plus, to get the license, you must have proper training in the areas of hairdressing, manicure. Pedicure, etc. Even more, the licensing team will look at the equipment in place before certifying you.

Additionally, complying with the sanitation, fire, as well as electrical codes of your country is important. Also, you will need to purchase the right insurance cover for your salon. With a comprehensive insurance cover, you protect your business from various risks, including fire, theft, burglary, liability, flooding, etc.

Hire the Right People

Hire the right people. Don’t hire people who are just after your money. Hire hairdressers who share your vision. They should show a high level of dedication. They should have great passion. Having the drive to do the work assigned will benefit your business. Hiring a dedicated and dependable team of stylists will make work easy and make your clients happy.

Here are key factors you should look when hiring stylists:

  • Dependability—hire dependable people. They should be able to keep time. Don’t hire lazy stylists. They will mess up your business schedules. Also, the employees you hire should be trustworthy. So, don’t hire thieves. They will go with all you have bought
  • Experience—look for experienced hairdressers. Your hairdressers should be conversant with modern trends in the beauty industry. Also, they should be willing to work hard to deliver your business dream. Employees with the right attitude coupled with high workmate will definitely catapult your business to another new level.
  • Public Skills—hire people with the best public relations skills. Remember, they will be handling your clients. So, it’s advisable to hire people who understand client needs. They should also be willing to go the extra mile to make your clients happy.

The Bottom-Line

Starting a hairdressing business is one thing. However, running it successfully is another entirely new thing. Remember, very few businesses live up to see their fifth birthdays. So, don’t fumble with your business idea. However, that doesn’t mean that you cow down and wallow on the stand seeing your dream vanish. You can use the above checklist and open a business of your dream. From drafting a business plan to understanding the equipment you need, the above checklist is all you need to hit the ball rolling. Good luck!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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