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How to start a day spa business or beauty salon

Thinking about setting up a spa business? Check out our guide on how to open a beauty salon

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Tips and useful contacts on how to open a beauty salon

Beauty business tips

  • Consider speaking with a beauty consultant first: “If you don’t really have a lot of experience, my advice to anyone starting out and going into a business is to find a consultant to work with. There are lots of pitfalls, so you’ve got to get it right.,” Lorraine Fletcher of Atelier Salon and Spa advises. “If you go through the Hairdressers’ Journal, there are lots to choose from. You should find a consultant who’s qualified in setting up in this industry because they’ll have the contacts, they’ll know where to go and they’ll know the best deals you can get.”
  • Think carefully about how you’re going to advertise your beauty business: “The best form of advertising I ever did was business breakfast networking – which every local authority has,” Kim Ford, of BABTAC, says. “Most local press will negotiate an advert plus editorial too, if you invite a journalist from the paper down. But be aware: in this business, advertising agencies are very aggressive. In my first year of business I wasted £11,000 on advertising. I was bullied into it. You don’t realise you’re being bullied, but they’re very aggressive sales people.”
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate administrative and book-keeping work: “If you can employ the services of someone you trust to look after the books for you and to be quite clear about your job role, then that would be very good from the start,” Ford advises. “I learned in the early stages of my beauty business that I’m a great beauty therapist, but I didn’t really understand the accountancy side. And the best thing I did was take on an expert in all of that to guide me.”

How to start a beauty salon in five steps:

  1. Make sure you have the business skills to run your salon day-to-day and manage your accounts, or employ people with the skills to take care of this for you.
  2. Ensure you comply with the beauty industry rules and regulations and have a licence for relevant beauty treatments.
  3. Understand how much it costs to start a beauty salon, and how much you’re likely to earn, and budget accordingly.
  4. Advertise your beauty salon offline – using networking and local advertising for example – and online. Make sure you have a website to promote your beauty salon or spa and then market your site through channels such as social media and blogs and vlogs.
  5. If you’re not an experienced beauty therapist then you will need to hire qualified staff with a level 2 or 3 NVQ or exam equivalent.

More advice on the steps to take to start a beauty salon can be found here.

Useful contacts on how to open a beauty salon

Relevant trade journals with advice on how to open a beauty salon