View this blog post as a handy PDF Guide!

Naturally, there are quite a few things to take care of prior to any new business venture, and these can be very overwhelming, especially when it comes to organising your priorities. These simple steps however, aim to break things down for you and offer you some perspective on how you should approach starting your own beauty salon.

1. Work out a budget and consider the costs

First and foremost, you should determine your budget and work out your costs. A simple spreadsheet will suffice. This will act as a barrier in order to keep your spending to a minimum. Over-spending at this early stage could result in a quick end to your business.

You may also want to consider having an accountant take care of your books if you feel you won’t have sufficient time to do it yourself.

2. Register your business

By law, you are legally required to register your business. For beauty salons, you may need to apply for certain specialised licences such as a ‘massage and special treatment premises licence’. You can find out more about the types of licences you may need here.

After acquiring your specialised licences, you will then need to register your business (this will keep the tax man happy). If you have a tight budget then you may be able to save yourself money by registering as a sole trader. Sole traders keep all the profits, start-up costs are low and you’re the boss! If you project to make over £80,000 in your first year, then it’s recommended that you register a limited company instead – you can do it here.

3. Find the perfect premises

Finding the perfect spot for your salon is vital to the success of your business. If you choose a bad location, people will associate this with the quality of your work. Whether you choose to purchase or rent a property is entirely up to you and how you are fixed financially. After securing a property, you should also consider:

  • Purchasing a security system such as alarms or CCTV
  • Taking out a decent insurance policy
  • Installing a good air-conditioning unit for the summer months


4. Purchase business essentials

In order to keep costs down, make a list of the essential items you will need to serve your customers such as make-up supplies and massage treatment oils.

Once you have purchased the essentials, you will also need to create a website and social media channels. Follow our tips here on improving your social media presence. In terms of websites, our advice would be to get a website made professionally; however, if you are working to a tight budget, try starting with a free website using online web builders such as Weebly or Wix – you will need to create it yourself, but it is surprisingly easy.

We also recommend you install a telephone line as soon as you secure a commercial property.

5. Hire the right staff

Making sure your staff are trained and qualified is vital to keeping within the lines of the law. Any cosmetic procedure performed by untrained personnel can cause serious health problems to your customers.

You are legally obligated to ensure that your staff are sufficiently trained and understand the methods of each and every procedure, and after you employ people you must be sure to give each employee a contract when they start – you can easily find a basic template online.

In addition to compliance, you might want to consider hiring people based on personality too, after all, a happy worker is a productive worker.

6. Create a plan for first aid emergencies

It is your legal obligation as a business owner to ensure that you are prepared for any first aid emergencies, even if you are not on-site. Legislation states that having an appropriately stocked first aid box is essential at all times and you must ensure your business has a trained first-aider working at all times during business hours. You must also inform all staff of the first aid arrangements.

It may also be worth purchasing a defibrillator which could ultimately save a life should something happen within your premises.

7. Order cleaning essentials

For any business, cleaning materials are essential to ensuring your premises look clean and hygienic. The following products are a vital contribution to the success of your business:

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Couch rolls
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Spill kit

You will also need to get some janitorial supplies such as disinfectants, hoovers and mops in order to keep a tidy workplace.


8. Keep hygienic washroom facilities

A clean and well-maintained washroom is and always will be an easy way to impress customers – be sure to keep a good stock of toilet rolls, paper towels and hand soap. You may also want to consider installing a decent hand dryer, an automated air freshener and ensure you have a sanitary bin for female patrons.

9. Set up a waste collection contract

With a high-demand business comes a lot of waste which can gather very quickly. In order to keep your salon free from contamination and clutter, ensure you have a contract in place for the disposal of hazardous and general waste. You will also need waste sacks and bins.

10. Take care of fire safety

By law, you are required to ensure the safety of you, your staff, customers and visitors. It is crucial that you have the necessary fire protection apparatus made available along with relevant safety signage. It’s advised that you appoint a health and safety representative to ensure that fire safety is never overlooked – they will also be responsible for planning and regularly testing your fire evacuation strategy.

The law states that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition. We highly suggest PAT testing all electrical appliances each year.