|All content presented here and elsewhere is solely intended for informational purposes only. The reader is required to seek professional counsel before beginning any legal or financial endeavor.|
A business plan can be as simple or as complex as you make it. In general, a well-thought-out business plan is an important part of laying the foundation for your future success. Although it takes time, it’s often worth it to make a long-term salon business plan.
- Building a complete salon business plan will take time and energy. But your hard work can pay off.
- Use your business plan to think through the potential problems before they arise.
Salon Business Plans: What You Need to Know
A salon business plan serves as a key document to help you visualize your path to success. Throughout the process of creating this plan, you can think through potential problems on paper.
What’s Included in a Salon Business Plan?
A salon business plan includes the following:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Marketing plan
- Management and organization
- Financial plan
Why Do You Need a Business Plan for a Salon?
When starting a business, this is a critical document to make. Without a business plan, you are essentially diving into the deep end of the ocean without a life jacket. If you want to avoid some of the pitfalls of salon ownership, a carefully executed business plan can help.
- Visualize success: Everyone has a different definition of business success. But you can nail down your version of success through a business plan.
- Explore problems: Every business owner experiences some bumps in the road. You can explore potential problems and find solutions on paper, which is often less expensive than in real life.
- Share with others: If you are looking for outside funding, many lenders and investors will ask to see a business plan. Be prepared with a polished document for their exploration.
How Long Does It Take to Write a Salon Business Plan?
Every business owner will take a different amount of time to write out a business plan.
- Unique business: The length of time varies because every business is unique.
- Don’t rush: You’ll find that you get more out of the salon business model if you put in the time. Take your time to build a document you are proud of.
Key Elements of a Good Salon Business Plan
Every salon business plan will look a little bit different. But the key elements of a good salon business plan remain the same.
An executive summary includes a brief description of your salon.
- Why it matters: The executive summary provides an opportunity for a first impression. Make it a good one.
- What to include: A good first impression should include the mission statement, a quick overview of offered services, your target market, and a summary of the business finances.
A company description goes beyond the brief overview you provided in the executive summary.
- Why it matters: Anyone reading the business plan should walk away with a clear idea of your business goals. But nailing down this description can also help your business model stay on track.
- What to include: Provide an in-depth look at what you hope to achieve with the company. Include a detailed description of the salon, the ownership structure, the legal structure, locations, and services offered. Don’t forget to highlight your competitive advantage, or what makes your business stand out.
Market Analysis and Marketing Plan
A marketing plan helps you draw in the customers you need to make your business successful.
- Why it matters: Before diving into the business, confirm that the market has space for your salon. Look at the competition to see how you could stand out. Plus, include ways you will draw customers to your business.
- What to include: Find the data that shows there is a demand for your products and services. Scope out a target market and find industry trends to capitalize on. Don’t skimp on your sales strategy. Without effective salon marketing, it’s difficult to stay afloat.
Management and Organization
Potential lenders and investors want to know if your team is up to the challenge.
- Why it matters: The people in your business matter because the right team can make all the difference.
- What to include: If you have a management team in place, start with their roles and highlight their past experience. From there, include an organization hierarchy that indicates decision-makers. Don’t forget to include details about your staffing plan. If hiring staff, include some information on your training and development plans.
"You don't build a business, you build people, then people build the business.” - Zig Ziglar
The nuts and bolts of your business will be found in the numbers. It’s important to think through all of your costs before getting started.
- Why it matters: Without a financial plan, it’s easy to get off track. Starting a salon business is expensive. You’ll need to set up a solution to pay for these expenses.
- What to include: The financial piece of your business plan should include numbers like start-up costs, funding sources, realistic revenue projections, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, break-even analysis, and funding requirements. Also, include information about an exit strategy.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Salon
If you are ready to write up a business plan for a salon, here’s the step-by-step process to follow:
- Use a template: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. FinImpact.com offers a free business plan template you could start with.
- Start with the vision: Before you get to the numbers, start by outlining your vision of success for your salon. A vision board might help you nail down your plans.
- Consider legal advice: If you want to register your business, consider the legal implications of different business structures. In some cases, this planning stage is the right time to get legal advice.
- Drill into the numbers: You want to get clear on the numbers before you take action to open your salon. Run the numbers and leave some room for unexpected expenses along the way.
Tips for Perfecting Your Salon Business Plan
A salon business plan is a living document, which means you can make changes along the way. Do your best to get things right. But don’t let the fear of making a mistake prevent you from moving forward confidently.
Do Your Research
- Confidence: As you learn more about the industry and financial details, you’ll gain confidence in your business venture.
- Anticipate problems: Most salons won’t find smooth sailing at first. With careful research, you can anticipate potential problems and brainstorm solutions ahead of time.
Set Clear Goals
A clear goal eliminates moving targets for your business.
- Define your goals: Clear goals should make a straightforward milestone along the way. For example, your first goal might be for your business to be profitable or have the goal of opening your doors by a set date.
- Track your progress: A business owner is always moving forward. But that makes it difficult to appreciate your progress. Setting clear goals can help you remember how far you’ve come.
Most successful business owners adapt on the fly.
- Be open to changes: It’s unlikely that you can follow your business plan to a tee because market conditions change. Be ready to make changes as you goal.
A big business starts small.” - Richard Branson
Ask for Professional Help
If you are stuck on building out a business plan, consider calling in professional help.
- Practice helps: If this is your first business plan, you might feel a sense of writer’s block. A professional might help you break through the noise.
Prepare for Challenges
Challenges are a part of running a salon. Try to anticipate obstacles before they happen.
- Troubleshoot in advance: Consider situations that might stand in the way of your success. Instead of waiting for common problems to come your way, brainstorm solutions ahead of time.
- Write down solutions: Challenges will happen. Be prepared with a short list of possible solutions.
Your business is your brainchild. Sometimes you need an outside perspective to see potential problems.
- Ask for help: A helping hand can help guide you toward the business of your dreams.
- Ask the right person: Don’t ask someone without any business experience to review your business plan. Instead, look for help from a mentor.
Writing down a business is the first step. From there, you’ll need to execute your business goals. It might be a challenge, which makes perseverance an important tool.
- Stay positive: A dose of positivity can go a long way. Choose to look at your business in a positive light while making progress toward your goals.
SWOT Analysis: Evaluating Your Salon's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
A SWOT analysis can help you identify where your business can stand apart from the crowd.
- Strengths: Strengths might include things like a good location, extensive salon experience, a range of services, extended hours, and more.
- Weaknesses: Weakness might include outdated equipment, lack of online presence, old-school appointment booking, and more.
- Opportunities: Opportunities might include online booking options, premade packages, high-end products, and more.
- Threats: Threats might include other salons in the area, higher prices, and more.
A clear look at your business can help you focus on your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.
Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes.” - Dee Hock
Operations Plan: Outlining Your Salon's Day-to-Day Operations and Processes
An operations plan is different than a business plan. An operation plan outlines how the salon will work on a day-to-day basis. Here’s what to consider in your operations plan:
- Scheduling and Appointment Management
- Inventory Management
- Health and Safety Protocols
- Customer Service
Implementation Plan: Turning Your Salon Business Plan into Reality with Clear Action Steps
When done right, a salon business plan serves as an extensive roadmap to your long-term success. However, even the best business plan in the world is a starting point. After you’ve nailed down your business plan, it’s time to start building your business.