You’ve paid your dues and studied hard. After working with other stylists, you are ready to open your own salon. This is an exciting time for any cosmetologist. The first step is to find the right location for your hair salon after cosmetology school. Here are some of the things you need to consider when you are making plans.
Location Is Everything
As the general is with real estate, location is paramount. There’s an immense amount of choice here. Make your decision based on the type of clientele you are looking to target. For instance, do you want to position yourself to service urban clients that live and work in the city? If so, you might be interested in a busy downtown area. Alternatively, you might want a more suburban feel to your new salon. If so, a spot outside a busy city is the way to go.
Consider the Size
Finding a property in the right location won’t work if the size is not right. Think ahead and decide what you will need. Generally, most hair salons require at least four distinct areas – not necessarily rooms – and range between 1,200 to 2,000 square feet. A popular breakdown of the areas are:
- Reception/retail area: At least 20 percent of the overall space should be allotted for this section. It includes an area for patrons to wait, a place for product displays, and a reception desk.
- Shampoo area: About 10 percent of the space should be given over to a shampoo area.
- Service area: Allot 50 percent of your space for a service area where stylists will work.
- Storage: Storage for any shop is important. Leave at least 20 percent of the space dedicated to storage.
A location in an urban setting allows you to cater to office workers who might find it convenient to schedule a hair appointment during their lunch hour or immediately after work. In addition, businesses of all kinds will also populate the area and bring the benefit of drawing potential clients to your door. One downside is that business districts may not be the best choice for night-time appointments. Make sure the area is safe and well lit. That will give you and your customers peace of mind. Finally, make sure there is adequate parking nearby.
You might want to find a location that lies within a more suburban area. In many parts of the country, urbanites have found a home outside the city. In fact, businesses once confined to downtown have moved out to malls of all kinds. One of the most prominent is the strip mall. Finding the right strip mall for your salon is essential to its success. Make sure the vacant space is not due to lack of traffic rather than your good fortune. Sit in the parking lot and tabulate how many people use the strip mall on any given day. Remember, foot traffic to other businesses will act like free advertising for yours.
Pros and Cons of Leasing vs. Buying
You’ve picked out the location where you want to open your salon. The next decision is whether you are looking to lease or buy. As with your choice of location, this is dependant on the funds you have to invest. Buying means that you can qualify for a mortgage on the property. It also means that you need to be very sure of the location and the market trends in the area. Sometimes availability means that other businesses are leaving due to changing conditions. Be certain to do your homework.
Buying Means Less Interference
When you own your space, you are able to make renovations without the interference of a landlord. However, some lease agreements can be adaptable for business purposes. Pore over the lease agreement, and if possible, obtain an attorney’s assistance. A mistake when you sign can cost you money in the future. Remember, rented space should have an extended lease agreement if possible.
After cosmetology school is behind you and you have your own shop, you still need to take continuing education courses to renew your license. The cosmetology courses also introduce you to changing styles and new information on how to better serve your clients.
Beauty Academy offers online and correspondence cosmetology courses for your convenience. You can even take the course before you pay. We understand how little extra time you have when you are trying to build a business, and we make every effort to simplify the process. Check out our courses, and get started today.