To start a new business is challenging. Opening a salon or spa requires careful planning and important considerations for its launch to be successful. 

The plan to start a wellness business includes creating a budget, ordering equipment and inventory, hiring staff, designing a menu card with the services offered, opening a website, choosing the location of the salon or spa, and much more. 

Oftentimes, people tend to confuse the services offered at a salon and a spa, because they overlap. However, their purposes are unique. 

You might have noticed the name of the institution put together as salon and spa. In this case, both ranges of services are offered in the same location.  

A salon offers beauty treatments like facials, haircuts, waxing, manicure, and pedicure. The setting is compact for services with few private rooms.  

A spa includes skincare, and haircare treatments along with body massages, aromatherapy, sauna, etc. It also requires more space than salons.  

What is cosmetology? It is the study and practice of cosmetic services to enhance one’s outer appearance through which one gains knowledge on skincare services, hair care tips, beauty treatments, etc. 

What is an esthetician? Someone who is considered a skin specialist, offering services specifically catering to skin and face. The services include body spa, waxing, advanced facials, like chemical peels and microdermabrasion, and much more. 

As you are interested in considering cosmetology as a career choice, it is a good option to take a free online cosmetology test. It tests your knowledge in the field of beauty treatments.  

After you take the test, it will serve as a guide to take you through the journey of getting a certification in cosmetology.  

7 Things to Consider Before Setting Up Your Salon or Spa 


Taking the below considerations seriously will give you a blueprint of the processes involved in setting up a salon or spa. 

  1. Create a Business Plan 

The thing about opening a salon or spa is that you are building it from scratch. You are confident enough to sell your beauty skills through a range of services.  

Creating a business plan helps you figure out how exactly your salon aims to stand out from the rest of the competitors out there.  

Understanding the market and the current trends play a huge role in determining how your skills are going to serve the clients. There are laws and regulations in every locality. As discussed above, you need a cosmetology license, salon license, and building permit. 

It is okay if you are not yet clear about where to open the parlor as long as you do the research and build an understanding of the operations involved in it. 

  1. Finance and Budgets 

Starting a wellness business needs funding. If you are ready to invest from the savings or are going to take a loan, have a clear business plan.  

The setup costs include: 

  • licenses and permits 
  • buying or renting a place 
  • salon equipment 
  • wages for the employees  
  • buying and selling cosmetic products 
  • insurance plan 
  • contacting bankers to invest in your business 
  • equipment financing. 
  1. Locality Setting 

Salons and spas are considered high-risk businesses. The location is a very important factor in determining whether the business will be a hit or a miss. Although, there are several deciding factors to contribute to the prolonged growth of the business.   

If you are targeting high-end clients, provided you can afford the budget, choose a locality where you will meet your ideal clients. For example, if you target budget-friendly clients, opening up a salon or spa in a posh area might even affect your business sales.  

Whether you are renting or buying a space, opting for a busy, populated area will drive more customers. Based on this, the expenses will vary accordingly.  

Transportation access will definitely create loyal, regular customers. Also, look out for salons and spas near you that offer similar services as yours.  

  1. Finding your Niche  

In order to put your beauty skills to good use, you have to find out your niche. What does your ideal salon or spa look like?  

The services you offer, the customers you build over time, the staff members who are kind and attentive, the reception you create, the experience it evokes, the feedback you receive are what form the identity of the salon or spa. 

There will be many trials and errors which will help build your salon credibility and find out what works well and what doesn’t. 

  1. Marketing Plan 

Running a salon or spa in a location that aligns with your values and goals is absolutely necessary.  

Think from the customer’s point of view. They will surely remember how your salon or spa makes them look, feel, and transform and will keep coming back to benefit from your services. 

There are some marketing tactics that will boost sales and increase the popularity of your salon or spa.  

  • Website – hire a web designer to create a professional website for your parlor. Mention all the services you offer and include customer reviews and ratings. A good website will give a picture of what it feels like to experience your services. 
  • Social media – promote your brand and enable visitors to know more about you personally. Engage with people on social media platforms just the way you treat your customers.  
  • Partnership – partner with well-known haircare and skincare brands to receive a broader reach. Building a long-lasting client base is the ultimate goal.  
  • Offers and benefits – the best way to generate higher revenue are through offers and discounts. It sounds contradicting but the services must be offered in bundles so the clients opt for more options. It is essential to provide membership cards as well. 

Note: consider what pricing works well for your services and do not compromise just because you are just starting out the business.  

  1. Hire an Interior Designer 

A designer can help create the layout, structure, and appearance of the salon. Spas require more space for private rooms, sauna, and other settings. A detailed plan and communicating the image you want to project can help create the ideal space. 

Having a picturesque salon or spa won’t do the part unless you practice sanitation. What you promote must reflect in the ambiance.  

Keeping in mind the size of the location, decorate the space that makes it easier for the staff members to work comfortably and for the customers to feel relaxed and refreshing. 

Some of the basic equipment needed are chairs, spa beds, furniture, sinks, hair tools, mirrors, lighting, beauty products, air conditioners, etc. 

  1. Go Virtual 

The lockdowns and the restrictions majorly affect your business, even setting up one. Pre-booking is a great way to retain customers and engage with them virtually.  

Given the situation, you must be aware of how creating a website is crucial. You can continue running any business online safely.  

With regards to offering services virtually, you can guide the clients with tips and tricks to maintain their hair, skin, and nails through video 1:1 consulting.  

For example, you can take them through the steps involved in facials, the right products to shop online (even better if you run a retail store), and keep the clients informed about the functioning of the salon or spa.  

The best part about virtual appointments is that you can serve more clients without worrying about the social distance, and make more revenue. 

Key Takeaway  

As a beginner, talk to an entrepreneur to understand the field better. What makes a business run smoothly is the relationships you build with the staff members and the customers.  

In addition to that, quality services and customer experiences are extremely important to run a successful salon.  

As your business starts to evolve, so should your plans. If you are good at what you do, people will always want to come to you and pay the price for it.