In a world where snippets of our daily lives are captured on film and posted on social media, maintaining our appearance is high on many Brits’ priority lists. From highlights and haircuts to eyebrow shaping and leg waxes, business appears to be booming for the beauty industry in a post-lockdown revival.
Beauty treatments are not just for women either: the rise in popularity of male grooming, including body waxing and spray tans, has led to the market value for men’s grooming in the UK to increase by almost 100 million pounds from 2015 – 2017.
With the UK beauty industry worth a huge £27 billion as of 2020, it’s clear opening a beauty salon could be a lucrative opportunity. However, as with any new business, launching your first salon is not without its risks. There are many factors to consider to ensure your new business venture is a success. Here are some of the steps to take before you open your doors.
Research your market
The key to building a successful business is thorough market research. You should determine who your competitors will be and what USP (Unique Selling Point) you can add to your business to attract customers.
You must also identify your target market to ensure your services are needed, wanted and in a suitable location. For example, if your target audience is women between 20 – 40 years, setting up shop in a small town where the average age of the population is 60 is not going to be beneficial to your business.
Determine the treatments you will offer
As part of your business plan, you should decide which beauty treatments your salon will offer. This will be easier to do once you’ve defined your target audience and researched your competitors. It will also be helpful to know this so you can work out which qualifications your staff need to have. For example, beauty therapists need a different qualification to give a Brazilian wax than to shape eyebrows.
Once you have outlined the treatments you want to offer, you will need to set a price for each treatment, taking into account how much you will need to charge in order to make a profit. Consider the products you will use for each treatment too: organic and natural products are popular among customers but these are often more expensive, so you may find you need to adjust your prices to balance things out.
Important health and safety standards
You must ensure your salon is safe for your staff, customers, and any visitors, such as suppliers. This means complying with all safety regulations as set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. This will include making sure you have appropriate fire safety precautions in place, such as fire extinguishers, fire safety doors, emergency exits and a clear evacuation plan.
You must ensure your building is accessible to disabled people. For example, if there are steps leading up to the front door, there should also be a ramp for a wheelchair. Failing to make your business accessible could give the impression that you are not inclusive of disabled people, which could damage your reputation. It will also mean disabled people who may have wanted to use your services are unable and take their business elsewhere.
Get the right insurance
It’s crucial as a business owner to insure your business against unexpected events. Beauty salon insurance should cover vital things such as theft and damage of equipment. This will ensure you have the best financial cover if you experience a robbery, break-in, fire, or other event which results in a loss of equipment or property.
As an employer, you must have employer’s liability insurance to cover you financially if an employee is injured at work. This is a legal requirement of all employers in the UK and if you do not have this you will be in breach of the law. Public liability insurance is also recommended to protect you and your business in the event that a customer or member of the public is hurt while visiting your salon.