Congratulations! You’ve decided to be your own boss. Let’s take a closer look at the industry, what it takes to go solo, and how you’ll know when you’re ready.
Progression of the Market
The salon and spa industry has seen steady growth over the last decade. However, that growth is largely due to the gains in businesses with no paid employees, also known as the non-employer sector. In fact, this sector of the industry has increased more than 40%. This is huge growth and an indicator that many people in the beauty industry are going into business for themselves.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Census Bureau
Number of Solo Entrepreneurs
More than 1.4 million professionals work in what is referred to as “personal appearance occupations” in the United States, aka the beauty industry. Individuals in these occupations have a much higher rate of self-employment at 31% compared to the overall workforce at just 6%. This means 3 out of every 10 beauty professionals are self-employed.
Source: Professional Beauty Association analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Path to Ownership
The beauty industry is represented by more women and is more diverse than the overall workforce. The beauty industry paves the way for individuals of all backgrounds to own and operate a business and there are amazing resources like grants, scholarships, and loan programs for women and Black, indigenous, and people of color who wish to start their own business.
- 74% of all salon and spa businesses are owned by women, compared to just 36% of businesses in the overall private sector.
- 33% of businesses in the salon and spa industry are Black- or African American-owned, versus just 10 % of total private sector businesses.
- 19% of salon and spa businesses are Asian-owned, compared to 7% of businesses in the overall private sector.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Survey of Business Owners
*Figures represent all salon industry businesses: employment-based businesses and non-payroll businesses
How will I know I’m ready?
You’re passionate about your craft and you know the ins and outs of the hair care—including the best tools, techniques, supplies, and hair care products. By the time you consider opening your own business, salon treatments should be the easy part.
- You’re ready to learn—who isn’t in this ever-changing hair industry! Challenges will always arise when running a business.
- You can see the big picture—you keep your eyes on the goal even when you have yet to break even.
- You want to be your own boss—you’re capable of managing your own time, setting your scheduling, creating structure.
Do I Need a Business Plan?
In a word, yes! For every entrepreneur, a business plan is the foundation on which to build your operation. Like a road map, a business plan defines your path to success and illustrates the route you will take to get there. Don’t allow the idea of creating such a document intimidate you. You likely have identified many of your business goals already, how you are going to achieve them, and what it will take for you to do so. Consider engaging the services of an accountant if you need assistance—especially if you are preparing a plan to submit to a financial institution, venture capitalist, or other lender to secure financing for your business.
Importance of Professional Partners
Network with experts in your area such as accountants, lawyers, and business consultants. Don’t go it alone—building these business relationships is a direct correlation to your success as a salon business owner. These individuals may give you a competitive advantage and help your business achieve its objectives.
Associated Hair Professionals (AHP) offers real protection, real benefits, and real talent for the real professional.
AHP is the only association designed exclusively for independent hairdressers and barbers who want next-level success. AHP is committed to elevating the hair profession and curating aspiring talent. Our members are educated, creative, skillful imagemakers and attitude-adjusters who understand it takes more than a license to be a REAL hair professional.
Is owning a hair salon profitable?
Yes, owning a hair salon can be very profitable. According to The Salon Business, the average salon business brings in a revenue of $245,000 annually.
Is a salon a good investment?
The beauty industry is valued at over $500 billion and considered a steady business, unaffected by economic recessions. With this in mind, a hair salon is a safe investment.
What makes a hair salon successful?
Some factors that contribute to a successful salon include:
- A solid business plan
- Client communication
- A social media and marketing strategy
- Continuing education