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How To Start Your Own Nail Salon Business

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How to start your own nail salon? Process | Tips | Business Talk

The nail care market is blooming. In 2017, there were nearly 400,000 active nail licenses in the U.S. alone. California, for instance, was home to over 7,897 nail salons and 100,909 nail technicians. Men and women alike use these services to make sure they look sharp. If you’re planning to launch your own business, one of the best things about working as a nail technician is that you can work from home. It’s not necessary to open a salon and pay thousands of dollars in rent unless you want to. But you still need to have adequate equipment and comply with the laws. Additionally, you need to invest in marketing your business since you’ll have less exposure than a nail salon.

Business Structure And Management Team

A great team can help you reach viability faster, so your readers need to know how your small business operates and whos running the salon. Start this section by stating your legal business structure, such as an LLC or a sole proprietorship, so potential investors and lenders can take your tax obligations and liabilities into account.

Then, introduce yourself and any other owners of your nail salon, along with details about your experience, nail tech licenses or certifications, and past awards. This is your chance to tell readers why they should trust you to run your own business. If you dont have direct experience working in a nail salon, you can mention business or cosmetology degrees, as well as other achievements relevant to your role.

If youve hired any management team members, highlight their roles and experience as well.

Step : Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your companys financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If youre unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so its a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, its a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Nail Salon will cost.

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Find Funding And Partnerships

Partnering with the right people can add layers of expertise to your business and draw in different customers.

Partnerships can be as simple as investors. To attract investors, start by writing a detailed business plan. Here, you must detail exactly how youll make money. You must outline the expenses that your salon will incur and explain how sales will exceed these costs. This will include further explanation of your target customers, marketing plans, and branding.

Nail and hair salons can also benefit from partnering with influential figures or brands. Getting a celebrity endorsement can be a huge boost. A more affordable option is to partner with local social media influencers. Makeup, cosmetics, and hair and nail design are popular areas on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Look for local influencers that may be interested in being a part of your branding and marketing.

It is also worth considering partnering with product lines. Affiliating exclusively with an established brand can help secure your own brand identity. Well look more closely at this later in the post.

How To Open A Nail Salon

Opening Your Own Nail Salon

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Quick Reference

If youre looking for financial independence and a rewarding career where you get to interact with people and help them look their best, then owning a nail salon might be the right option for you. This guide can help you understand what startup costs youll face, what skills youll need, and the steps you should take to prepare to ensure your nail salon is a success.

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Obtain Permits And Licenses

The legal requirements for nail salons vary by location. But youre likely to need a building permit, business license and state-approved training in order to officially open your business. If youre not sure what is required in your area, connect with a local business attorney or check with your local government.

Great Deals And Where To Find Them

Here are some great deals found by nail techs outfitting their salons on a budget.

Tracy Howe, Howe Unique Nails, Camdenton, Mo.: $200 for an Ericas MT-20 E-file in mint condition from Craigslist.

Cherise Canter, Hairology, Harriman, Tenn.: We found a working pedi chair at a thrift store for $50 when we added nails to our salon.

Joy S. McCray, Nail Experience, Gwynn Oak, Md.: I found a nail table with leather chair for $60 on Craigslist and bought three. I couldnt believe it $180 for three tables and three chairs! They needed to be cleaned, but they were awesome.

Two pedi chairs for $40 dollars at the Habitat Restore.

Lori Greene Adams, Shabby 2 Chic Salon, Germantown, Ohio: I got my pedi chairs for $100 each. The lady was moving and they had to be gone that night.

Candi Geter, Polished by Candi at Tavani Salon and Spa, Kalamazoo, Mich.: I found a big L-shaped nail table for $100 on Facebook Marketplace.

Tiffany Clark, Nails by Tiffany Clark at Attraction Styling Salon, Shelby, N.C.: I bought a $1,500 portable foot spa with chair new and unused for $175 from a friend of a friend who was closing her salon and made enough money with it to invest in a regular spa chair.

Kym DG, Dserved Ndulgences Salon and Spa, Waldorf, Md.: I found an entire salon of furniture for $250 on Four manicure tables, cabinets, pedicure chairs everything had to go and it went home with me.

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What Are The Key Customer Segments In The Nail Care Market

The nail care market consists of three consumer segments: nail polish consumers, nail salon customers, and nail product manufacturers.

Nail polish consumers purchase nail polishes at various locations including drugstores, grocery stores, department stores, discount retailers, and online retailers. They may also prefer to use nail salons to get their nails done they might also purchase nail products such as nail art and nail polish remover.

Nail product manufacturers sell their products directly to nail salons and online through websites.

If youd like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

Small Salon Design Ideas

Lets Talk Nails Business | How To Start Your Own Nail Business | Nail Business

Its natural that your first salon will be smaller which means optimizing the space will be crucial to you. Heres some small salon design ideas:

  • Make the most of salon daylight. A brighter salon feels more spacious.
  • Use a mirrored wall as this creates a perception of larger space.
  • Consider to island styling stations vs. against the wall to create more space

Read my article on small salon design ideas for more inspiration here.

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What Are The Typical Startup Costs For A New Nail Salon Business

The costs to start a nail salon include:

  • building out your salon space
  • salon equipment
  • disposable nail files and buffers
  • nail polish
  • business insurance
  • rent

The initial costs can vary depending on the amount of customization you do to your salon space, the equipment you purchase, and the location of your nail salon. However, you will need enough money to cover all of your nail salon start-up costs until your business becomes profitable. Typically, you need at least $50,000 $250,000 to get started.

To minimize nail salon startup costs, consider starting with equipment that is less expensive or borrowing money from family or friends. It may help to partner up with someone who has experience in running their own salon business.

Invest In Good Products

They may be more expensive, but quality products will ultimately set you apart from the competition. These products will help you achieve better results so your customers will keep coming back and even recommend you to their friends.

To cut costs, youll want to consider getting wholesale supplies. Since these are often on discount, they may not be top-tier products, so examine them closely before buying. Most suppliers will give you free samples, so use this opportunity to test a couple of products before committing to a large batch.

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Register Your Salon Business

Its time to get your business registered with the state.

How you should register your business is determined by the business structure and location. But youll likely need to get a tax ID first as well as required licenses and permits for your salon.

To make life easy for you, you can request Zen Business to set up the business for you.

You just need to select the desired business structure and fill out a simple questionnaire.

Zen Business will then assemble all the required documents and file them directly with your state. When all is ready, youll have the documents sent to you via mail.

This will save you time that you instead can invest into getting your new salon up and running.

Gain Practical Salon Business Experience

How To Start A Nail Salon Business

Getting some practical experience before you start your own salon can save you a lot of expensive mistakes later.

So if youre not working in a salon already, get a part time job after school . Get out there. Listen to what people ask for. Get a feel for how the salon business works.

You can learn tons from just being in a salon and looking at whats happening in the salon. And now that you know youll be starting a salon yourself, youll observe the world through a difference lens and see things other people not planning to start a salon will see.

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Step : Create Your Business Website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.

Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

So What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Nail Salon

  • It’s quick to get started

All you need to do is create a legal business entity with insurance and a license, and youâre ready to go.

  • You can make a great living

Once established, a salon owner only has to worry about standard operating costs. Barring the high initial investment, running costs are comparatively low. The rest of the profits are yours!

  • Itâs a rewarding job

When your creative efforts make people look and feel amazing, youâre certain to come home with a smile on your face every day.

  • High client retention

Once youâve established a great relationship with your guests, theyâre likely to stay loyal to your business for years to come.

Now you know the benefits, let’s look at how you can get started.

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Choose Your Location And Supplies

Most states allow home-based salons . You can choose to start a salon out of your home or look for a commercial space. Home salons may be the most cost-effective option but still come with requirements. In some states, youâll need a separate entrance and bathroom for clients.

If youâre considering commercial locations, let your USP guide you. For example, if youâre interested in a high-end clientele and have an appointment-only policy, your salon will not need a prominent street location with lots of foot traffic.

Because nail salons often get recurring clients, a storefront with plenty of parking close to where your customers live and work is ideal. To keep costs low, look for a location already built as a nail salon, which will have ventilation as well as salon equipment you may be able to purchase, from tables to clippers and cuticle brushes.

Calculate rent, the number of chairs you might operate or rent, and the number of clients youâd need to serve to profit from that location.

Supplies can be financed over time as you uncover used equipment, purchased wholesale, or sourced new. If youâre not in a hurry, you can watch for liquidations on chairs, tables, equipment, and decorative elements and slowly accumulate the things youâll need to run your own nail salon business.

What Are Some Skills And Experiences That Will Help You Build A Successful Nail Salon

Home Nail Salon | How To Get Started

A nail salon business owner should be knowledgeable in nail care and treatments. There are many courses available for nail technicians that cover topics such as infections, infection control, pedicures, manicures and nail art. The New York Institute of Beauty offers one program, but there are schools throughout the country. The Professional Beauty Association also offers courses. How to Start a Nail Salon Business is a useful book for those who dont want to take a class.

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Bonus: Check Out These Tips For Running A Successful Nail Salon Business

Even if youâve dipped your nails into the world of running your own booth, you may still be hesitant to take the dive and start your own nail salon. Successfully running a nail salon business takes hard work and commitment to your craft. Ultimately, youâll be rewarded by helping your customers feel better about themselves.

While youâre getting started, be sure to prioritize yourself and check out 4 Ways to Stay Sane as an Entrepreneur.

Check out these professional associations in the nail world for more information about how to grow your nail salon:

Set Out A Business Plan

Planning is key to making a success of your new nail business!

Writing a well-thought out business plan should be a priority before you make any more decisions. Its also particularly important if you want to try and get investment or a loan for your start up.

Try and keep your business plan concise, making it clear what your business is, how it will make money, and the steps you will take to achieve this.

Its important to include a financial plan, too. Set yourself a realistic budget for all of your outgoings and the profit you will aim to achieve.

There are plenty of resources available to help you write your business plan take a look at the government website for a start.

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Can I Run A Nail Business From Home

If youre thinking about starting your own business, one of the most appealing aspects of working as a nail technician is that you may do it from the comfort of your own home. To be honest, it is not essential to create a salon and pay thousands of dollars in rent unless you really want to. However, you must still have proper equipment and adhere to all applicable regulations.

Get Yourself A Mentor

Is Opening a Nail Salon Profitable?

This step can play a major role in easing the process of opening a nail salon business.

You can:

  • Find someone who has been through the journey. This way, you can get valuable insights about both starting and running a nail salon.Besides, it always helps to have a second opinion.
  • Ask them about the skills they possessed which helped them in the on-ground process, find out what they think of your salons goal and target market, as well as how they got their first clients. They can also help you with the permissions and ease the process for you.

On the other hand, having a business partner can also be advantageous. Shared duties, costs, responsibility, funding, and growth are all part of it. Choose someone who shares your interest but has a different skill set than you. While this may be difficult for some, try to locate someone you can trust.

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Register Your Salon On Online Marketing Directories

Online directories are of two types, marketing, and local business directories. These are resources that list businesses in your local area and help consumers find companies to cater to their needs. These directories have important information required to contact your business in case clients want to reach out

You can list your nail salon business on popular online directories such as Yelp, Groupon, Who Do You, Best Salon Guide, Beauty Seeker, etc.


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