How to Become a Loctician and Open a Loc/Dreadlock/Natural Hair Salon Business
Part 2: The Start (Spaces and Stuff)
Last week we looked at “The Vision, Dreams and Plans”. We talked about dreaming about the type of salon you may want to have. By the way, did you come up with any cool names for your salon business?
We also discussed briefly about putting together a business plan. Sure, people use plans to obtain financing, but I believe it is really important to do a plan even if you are not planning on getting outside financing. It’s good to have for yourself, to organize you and to keep you focused. With that said, let’s now look at Part 2 of our 5 part series:
The Start (Space and Stuff)
Many have heard it said that an important aspect in business is “location, location, location”. This is true in the salon business as well as many other businesses. When choosing a location you may want to consider things such as traffic around the location, is it easy to find and get too? Does the location match the style you want your salon to have? Is the rent in the location affordable for you, or should you consider a less expensive locale? What permits are needed? Is zoning in your area mixed use commercial/residential so you can have a salon at your place of residence, or can rent a space that is zoned business/residence combined?
What about the inside space? A floor plan, even if it’s just your rough sketch, will help. How many stylists will you have and how much space is needed for what you want to offer? Will you work alone, or have stylists working for you? There are usually space requirements for this as well, such as:
“Required floor space shall be a minimum of 150 square feet for the first licensee and not less than 30 square feet for each additional licensee. (Storage areas, reception areas, restrooms, utility, heating and/or cooling facilities, and retail floor space are not included as working floor space.)”
Please check with your local licensing board for specific requirements for your area. I must repeat
DON’T LET ANY OF THIS DETER, OR DISCOURAGE YOU. They are just requirements, it is what it is.
In your space, are you also going to sell products? Don’t forget your waiting area, you’ll need a spot for that. You’ll also need storage space, and adequate parking.
You can contact a real estate agent for help in finding a location. You can drive around your desired area and look for spaces available for rent/sale, or you can look online for commercial real estate.
Note: If you have space at home like extra land, or a converted garage, it could be a great location if you can get the clientele – the good thing is that it’s yours, and you’re already paying for it. Just make sure you can set it up legally. Now, we all know that we’ve been doing hair in our homes since the dawn of time. But, in order to be professional (and shut down possible haters), let’s have our paperwork in order and make sure it doesn’t conflict with zoning and parking laws. Once again, let nothing discourage you.
This information should be included in your business plan, so after you have decided what you want, you’ll already have it written down.
You’re going to need some Products, Supplies and Equipment. Since we are talking natural hair, we know we don’t need things like relaxing chemicals. But, we are going to need hair products, cleaning products, office supplies. You’ll need equipment such as chairs, work stations, shampoo stations, mirrors, a booster seat for kids, chairs for the waiting area, computers, cash register/point of sale terminals, credit card machine, maybe a television, or music, etc.
Be sure and have on hand various forms such employment applications or independent contractor forms (will your stylists work FOR you-employee, or will they RENT from you-contractor?). Have on hand any checklists, like cleaning checklists, that you may want to utilize. What about change in your cash register (bills and coins).
You’ll also need a sign with your business name on it, and “Open/Closed” sign, and maybe signs over your product display, and signs displaying your pricing.
You’ll need your cosmetology license and business license and you may have to have it displayed in sight. If so, you may want to have a nice frame to put them in – hey, you earned it.
How about your decoration like plants, pictures, throw rugs, paint, things create that ambiance you’re looking for?
Do a simple online search for salon equipment and you'll find all kinds of resources. You may even be able to purchase used equipment from an established salon that is upgrading.
This should really start to get your creative juices flowing. Sure, it’s work, but it’s YOUR work. Think of more ideas of things that you may need, and write them down. Once again, the important thing is to get the ideas OUT of your head, and put them on paper. You want to start moving, and taking action little by little, step by step. Keep it fun, keep it creative.
Next week, we will discuss The Management (People and Procedures) and look at ways to help the business run smoothly. Don’t be shy to post questions in the comments section, or in the forum. I’ll try to answer them all.