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How to Open and Run Your Own Salon: 7 Tips

Lauren Quick | October 23, 2014 | 8:19 AM
Sam Villa's HairShow Blowout Bar at LOOK Style Society in Las Vegas

There are a lot of factors at play when considering if you want to open and run your own salon; being the most talented stylist on your team doesn't necessarily equate to business savvy, according to Sam Villa, founding partner of Sam Villa and Redken education artistic director.

"Many stylists are very talented and very busy, but that does not automatically make them proficient in running a business like a salon," Villa says.

Villa has owned his own salon and built an eponymous brand around education and products for hairdressers, so he knows a thing or two about running a business. 

7 Tips to Open and Run a Salon

  1. Do your homework. Use free resources (read: Internet!) and read everything you can about opening a business. Ask successful salon owners whom you admire for guidance on what works and what doesn't.
  2. Draft a business plan. Be clear about your goals and be able to explain and present them to others.
  3. Hire an accountant and lawyer. Those are two jobs you don't need to try to do yourself.
  4. Hire experienced stylists who have an existing client base—BUT make sure they're the best fit for your salon culture and check their references.
  5. Schedule, schedule, schedule. Make time each week to work on your business (not clients) and to plan, track and assess progress.
  6. Put money back into your business—as much as you can! This should be built into your business plan to help you stay on track.
  7. Hold staff meetings once a month, and don't forget to pay stylists an hourly wage for attending. 
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