Peter Coppola on new salons.
Peter Coppola, who has owned 30 successful salons in his career, with the latest in Boca Raton, Florida, and has started his own self-named product line, says being a great stylist, colorist or technician is not enough.
“There are a few key areas to focus on when opening your first salon.”
The first, he says, is the old real estate maxim of “location, location, location.”
“Find a location with excellent visibility and a good traffic pattern—especially important for a first-time salon owner who may not yet have a long-standing client base,” says Coppola. “Make sure there is ample parking near the salon. Clients expect convenience and don’t want to walk blocks on a rainy day after getting the hair done.”
Next, get the right staff, for your clients and for you. “Surround yourself with individuals who inspire you, are open to new ideas and are team players,” he says, “very smart and talented individuals who know more about the business than you do.”
On the financial side, Coppola recommends starting out with enough capital to not only run the salon but also to invest in advertising, marketing and business-building activities for at least a year.
Choose your partners deliberately, he advises. “Look for manufacturers and brands that provide ongoing, top-notch support, education and training for you and your staff. Take advantage of the programs offered.”
Coppola says that a salon owner has to have three “Ds” to succeed in today’s market: “A strong Desire to go into business; utmost Dedication to your profession; and the Discipline needed.”
The personal rewards of owning a salon are outstanding, he says. “After all these years, I still wake up every morning and can’t wait to get to work!”