HOW DO I: Become a Salon Owner?Does salon ownership seem like natural career progression? If so, remember that many alternate avenues showcase artistic abilities. If you want to own, you need strong business and management skills. Carmine Minardi, owner of Carmine Minardi, NYC, stresses that ownership is not about making more money.

“It’s about the power to craft the perfect work environment and assemble the right team to live in a culture,” he says.

Running a salon is very different from being a stylist. Most owners continue to work in the salon, then spend more hours working on the business with no immediate guarantee of profits.


Talk to at least 10 successful owners about the pros and cons.

Take business, marketing and management classes—then assess where you’ll need expert help, such as accounting or human resources law.

Study and understand every aspect of salon operations and how they produce income.

Honestly assess your ability to hire wisely, develop others and fire when necessary.

Ask Yourself:

1. Are you better at managing people and money, or better at managing your chair? (Jay Marshlick, Greener Grass Hair Color and Designs, Savannah, GA.)

2. Why do you want to own a salon? Do you have a business plan that includes start-up costs? Do you need a location with high visibility? Do you plan on renting or paying commission? (Keith Ferguson, Salon 6100, Orlando, FL.)

3. Are you willing to not take a paycheck for the betterment of the business? (Candy Shaw Codner, Jamison Shaw, Atlanta)

4. Do you need/want a partner, and do you need (can you get) financing?


If you think ownership is for you, start developing a serious plan for success.

Write a vision statement; a long-term picture of what your business will be.

Write a mission statement; the market you will serve, the services you’ll offer and your brand’s points of difference.

Create a business plan that includes financing, goals and a marketing plan.

Scout out potential locations for your dream salon, and determine all of the operating expenses/equipment/supply costs, and if you need a build-out like adding pluming and sinks.

Start to explore the legal requirements of obtaining a business license, taxes and insurance, financial record keeping and business regulations

Decide how you will build your staff, how you will pay them and how you will manage them.

Plan to eventually work on the salon not in it, most of the time.


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