Q & A: Should Someone With No Beauty Industry Experience Open a Salon?

Would you discourage someone with no experience in this business from trying to open a nail salon? I am looking to completely change careers, and I have always thought that a nail salon/massage spa would do well in my area.

Yes and No!

I would not discourage anyone from opening a new salon; however, there are things you need to realize before you do it.

Having no experience at all will make things difficult with building clientele. It's difficult enough when you can do really good nails, plus you really need technical hands-on and salon business experience. Just getting the experience of handling clients, the day-to-day business of being in a salon, is good for anyone new to the business.

I would suggest that you work in a busy salon for a good year perfecting your technical skills and learning the salon business. However, if you already have good business skills and feel you are ready to open a salon, do so and hire skilled techs who can teach you.

Also ask yourself why do you want your own salon. You may be surprised when you really define it. My reason was not to own a salon but to create a workplace where we could do what we love to do, for the same cost that salon rent would be.

Do a business plan as well so you know exactly what it is going to cost to open and maintain monthly expenses for the first year.

Let me know what you end up doing and post here on Blueprint so we can all help you!

--Vicki, Polish Salon, Brea, Calif.

Editor's Note: NAILS just released an updated version of our Salon Start-Up Guide that may help you and others looking to open a new salon. If you subscribe to NAILS, then you already have a copy: it starts on p. 85 of the 2012-2013 Big Book (which arrived with your December issue). If not, it will be available for purchase at http://store.nailsmag.com by the end of this month.

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