Beauty salon - how to achieve success?

Despite the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that the beauty service industry is one of the more profitable sectors to start a small business. In 2020, some 25% women will use a beauty salon a couple of times a year, and 12% ladies will visit one as often as once a month. In addition, according to the Credit Information Bureau, the degree of indebtedness of this industry in 2019 was less than 2%, equivalent to 5% of indebtedness in the construction industry, for example. Unfortunately, the positive aspects of this market involving low barriers to entry and the growing public interest in beauty services favor the development of competition in the form of large franchise chains and independent salons with good locations. How, then, to find yourself in this market environment and achieve success by setting up your beauty salon?

Build the right business plan

The first element in developing a strategy for establishing a beauty salon, should be to build a business model based on market and competitive analysis. The basic elements that we should include in it include customer segmentation, unique value proposition, channels of outreach, and cost and resource structure. By specifying these elements, the budding entrepreneur will be able to set a development path to estimate the chances of success and expand the business. It's also worth specifying at this stage exactly what services our beauty salon will provide - the target audience for hairdressing establishments is much larger than for manicure or makeup salons. Of course, we can combine these services, but we have to reckon with the costs resulting from increased employment and the purchase of specialized equipment. Fortunately, these costs are not particularly high and a financial model will help us in estimating the potential of investing in them. The basic elements we should include in it are: the cost of renting the premises, furnishing the salon, the purchase or rental of equipment, tools and products and, depending on employment, the salaries of employees.
In case the business model and the development of profitability issues seem complicated to us, we can always use an external company to help us. The road to success is difficult and full of unexpected twists and turns. As ConQuest Consulting, we have advised budding entrepreneurs many times on how to start a business and build a suitable business model based on market analysis. With years of experience, we can help you develop accurate documentation that will not only allow you to develop a strategy for the further development of your salon, but also to apply for funding from the Labor Office or another entity.

Register your business and complete the paperwork

After developing the concept and selecting the range of services offered by our beauty salon, the next step should be to apply to the city or municipal office to obtain an entry in the CEIDG (Central Register and Information on Economic Activity). We should also remember at this stage to decide whether to become a VAT payer. If we assume that our business will not earn more than PLN 200,000, we can write off this tax on purchases of equipment for our salon.

The standard practice in the market is to open a sole proprietorship, the procedure for establishing which is easy and does not require a capital threshold. The rules are the same if you want to belong to a franchise network - in this case, too, you are obliged to set up a business or a partnership, or a capital company. The only variation is further formalities after the establishment of the enterprise. After filing an application with the CEIDG, the prospective franchisee signs a franchise agreement with his business partner, whose trade name and trademark he will use in further building his career.

Rental of premises and equipment

The next step on the path of opening your beauty salon is to find the right premises that will meet our requirements and those of the sanitary authorities. The foundation of a thriving business is a location that allows us to reach our target group of customers. Depending on the direction we choose for our beauty salon, we can focus on women who are constantly following trends, who will be loyal customers looking for innovation for their style, or if we want to start a barber shop, we should focus on middle-aged men looking for a relaxing and classic haircut. In both cases, we should study well the demographics of the region in which we are choosing a location and its layout in order to make the most effective use of its space. In addition, the location should be easily accessible by public transportation and by car. It's also a good idea to check nearby parking lots so that customers can easily leave their vehicle for the treatment.

Our attention should also not escape the sanitary requirements, which will ultimately determine whether we will get a permit to operate a beauty salon from the State Sanitary Inspectorate. The rented premises should be divided into zones, which will include a reception area, waiting room, back room and treatment room. In addition, efficient ventilation and air conditioning are the basis for approval. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we should also pay attention to hygiene and sanitation requirements such as cleanliness in the salon and the possibility of disinfection.
After ensuring all the above-mentioned elements, we can move on to equipping our beauty salon with equipment that will allow us to work. In pespective of sanitary inspections during all purchases of cosmetic chairs, hair dryers, manicure equipment and others, we should pay attention to whether they meet the required approvals and certificates that allow them to be used safely in the salon. At this stage, we must also remember to equip the salon with hardware and software to accept cashless payments from customers at the reception desk. It's also worth investing in a system that allows customers to easily make appointments for treatment and check the schedule of individual employees.


One of the final stages of achieving success in the cosmetic industry is to set prices for the services performed by our employees. An accurate price list should be based on the results from our market analysis and the experience of the specialists we employ. Depending on the procedures performed, clients can pay from PLN 15 for a basic eyebrow adjustment to thousands for a hair or makeup service. Usually, however, we should set our prices based on the location of the salon (whether it is a city or a village), our analysis of demand and information on how much customers are willing to spend on a particular service.

Build recognition

The first step toward building recognition will be to build a website that is professional and easy to navigate. The basic information that should be included on our beauty salon website is:

- Offer with a description of the treatments we perform
- Price list
- Contact and access
- Online enrollment form

We can set up a website ourselves with the help of online tools that use already-ready templates, such as WordPress, or with the help of a developer-freelancer.
The next step is to start operating within social media. With accounts on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, we can show customers the results of our work and they can tag us and build a brand online. A strong social media presence for our beauty salon can ensure our success, maintain customer loyalty and their recommendations to friends, which will broaden our potential audience. Creating an account on these platforms is very easy, but when sharing content we should focus on maintaining a consistent aesthetic that reflects the nature of our business.

As a final component of building recognition, it is worth considering adding our salon to platforms that allow for easy appointments and are profiled for cosmetic treatments, such as moment.pl or booksy.com. These platforms have a much broader reach than our website and allow for reviews of selected salons, which can also build a company's online reputation.

In conclusion, setting up a beauty salon is a venture that can provide us with success and relatively high earnings. However, before proceeding to action, we should focus on developing the right concept in the business model and financial model, so as not to be left out in the wave of competition in the market. Moving on to action, we must also pay attention to all the elements related to formalities, renting premises and setting prices. At the final stage, we can focus on building recognition and start receiving customers!

Agnieszka Maciąg

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