If you’ve done your research around opening a salon and are now ready to turn your dream into a reality, then the next step is a crucial one for your business – finding the perfect location for it!

Without doubt, this is one of the most important decisions you have to make, and even though it might not seem it, it can be quite challenging. It’s vital that you do plenty of research about every location and find one that will work well for both you and your clients. There are many factors to consider and we’ve pulled together our top tips on what to look for when choosing a location for your salon.

Make your salon easy to find

When selecting a location, it’s important that the store is visible and easily accessible by car, passersby and public transport. If you have a dedicated client base that will be continuing to visit you for treatments, it’s vital you are situated somewhere they can actually reach you without too much hassle.

If you want to grab people’s attention, try and make sure that you are located on a main road or in a busy area so they can easily see your business and pop in for treatments. Being situated in a well-known place will also help new customers easily locate you. It’s simple – If people can see you, then you are more likely to attract business rather than tucked away losing it!

We’d also suggest looking at the lighting outside of the salon to make sure it’s well lit. Many hair and beauty appointments often take place in out of work hours, such as evenings and weekends, so make sure the area is well lit to ensure clients feel safe and welcome at all times. Check to see if there are street lights around or where it’s possible to light up your salon if lighting is limited.

If you’re not looking to locate within a town or city centre, ensure that your salon has a car park. Free parking will appeal to clients as they won’t have to worry about where to leave their car when visiting you for treatments. Even if you can only offer limited spacing, there’s a relatively fast turnover of clients so spaces will continue to free up quickly throughout the day.

Know the local clientele

Before launching your salon, carry out market research around your chosen location to consider the type of people that live within the area. You should already have in mind what type of client you’d like to attract so consider whether your products and services will appeal to them.

Once you understand your audience, you can style your salon and target it towards them. If you are looking to open a fresh, fun and creative salon then you might be best setting up close to a town or city, whereas if you’re looking at offering services to an older audience, then the suburbs may be a much better place to locate. One of the vital things to take away – understand your local audience.

Research competitors

When discovering different locations for your salon, take the time to consider the other salons within the area. What services are they offering for clients? What are the costs of the treatments? What do they specialise in?

Make sure that there’s a gap within the market for you to set up close by. There would be no point in setting up a beauty salon that offers the same treatments as one down the road. You’ll only find yourself in direct competition with them and may struggle to attract new clients, as many customers will remain loyal to their current salon.

Set up close to other relevant businesses

To retain a successful business, it’s a good idea to set up your salon close to other businesses, as this can actually attract new clients for you. If you open near a set of small shops, there’s a higher chance that people might pop in and book an appointment.

Ensure these businesses are relevant, however, and attract customers similar to your own.

The cost of setting up a salon

When considering the location of your salon, think about how much it’s going to cost you. If you have your sights set on being in a town or city centre, then you should expect to pay much higher costs compared with an outer suburb salon. You might be keen on a particular area, and it might be really accessible for clients but you must be sure the salon is within your means and budget. In quieter periods, will you still be able to comfortably pay rent on top of bills and wages? If not, you’ll need to consider a different location.

Consider the size of the salon

Although the outside of the salon might look great and tick all the right boxes – one of the other factors to consider is both the layout and sizing of the salon.

If this is your first business, you may think you need to buy a big salon with the intention of expanding in the future. However, do you actually need all this space right now? You might need more space if you’ll be renting out a chair to a freelance makeup artist or other therapist, but if not, you might be forking out for unnecessary rent and utilities that are simply not needed.

On the other hand, avoid choosing a salon that’s too small as you and your customers need adequate space to move around without it feeling tight and confined. Carefully plan everything you need to fit within the space, including product displays, chairs, mirrors, equipment and waiting area.

Come back to Salons Direct next week when we’ll be looking at how to launch your salon.

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