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How to write a hairdressing salon business plan

How to write a hairdressing salon business plan

Key takeaways

  • A salon business plan provides a roadmap for your team and makes outside funding more accessible
  • Clarify whether your products and services are direct revenue streams or if you’re largely earning from booth rentals
  • Perform a thorough market analysis and financial analysis for accurate insight into your potential growth

No matter what people say, it’s never “just hair.” U.S. consumers spend over $46 billion at hair salons every year. Quality hair care keeps people looking and feeling good, so it’s no surprise clients go back to their favorite hairstylists time and time again. Managing your own salon can certainly be a consistent and profitable career—but to maximize your revenue, you need a hairdressing salon business plan to guide your growth.

Writing a business plan can benefit any salon owner. Whether you’re established in the beauty industry or opening a new salon, a comprehensive plan acts as a roadmap for your growth. Your salon business plan also guides your decisions so you can meet business goals. And if you’re seeking business loans or investors, having a solid business plan is a must.

Below are the six sections that every hairdresser should include in their salon business plan outline.

1. Executive summary

An executive summary is a brief, one-page introduction to your company and what makes it unique. Placed at the beginning of your hair salon business plan, its purpose is to create a great first impression so your audience is compelled to read through to the end.

This section should provide high-level details about your hair salon, services, marketing strategy, and team. Put your best foot forward by highlighting facts that prove your potential to succeed. For example, if you’re the only salon offering keratin treatments and perms in your market, these are important facts to include. Many business owners include their mission statements and goals in this section too.

While executive summaries are the first thing a reader will see, it’s best to write this part of your plan last. That way, you can easily pick out and highlight the most impressive details from your business plan.

2. Business description

Hairstylist with happy client

Writing a business description for your salon business plan gives you the space to expand on what makes your company great. Start with an introduction to your hairdressing salon, mentioning relevant details about your location and any specialized services you’ll offer. . Then, dive into the following specific details.

Management team

When writing your business plan, you need to show that you—and your team, if you have one—know how to run a successful salon. Introduce your owner-operators and describe their expertise. Professional certifications, business degrees, past experience, and awards or recognition can all build investor, lender, and team confidence in your leadership.

If you have any managers in addition to the salon owner or owners, explain who or what processes they manage, and highlight their experience and certifications. Otherwise, simply explain the primary roles of each owner-operator.

Legal structure

To help your readers understand how you operate, clarify your business structure—for example, if your salon is an LLC or an S corporation. If you’re seeking outside funding, this gives your audience insight into your tax obligations and liabilities.

You can also specify when your business was founded and your registered mailing address (especially important if you have more than one location).

Hiring plan

Hairdressing salon business plans must explain how you’re recruiting and hiring professional hairstylists for your salon. Even if you’re initially working as the sole hairdresser in your salon, eventually you need to hire more hair professionals to take on new clients. Also, if you plan to offer a wider range of beauty salon services—like adding skincare services, or a nail salon or day spa component—you’ll need technicians.

Your plan should clarify if you’ll follow a commission-based model or a booth rental model. Paying commission (usually about 45%, often with a base rate) will tell your investors that you manage payroll, sales, and marketing for all salons and stylists, but earn from all services performed. 

Renting out booths (usually around $400 per month) tells investors your beauty professionals are independent contractors who market themselves, and much of your income comes from their rent. Clarify if any employees, like receptionists, will be paid on an hourly or salary basis.

Value proposition

Your business description is the perfect place to include a value proposition, which explains what gives you a competitive advantage, or why clients choose your salon over others. If you’re currently in business, chatting with existing clients can help you identify what makes you stand out, whether it’s your world-class stylists, affordable pricing, luxurious client experience, or something else.

3. Hair salon services and products

Salon business plan: Happy customer getting hair washed

In this section, you’ll explain exactly what your salon offers. For each service, write a description that highlights base prices, time estimates, and what’s included—for example, a consultation and styling for a balayage, or shampoo and blowout for a haircut. Then, list out the products you sell and their prices, along with their profit margins.

If your salon follows a booth rental model, clarify which services you’ll personally perform. If rentals are a key income stream for your business, explain your pricing, rental options, and contract terms.

4. Market analysis

To run a successful salon, you need to understand the market beyond your business. Do thorough market research to provide insights about:

  • Market trends: Explain how demand is changing across hairdressing services in your area and industry.
  • Client demographics: Explain who the average hair salon client is and what services and products they’re buying. 
  • Your competitors: Identify your competitors and their target audiences.

Once you’ve explained the broader market, put the focus back on your business. Define your unique target market and explain how you’ll overcome any challenging market conditions.

5. Marketing strategy

Getting the word out about your small business is essential to your growth. You don’t need to write a full-blown salon marketing plan for this section, but your lenders or investors should understand the specific strategies you’ll use to reach your target market. Offer an overview of how you’ll use each of your marketing channels, like social media, email, or search engines. For example, you could explain that you’ll claim your Yelp Business Page to manage reviews and run Yelp ads to reach more clients who are searching for the services you offer.

Remember to include your marketing and advertising budget here as well. You can also include the returns you expect to see from marketing activities as metrics for your marketing and sales team to track, or to reassure lenders and investors that your spending won’t go to waste.


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6. Financial plan

One of the most important sections of your hairdressing salon business plan is your financial plan. Budgeting and planning for your financial future is key for business growth (and not going into the red). Here’s what you need to include in this final section.

Startup costs

If you’re opening a new business, you’ll have a significant amount of upfront costs just to provide your services. Break down all of your expected startup expenses, which may include the cost of business registration, business licenses, furniture, inventory, and equipment like blow dryers and curling irons.

Operational costs

Once you’ve officially launched, you’ll still have ongoing expenses to keep your salon running. Break down your recurring expenses, like rent, wages, contractor payments, and advertising costs. Also, include how much you expect to spend each month to restock products or replenish supplies like toners and shampoos.

Including a budget for miscellaneous expenses will help you prepare for the inevitable unexpected costs that come up.

Financial projections

Finally, work with an accountant or financial analyst to create realistic five-year financial projections for your salon. Lenders and investors look particularly close to this section, as it tells them how fast you can grow and how likely your business is to survive. Mock up a balance sheet, cash flow statement, and other projections for this section, with your market research and current sales in mind.

Create a salon business plan that guides your growth

Writing a hairdressing salon business plan can help you (and your team) make better decisions and obtain outside funding. The most effective business plans are thorough documents that explain what you do and how you’ll grow. With more insight into your business, marketing plan, and financial future, you can reach your goals with greater ease. As you start entering your next stage of growth, read our tips on how to expand your business.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.