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How to Start a Hairdresser Business

Are you obsessed and in love with doing hair? Do your friends come to you for hair advice, or did you cut people’s hair in your garage growing up? If you are looking at a career path as a hairdresser, it’s a rewarding vocation that brings good income, stability and flexibility along with a healthy work/life balance. It’s a great career choice if you love working with people and doing hair. Wondering how to start a hairdresser business? Find out what skills you need, the different paths you can take, important considerations and how to legally establish your business.

What Is a Hairdresser?

A hairdresser is someone that maintains and works on the hair of their customers. This can include hair cutting, hair dyeing and colouring, hair styling and facial-hair maintenance for men. During your training, you may find that you want to specialise in one of these areas, but when starting as a hairdresser, it’s good to hone a diverse range of skills. If you can do it all, this will help you get hired and make more income.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Hairdresser?

Surprisingly, there are no requirements or licensing needed to get started as a hairdresser. But, if you are serious about making hairdressing a long-term career, you’ll want to get a National Vocation Qualification (NVQ). This has four levels of training, then you may want to go onto a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND). Or you can do an apprenticeship to get on-the-job training. Many people get some level of training then do an apprenticeship at a salon to get their foot in the door of the industry. If you can train under a high-profile and well-experienced hairdresser this will benefit your skills and also look great on your CV. There are even salon-management courses if you plan to open a salon down the line.

How to Start a Hairdresser Business

Being a hairdresser is a popular career choice, so you’ll need passion and drive to make it and set yourself apart from the competition. To get started, review the many career options you have as a hairdresser. Here are the top-four career paths hairdressers take:

  1. Work in a Salon - This is the easiest way to get started as a hairdresser and is often the first place to start. After getting training and/or apprenticing at a salon, many hairdressers start working for that same business. You’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up as you get experience no matter what salon gives you a job. But it’s the least effort on your part to get started since the salon acquires the clients for you, and the storefront (and online presence) will draw in the clientele naturally.
  2. Work for Yourself - If you don’t want to work for a salon you could “rent a chair” at a salon, which gives you more freedom to choose your schedule and clients. Or you could even do a mobile hair business and go to your clients’ homes, but you will have to market yourself and get all your business directly without the help and convenience of an established brand.
  3. Open a Franchise Salon - If you have the capital to open a franchise, this is a great way to own a salon that has a notable name that people recognize. This option has a built-in marketing plan already, which means you can get customers right away without as much effort. But you won’t be able to call all the shots and you might not be on board with some of the corporate procedures and requirements.
  4. Open a Salon or Barbershop - This option is reserved for those who not only have the skills but also the entrepreneurial drive needed to start a brick-and-mortar shop. Often, people who have worked in the business for many years will choose this option to get off the salon floor full-time, and you have the potential to make much more money. But the start-up costs and expenses will drastically increase if you step out on your own.

How to Create a Business Plan and Identify the USPs That Set You Apart

If you want to create a hairdressing business and have a salon, you’ll need to create a solid business plan before you even think about putting a deposit down on a shop. Research your competition, see what is already out there, and find what is lacking in the industry. Which part of town could use a new salon? If you can fill a need, you will be more successful.

Is there something unique about you or the services you offer? Check out our post on unique selling points (USPs) , and spend some time honing in on what makes you different. Your USPs should be the cornerstone of your marketing plan. If you can’t offer something unique to the hairdressing industry, it might not be the best idea to start your own business.

Here are several other things to consider when creating your business plan:

  • What Are Your Start-up Costs and Expenses? — This will all depend on the path you take, the options for which have been described above. If you start working at a salon, your start-up costs will be minimal — you’ll need hairdressing equipment and a business card. If you rent a chair somewhere or open a salon, the costs increase. Hair supplies aren’t cheap, and you’ll want to buy things wholesale whenever you can.
  • How Much Income Can You Make? — To be honest, a hairdresser’s income can vary considerably and is based on experience and where you work (smaller towns charge less for the same services in a large city). If you start at the bottom of the chain at a salon, you may only earn £10 an hour. But as your experience grows, so does how much you can charge for your services. You can always upsell services to your clients to help boost your paycheck.
  • What Rules and Regulations Must You Follow? — This will vary, but every city will have health and safety regulations that must be followed in a salon or to perform services on a person. You will also need to have the right liability insurance.

Other things to consider for your business plan are your business model and legal structure, where you will offer services, organising a budget plan, prices for services, your recruitment strategy for hiring employees and a marketing plan that includes how to build your online presence.

Ready to Form Your Hairdresser Company?

If you are ready to start a hairdresser business, it’s time to form your company. You can form a limited company or go the sole-trader route. Deciding and completing your company formation can be the most challenging part of starting a business, but it’s crucial to your success.

Are you ready to start a hairdresser business? At Mint Formations, we help you form your limited company or self-employed business and take away all the stress that comes with starting a business. We’ll secure your brand name and get your company registered fast so you can start doing what you love.

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