Starting any business can be a whirlwind of continually learning new things about your industry, trade as a whole, the world, and yourself. There will be moments of excited joy, your stomach doing somersaults within you, coupled with moments of dread and self-doubt and existential fear. There will be hiccups you could not have foreseen coming and sincere support from places you would not have expected.
Opening a nail salon will be all of the above things, challenging, fun, fear-inducing, and rewarding. The following is a breakdown of the basic things you need to keep in mind when opening your salon. Of course, every business owner is different, and so it follows that every business will be different as well.
Research and Brainstorm
Any profitable business begins with a plan, and a plan requires research. Learn about the legal requirements of running a nail salon, as well as the typical start-up costs, and begin to develop a strategy for the success of your business. Take some time to visit several different nail salons to get an idea of the space needed and the features you want to include in your nail salon. Make a vision board if that suits you.
Develop A Plan
Before you begin playing around with the vibe of your salon, you need to make sure you’re getting your business off on the right foot. Everyone’s plan is going to look a little different. Before you move to choose paint colors, account for purchases like pedicure chairs that are vital for any nail salon. Still, you should be sure to include an understanding of the cost of starting up a business and running it, the audience or target demographic of your business (who your business will be helping), how much you will be charging these customers, and the name of your business.
Become A Business Legally And On Paper
This step is really important, and it will look a little different depending on which country you are planning on opening the business in. Depending on the business structure you want, there are many different options available to you. You want to incorporate or form an LLC because this will protect you from being personally responsible if, for some reason, your nail salon is sued.
You will also need to register for the appropriate taxes. Again, this looks different depending on what country and state you are in. Do your research and make sure you are not skipping over any of the legal requirements.
After these two steps are done, you will be able to open a business bank account (and perhaps also acquire a business credit card if you think you will need it or you want to begin building credit for your business). You don’t want to mix up your personal and business assets as, again, you do not wish for your personal money and things like your car and home to be at risk should you be sued.
Get Your Accounting Organized
When you’re running a business, you’re going to need to keep a neat and tidy record of all your expenses and income. This will make filing your business taxes easier and help you stay aware of your business and its strengths and areas of improvement. It’s good to get into the habit of keeping strong records early on.
Get Your Permits, Licenses, Certificates, And Insurance
If you don’t want to pay an intense fine or have your business shut down, you need to acquire the necessary permits and licenses required by your country and state. You will likely need to gain a seller’s permit, but for a full list of what is needed, you can check with your township, city, or county clerk.
Suppose you are planning on buying the location of your salon. In that case, you will need to gain a certificate of occupancy, which is a confirmation that the building you are running your business out of meets all of the government regulations. If you’re renting, your landlord is responsible for the certificate—make sure you lay eyes on this before you start renting.
At the minimum, you’ll also need general liability insurance. You might require more extensive insurance coverage and workers’ compensation insurance, depending on your business needs and the legal requirements where you are located. You can also look into business associations where you will meet countless people who can help you get organized.
After all the above steps are completed, then it is time for the fun things we spoke about earlier. You can begin making your purchases and painting the salon and figuring out those little quirks that will make your business unique and entirely yours. You can set up your nail salon’s online presence and social media accounts, and when you’re ready, you can open the doors and welcome your first customer.