How to start your own salon business using sustainable practices
Arguably there has never been a better time to start your own salon business, with more bricks and mortar locations becoming available throughout lockdown, the timing for finding that prime location to set up your salon business could be ideal.
So, what are some of the key points to consider when starting your own salon business with sustainability in mind? And how can you put them into practice?
First things first, gain the practical and theoretical skills needed to start a salon business and a realistic expectation of the sustainable practices you can put in place. Use blogs or podcasts, learn about accounting and how to keep track of your numbers and find a great accountant who can help you work out what you can put through the salon and any environmental kickbacks that could be available if instigated from opening.
From this you can create a budget and business plan that you stick to. It’s worth also looking at renewable energy for the salon, think of the amount of energy a whole salon of dryers will use and see if there’s any grants for renewable energy installation. I would always advise to get a mentor if you can. Someone who’s done exactly what you want to do already in your industry, who will be able to provide a wealth of knowledge and save you heaps of time and money in the long run as they’ve already been through the journey.
Get clear on what a successful and sustainable salon business is to you
Decide on if your salon should be a hair salon or beauty salon - or both? By doing this you can start to gauge what you expect your forecast or turnover to be as well as looking at costs and how much you need to take. Think about how you’ll do that.
Factor in sustainability and being as green from your salon’s inception as much as possible, as so many businesses are now looking to the future and starting to alter their business models / offering accordingly. Starting with this as a high priority in your plan will be a huge unique selling point when you open.
It’s also important to understand who it is that your salon will serve. Think of a real person, what would they want? Create your environment with that person in mind. From this then choose a name for your salon that reflects you and how you want your brand to appear to your real customers in terms of positioning.
It may seem obvious but learn about your competition in your area so that you can adapt your point of difference. What will make you stand out? So many businesses are adapting since COVID and making the conscious decision to go green so think outside the box about potential news ways or incentives you can offer your customers that is different.
Finance / Loans
Create a business plan, by writing it all down on paper so that you can understand how much money you have to invest. This will keep you on track and make sure that you put the money behind the right things for your business at that moment in time.
Secure the salon loans and other funding you need to set you salon up for success. Make sure you have some money behind you after opening for eventualities. Insurances make sure you’re completely covered on all levels and is a non-negotiable when starting a business so factor in the money needed for this from the offset.
Now we’re clear on the key actions to consider and take when starting your business, let’s look at some simple ways you can make your salon startup more sustainable?
Recycle Recycle Recycle
One of the most cost efficient and easy ways to make your salon more sustainable is by recycling. This may sound obvious, for example recycling used shampoo and conditioner bottles etc, but you can also recycle all the hair that you cut too.
Recycled hair can be used for making hair mats that fit over drains to protect the water ways and also to make hair booms, which are used to absorb oil. Using our clients cut hair, hair booms were recently used in an ocean spill in Ireland last month that was successful.
When recycling it also helps to have different bins for your foils, hair colour tubes and PPE. Make sure your bins are all labelled so you know what goes where. If your local council can’t accept your recycling, but you know it can be recycled, look into local collection firms that can come and take your waste to specialist recycling or incinerating sites. This is also great to offer to clients, bring your bottles back to us to be recycled and we’ll give you a discount on your next purchase.
Water Eco Heads
Water eco heads are a great addition for your hair salon, as they save water and use less energy. By controlling the water pressure and creating a powerful stream, they can cut your rinse time in half. Re-using rinse water is also highly effective and one of the most common and efficient water-saving practices used in salons today.
Don’t confuse sustainability with organic
It can be easy for clients to confuse the term organic with sustainable, but there is a difference - sustainability goes a step ahead of organic. A sustainable product or practice is not just green or eco-friendly but also conscious about the future. In addition to being eco-friendly, sustainable products can be reused over a long period of time, eliminating the need to purchase new products frequently.
Using bio-degradable packaging and products where possible and making purchasing decisions based around sustainability will also stand you in good stead. Eco-friendly bamboo brushes and hair dryers is another way to cut down on energy costs and puts you one step closer to your sustainable salon goal.
Involve your community
By keeping you community connected with what you’re doing and how you’re becoming more sustainable as a salon, especially as a startup, is a great way to build customer retention and increase profit over time. It’s important to your customers to know you’re addressing this issue and doing your bit for the community and overall industry. It’s also a great vehicle to surge ahead of competitors who may not be currently implementing sustainable practices.
By implementing some or all of the above actions, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful and sustainable hair salon startup. What’s stopping you?