Tips on starting and running a successful salon business

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The salon and beauty business has grown tremendously over the last decade, globally the total haircare market size is worth about R10 trillion and in South Africa, and this market is divided into two: the dry hair business, which consists of weaves and extensions, and the wet hair, which consists of relaxers, shampoos and moisturisers. Respectively these two markets are worth R2,5bn and R1,2bn.   

Jumbo communications manager Lindelwa Nkambule shares six steps to follow for a successful salon business:

Define the extent of services and products that will be offered

Be a one-stop shop and offer your customers all the basic salons services they can find elsewhere such as: colouration, braiding, weaving, dreadlocks styling, nails, beauty and massages.

Be a trendsetter

Do a market analysis of the area that you will be operating in. Find the gaps and fill them quickly to create a niche for your business. Create a trend that your salon will be known for that will help drive traffic into your door. Be it Ombre Faux Locs, a natural afro wig that is installed to perfection, cut or colour. There are many salons in South Africa – an estimate of over 30 000 salons exist. How will yours be different in this highly competitive environment?

Know and rebook your clients for future services

Have an operating system in place that will help you keep record of all your clients, their names and services done. Keeping track of your customers helps you to plan for the next month. It will help you rebook their next appointment after every service, that way helping to guarantee your next sale. Take your customer through a healthy hair journey and build on that.

Salon customer service and satisfaction is the Key

The success of your salon business will be directly linked to your ability to satisfy your customers. There is no better way to retain existing customers than to have them leave happy on every visit. Word of mouth will be your most successful marketing tool above all else. It’s an extremely effective form of organically marketing your business. Customer service starts with a polite and professionally trained staff that greets and serves with a smile and knows their product well.

Create a comfortable, clean and safe atmosphere

From the point that customers enter your salon to the point they exit they should be presented with an environment that is clean, safe, comfortable and relaxing. Keep the floors clean at all times by teaching your stylists to clean up after each and every customer visit. Make sure towels, combs and other equipment are washed and sanitised.  Offer your customers some refreshments as they wait. Going to a salon must not be a chore for them but rather an extension of their lifestyle.
Offer convenience

Consider your operating times carefully. Most of your customers have a 9-5 job and therefore will not be able to come to the salon during these times. Let your stylists work shifts so that they are able to service a client before she goes to work and also service them after work. Offer a one-stop shop so that customers do not have to drive to different places for nails, beauty treatments and hair. This convenience is excellent because it also generates extra income for your business.

For more info and inspiration on how to start a successful salon business, join us at the Jumbo African Hair and Beauty Show on the 12th of October at Newtown Johannesburg. Doors open at 9am.  


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