How To Start a Multi-Location Salon Business

A busy salon is a successful salon. Is your schedule booked out weeks in advance, but the appointment requests keep coming in? While eager customers are a sign that your business is doing something right, it may be time to look into adding another location.  

Expanding to multiple locations is a huge opportunity for growth within your company. It’s exciting to bring in new business. Additional locations can also help disperse a busy schedule. However, it also means there will be much more on your plate. You’ll have more responsibilities to juggle. 

Expanding your business without taking away from your established salons can be a challenge. The average beauty salon in the US generates around $245,000 annually

If done right, opening multiple locations could bring in a lot of revenue. Balancing high-end services with a well-run business requires preparation and planning. But it can be done. 

Let’s go over some of the essential steps in growing your salon.  

Understanding the Salon Market 

There are over 1 million salon and spa businesses in the US. On average, salons have a customer retention rate of about 45%. Those numbers are a sign of a competitive industry. Before you commit to opening a new location, ensure there’s room for it in your local market.  

Research what services are offered in your area and what your competitors are doing. Understanding the market will help you set achievable goals. You want to stay competitive while meeting the needs of your community. 

Identifying gaps in the market can bring in business and increase retention rates. Research can help you find them. By filling a need, you’ll make your salon stand out and keep your customers coming back.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Owning A Hair Salon: Your Launch Guide 

Establishing Your Brand 

Before opening an additional location, your business should have an established brand.  

Branding goes beyond just marketing and logos. Your brand is also defined by things like: 

  • Social media presence  
  • Website interface 
  • Physical design and decor 
  • Services provided 
  • Overall customer experience  

Company culture is vital to your brand. While the visual impact of your brand’s design is important, 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people. Never underestimate how impactful consistent services and good customer experiences are. 

Each location will develop its own flare depending on its market and clientele. However, having a baseline brand creates consistency in product, experience, and client satisfaction. This ensures that while each location may provide varying services, the quality and energy of your business is maintained.  

Here are a few ways that you can maintain consistent branding across multiple locations: 

Create Branded Digital Marketing Campaigns. 

Digital marketing can be an effective way to create a comprehensive brand.  

Brands can increase visibility by 80% through their digital advertising.  

Other digital strategies include social media campaigns and SEO development. They allow you to reach a larger audience and create a memorable and impactful online image. 

Brand consistency builds trust and recognition within your community. Try to pick an angle and stay active with your campaigns. Increasing interactions can boost conversions from the initial post to booking an appointment. 

Train Employees on the Brand’s Culture and Mission. 

The brand begins with your staff. Creating a strong company culture helps to establish and represent your brand.  

Employees should be upholding company values and representing the culture of your salon. The customer’s experience will be defined by the way they are treated. Consistency amongst your team will help guarantee better customer experiences. 

With multiple salons, keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging. About 40% of staff report that collaboration is harder with multiple locations.  

Setting a standard for the company vibe and community might help with this. Consider hosting company-wide gatherings and training. Staff will get a chance to mingle and become familiar with the bigger team. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Steps for Designing a Salon Training Program 

Carry Consistent Products. 

The products that you carry will help define your salon. Whether you offer hair services, esthetics, nail care, or spa treatments, the products you use are part of your brand.  

About 80% of customers have high levels of trust in their salon technicians. This means if a stylist recommends a product, your clients are more likely to make a purchase. Your company can leverage this to boost product sales.  

When choosing products to carry, consider an angle. Does your salon focus on holistic treatments? Try to carry organic, sustainably sourced products. Do you want to carry local brands? Or maybe you want to promote women-led businesses?  

Whatever your angle is, stay consistent across locations with your ethos and the quality of your products.  

Go Above and Beyond With Customer Service. 

Consider stepping up your service to make you stand out from other salons. Little extras can go a long way toward making your clientele feel valued.  

Your staff could offer guests: 

  • Tea or infused water while waiting for their appointment 
  • Free consultations 
  • A little gift bag of sample products after a service 
  • Discounts for clients’ birthdays through your email marketing system   

These things distinguish your business from others and help to build client loyalty. An elevated salon experience will help get your customers back on your books.    

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS: 8 Salon Ideas for Small Spaces  

two women looking at a book

Creating a Business Plan for a Multi-Location Salon Business 

Creating a multi-location business plan is essential when expanding your company. Rather than adding overhead and hoping for a high return in profit, setting goals and having a plan can guarantee success. A business plan provides structure and can be used to bring in investors or secure loans.  

A business plan should include the following sections:  

Executive Summary 

This should include an overview of what your company does and why it will be successful. How will your new branch meet consumer needs? Your business objectives should go here as well. Goals for growth and opening new locations, including a projected timeline, are important details. 

Market Analysis 

This section is where you can show statistics about the salon market in your area. As we’ve mentioned, understanding your competition and the demographics will help you set realistic goals. You can use this information to establish services, realistic expansion plans, and pricing. 

Services and Pricing 

Once you’ve completed your market analysis, you can set your pricing. What products and services will each location provide? Will they be the same, or will they differ? Set clear and defined goals for each branch.  

Pricing should be determined based on your customer base and what competitive salons are charging. Use these costs to help calculate revenue and profitability. 

Financial Plan and Targets 

Opening multiple locations can increase overhead. Most new businesses take a minute to start turning a profit. So, your new location may rely on your existing businesses to pay the bills.  

Unless you have large cash reserves, expanding will likely require business loans. A brand-new salon can cost between $100,000-$500,000.  

Setting up a realistic and detailed financial plan will help you budget properly. A financial plan will also show potential investors or loan officers what type of funding you’re looking for.  

Defined Business Projections 

This final touch can help turn investors’ heads and give you something to work toward. Setting clear financial and professional goals for each branch will provide an outline and steps to follow for success. Then, you can check each milestone to ensure you’re on the right track. 

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Write a Hair Salon Business Plan 

two barbers smiling at each other

How You Can Start Planning Your Multi-Location Salon Business Right Now 

Once you have established a good direction for your salon business, you can start to put things in motion. Have a strategy in place to balance opening the doors of your newest location and keeping things busy at your established salons.  

Here are some tips on what you can do right now to start getting things moving with your next location: 

Perform a Location Analysis. 

Location is everything. Your business may be providing the highest quality services with the best technicians. But, if your salon is in the wrong spot, your books won’t fill up.  

A salon in the suburbs versus a downtown location will pull in different customers. Some areas will have a more affluent customer base than others. All of these factors can be determined in a location analysis

Understanding the demographics in the areas around each branch can help you target your ideal market. It also ensures you choose the right spot for your next salon. This research is particularly helpful for companies with multi-city businesses. 

Once you know your demographics for each location, you can decide what services you’ll provide in which locations

Begin the Hiring Process for Additional Employees. 

Your employees are the most important ingredient in a successful business. They’ll be handling customer relationships and helping to maintain quality services. You want potential employees to have the skills, personality, and drive to ensure that your customers will keep coming back. 

List the qualities you would like to see in future employees. Your interviews should seek values that align with your company’s brand. 

Research Multi-Location Salon Management Software. 

As your business grows, the technology that you’re using will need to scale up with it. The right salon management software is crucial for any business, but finding one that can support multiple locations is important.  

A centralized database can file service preferences, gift cards, and appointment history across all of your salons. With the ability to handle multiple salon schedules, customers can book appointments for any location. 

Create a Company Handbook. 

Creating an employee handbook will set standardized operating procedures across locations. You can establish details like dress code, employee code of conduct, and company-wide tip dispersal.  

A handbook can also give an overview of the basics, like how to open and close the salon. 

Having guidelines will help keep consistent procedures and services across all locations. Consistent expectations can help improve the client experience and, as a result, increase client retention rates.  

Create a Multi-Location Marketing Plan. 

How are you going to launch the new location? Are you going to use separate social media accounts? Does each location have its own website, or are they listed as locations on one site?  

Consider what your marketing strategy is going to be for your next location. Build out social media campaigns and set goals for paid advertisements. You can also offer promotions and discounts to help get appointments on the books. 

Don’t hesitate to lean on your community. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and you already have one successful salon. Your clients will likely be happy to help spread the word and promote your next location.  

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