Most budding wellness entrepreneurs are full of excitement when it comes to launching a salon. It’s less common to have it all figured out — and that’s okay! Step one is to sit down and hammer out a salon business plan. A business plan can help reinforce your business principles when you’re in a sticky spot: what decisions can you make that align with the goals and ideals you’ve set forth?

Here’s what you need to know and why we strongly recommend putting together a salon business plan.

Write an executive summary

You might also want to consider this your elevator pitch. Boil down your value proposition and position in your target market as succinctly as possible. Think of it as an overview of the document for the reader. You will include a sentence or two about each of the sections below, and for that reason, writing it last might be helpful.

Describe your salon concept

This step can often be one of the most challenging in a salon business plan — even if you think you’ve nailed it down. You’ll want to include a bit of information about how your salon fits into the market (you’ll expand on this further later), the specific products and services you’ll be offering and a bit about the state of the industry. For example, are you (hypothetically) entering the nail industry when manicures have been on the decline?

Perform a competitive analysis

We’ve hinted at it above, but here’s where you’ll want to go into even more detail about the exact strengths and weaknesses of your competitors you’ll find yourself facing. Use this section to outline how your salon will be different and address these deficiencies within the market.

Think about your organizational structure

Without clear communication, it’s easy for roles and responsibilities to become unclear. By outlining your leadership and reporting structure, you can ensure that everyone knows from the outset who to go to with issues. You’ll also want to take this time to outline job specs in your salon business plan — what does the CEO do, for example, that is different than the salon manager?

Assemble a marketing plan

You’ll want to begin with clearly defining your salon’s business. After all, you can’t sell what you haven’t defined, right? Think about what you’re offering the customer. What are the benefits of your getting your hair done, for example? Having good hair, sure, but it’s also a great form of self-care, so it’s actually leading to better health. Spitball as many of these benefits as possible before picking the ones that you will ultimately use on your target audience.

Speaking of your target audience — define them, too. Are you targeting working moms? Knowing your audience’s demographics can help inform your advertising strategy, especially as you consider paid social media. Being able to target a 34-year-old working mom in your town is much more valuable than saying you’re just marketing to women. Put together a content strategy that outlines what will be going on each channel, why and when — and add deadlines and owners to each task so you don’t find yourself scrambling for a graphic when you have a newsletter to send out. 

Put together financial projections

All the steps in this document are key, but if you don’t have a financial plan, you don’t have money. Your income statement should show all expenses, revenue and profit. When you think about your expenses, get really granular — how much will supplies for your bathroom cost, for example? You don’t think about these little things that add up quickly. 

To estimate revenue, figure out how much you’ll charge for services. Estimate how many services you may perform in a week and figure out what you’ll need to charge to turn a profit. Find a price point that’s fair for your clients and advantageous to your financial goals. What are the different ways you can monetize your services more creatively? Can you take a cue from your fitness studio friends and sell memberships or packages? Some creative nail salons charge monthly memberships where the clients get unlimited manicures, for example. 

By taking the time to compile this document, you’re putting yourself ahead of the curve by having a framework in place of how you want to run your business when challenges inevitably arise.