Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Are you ready to take control of your book, your income, your schedule and your future? Read on to find out how to open a salon suite and fulfill your dream of owning your own business.
Coming from a traditional salon, where everything is taken care of for you, to taking the leap into business ownership at a salon suite may seem daunting, but hundreds of beauty professionals do it everyday. They aren't smarter than you are, they aren't better at their craft than you are, If they can do it, so can you!
Step #1 - Choose the right Salon Suite for you. It is all about location, location, location
Location: Find the salon suite that is in the right physical location for you. That means it has enough parking for all of the salon suites inside and it should be conveniently located for you and your clients. If you tell your clients where it is, will they know the center? Do they shop there already?
Location: When you walk in the door, does the look of the building fit your brand? Are you looking for something that screams upscale or edgy or generic? Your clients’ experience begins when they walk through those front doors and through the halls to your salon suite, does that lobby feel right to you?
Location: Your place of work is your second home – do you feel comfortable? Do you have the amenities you need to run your business to its fullest? Are you happy with the community of salon suite owners in the building? You want to find a space that you are happy to go into every day!
Step #2 - Get your business in order. Now that you’ve picked the salon suite where you will run your business – it’s time to launch!
Pick a business name! You may have had your name picked out long ago, or you may need to start thinking of one, but that’s the first step!
J Suites will send you a welcome packet, follow the checklist provided in that to set up your business. You will find links to everything you need set up, from forming an LLC to registering your name to applying for resale certificates. If you find you are having any trouble, we are always here to help!
Develop your team: accountant, attorney, marketing, branding, etc. Every great business has a support system in place. From creating a logo to paying your taxes, to everything in between. Start asking around to your family and friends, and if you need resources, J Suites has a list of recommended vendors to help you, too!
"I have helped hundreds of health and beauty professionals take the leap into suite ownership and I've found it comes down to 6 simple steps. " – Sue Jacquette, Founder & CEO J Suites
Step #3 - Set up your tech. There are great online tools and resources out there to help you run your business smoothly, and at J Suites, we even provide some for you!
You can certainly use your mobile phone as your means of communication with your clients, but there are many free ways to keep your personal number private. A quick online search will help you find options such as Google voice, where you can list a separate business number, but it will ring on your cell.
At J Suites, we provide you with your online scheduling software through Gloss Genius. In your welcome packet you will find instructions on how to set it up. They make everything easy for you to transition into salon suite ownership. They will migrate your client list into the software for you, and then you can send mass texts or emails to your list to inform them of your move. The system can handle everything from inventory to retail to standing appointments.
You will need to communicate with J Suites and the rest of the salon suite owners on occasion, so J Suites has set up a group text. Follow the instructions in your welcome packet to get started.
Every business needs an accounting system which makes paying taxes much easier. Gloss Genius can handle what you will need, but your accountant may want you to use a different system, like QuickBooks. A little research or conversation with your accountant can handle this.
Step #4 - Prep your business for operation. Whether it’s a salon suite or esthetician suite, if you are a new business, you have some decisions to make.
First things first, you need to set your prices. Now that you are in control of your business, you can decide what you want to do and how much to charge for it. Create a menu of services in your Gloss Genius app and decide what you want to charge for each.
You get to choose your products when you own your own salon suite. From what you use on your clients to what you sell in your shop, start researching which products best align with your brand. Are you all organic? Luxury? Supporting small businesses? There are many options to choose from, and it’s fun to bring it all together.
Step #5 - Decorate your suite! This is the part that most people love, but it can be overwhelming, too.
Start by gather inspiration photos. Collect pictures of suites or salons or spas or even other salon suites that you love and start looking at why you love them? What do they have in common? Are there specific details you want to replicate? Once you have a good idea, you can hit the details.
First thing to do is choose a paint color for the suite, then think about a focal wall. It could be wallpaper, shiplap, a flower wall, whatever you think would be eye catching and on brand for you. A focal wall can really grab the attention of people walking by, just make sure you can return the wall to its original state when it’s time to move out. At J Suites, every salon suite is pre-wired for a chandelier. Light fixtures can really personalize a space, too.
One of the most important parts of a salon suite is the retail display. Many suite owners can pay their rent with the retail they sell! Make sure you have beautiful shelves to display your retail. Even if you prefer to sell online, make sure you have one sample to show your client how to use it or let them actually see and smell it.
Lastly, you may decide you want additional furniture. Maybe you would like a podium for checkout, or a chair for guests to sit in while they wait, or a cute rug that welcomes people when they walk into your salon suite. Have fun with it all!
Step #6 - Now it’s time to get the word out! You are ready to tell your clients, friends and family that you're a suite owner. Here’s how!
Social media is how most business communicate these days. You should create business accounts with Facebook and Instagram at minimum, but there are many others that you may already be socializing on, like TikTok. Once you have created those accounts, go to your personal pages and make the announcement to follow your business pages.
Your Gloss Genius software can act as a website for you, but if you want to have a more sophisticated website, there are lots of options for you to create your own free one, or hire someone to design it for you. In either case, your Gloss Genius page can just be linked in a “book now” button.
When it is time to make the move, you need to communicate with your clients. You can send a mass email or text with Gloss Genius, or you can take the time to call each of your clients if you want to give them a personal touch. If you need to, you can always find clients on social media and reach out that way if you don’t have their contact information. But once they find out you've moved to your own salon suite, they will be so happy for you for going out on your own!
One last thing to consider is marketing materials. Do you want business cards to hand out to people you meet? A brochure to leave at your yoga studio? Referral cards for your clients? In your welcome packet there are some options for designing and printing these on your own, or hiring a professional to take care of it for you.
That was easy!
The one thing we hear over an over again when people make the move to salon suite ownership is, "That was easier than I thought!" It seems daunting but when you have a list and just tick the items off, you'll be done in no time! When you're ready, contact J Suites to learn more about us and if we are the right fit for you!