Management Practices

Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a Salon

Bruce Hakutizwi | June 27, 2018 | 8:59 AM

Buying a salon can be a fun and exciting business venture, as well as a lucrative one. The salon industry is incredibly valuable, and it’s growing. 2016 saw the salon industry pulling in a cool $62 billion dollars. Perhaps this is because the number of hair salons in the U.S. actually decreased, and people still need haircuts, and are rarely skilled enough to perform the service themselves at home. It’s unlikely that this industry will decline anytime soon, which makes it a safe bet for potential business owners. If this is your dream, and you want to begin realizing it, there are a few things to consider first.

Will you buy a franchise or independently-owned salon?

This is perhaps the first question that will need to be answered. A franchise can offer a great deal of support when it comes to marketing, training, day-to-day operations, and startup costs. For many business owners, buying a franchise is the right decision. However, if you’re someone that likes a little more creative freedom (perhaps even more so if you’re a hair stylist yourself), then a franchise may not be the right fit for you. Many people daydream about running a business before they even begin, and usually those dreams don’t include an exact shade of eggshell white for the walls dictated by company standards. Having the freedom to create a new and different business model for a salon could be incredibly lucrative, if you capture the right market.

Why is it being sold?

Businesses can fail for a variety of reasons. If the location of the salon is good, but the salon isn’t turning a profit, it could be because of poor customer service or bad management. It might also need some updating and general TLC. Before getting too serious about a buying a salon, try to understand why it’s on the market in the first place. Having a solid base of returning customers is key for a salon, so if that doesn’t exist in your business prospect, it might be time to move on.

Is it located within your target area?

Few businesses can market themselves out of a bad location. No matter how much they market their salon, customers won’t frequent the business if the location is inconvenient to access. This is also true of salons, even though the majority of business is by appointment. When considering the location of your potential purchase, you must also think ahead. If there is major road construction or other development planned for the area, it could negatively impact your business. Local government should be able to tell you if any projects are planned for the area in the foreseeable future.

Will you be able to turn a profit?

In many metropolitan areas salons are a saturated market. The most important thing is customer satisfaction, because repeat business is a large source of profits for a salon. Keep your customers happy and they will tell their friends. In fact, they will likely tell someone on social media. (They will also do these things if you make them unhappy). Standing out from the crowd is key when running a successful salon.

Salons can be a fun and exciting business to run, especially for those who are familiar with the industry. As with any type of business, the most important thing is to be realistic about your budget, stay true to your goals and vision, and plan ahead. Heeding all of this advice can help you on your path to success.

About the author: Bruce Hakutizwi is the U.S. and international business manager for Dynamis, Ltd., the parent company of He regularly writes on buying, selling and operating niche businesses and has been published on a variety of websites, including AllBusiness,, Business2Community and Huffington Post. 

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