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Last updated: October 14, 2019

5 Things To Do Before You Open A Salon

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Salon equipment at Honey Hair Lab from Minerva Beauty. Instagram via @honeyhairlab

What To Know Before You Open A Hair Salon

So you want to open your own salon. YES! 🙌 You can do this! And to get you prepared, we talked to Rebecca Taylor, aka @rebeccataylorhair to her 646k Insta followers. Rebecca’s known for her innovative creative color, AND she just opened a 10-chair salon in the heart of West Hollywood, Calif. called Honey Hair Lab. We’ve been following her process on social media and needed to get all the deets so those of you who are planning to open a salon one day—or even those of you who are just daydreaming—can get a glimpse into her process.


Instagram via @honeyhairlab


1. Consider the timing—and trust your instincts.

“To be completely honest with you, opening a brick and mortar, multi-station, fully-staffed salon was not something I was prepared for at the moment when this whole project began,” Rebecca shares. “I have always been the type of entrepreneur, that goes with my gut, acts on my instincts/timing and takes huge risks to evolve in this industry/personally. I owned a salon in Florida, before I moved to West Hollywood and having already played in that space…at some point I always knew that I wanted to own a salon here as well. I just wasn’t exactly sure when.”


But for Rebecca, the moment was right. “If you ruminate and just wait around for the right moment to come along, even if it’s presenting itself to you, you operate with fear on the forefront and only think of the reasons ‘why not’- you will never grow. Sometimes you just have to jump out of your comfort zone and take a risk,” she says.


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 2. Find the perfect salon location, and remember this major tip.

A huge consideration for Rebecca was foot traffic. She lives in West Hollywood where there are many high-rise apartment buildings and corporate offices for huge companies like Buzzfeed and the Oprah Winfrey Network, and most local residents walk (or take scooters!) everywhere. Rebecca would pass an empty commercial space regularly on her walks to and from yoga, and one day she saw a “for lease” sign in the window.



“That moment was the moment I knew I would be opening a salon IN THIS SPACE if I could meet the requirements with the finances and credit check,” she says. “I had zero plans of opening a salon, I was not actively looking for a space but the opportunity presented itself and not to be too spiritual, but the universe basically punched me in the face with this opportunity. I HAD TO ACT. So, the location was perfect. That is one of the most important aspects of choosing a location for a salon.”


A view of Honey Hair Lab with stations from Minerva Beauty. Instagram via @honeyhairlab


3. Factor in all of the expenses for opening a salon.

Just getting your space to the point of opening the doors is going to have costs. “Even though this is my second salon and I’ve gone through a similar experience…Cali is WAY different than my space/the protocols in Florida,” Rebecca shared on IG. “It’s a lot of permits, allocating funds, plumbing issues, searching for building plans, and phone tag, upgrading circuit panels, digging a million holes and just your run of the mill headaches with converting a commercial space into the salon of my dreams 🙌🏼 I know all of this anxiety and uncertainty is temporary and I CAN DO THIS…some days are just more insane than others. I’ll just be sooooo stoked when we get to the fun part.”


And the fun part adds up too! Besides selecting the perfect décor, there are many, MANY costs associated with just getting the doors open—things you might not consider at first, like speakers to play music, all add up! Not to mention costs associated with continuing education for renters, team events, backbar product, booking software, security systems and more, which are all things Rebecca is providing in her space.


A view of Honey Hair Lab with stations from Minerva Beauty. Instagram via @honeyhairlab


4. Choose a salon equipment provider with perks.

If you’re going to make this investment in your future, think carefully about the salon equipment provider you select. Rebecca loved Minerva Beauty because of the company’s fly-in program.


Rebecca at the Minerva Beauty showroom.


“If you spend a certain amount of money, they will fly you out to their headquarters/showroom, pick you up and basically give you the royal treatment. I was given a tour of the entire showroom, got to see, feel, sit in/on their pieces in person and make my design decisions based on the ‘in-person’ experience,” Rebecca shared on IG. “Their customer service was next level…their whole staff was EXTREMELY attentive and helpful. This go ‘round of opening a salon (second time for me) has been sooooo different so far from my first time. For the first salon, I ordered all of my salon equipment from an online, ‘budget’ supplier and was on a TIIIIGHT budget (most of my savings at the time…approx $7k for the entire renovation/equipment/decor…everything) and a ridiculously crunched timeline (all within 30 days). I feel so damn fortunate that this time around I have more knowledge, resources and time to do it less stressfully.”


Check out Rebecca’s Minerva experience below!


Here’s how it works:

  • Minerva’s showroom near Atlanta, Georgia has a large on-hand inventory, most of which can ship same-day.
  • Minerva will reimburse your airfare up to $350 when you purchase $5,000 or more.
  • A car service will pick you up from the airport as well.


“If you guys are able to participate in this program, I highly recommend it because elsewhere I’ve looked, I haven’t had this opportunity,” Rebecca shares. “It really makes you feel special and makes you want to give your business to Minerva.” Click here to get more info on the Minerva Beauty Fly-In Program!


Salon equipment at Honey Hair Lab from Minerva Beauty. Instagram via @honeyhairlab


5. Work out how you’ll get funding to open a salon.

Obviously, the financial side of opening a salon is HUGE and will be different for everyone. Just to secure the keys to the space with a three-year lease would be $15k. All in, for equipment, renovation and miscellaneous costs, the investment to open Honey Hair Lab was $350k.


“I have been saving my money like a squirrel save nuts since I started making money in the industry and luckily I was able to not only be approved or the salon but to pay for everything out of pocket without an investor, a lender, credit cards, a partner. Which means going into this project with zero debt, which in itself is a huge blessing,” she shares.


Here’s Rebecca’s biggest piece of advice: “Save, save, save! I have not lived beyond my means and have tried to plan for the future by saving,” she says. “A lot of stylists, when they start to receive more money than they were used to receiving, become frivolous, forget to save money and then find themselves in the same boat they were in before they began to make money. My advice is to also invest in the future. None of us know what is going to happen with social media, brand opportunities, independent education, etc. You have to set yourself up for the future and protect yourself.”


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