How To Start A Nail Salon From Home

A good goal to have in life is opening your own business. For many people, this is a very attainable goal that can change their life. If you’re really into beauty, you may be considering opening a nail salon.

Here are the steps to start a nail salon from home:

  • Get licensed
  • Find clients for the experience
  • Learn about regulations
  • Find proper prices
  • Promote your home business

Once you do these steps, you will increase your chances to have an up-and-coming successful home business.

There is something so spectacular about being a small home-based business. It can help make you feel accomplished and successful. Eventually, you may want to grow and expand; being a legitimate business can help you with that goal.

How To Get Licensed

Firstly, you can’t just start doing nails. You may have practiced with a few friends, but that is not the same as being a professional. If you have a love for nails, you need to enroll in a beauty program.

There are many nail tech programs you can look for, and each will help you pass the state exam. Only after you pass the state exam will you become a certified nail technician.

Find Clients To Gain Experience

Getting Clients

This may be the most intimidating part of the job. Every person you meet is a potential client, and you need to market yourself, mention you own a nail salon, and would love it if they dropped by. It’s not easy, and you may feel uncomfortable without practice first. Get your friends and family to be your first few clients.

How To Start A Nail Salon From Home

The best part about this is they can tell their friends and own families about you and help promote you on things like Instagram and TikTok. Eventually, this small step will help grow your business and get new clients.

Look For Regulations

With every business, there will be laws and regulations you will need to follow. If you own an at-home nail salon, there will be more regulations for you than other types of businesses. You will learn most of these regulations during your certificate program. However, you should always look up the laws yearly on your state website. Sometimes these are due to change.

What type of regulations you need to follow:

    • Hanging your license in a noticeable place with your picture on it.
    • Knowing about hazardous chemicals and which ones are not allowed.
    • Labor laws poster displayed if you have employees.
    • Having a first aid kit to show the health inspector.
    • Having proper storage for your salon.

These may change over the years, but these are the most essential things you should know and ensure you do. They may seem easy, but many home nail salons forget that these rules are for them as well as bigger salons. Remember, for each thing you do, you will need a license. If you do hair, you will need a license for hair; if you do skin, you will need a license for that as well. Every license you have must be hanging up.

Find Proper Prices

This will be one of the biggest challenges for you during your time as an at-home salon owner. You will want to look at what you are offering versus what your competitors are offering. In a bigger salon, there will be massage chairs and nice tubs for pedicures. If you are not offering any of these services, you will want to lower your prices.

What equipment do I need to provide for my beautician?

You will want to look at how much you have to offer, understand how much you pay per month to keep your business running, factor in product cost, and how long it takes to perform a service. As you gain experience and business, do not be afraid to raise your prices.

Promote Your Business

Your friends and family will help out by spreading your name to others and can help you with free marketing on Instagram and TikTok. However, you should be proactive and take extra steps to promote your new business.

You can go to cosmetology events, promote yourself through your own Facebook, and maybe even start a blog to direct traffic. If you are still struggling, seek professional help. You may be able to find a way to create an ad for a small price.

Why Should You Start Your Nail Salon?

This is a profitable venture to get into, especially with the rise of social media. Once you start getting clients who love your work, it will be a booming business. You can easily grow and expand or add people in.

How to Add Nails to a Hair Salon Business

This is a great way to build a brand around something you love and make a living that gives you flexibility and freedom. You don’t have to dread going to work because this is the job you’ve created for yourself.

Challenges of Owning Your Home Nail Salon

There are certain challenges you may face when opening your home nail salon. You will not have everything the bigger salons have and might have to upgrade the room in your home to meet all regulations. Here are some challenges you might face when running a home nail salon.

    • Sanitary Regulations- If you don’t have proper storage, you may get into trouble. Many retail locations have special shelves and storage units built into their salon. This keeps them out of trouble, and it is something you may struggle with. You will have to build or acquire a special storage unit for chemicals.
    • Infrastructure- Many of the bigger salons choose places that can maintain a lot of people. This is something you will not have and may limit your income. You will have a much smaller space to work with, and that means fewer supplies on demand.
    • Safety Equipment- All salons are supposed to have safety equipment that is easily accessible. If you are at home, it could get messy. You need a designated room or space for your salon where you can easily reach emergency items. This might be harder to do in a small space.
    • Finding The Right Equipment- If you are in a smaller space, you may not have room for massage chairs or a large desk. You will need to find equipment that fits into the space you have. If something is not easy to move or get around it could impact regulations.

As you open your business you may find other hurdles that are necessary to overcome. Such as your clients know where you live or the mental aspect of having your work inside or right outside your door. It is so important that you do not give up on your dream, however, keep in mind that smaller salons can sometimes be more work than running a bigger salon.

Find Your Niche And Stick With It

One tip you should take to heart is finding your niche. Yes, you can provide fabulous manicures, but what do you want to be known for?

Here are a few examples of niches in the nail salon industry:

    • Bridal nails
    • Hotel visits for tourists
    • Eco-friendly and sustainable
    • Retirement homes
    • Travel technician

All of these can help you become known for something other than the basic nail salon. You can start by doing nails, but you should narrow down your niche and build your brand and image upon that once you get going.

Do You Need Insurance For Your Nail Salon

For any business, it is essential to have insurance. You want to be able to protect yourself and your business in case something happens. Look for a flexible policy that covers your workspace, your clients, and yourself. This may be a difficult challenge, but the best way to find a plan is to start calling places and finding out how much it would be to get an insurance plan.

How To Start A Nail Salon From Home

Is It Necessary To Create A Business Plan

If you are starting from scratch, it might be a good idea to create a business plan. This is a way to help you set goals and understand the initial cost of starting an at-home nail salon. Even if you do not need bank loans, it is good to set up a business plan.

What should your business plan include:

    • Overview of why you are opening a salon
    • How much the initial cost will be
    • A marketing plan
    • Services and prices
    • Explain other ways you will make money
    • Describe the target market
    • Analyze your competition
    • Describe how you will grow

Simply put, this should be a document of how you plan to run your business and understand what your competitors are doing. Owning a business means you need to research, and every year you should be looking for new trends and competing with others to stay ahead.

Check out how to write a business plan HERE.

Find A Nice Product Line

One thing that will make you stand out has better products. Before even opening your doors, you should find a quality product line that you want to share with others. If you can buy wholesale, you can try to sell these products to your customers too!

Nothing beats a high-end line at a home salon. Your clients will love it and stay loyal to not only you but the brand you carry and represent.

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This can be one of the most desirable businesses. If you set up your home-based business correctly, it can flourish. Nail salons are profitable and can be fun to open up.

You will meet tons of people and grow with the beauty industry. It is no easy task to open up a nail salon, but it can be worth the effort.

5. Rotate the Salon Promotions Rotating your salon promotions will keep your business interesting to new and old clients alike. You can host different new client specials that rotate monthly to attract different types of clients into your salon. Don’t forget to also have store-wide promotions for old and new clients, especially after the new client special has already been exhausted for someone. Salon promotions for new clients or store-wide specials could be along the lines of: Wash, cut, and blow dry is 15% off. Any color treatment service is 10% off. Kids’ haircut special for only $5. Weave sew-ins are 10% off for repeat customers. Hosting a “perm” month where they are Senior discounts of 10% off. Student discounts could be 10% as well based on your discretion. Buy one get one (BOGO) free promotion for any of your salon retail products; perhaps hair accessories. Buy 3 get 1 (B3G1) free promotion in the salon retail section perhaps on shampoo and conditioner. And so much more! 6. Run Giveaways at Your Salon Running giveaway at your salon will build client anticipation and even publicity for your business. To fund the giveaway, you can have the client earn an entry for every certain amount spent at your salon. This would be a great way to encourage upselling, so that you can fund the giveaway’s prizes without having to worry about the source of funding. Say that for every $20 spent on a salon service earns the client an entry into your current giveaway. If your client’s bill is $118.50 for their hair care services, let them know that he or she can receive a 6th giveaway entry if they reach the $120 mark by purchasing some hair scrunchies or their favorite shampoo from the salon retail section. Employing this tactic will be a great way to move products of any kind, especially if it is something that is not purchased as much as another inventory item. Giveaway ideas could be: $100 gift card to use at your salon and/or its retail section. A spa day kit that includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial masks, hair masks, foot masks, and etcetera. Multiple care packages with sample sizes of lotion, hand cream, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner samples so that 10 or more entrants have a chance to win. Free hair care service of up to $50 at your salon. Have multiple winners to give away products that are not moving off your shelves as quickly, but it is still within date to be used. Worse case scenario, the winner can just give it to someone that they know will definitely use the product. 7. Find Your Salon’s Niche If you have not done so already, find your salon’s niche. A niche is something that is your salon’s speciality to help you compete with other local salons that may not have the same prowess as you in this specific practice. Your niche could be color services, perms, weave sew-ins, super bomb haircuts, and more. To find your niche, find a common specialty amongst all your Hair Stylists that they love to do for your clients. Have them continue to perfect that service over time, so that you can market it as your salon’s niche. If your salon’s name is “Color Hair Care Haven”, your slogan can be, “The destination for all things hair coloring in (insert your city or town name)”. Now that’s definitely making a name for your salon by also choosing a slogan to go by once you have your niche figured out. This goes back to also listening to your clients and observing their purchasing activity with your available haircare services. Review your point-of-sale transactions to see the service that was most purchased over the last few months. You can also base your niche on the popularity of the haircare service requested from clients. Have your Hair Stylists perfect their ability to perform this most popular hair care service, so that they are always prepared for the next client that requests it to be done. Practice can be done on a salon dummy or on a willing friend or family member that does not mind being a practice model for the Hair Stylist. As a business, you can even have the Hair Stylists practice on one another or on you, so that you know they are really ready for this specific service to your salon’s niche. 8. Have a Retail Section in Your Salon Yes, we have made hints already in this blog post about having a retail section in your salon, but now we will emphasize it more so here. Be sure to have a large stock of the following in your salon retail section. Professional brand shampoo and conditioner Relaxers Clip-in weaves Hair wraps Salon towels Hair color Professional brand hair care tools Combs Hair brushes Hair accessories High quality at-home hair styling tools Curling irons Flat irons Hair dryers Analyze your demand before over ordering. Less people may be looking for hair styling tools, so keep only a few of them in your inventory at a time, so that they are not taking up space or growing outdated by sitting in your inventory too long. If someone is interested in a hair styling tool in which you do not have too much stock, you can place an order for them that comes directly to your store for the client to pick up or it can be sent right to their home. Of course, you will sell shampoo and conditioner the most at your salon retail section, but be sure to limit your ordering on that as well. Look at your sales for the last month in your retail section and base your ordering around those numbers. Don’t order specifically the amount that you sold last month, but maybe have 5-10 bottles extra just in case sales pick up on that specific product. Find that balance where you do not over order or under order or any of your product. There could be some months that you order much less because of the surplus you have had on hand from prior months. 9. Offer Free Amenities in the Salon Waiting Area Go the extra mile and offer some free amenities in the salon waiting area. Especially if it’s spring or summer and more people are wanting to get their hair done, it would be best to offer some amenities as your clients wait for a free salon chair. A television with some reality television or a new channel would pique the interest of clients in the waiting area. Offer free WiFi to your clients waiting for a service, so that they can surf the Internet efficiently during their wait. Have a small Keurig available for people who want a free cup of coffee or tea on the house. This small free amenity will be seen as a great courtesy where the client will feel like he or she is truly at home in your salon when receiving your services. Go as far as having a vending machine available where clients can use their spare dollar bills and change to get their favorite beverage or snack while they are waiting for services. 10. Treat Your Clients Like Your Best Friends Besides listening to your clients, treat your clients like your best friends. Think of it like you are hooking up your girlfriends with the best hair deal in town, and you will bring back even more clients. Encourage the Hair Stylists to make small talk with the clients to make them feel valued and comfortable while in the salon chair. Maybe the client has had a bad day and that experience of treating clients like your best friend can help that person to have an even better day. Just be genuine and kind and you will be rewarded. Related Questions How often should I host giveaways at my salon? How often you decide to host giveaways at your salon is totally up to your discretion. Of course, you could lose money if you do too many giveaways throughout the year if you lack the proper funding for them. Consider starting with 1 giveaway every 4 months which means you will have 3 per year. You could even host giveaways around key holidays for the salon industry such as New Year’s (new year, new you mentality), Mother’s Day (women love salon trips for their special day), and Christmas (great gift idea). It’s up to you! Should I hire a Social Media Manager for my salon? If you need some part-time assistance in managing your social media accounts, consider hiring a Social Media Manager. However, to reduce labor costs for your business, you can learn the tricks of the trade with social media and manage it yourself. This is great if you have enough Hair Stylists on staff to serve the clients as you focus yourself more on the business tasks behind your salon.

Is a nail salon profitable?

A nail salon can become a profitable business if the right steps are taken when opening. It can lead to significant income and a successful career.

Can you get certified to be a nail technician online?

Some programs allow you to take courses online, but you will still have to take the state exam in person. Often, it is easier to take cosmetology classes in person to practice on others in the class. This will help you gain the experience you need when working with people.

Do you need a college degree to own a nail salon?

Although you do not need a college degree taking a few business courses on top of your nail courses may help you in the future. This can help you run a successful business and allow you insight into things like marketing and planning.

Is it illegal to run a self-taught salon?

If you do not have a license for the services you are providing it is illegal and you can get fines, misdemeanor charges, or more depending on your state. It is imperative for the safety of your clients, and essential for you to get your license before practicing and running a business.

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Looking to start your own Salon? Get the documents you need to get organized and funded here.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.