If you ever heard the phrase Kiddies Salon, you might wonder what that means. If you thought it meant a salon for kids, then you would be right. The salons and hair care places you usually go to are more geared towards adults. The chairs are large, the products are meant for full-grown adults and the atmosphere reflects that. However, many people have noticed the lack of hair care opportunities geared towards children. Depending on your location there might be an opportunity there to open a Kiddies Salon.
Kiddies Salons are salons aimed at serving children, usually between two years old up to early teens. To start your own Kiddies Salon, you will need to secure the finances necessary to start the business. You will also need to find a place to house the salon and hire the right staff. You will also need to register with the state, create a business plan containing all of your plans, and advertise your salon.
Steps to Open Your Own Children’s Salon
Create A Business Plan
Whenever you start a business, you have to create a well-organized business plan. What do you need to learn to start the business? Where should your business be located? How much money will you need to start? These are only a few of the questions you will be asking yourself as you put together the plan that will make your business a success.
Your business plan should also have a plan for where you will be at certain milestones. For example, where do you want your kiddies salon to be in three years? What about five? If you plan your business as a long-term project, it will be easier to maintain.
Starting a business can be a very expensive endeavor. If you know you want to start a children’s salon, you are going to need to sort out what you’ll need, how much it will cost, and how much of it you’ll need upfront. Upfront finances to consider are:
The cost of operating space. If you are going to have a kid’s salon, you are going to need a place to welcome clients. While it is possible to operate a salon out of your house, most people nowadays want to go to a brick-and-mortar shop that looks professional to get their hair done. This means you will most likely need to rent a building or space in a strip mall complex to host your salon out of.
- The cost of decorating. Setting the correct atmosphere is imperative for shops geared towards children. This means, not only do you need to equip your shop with all of the regular salon necessities, like big mirrors and counter space, you’ll also need to decorate the interior in a manner that will satisfy kids. This might mean a play area or televisions in multiple locations.
- The cost of operating goods. After your space is all decorated, you’ll need to get the materials necessary for operating a salon. These are smaller, cheaper objects like brushes and blow dryers, but you’ll also be buying a lot more of them in different shapes and possibly styles. The sheer volume of goods is dictated also by what services you’re offering, so this cast can be kept down if you start your children’s salon off small. services.
- Hiring staff. Unless you plan to be the sole hairstylist in your salon, you’ll also need to hire staff. This can be quite costly, so you might have to operate solo or with only one or two assistants until you can get your salon off the ground.
Financing is very important and also extremely stressful for new business starters. However, you can also limit some of these costs if you’re willing to start small and then grow. If you need cash, you should reach out to banks or other businesses willing to give out business loans. Such loans might also be available through the government.
Choosing Location and Look
Finding the right space to start your children’s salon is more than simply a matter of financing. After all, this is where clients will come to have their children stylized and cared for. That means you need to pick a child-friendly location, both in looks and in surroundings. For example, having a children’s salon next to a bar is not the best idea.
After finding a suitable location for your salon, you’ll also need to make sure the inside is appealing to children. While a typical salon might easily find necessary renovations that are functional yet stylish, this might be a little bit harder. Finding a countertop that kids would like but won’t bother stylists as they work could be a challenge. However, you might instead focus on decorations to make your salon kid-friendly.
The trick to having a great business is hiring good staff and training them well. However, as a children’s salon owner, you have a unique opportunity. Because of the nature of the stylist’s work, you can structure your business in two very distinct ways that will either minimize or maximize your involvement.
If you want to take a more hands-off approach to your business, you can set up a system where you are renting out a workspace in your salon to stylists. With such a system, stylists will pay you a certain fee each month, or a percentage of their profits, to use the space for clientele. This method has both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits are that you’re essentially acting as a landlord, so you won’t need to get as involved in the business.
The drawbacks are that you could end up having vastly different salon styles within the same salon. This means that while some stylists might focus on serving children, others might not. Also, the stylists might start fighting over customers and trying to snag customers from each other. There also won’t be standard cleanliness or procedures from stylist to stylist, leading to an array of disorganization if not kept in check.
The other, more common method of running a salon is through hiring stylists to work for the salon as a whole. Such a practice will allow for uniformity across the salon, therefore preserving your child-centric vision. It will also encourage stylists to work well with one another. You’ll also be able to offer all of the same services to all of the customers that come into the salon.
On the downside, this method is much more costly, as you will be paying the stylists a salary. You’ll also need to be much more involved in the business, as you will be in charge of the hiring process and also setting up the menu for what services you’ll offer. This means you’ll need to handpick stylists that are good with children and run background checks. This choice is also much more time-consuming, as you’ll have to regularly check that the salon is being run well.
Whichever method you choose for the salon, make sure it is the method that suits you best and will keep your children’s salon focused on children. One is more cost-effective but open to more variables in the workplace. The other is much more expensive but will preserve uniformity. Both, however, can be tailored to serve a children’s salon.
Getting the Necessary Documents and Inspections
Whenever you run a business, you need to set up the business under the law. The kind of official documents you need differs from business to business, but you will need to set up the business with the government before running. For a salon, you will also need to get a cosmetology license from your local government.
Along with getting the correct licensing, your salon will also need to undergo the correct inspections to make sure it is up to code for business purposes. These inspections range from fire safety inspections to sanitation inspections. If you fail an inspection, you will not be able to operate your kiddie’s salon. Check with the local government which inspections you’ll need before opening.
Have Good Advertising
Half of the challenge in starting a business is finding customers for that business. It used to be that you could start a little shop in your neighborhood and your neighbors and friends would come frequently to the shop, after which it would grow and attract more people. That’s not the case anymore. People will now travel to favorite shops and are in general less connected to their communities. Nowadays, the best way to get customers is through advertising, such as:
- Using social media. Some of the most effective advertising in this day and age is done over social media apps such as Instagram. While this might not be as attractive to older people, your target demographic as a children’s salon is perfectly suited for social media advertising. Young moms will see the ad on social media, while tweens that already have cell phones will also see the advertisement and tell their moms.
- Posting yard signs. Social media advertising can be hard to use if you don’t already have a social media presence. On the other hand, yard signs are fairly simple and don’t cost very much if you’re able to get local businesses to allow you to post them. Also, seeing as mothers are the ones who will bring their children to you, there likely to see the sign while driving and decide to stop by.
- Word of mouth. While neighbors generally talk less to each other now than they used to, reaching out to your friends, family, and neighbors is still the cheapest form of advertising. It’s free, and you’re able to gauge the reaction of the people you talk to. Also, if you’re a people person and good at communicating, this mode of advertising might be easy for you.
Check out our tips for advertising online HERE!
What’s the most expensive part of starting a children’s salon?
The most expensive investment for starting a salon is going to be renting the location. While interior decorating and renovation can be very costly, rent is a long-term money drain that is never-ending unless you also buy the property.
Which kind of hairstyles should be offered to children?
Most parents take their care to the hair salon when they want them to get a haircut. However, along with getting haircuts, most children also enjoy getting their hair shampooed and rinsed out, so having hair washing stations is also a good idea.
Most children will either not want or not be allowed to get their hair dyed or highlighted, so those services probably won’t need to be offered.
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.
Shawn Chun is an entrepreneur who has owned several types of businesses from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now creates online resources for those interested in starting a salon business. It is demanding work he loves to do it. Shawn says “I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive.”
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