There are some business opportunities that will almost always make money for a shrewd operator and on of these businesses based on my personal experience is a well run beauty salon. This business lives or dies by the quality of people who work in the salon and the national chains have very little advantage over somebody who wants to start a salon by themselves. The reason for this is that the cost of the actual products used in the beauty treatments is minimal and therefore they do not benefit greatly from their buying power. The main cost of running a beauty salon includes rent, rates and labour and therefore you can compete with the big boys on an equal footing. Recently I have been writing blogs and articles about the types of businesses to avoid! This is not one of them. There are many different types of course one can attend to learn about the beauty trade and some are very good. Without learning some new skills and educating yourself prior to opening you might as well not bother. It probably is a good idea to work in a busy salon first so that you learn the ropes before starting your own. Most people starting for the first time will not have any established clients and will therefore be relying purely on passing trade. This is why it is absolutely essential to get a location that has a lot of foot-trade and decent parking nearby. Kitting out the salon properly from day one will make the difference between success and failure. People do not mind spending a little extra if they feel that they are being pampered in a nice, luxurious & comfortable environment. In my opinion many women go to a beauty salon for a treat or some relaxation as much as the actual beauty treatment. The layout of the store should allow everybody to move around easily and each chair should have all the supplies within easy reach thereby minimising time wasted looking for essential products or equipment. Having proper equipment allocated to each chair is essential. A busy salon will need a diary system for booking in clients and somewhere handy for them to sit whilst waiting for their treatment. The waiting area also has to well fitted out and stocked with the latest fashion and women’s magazines. There are many small bookkeeping packages that can make life easier but I would always advice somebody starting in business for the first time to outsource this completely to a competent book keeper leaving you completely free to focus on growing your business. Marketing a beauty salon if you have chosen the right location is very simple. You can distribute leaflets offering half price treatments to your local area. Speak to shops around you and offer the owner a free treatment in return for them allowing you to stick a poster in their window. Build loyalty and get your customers to come back by offering them money of vouchers at the end of the treatment. Make sure that these do not offer a discount on their regular treatment but rather persuade them to try something else next time they visit. Stay away from news papers or radio unless you have a big budget and are willing to repeat the advert at least a dozen times. Research has shown that people need to view / listen to your adverts a number of times before it actually sinks in and most of your budget will be wasted on people that not in your catchment area. Obviously this is a huge topic and I can not cover all treatments and the legal aspects involved so getting professional advice is necessary prior to opening. Many books have been written about the subject and there is a wealth of free advice on the internet. Pamper your clients, make them feel special and they will keep coming back.