How to Become a Salon Owner

own your own hair salon

Owning your own hair salon business gives you the power to design a custom salon experience

Do you like being in charge and helping people look their best? Do you have more business savvy than the typical hairdresser? If so, read on for more details on your career as a salon owner!

Job Overview

A salon owner may take some clients on, but also must watch daily management tasks to be sure they are being kept up as well as the long term direction the business takes. You may handle everything from sweeping floors to setting appointments to meeting with bank officials to arrange financing.

Requirements and Qualifications 

Salon owners are on their feet for long hours, often including weekends and evenings. To succeed as a salon owner, you’ll need skills in creativity, customer service, marketing, business management, technical skills and a variety of other areas.

Typical Education

Though many cosmetologists receive a certificate from a state licensed school, to have a better grasp of the business matters that are vital to keeping a business running, a more advanced degree such as an associate’s or bachelor’s would be very beneficial. In addition to beauty related coursework, you will also want to take some classes in business, marketing and accounting to better run your business.

Steps to Become a Salon Owner

Having finished your educational program, you will need to sit for the state licensing exam before beginning a business as a salon owner. Once completed, you’ll want to spend some time working in a salon, to see how this type of business is run.

Starting a business can be a complicated process. You will need a business plan, funding, advertising and a location to begin bringing clients in. Depending on your location, you may need to meet certain health codes, have a business license and sales tax I.D. number and make sure than any business location improvements will pass building codes. The Small Business Administration has assistance and classes available.

Similar Jobs

Maybe you’re not ready to be in charge, or perhaps the cosmetology field is just not your thing. That’s fine – here are a variety of other careers in this same path that you may find more to your liking – read on for more details!

  • Do you like to play with hair? Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists style, cut, color and provide treatments to help beautify clients.
  • Good at organizing, managing and promoting hair and beautification services? Salon managers not only provide beauty services to clients, they also provide administrative work, marketing and inventory services.
  • Like the look of a well-painted nail? Manicurists and pedicurists care for, provide advice on and decorate finger and toe nails.
  • Think all the makeup in the world won’t cover up skin problems? Skincare specialists provide facials, advice, treatments, makeup applications and lessons and a variety of other services to clients.
  • Like to talk to folks from far away? Lodging managers make sure their clients have a restful and comfortable place to stay while running a lodging establishment efficiently and economically.
  • Have a taste for fine dining? Food service managers provide great food for their customers while ensuring a restaurant or other food establishment is run economically and following health requirements.


Salon owners make a little more than the average of all career tracks, averaging $35,150 per year. You will typically work a full time schedule, with weekends, evenings and overtime common to meet customer’s scheduling needs.

Job Outlook

Salon owners can expect to see a rise in opportunities about the same as the average for all career tracks. Being a business owner gives you the option of where and when to open your salon, though areas where these services are already provided at a saturation level may be a poor choice.

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