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What tools and equipment do you need to run a salon?
After finalising your salon business plan, registering your business, acquiring licences, determining your financing and finding a location, you’re ready to take the next step and build out your space. But where should you start and what are your options?
Having a well-equipped, connected, and easy-to-manage salon is essential to setting up yourself, your team and your business for success. Salon clients are increasingly looking for ways to automate their bookings, rescheduling and cancellations – so you need integrated tools that allow for this, while giving time back to staff who can focus on the creative work they do best.
Here is the Square checklist guide for all of the hardware and tools you should consider to get up and running.
Salon office supplies
It can be easy to forget about these basics when you’re starting out and focused on fine tuning your product, but planning ahead will help your operations run smoothly while avoiding surprise expenses.
- Wi-Fi: Before you open your doors, ask yourself if Wi-Fi will be used for staff only or if you want to offer it to customers to connect.
- Computer/tablet: While you can do plenty of business management from your phone, it’s helpful to have a computer or tablet available for larger projects.
- Basics (pens/paper/staplers/clips): Like many of these tools, buying in bulk and budgeting ahead can help save on future costs.
- Cleaning supplies: Items such as bins, garbage bags, brooms, mops and disinfectant wipes will help your salon maintain a level of cleanliness to attract customers.
- First aid kit.
- Business bank account and necessary documentation.
You might not need a traditional break room, but consider having a space dedicated to your team. Giving employees and contractors an area to unwind with amenities – even small ones like comfortable chairs and a stocked fridge – is a nice step to attracting and retaining talent.
- Break room: You can get creative here, and employees are likely to appreciate the perk.
- Filing cabinet and safe: You might not require space for tracking physical documents or providing security for specific items at your salon, but both can be helpful tools as you’re getting started.
Salon services, washing stations, furniture and chairs
This equipment will make up a large portion of your startup costs. One tip: Most salon equipment and furniture can be bought at wholesale prices with your professional licence. It can help save money if you are buying your styling needs in bulk.
- Service stations (salon, shampoo, drying)
- Shampoo bowls
- Storage space for products and tools
- Chair mats
- Utility trays
- Dryer units
- Spray bottles
- Ring lights
- Power strips
- Laundry equipment
Point-of-sale (POS) system
Whether it’s a stand for your tablet, a mobile payments terminal, or a full POS register, your point-of-sale system is so much more than a tool for the essential task of processing payments. The best POS nails the basics while taking appointments, streamlining administrative tasks and tracking everything from sales reporting to customer engagement to inventory management. Here’s how to get started choosing the one for you.
- Retail product displays: The specifics here will depend on the size of your space, but prioritise highlighting your retail products, e.g. styling products and shampoo. This makes it as easy as possible for your customers to make purchases the way that works best for them.
- Shopping bags: If you have the budget for it, this can be another opportunity to market your business with a creative shopping bag design.
- QR code printouts: QR codes have become a leader in the way customers order and pay, improving the overall retail experience as well as a business’s bottom line. You can also add a QR code to your window/counter for customers to easily re-book appointments!
Salon front desk, display, lighting and decor
Many hair and beauty businesses struggle to balance necessary safety precautions with providing a relaxing environment. It’s important to consider the look and feel of the spa or salon you plan to create from the start to help avoid additional costs after opening.
- Front desk/reception area: Having a functional and welcoming reception area can be a key step in making a positive impression on customers and helping them feel comfortable.
- Lighting: Your lighting choices can have effects across your business, including setting the right mood and guiding customers to specific areas.
- Signage: Signage inside and outside of your salon can provide guidance to customers while also acting as another branding opportunity.
Have the budget to amplify your space a bit more? Small things can make a huge difference in retaining customers.
Extra styling touches and interior flair can make your salon a memorable escape from your clients’ daily lives. Work with your brand colours and overall look and feel to create an impressive space. The recent trend for indoor plant installations might be one option to explore, but the style options are limited only by your budget and imagination.
- Stereo system
- Seating area
- Bathroom facilities
Salon and spa marketing materials
While physical marketing tools aren’t essential items for your retail business, you should consider whether they’re useful for the business you’re starting and if they fit inside your budget. While digital marketing can be highly effective, a new salon can get a boost from these items.
- Business cards and loyalty programs
- Stickers, pens and small giveaway items
- Branded merch, including t-shirts, canvas bags and hats
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.