We all know what it means to start a small business salon on a budget. For starters – it means making do with minimal square footage while still allowing graceful amounts of space for every service. It means somehow converting that open 300-350sqft space into a reception lobby, and services area for various treatments, and private treatment rooms, and a pantry and storage room too.
And as if the challenge wasn’t enough, you also need to somehow ensure clean, finished interiors with an appealing décor that draws in customers, screams professionalism, and makes them want to keep coming back!
But if you’ve got that fire of the small-business owner in you and the ‘challenge-accepted’ attitude, here are some tips you’ll find useful for a successful salon setup. You can thank us later.
1. Start by planning your spaces
Before thinking about your salon’s style and statement, think through the practical elements first, and put pen to paper. Draw out your salon’s layout to place the different functionalities, and define how much space to allocate to each.
Figure out where the water lines are – that’s where your basins for hair wash, mani-pedi, and other services that primarily require water will be best placed. After all, you don’t want to splurge on plumbing the resources you can better use for furniture and accent pieces. Save the window fronts for your main service area which could do most with the natural light. Private treatment and spa rooms, as well as storage areas can be placed at the back where it’s darker, quieter, and more private.
Once you’ve drawn out a plan, you’ll get a better idea of how much space you have and where to include the divider walls and furniture you need. With an overview in place, you can then decide where to add accent elements to define your brand – plants, show pieces, a highlight wall, etc.
2. Build private treatment rooms with modular DIY walls
If you’re renting a space, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be allowed to build real walls to divide your space. Drywalls might be an option but you’ll have to get a contractor involved and the whole job can be messy and time-consuming.
The simpler solution is to opt for DIY modular partition walls. They’re quick and easy to assemble (you can assemble them in a couple of hours!), come with zero hassles (no contractors involved), and look modern and sleek (yes, like ‘real walls’). Plus, as your business grows, you can carry them along to modify your new space too!
You can convert any L-shaped corner into a room with this L-shaped Room Kit or even use this U-Shaped Room Kit to build an entire treatment room against an existing wall. Both come with accordion doors that fold on one side without getting in the way – perfect for tight spaces on tight budgets!
3. Get your flooring to add to your salon experience
Don’t settle for the dull and stained flooring that your space came with – flooring can make a massive difference to the way your salon looks and feels. Even with your limited budget, prioritizing flooring is a wise decision.
Vinyl is one of the best flooring options for a budget project. It’s cheap, it’s resilient, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and even Art Deco designs. It’s also easy to clean – a feature you just cannot ignore in a salon. Plus, you even get acoustical options that can cut down some of the whirrings from hair dryers and whatnot, adding to your customer’s salon experience.
First impressions go a long way and you can and should use them 100% to your advantage! Your customers come to you looking for a style definition. Make them feel that they’re at the right place right from the moment they enter with a stylish divider like this Affluent Flow Room Divider.
This divider is an excellent way to divide your reception area from the main service area. It has a light, airy look that doesn’t feel too intrusive in tight places, while still doing its job perfectly. To top that, it’s a fully DIY setup that can be assembled in minutes! Consider it an investment in your salon design, one that’ll definitely pay off as it continuously wows your customers.
5. Make your lighting pop
There’s no debating that everything looks good with good lighting and when a salon is all about making people look and feel good, it goes without saying that that’s something you can’t not prioritize. Plus, the lighting fixtures can themselves add style to your salon’s décor.
Lighting adds richness but it doesn’t necessarily have to make you poor. There are plenty of options you can get for a couple of hundred bucks. You don’t even need too many, just a few big, bold lamps are enough to change your salon’s vibe.
6. Create an accent wall for great pictures
Everyone wants to take pictures of their makeovers to share on social media and it’s a great idea to enable this, not only to please your customers but also to promote your own work. You don’t need much either – just a chic wall decal or a funky wallpaper that people can take photos in front of will do the job! You can also use them to make bold style statements to reinforce your brand.
7. Add plants for a dynamic/natural look
Plants are a relatively cheap way to add a dynamic vibe to your salon – serving as lovely, organic sculptures to soften the aesthetic. When complemented with sheer curtains and pendant lights, they can create a calming, Zen vibe making your salon that relaxation space your customers will crave.
Contrary to what you may think, not all plants need a lot of care and maintenance. Many, like the snake plant, pothos, peace lily, and philodendron are actually very resilient. Plant them in some pretty, crafty pots (some of which you can even create yourself!) to define an appealing décor while spending minimally from those limited funds.
8. Add small touches to make your customers feel good
You want the people coming to your salon to get pampered, feel better about themselves, and love themselves some more. Apart from the good services you provide, reinforce that feeling with little touches to your décor, such as quotes about self-confidence, self-love, and uplifting compliments.
Find creative ways to express how you want to make them feel, like hanging art on the walls, installing neon-light quotes, or even having them printed on doormats that people see while entering or leaving!
Setting up a small salon business on a budget can be hard but it’s definitely not impossible. With creativity and a few clever tricks up your sleeve, you can surely transform a cold, unappealing space into a stylish, attractive (perhaps even busy!) salon with a successful business.
Need help designing your salon space? Feel free to reach out to our space design experts for a free consultation!