How To Open Your Own Nail Salon Business

Nail salons are great businesses. You get a lot of repeat customers, and it is easy to train staff. Once you are big enough you can start to reduce your overheads by securing big discounts on the products you need to makeover someone´s nails.

Nail Salons Are A Great Launching Pad For Selling Other Beauty Services

Once you are established, it is easy to branch out into offering other beauty services. Your customers know you well, they trust your work and you can easily put together tempting promotions.

Leasing Your First Salon

In some places, you can start by offering manicures and pedicures in people´s homes. However, in the long-term, you will need a salon.

People will feel more comfortable using your service and a physical location gives you more visibility. It is also easier to comply with regulations, especially those relating to health, safety, and hygiene.

Having a proper salon also makes it easier to add to the list of services that you offer. But that does not mean you should sign a long lease in a glitzy shopping center.

Once you are sure that you have a viable business model that will make enough to cover what is likely to be a high rent, you can move to somewhere more expensive.  In most cases, it is best to start a bit smaller.

Understand Who Your Customers Will Be

You want to locate yourself in an area where people like to have their nails done regularly. The demographic of that kind of person varies from country to country. So, do some research.

If you are lucky, you can go online and find out how old nail salon users are and what socio-economic class they belong to, in your area. For example, using this Statista data, we can see that in the USA 75% of them are women aged over 35.

If that data does not exist for your market, conduct some observational research. Have a coffee opposite a busy nail salon and note the type of customers they have.

It takes time, but it is a worthwhile investment. Once you know what type of people you will be serving you can open a salon in an area that is easy for them to get to.

Calculate Costs

You should also research how much you can charge and what your overheads will be. You want to be sure that running a legal nail salon is viable, where you live. This information will help you to do that.

Take Care Of The Legal Stuff

You need to understand and follow the regulations. They vary from place to place, so go online and do some research. Or better still ask your local Chamber of Commerce to point you to the best source of information. In some countries, there will be an official nail technician association you can refer to.

Understand what you need to do before you sign your lease. You don´t want to inadvertently end up with premises that are not configured in a way that enables you to follow the regulations.

Kitting Out Your Salon

Well in advance of opening your salon, you need to source and install your nail technician equipment. You will need:

  • Several sets of equipment – one set per station, plus at least 2 full spare sets to cover breakage. As well as enough kits so that you can properly sanitize everything for each customer. Consider how long it takes to fully complete the sanitizing process when working this out.
  • Adequate nail care materials – enough materials to take you through a typical week, plus a bit extra.
  • Manicure stations – fully equipped with storage facilities for equipment and materials. The stations must be comfortable for the customer and technicians.
  • Pedicure chairs (if you offer the service)
  • Nail polish and nail display racks
  • Drying lamps
  • Sanitizing equipment
  • Staff hygiene facilities – including toiletries for the staff and customer toilets


Before you open your salon, advertise it well. Target what you spend so that the people you are trying to attract are more likely to see your launch marketing materials.

It is also worth investing in digital signs for nail salons. Most customers are going to be in your salon for between 30 and 60 minutes. During which time you have their full attention. A time that you can use to make them aware of your exclusive offers and other services.

Digital screens are perfect for this, our eyes are naturally drawn to them, and it is a non-intrusive, yet effective way to market to people. It is also worth considering displaying ads for local businesses on your screens as well to earn a little extra cash.

Following the above advice will help you to make a success of your business. But don´t make this the only research you do. Take your time and only invest when you are sure you have worked out all the costs.

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