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Are you tired of working for someone else and dreaming of starting your own business in the hair industry? Do you have a passion for hair and beauty but are unsure how to start a hair business with no money?
Well, don't let a lack of money stop you from pursuing your dreams! The hair care market is projected to reach a revenue of $13.44 billion in 2023, and there's a great opportunity for you to claim your portion of that sum.
In this ultimate guide, we'll show you how to turn your love for hair into a successful and profitable business, even if you have never been an entrepreneur before.
So, let's get started and turn your hair business dreams into a reality.
Normally, experts advise starting a business in the hair industry with at least $10,000 to $20,000 for a small one-chair hair salon, where the exact sum depends on its location, equipment, and overall level.
However, it’s realistic to start a hair business without such investments. Still, you will need some funds for essential expenses such as:
To make it with modest finances, there are multiple ways to cut your costs along the way, and we’ll tell you about the best of them.
Opening your own hair business is always a challenge, and doing it without investments is doubly so. This means you will need to plan everything precisely and check yourself before making any payments. But it’s definitely doable, so let’s go through the hows!
Market research is a necessary first step, especially when starting a hair business with no money. It helps you avoid financial loss caused by mismatching your target audience, overspending where it was possible to save, or overlooking changes in the hair industry you might have missed.
Here’s what you need to do:
Also, there are specific kinds of research you can perform to save extra money:
Add the results of this additional research to your vision and continue with the next step.
You might think that if you’re a small business, you won’t need this huge and complicated business plan. If so, you’re both right and wrong. You might need a very simple business plan with just the essential info included. However, it’s crucial for success. If you're wondering how to start a hair business with no money and not having an "extra" budget to risk, proper planning is your key to success
Your business plan is the entrepreneurial map that will help you:
Here’s a structure for a very basic business plan you can use:
Concept and vision
A formulation of the general concept: What will your hair business look like (will you be selling hair extensions?; will it be a hair salon, barbershop, wig business, hair vendor, or something else)? How small or big is it going to be?Which services are you going to offer?What products are you planning to use?How are you going to position yourself?What will your long-term goals be?
Current information about the industry that may influence your actions: e.g., if the industry is in crisis because of a geopolitical situation, or, on the contrary, if it’s on the rise after recent events, you may want to take this into account. Also, there should be location-specific information like local trends, potential challenges, and opportunities you have noticed.
It’s what you learned about your customers in the area: their demographics, income levels, buying habits, daily routines, and other preferences.
It’s what you learned about your competitors: their density in the area, services, prices, kinds of positioning, strength, weaknesses, etc. That will help you stand out from the crowd with your hair business.
Your value proposition, main benefits, list of services, pricing strategy, sales channels, and types of promotions you are going to introduce.
Business operations plan
An outline of your management team structure, the required qualifications for key employees you are planning to hire, and your day-to-day operations, including inventory management, staffing, and customer service policies.
An overview of your potential sources of funding, financial projections, including your opening costs, ongoing expenses, and cash flow and income forecasts.
A concise summary of the key points from each section of the business plan will help you wrap it up and quickly return if anything important should be clarified along the way.
After your plan is set up, it’s time to start your business registration process, and here’s what it will look like:
Research and obtain the necessary permits and licenses required for your hair business, such as a general business license, seller’s permit, and zoning permit. Visit your local SBA (Small Business Administration) office and the Department of Revenue in your state to find out which agencies you need to apply to.
This process may take some time, so you can proceed with the next steps even before the registration process is finished. At least you can start researching the options.
Even—and especially—if you have a minimum budget, choosing the right location will be a crucial point when starting a hair business with no money for your future successful hair business. Here are some tips that will help you do it right and save money at the same time:
Even with a small salon, it's essential to focus on creating a great customer experience. A comfortable chair for waiting, fresh cool water, a coffee machine, candies and cookies, pleasant music, and photographs of your happy customers — such small details may make your salon pleasant to visit.
If you have a very limited budget, purchasing supplies for your hair salon can be challenging, but there are still several options to help you save money:
It’s always important to prioritize quality over price as much as you can. Your hair salon, even if it has only one chair, has to look like a place where someone wants to come and trust their beauty to your hands.
Managing inventory is important for any beauty business, especially one with a limited budget. Shortages, products that have gone out of date, and other similar problems can cause big problems and lead to lost money. Because of this, it is important to set up a good inventory management system from the very beginning.
The Suplery– the inventory management platform is designed specifically for beauty businesses. It will help you:
With Suplery, it's easier to keep track of your inventory. As a hair salon owner, you can spend your time giving services and running your business instead of spending hours figuring out what products are out of stock or have expired.
When hiring staff for a hair business with no money to risk, it's important to carefully consider the positions you need to fill to keep costs low. Maybe you will be a one-person business at the first stage, but if not, here are the steps to follow:
Of course, it's important to keep costs low, but it’s even more important to start well and quickly gain a reputation as a small yet great hair business with highly professional and friendly staff. So when hiring your first employees, it’s crucial to prioritize professionalism and human qualities. If you're wondering how to start a hair business with no money, considering the use of apprentices might be a good option, provided that the most complex tasks are managed by an experienced professional, either you or your employee.
Finally, you are ready to do it—open your own hair business!
Even if you don’t want to spend too much money on the opening ceremony, don’t skip it completely. Instead, you can make it simple yet heartwarming:
The opening is meant to show potential customers what your salon is like and give them a good first impression. Keep things simple yet welcoming in a way that will make them want to come again and recommend you to their friends.
Are you still thinking about how to start an online hair store with no money down? Additional ways to cut your budget when you start a hair business with no money include:
How do you start a hair business with no money? Regardless of how challenging it may seem at first sight, it’s totally possible to accomplish, and thousands of people do it every year. While it may take a bit more effort, management, and strategies to get past the obstacles money can easily solve, it is the end result that matters most.
Creating a well-thought-out business plan, starting small, and using free tools to promote yourself will help you accomplish your goal gradually.
Suplery can help you grow your hair business by delivering professional-grade products right to your door and keeping track of your stock. This is particularly valuable when you're learning how to start a hair business with no money, as you, the owner, will need to handle many tasks independently. So, it’s always better to focus on your business's essentials rather than drown in stuff that can easily be automated.
How much does it actually cost to start a hair business?
Usually, it’s advised to have $10,000 to $20,000 to start a hair business smoothly, but it’s totally possible to cut costs and start with $2,000 or $5,000, which is close to starting a hair business with no money. The exact sum will depend on your location, size, supplies, and other factors.
Is it possible to start a hair business with no money successfully?
Thousands of people do it every year. However, some expenses are unavoidable, such as licenses and permits ($50-$500), tools ($100-$500), hair styling supplies ($200-$500), and workspace rental ($500-$2,000).
How do I start a hair business with no money?
To start a hair business without money to invest, you’ll need to do proper initial research, create a business plan, and search for ways to cut costs all along the way. There are many ways to do that, such as negotiating the location price, purchasing slightly-used equipment, hiring apprentices, etc.
How to start an online hair business with no money?
To start an online hair business with no money, begin by dropshipping or partnering with suppliers for inventory, create a website, and leverage social media for marketing
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Last updated on Apr 20, 2023
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