Starting Your Own Beauty Salon: A Guide to Success

Starting Your Own Beauty Salon: A Guide to Success

Kurt GraverBusiness Start-up Advice, Business Start-up Guides

Over the past few years, personal services businesses like beauty salons and tattoo parlours have seen significant growth.

The trend towards hair and beauty services in High Streets and shopping centres has increased by 5.9%, with an additional 5,100 premises operating compared to pre-pandemic times.

In most high streets, hair and beauty services have become the most common type of shop, overtaking pubs and bars, which previously held that position in March 2020. Tattoo parlours and piercing studios have seen particularly significant growth, with a rise of 8.2%, resulting in 350 more establishments in March this year than before the Covid restrictions. 

The beauty industry has also been boosted by the growing popularity of self-care and wellness, as more people seek treatments and services that help them look and feel their best. This has led to the growth of established beauty salons and new, up-and-coming businesses, creating a thriving and competitive beauty industry in the UK.

The tattoo industry has seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years, with more and more people opting for tattoos as a form of self-expression. The rise of social media has also played a role in this growth, as people are more likely to share images of their tattoos and inspire others to get their tattoos.

In addition, advancements in tattoo technology, such as developing high-quality inks and needles, have made it easier for artists to create intricate and high-quality tattoos. This has helped to increase the popularity of tattoos and the growth of the tattoo industry.

Starting your beauty salon or tattoo parlour can be rewarding and lucrative. Still, it requires careful planning, preparation, and research to create an inviting customer atmosphere, build a loyal clientele and manage daily operations. 

This blog will help you get started.

What Does It Take to Start a Beauty Salon or Tattoo Parlour?


You do not necessarily need a formal qualification to operate a beauty salon in the UK. However, having experience and knowledge in the industry can be very helpful in managing and running a successful salon.

It is recommended that individuals who want to operate a hair and beauty salon have some background in the industry, either through work experience or education. This can include completing a hair and beauty course, working as a stylist or therapist, or managing a salon.

While there is no specific qualification required to operate a tattoo parlour, many tattoo artists choose to complete a professional training program or apprenticeship to gain the necessary skills and knowledge. These programs often cover anatomy, sterilisation and hygiene, and tattoo equipment’s safe and effective use.

In some cases, the local council may require that the person responsible for the tattoo parlour have a certain level of experience or training, such as a certification from a recognised tattoo organisation.

It is important to note that the requirements for operating a tattoo parlour can vary depending on the local council, so it is essential to research and understand the regulations and requirements in your area.

Unique Selling Point

Personal services are highly competitive, and it’s important to understand the local market to stand out from competitors. To do this, you should take the following steps.

  1. Offer customised services to clients based on their individual needs and preferences. Personalised attention can help build trust and loyalty with clients, making them more likely to return.
  2. Create a unique atmosphere in your salon or parlour that distinguishes you from your competitors. Use attractive décor, lighting, and furnishings to create a welcoming and relaxing environment.
  3. Invest in high-quality products and equipment to ensure the best possible results for your clients. Offer a range of products and services that cater to different needs and preferences.
  4. Hire knowledgeable and skilled staff who can provide expert advice and support to clients. Ensure your staff is trained in the latest techniques and technologies to offer the best possible services.
  5. Get involved in your local community by sponsoring local events, supporting local charities, and participating in community activities. This will help build your reputation and bring in new clients.
  6. Use innovative marketing strategies to reach potential clients. Utilise social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing techniques to promote your services and build your brand.
  7. Online Booking: Offer online booking services to make it easy for clients to schedule appointments. This will help streamline your operations and make them more convenient for clients.
  8. Encourage customer feedback and use it to make improvements to your services. Offer incentives for clients who provide feedback, such as discounts or special offers.
  9. Offer referral programs to incentivise your current clients to refer new clients to your business. This can be a cost-effective way to grow your customer base and increase your revenue.
  10. Offer special promotions and packages to attract new clients and keep existing clients coming back. Consider offering seasonal promotions, loyalty programs, and other incentives to keep your clients engaged and coming back for more.

Cost of Starting a Beauty Salon or Tattoo Parlour

The cost of opening a beauty salon or tattoo parlour can vary greatly depending on the size and location of your business and the services you plan to offer. 

The startup costs can range from £10,000 to £100,000 or more.

Some of the biggest costs when opening a beauty salon or tattoo parlour include:

  1. Rent is one of the biggest costs when opening a beauty salon or tattoo parlour. You’ll need to find a suitable location and negotiate the lease with the landlord. In many cases, landlords will require a security deposit, ranging from 3 to 9 months’ rent.  You also need to factor in business rates, which could be up to 50% of your annual rent.
  2. You’ll need to purchase all the necessary equipment and supplies for your salon or parlour, including chairs, sinks, mirrors, lighting, and beauty or tattoo supplies. The cost of these items can add up quickly and be a significant expense.
  3. You’ll need to refurbish and fit out the property to make it suitable for your business. This may include painting, installing flooring, electrical work, and plumbing.
  4. You’ll need to hire employees to work in your salon or parlour, and their salaries will be an ongoing expense.
  5. Marketing is an important part of starting a business, and you’ll need to budget for advertising, promotional materials, and other marketing efforts.
  6. Insurance: You’ll need to purchase liability insurance to protect your business in case of accidents or injuries. This coverage can protect you from costly legal fees if anything happens on the premises.
  7. The main reason why most startups fail is that they run out of money. It is important to forecast how long it will take for you to break even. Until you break even, you will need to have enough working capital to cover your expenses.

How To Fund A Beauty Salon Or Tattoo Parlour

  1. Personal savings: If you have personal savings, this can be a great way to get started. Consider how much of your savings you can invest in your business and ensure enough left over to cover your expenses.
  2. Small business loans: Small business loans are available from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. These loans can provide the capital you need to start your barbershop or hair salon. Compare interest rates and repayment terms to find the best loan for your business.
  3. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a way to raise money from many people, typically through an online platform. You can create a campaign, set a funding goal, and share it with your network to encourage people to contribute.
  4. Angel investors: Angel investors provide funding in exchange for a stake in your business. This type of funding can be more difficult to secure, but it can provide the capital you need to grow your business quickly.

Choosing a Location For Your Beauty Salon or Tattoo Parlour

Choosing the right location is crucial to your success. A high-traffic area with low overhead costs and good visibility is ideal. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a location for your beauty salon:

  1. A high-traffic area will help you attract more customers and build your client base. Look for a location that is easily accessible to your target audience and has a lot of foot traffic.
  2. Overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, and property taxes, can quickly add up and eat into your profits. Choosing a location with low overhead costs can help you keep your expenses under control and maximise your profitability.
  3. A location with good visibility from the street can help you attract more customers and increase your brand recognition. Consider your salon’s visibility from the street and its proximity to other businesses, local amenities and public transport.
  4. Make sure your location is easy for customers to access and park. Look for a location with convenient parking options, either on-site or nearby, to make it easier for customers to visit your salon.
  5. Consider the competition in the area. While you want to be in a high-traffic area, you don’t want to be surrounded by too many other beauty salons. Look for a location with minimal competition to help you stand out and attract more customers.

Licensing and Permits for Beauty Salons & Tattoo Parlours

As part of your business plan, you need to acquire the licences and permits for your beauty salon. 

Register your business with the local council, which allows the local authority to check that you are following health and safety rules. 

You may also need to display a copy of your licence where it can be easily seen by customers and members of the public and a copy of any bylaws made under Section 77 of the Public Health Act 1961.

Insurance Requirements Beauty Salons & Tattoo Parlours

The type of insurance required for a hair salon, beauty salon, or tattoo parlour can vary depending on the specific services offered and the local regulations. 

However, here are some common types of insurance that are typically required or recommended for these types of businesses:

  1. Liability Insurance: This type of insurance covers damages or injuries that may occur on the premises of your business, such as a client being burned during a hair or beauty treatment or a client experiencing an adverse reaction to a tattoo.
  2. Property insurance covers damage or loss to your business property, such as equipment, furnishings, and supplies.
  3. Business Interruption Insurance: This insurance covers loss of income if your business is disrupted due to a covered event, such as a fire or flood.
  4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, this type of insurance covers their medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a work-related injury or illness.

The specific insurance requirements for a hair salon, beauty salon, or tattoo parlour can vary depending on the local regulations and the specific services offered. 

You must consult a professional insurance broker to determine the right coverage for your business.

Equipment and Furnishing Requirements for Beauty Salons & Tattoo Parlours

Your beauty salon should be inviting and reflective of your style and services. Choose furniture and equipment. Ensure tables, mirrors, and beauty supplies match your vision for the salon. 

Choose décor, such as branded signage, artwork, paint colours, and lighting, that adds to the salon’s atmosphere and makes it appealing to customers.

Additionally, ensure that your beauty salon is properly equipped and furnished. This may include areas for facials, manicures, and more, each with the necessary equipment and supplies. 

Ensure that the salon meets fire-safety standards, with certain areas such as the sink area and drying stations built to prevent fires, and that the salon is properly ventilated.


Starting a beauty salon or tattoo parlour can be rewarding and lucrative. However, it requires careful planning, preparation, and research to ensure the success of your business. By understanding the necessary licences and permits, insurance requirements, and startup costs, you can ensure that your beauty salon or tattoo parlour is fully equipped to provide quality services to your clients.

In addition, it is important to consider the type of services you want to offer, the location of your business, and the type of atmosphere you want to create. Investing in quality equipment and furnishings can create an inviting and professional environment that will attract clients and help you build a loyal customer base.

Finally, having a solid business plan, budget, and marketing strategy is important to help you reach your goals and grow your business. Whether starting a beauty salon, tattoo parlour, or both, with the right planning and preparation, you can create a successful and profitable business that allows you to express your creativity and earn a steady income.

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