The Business Side of Beauty: Strategies for Salon Owners and Freelancers

Often overlooked but equally vital, is the business side of running a salon or operating as a freelancer. This guide is tailored to our fellow stylists, whether you're an established salon owner or a freelance stylist looking to succeed in this dynamic industry.

1. Effective Branding and Marketing

Salon Owners:

  • Unique Identity: Define your salon's unique identity, whether it's a focus on eco-friendly products, a specific style, or exceptional customer service. Use this identity to stand out in a competitive market.

  • Online Presence: Invest in a professional website and maintain active social media profiles to showcase your work and engage with clients.


  • Personal Brand: Your name is your brand. Develop a personal brand that reflects your style and expertise. Consistency in branding across your portfolio and social media is key.

  • Networking: Attend industry events, collaborate with other professionals, and build a network to grow your freelance business.

2. Client Relationship Management

Salon Owners:

  • Client Retention: Implement a client loyalty program and maintain regular contact through newsletters or personalized messages to encourage repeat visits.

  • Feedback: Collect feedback from clients and use it to improve services and customer experience.


  • Booking Systems: Invest in a reliable booking system to manage appointments and send reminders. Exceptional client experiences start with smooth scheduling.

  • Client Database: Maintain a client database with notes on preferences, allergies, and past services to personalize your approach.

3. Financial Management

Salon Owners:

  • Budgeting: Establish a budget that covers expenses and allows for growth. Track financial performance regularly.

  • Staff Compensation: Implement fair and competitive compensation packages for your team to attract and retain top talent.


  • Pricing: Determine competitive yet profitable pricing for your services. Consider factors like location, experience, and the market demand.

  • Taxes: Keep accurate records and consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance and maximize deductions.

4. Business Growth

Salon Owners:

  • Expansion: If feasible, consider opening additional locations or diversifying services to expand your business.

  • Marketing Metrics: Analyze marketing data to understand what's working and what needs improvement. Adjust your strategies accordingly.


  • Specialization: Consider specializing in a niche area like bridal styling, color correction, or extensions to stand out in the market.

  • Continual Education: Invest in ongoing education to keep your skills up-to-date and offer the latest trends to clients.

5. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Salon Owners:

  • Licenses and Permits: Ensure your salon complies with all local and state regulations, including licenses, permits, and safety protocols.

  • Insurance: Invest in comprehensive liability insurance to protect your business and assets.


  • Contracts: Always have clear and well-drafted contracts with clients to outline expectations, fees, and cancellation policies.

  • Tax Compliance: Understand your tax obligations as a freelancer and keep meticulous records.

Remember, the beauty industry is not just about making clients look good but also about building a thriving business. By mastering the business side of beauty, whether you're a salon owner or a freelancer, you can achieve long-term success and continue doing what you love.