How‌ ‌To‌ ‌Open‌ ‌a‌ ‌Salon‌ ‌With‌ ‌No‌ ‌Money‌ ‌

Along with the rise of social media, the need to be in the best shape at all times has taken on unprecedented proportions. Beauty standards have crossed all frontiers in our century, and as a result, all kinds of people have begun to demand the services offered by beauty, hair and nail salons. So open a salon!

No matter one’s background, gender, profession or age, everybody wants their appearances to be on fleek. So if you consider getting into the salon business, now is the best time! However, you might not have sufficient funds to open up a salon now, the cost of which can be pretty high. Don’t worry, we gathered some specific tactics you can implement to help you start your career in the beauty industry with limited money. 


Getting Started, open‌ ‌a‌ ‌salon‌ !

The first step of starting any business is to elaborate a business plan. For now, create a one-year plan to keep your goals realistic. Think through everything in your head, then proceed to write it down. Try to be as specific as possible: list all of the tools and equipment you’ll need along with their approximate prices, detail the services you are planning to provide and lay out the methods you are willing to apply to attract clients.

You can build a low-cost salon business plan, which is a model that carries significantly smaller costs than a regular plan would, but allows you to build up the capital and experience necessary to open your dream salon. You might want to consider including the following into your plan:

  • Self-Fund
    • Have a full insight on how much you can self-fund by identifying all your real estate, savings or pension accounts that you can pledge as collateral for a bank loan.
    • In the concept of self-funding, there may even be some room for getting financial support from your friends and family to open‌ ‌a‌ ‌salon‌.
  • Investors
    • Even though self-funding is a very convenient way to do business – as it gives you full control –, it doesn’t always work. Carrying all the financial risks isn’t for everyone, and besides that, there’s always the possibility that no matter how hard you try to find the wherewithal to make your business successful, it just won’t be enough.
    • That’s when getting venture capital from investors comes into the picture. The concept is pretty easy: find someone willing to have a share in your salon, and give it to them in exchange for capital.
  • SBA-Backed Loan
    • Sometimes, your business is considered too risky to get a loan. In this case, you can call upon for the U.S. Small Business Administration to secure your loan.
    • Compare SBA loans at to open‌ ‌a‌ ‌salon‌.

Cost-Effective Approaches


Now that you’ve lined out your financial possibilities, it’s time to think about the practical aspects of running a salon that can help you reach your goals even with limited funds. 

Variations for Physical Space

The most obvious way to reduce costs to your new salon business is to choose the most optimal space for your activity. Now building a salon from scratch can be very pricey even in less busy locations, let alone on a street with high foot traffic and parking spots available. Here are three alternatives you can take on in your first year.

  • Booth Rental
    • Renting a booth at an existing salon is a great way to gain experience and control over your career without having to go bankrupt. 
    • Its advantage is that you already have a well-established infrastructure, all you have to do is shape the place to your liking and create an intimate atmosphere that reflects your personal style. 
  • Home Salon
    • Setting up your salon at home is the cheapest option of all since you don’t have to pay extra for space and utilities to open‌ ‌a‌ ‌salon‌. 
    • Of course, you still have to purchase all the necessary equipment and tools, and you’ll probably have to work harder to attract clients, but if you have no other options, this should be good too.
  • Mobile Salon
    • Many self-employed beauticians choose this because of its lower cost: no rent, utility bills or staff wages take a huge weight off your budget.
    • However, you’ll be spending a lot of time travelling, and if you get out of your general area, petrol costs can rise significantly. 
Building Loyal Clientele

There are a number of ways to attract and keep clients without having to pay anything, like promotion through word of mouth and social media, setting up loyalty and referral programs and providing immaculate service. 

Another method is to offer your clients at-home services. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t operate a mobile salon as your main profile, this is just an additional service that you can provide to your clients who need it. 

Some people have difficulties getting to the salon now and then: they have kids to watch or they just simply don’t want to get out of the comfort of their homes. By providing ‘field-work’, you also gain their loyalty, because people love flexibility coming from their service providers and receiving your beautician into your home creates a kind of intimacy that wouldn’t be possible working in a regular salon.

Thrift for Furniture & Recondition

If you’re a treasure hunter kind of person, we advise you to go on out there and find the items you’re going to furnish your new salon with in thrift/second-hand shops! There are hundreds of ideas on the internet that you can use to recondition used pieces, and as a result, you can get truly authentic furniture that radiates creativity and reflects your personality and taste. 

Not having bought a bunch of mass-produced pieces is an environmentally friendly solution that will surely keep your conscious clear and as a bonus: it saves you a good deal of money!

Equipment & Tools

If you can’t fit buying everything into your budget, we recommend that you set up a priority list with the equipment and tools that are the most important for the time being and the things that can wait to be purchased for a little while. 

You can also borrow the things you need from a fellow beautician in the beginning until you’ve built some capital to get your own and open‌ ‌a‌ ‌salon‌. However, if you’re not a fan of the idea of used equipment, you can always proceed to buy shiny new utensils and tools: there is a selection of good and affordable options you can choose from, but don’t expect to get premium quality with limited resources.

open a salon

These were some of the common ways to get support if you don’t have much money, but still want to have a smack at opening a beauty salon. With expertise and passion, your investments will quickly show a return and you’ll soon be making a profit too that you can further grow your business with!


Related articles:

How to Correctly Price Beauty Services
How to Make More Money as an Esthetician