Starting a new business comes with risks, and the beauty space is a competitive market. However, the beauty industry also produced revenues of up to $49.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. That means if you have the right idea or the right product, there’s plenty of money to be made.
Given that homes with pets in the United States are expected to climb to 71 million households by the end of 2020, it just makes sense to incorporate pets and a pet-friendly environment into the salon experience. Not only does it provide a social experience for clients with dogs, but it also allows for a relaxing trip knowing your pet isn’t home alone. Still, there are unique challenges when starting a salon that’s also welcoming for pets. If you don’t know where to start, let’s go over five tips for launching your pet-friendly salon.
1. Secure financing.
The first step for any new business is to secure financing for your business. Depending on the size of your business and the types of services you plan to offer, start-up costs can range from $40,000 to upwards of $250,000 dollars. If you’re having trouble finding financing, there are plenty of options. For competitive options on commercial loans, check out pacificprivatemoney.com. As a borrower, it’s important to find funding from a company with experience and a strong reputation within the industry, so do your research before you contact a lender. You’ll want a reliable lender like Pacific Private Money, especially if you’re a new borrower and are taking out a loan to start the barbershop of your dreams.
2. Follow all legal guidelines and licensing requirements.
Every state has regulations for salons, barbershops, and beauty businesses, and it’s your responsibility to find out about any licenses and permits your business will need, in addition to what legal guidelines you and your business will be subject to. If you’re planning to allow pets inside, it’s even more essential that you keep your business clean and in excellent shape, so customers feel confident and comfortable when they patronize your business.
3. Obtain equipment and space.
Start with the basics that anyone associates with a salon. Essentials like mirrors, a barber chair, washing and drying stations, and other equipment should all be high-quality. There’s no need to indulge in luxury for luxury’s sake, but equipment that will last and that provides the best experience for the customer is a must for any new salon or barbershop. Make sure your barber chairs have a hydraulic pump which will make it easy for you to use and streamline your barbershop services.
When pets are introduced into the mix, your equipment needs to increase considerably, as you’ll need to “puppy-proof” your space to ensure that there’s nothing harmful within reach of a pet. You’ll also want to consider a play-pen of some kind for smaller dogs that are comfortable socializing.
4. Market to pet owners.
Once you have your salon, you need to find and bring in the customers who are your primary demographic. Offer discounts or loyalty programs in partnership with local pet shops, advertise in neighborhoods known for being pet-friendly, and within the digital space, use targeted social media advertisements to run your ads to those with an interest in pets. It’s important to clarify if there are any restrictions on breed or size, so customers know what to expect before arriving and you won’t have to turn anyone away.
5. Buy plenty of pet supplies.
Given that you’ll probably host a lot of dogs, by far the most popular pet in the U.S., having dog supplies in the shop is a good idea. It never hurts to have extra harnesses and dog collars on hand, so check out a dog harness store and invest in some durable dog leashes and harnesses to have in your shop for any patrons who forget to bring a leash for their pup. Invest in bowls for water, so you can provide one to clients with thirsty pets, and plenty of treats and chew toys. Get a wide variety of treats and toys, as every pet has different needs (especially dietary), so owners can make sure their pet has something they enjoy.
While opening a salon is a massive undertaking that requires a good amount of start-up capital and expertise, the beauty industry remains one of the most profitable, and most recession-proof, in the United States. Given the ever-increasing number of pet owners in the country, combining a popular business like a salon or barbershop with the ability to include your furry friends is a no-brainer for a savvy businessperson. Take each step of the process slowly and be patient as you develop your new business, and you’ll be providing a perfect treat for both pets and their owners in no time.