Opening A Nail Salon: What You Need To Know

Marketing & Sales, Salon Software
5 minute read

After earning your nail technician license, you may be wondering what to do next. Opening a nail salon business can be highly profitable. With the right location, services, software, and equipment, it won’t be long until you own a successful nail salon. Having said that, there are a few key steps you want to follow to improve your chances of success.

Opening a Nail Salon Checklist

  1. Create a Business Plan

  2. Register Your Business

  3. Start Marketing Your Nail Salon

1 - Create a Business Plan

Every business should start with a business plan. It solidifies your business ideas into an actionable plan. However, creating a business plan requires extensive research. Your business plan should include market research, estimated costs, and future goals.

Find Your Niche & Target Audience

Before you decide on a location, it’s important to research the market. To get an idea of what works, visit nearby nail salons and take note of their services.

Is there a long waiting list for appointments? Are the nail salons lacking key services that you could offer? The idea is to find a niche for your nail salon business. You want to offer services that are in high demand and hard to come by.

For services, you can start with basic manicures, pedicures, and nail designs. A nail salon can offer a wide range of services. It’s better to offer a handful of services than an extensive list.

How Profitable is a Nail Salon?

Nail salons can be highly profitable. The average profit margin for nail salons is between 8 and 17%. A single nail salon can generate between $30,000 to $75,000 a year. The location of your nail salon is the main factor that will affect your profit. 

How Much Do You Need to Invest in a Nail Salon?

To start a new nail salon you need to invest in property expenses, equipment, and employees. Real estate fees will make up the majority of your business expenses. You can expect to pay between $75 to $125 for each square foot of space. A small office could cost $75,000 to $120,000.

To save on upfront costs, you can rent an office space. Another idea is to offer your nail salon services from your home. Naturally, prices for a nail salon office will be much higher in populated cities.

Once you found a location, it’s time to invest in equipment.

What Equipment is Required for a Nail Salon Business?

The equipment you need depends on the services your nail salon offers. For example, you may need pedicure chairs, technician stools, and nail technician kits.

The most expensive equipment would be in the furniture category. For instance, chairs, workstations, and desks. As your business grows, you may want to invest in electric nail drill machines.

2 - Register Your Business

To avoid legal issues down the line, you should be on top of business issues. File for the necessary permits and register the business. You should also consider opening a business bank account.

Hire an Accountant

Hiring an accountant and registering your business from the get-go is important. A good accountant will save you money in the long run. An accountant will also help with bookkeeping and payroll. A good accountant will free up your time and let you focus on the front end of your business.

Register an LLC

If you have a dedicated office space, you should register your nail salon as an LLC. The exact steps to register an LLC will vary depending on your location. An LLC offers protection against legal and financial issues.

In simple terms, an LLC separates your business assets from your personal. It also provides many tax benefits. Unless you work from home or as a solo operation, you should register an LLC.

Obtain Permits

You want to make sure your business has all the necessary permits to conduct business in your area. The exact requirements for a nail salon business vary depending on your location. It may be a good idea to hire a lawyer or consultant to determine the exact requirements.

You may need a cosmetology license, business license, zoning permit, and others. The permits you need will depend on the services your nail salon offers.

Besides permits, you also need to pay attention to local laws and regulations.

3 - Marketing Your Nail Salon

Once the foundation of your nail salon is ready, it’s time to start marketing your business. Nowadays you don’t need to rely completely on foot traffic or word of mouth for business.

Create a Business Website

Every small business should have a website to establish an online presence. The purpose of your website is to make it easy for people to book appointments. Your website should have detailed information about your nail salon and services.


Nowadays, most businesses are using Instagram to promote their services. Consider creating an Instagram page for your nail salon. It also acts as a portfolio for your services. People can browse the nail designs on your Instagram and then message you to book an appointment.


Facebook is still the world’s most popular social media platform. However, conducting business on Facebook can be a hit or miss. Even so, it’s a good idea to have a registered Facebook page for your business. Remember, Facebook and Instagram can be interlinked. 

Giveaways or Discounts

Consider offering promotions, discounts, or giveaways. Offer customers discounts for sharing their manicures on their personal social media pages.

List Your Business on Google

Listing your local business on Google is critical. When people search for nearby nail salons, yours will appear in the search results. Use Google My Business, a free tool, to register your business on Google.

Paid Advertisements

There are many free marketing strategies, but you may want to use paid advertisements. For example, consider using Facebook, Instagram, or Google ads. Sponsoring your social media posts is another way to boost engagement and visibility. 

Final Thoughts:

To summarize, opening a nail salon may seem challenging at first but the payoffs are worth it. Once established, the business should operate smoothly without much effort on your part.


Topics: Marketing & Sales, Salon Software
Posted on December 20, 2022