Business plan for setting up a home-based beauty salon.

Obviously, if you are planning on opening a large spa or beauty salon with employed staff members you will have a lot more to consider. This blog post is aimed more at small home-based beauty salon startups.

Get yourself a spreadsheet and work out your start-up costs. Have a very good think about what you really need. You don’t need 300 nail polishes and the most expensive beauty couch! There are great companies like NWES to help people write business plans. At the moment they offer free courses for you to attend. However, I believe NWES is funded by the EU, so I’m not sure how long this will continue.

Logo, branding and website

Get this right from the start when starting up a beauty salon. It’s a good idea to spend a little bit of time on this. Have a good think about branding colours, fonts etc. Remember to Google the business name you pick to make sure it’s not been copyrighted or overused. My husband was a software engineer for 15 years and he creates beautiful websites. He has some great packages on websites for small businesses. Aperature design. Aperture Design can help figure out exactly what you need from your business. If you have a small budget for a logo I recommend canva. Canva is really easy to use and, for free, you can get a low res logo. When picking colours, chat to your art and design friends. They will know what colours compliment each other.

website design

Register with HRMC

Call up HRMC and register your new beauty salon business. They are super friendly and extremely helpful. They are there to help you. Don’t believe things your friends tell you that you can put through the books as expenses. Always check on the HMRC website. It’s very clear, take your time to have a really good read. There are many sections about being self employed and it is worth ensuring that you fully understand it. If there is anything that you are not sure about – then call them. You can even tweet HMRC and ask them questions on their twitter feed! You can claim for laundry and household bills, but obviously not the whole bill. Just a percentage! If you claim for things that aren’t true expenses this is a form of tax dodging! Same as ‘cash in hand’. Just declare what you earn. Paying taxes is what keeps our schools free and our National Health Service running. Plus, you will sleep better at night knowing you are doing things correctly. Well, I do!

Spreadsheet or accounts software?

Again, get this right from the start. I started off using a bookkeepers notebook and regretted it. If you aren’t computer minded then outsource it. Although I strongly recommend you learn how to set up a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your costs. If this is something that you really can’t get to grips with, then consider using a software package like Quickbooks or Sage. There are various bookkeeping packages out there and it will be up to you to decide which is better for your needs. Some are free and others are subscription based. Most offer a free trial and this can help you decide which package suits you best. When you are in charge of your own accounts you can work out how much tax you are expected to pay at the end of the tax year. Don’t spend the 20% tax money, it’s not yours! Work it out each month and put it in another account. There is no such thing as a surprise tax bill, it comes at the same time every year! Analyse your profit from each treatment and work out which treatments are the best to promote. A large part of running a beauty salon is admin related, but this becomes easier over time as you become used to running your own business!

In the UK the first £12,500 you earn is tax-free (this is for 2019/20 but is subject to change in following years). You only pay 20% on what you earn after that (subject to change once you earn over £50,000). Don’t forget that you pay NI (National Insurance) on top, so the way that I work it out is to ignore the tax free amount that you can earn and put the whole amount to one side. So, if you offer eyelash extensions for £40 infills, £8 of that is to be set aside as tax money. It’s not yours, so don’t spend it! £32 is your earnings from that treatment. Don’t forget to work out the cost of the materials that you use for each treatment to know your hourly rate also. I see far too many people working for less than minimum wage. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of running the business like insurance and the other bills mentioned above. Don’t sell yourself short.

This is only my way of doing it, but by putting the whole 20% to one side you know you will have enough to pay your tax bill at the end of the year and have a little spare! I strongly believe in having a little rainy day money in the bank. Don’t forget that you don’t get SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) from the government if you are self-employed. Again, the website is a valuable source of information for becoming self employed.


This is heavily underestimated. I hear so many people saying “loads of my friends will come and see me”. They will to start with, but you can’t expect your business to run on friendship. Although sadly most friends will expect ‘mates rates’ or swap for a bottle of wine. I would recommend outsourcing marketing or learning it yourself. Google has lots of free courses available on marketing your business. Don’t pay out for any social media or Google ads before you have done some training on how to target your audience. This is something that NWES touches on in the course mentioned above and more local councils are starting to fund small business training too. Keep an eye out on their social media and websites for more information.

Marketing your business can happen on various different platforms. People will often think about the main things like Facebook or Instagram, but don’t forget that adding your business to Yell or Google listings will help too. If you can, try to build up relationships with other local businesses. A collaboration between businesses is good and helps with your business profile.

Admin for risk assessment, MSDS sheets, Insurance, first-aid training etc

Although you don’t strictly need to do a risk assessment if you have no staff, I strongly recommend you do. I have a beauty salon risk assessment page on my website, along with a cross infection infection control policy. This is an area that I am passionate about and believe it is something that a lot of salons don’t spend enough time considering. MSDS sheets that are printed out are extremely important. You should have a printed MSDS sheet for every product you use and keep it in an easy to find folder. I use Salon Gold for my beauty insurance. It doesn’t cover loss of earnings, but they will protect you against lots of other stuff.

Again, you don’t need first-aid training if you don’t have staff, but it’s a good idea to know some basics. Allergic reactions are the most common I would say happen in the beauty salon. I avoid nut-based body oils. Grapeseed oil is a nice one.



Any questions or feel I have missed something out? Please comment below.