September 2012

LeAnne Velona

Strictly for Students| by LeAnne Velona


Remodeling Your Salon on a Budget

For most salon owners, remodeling may seem like a daunting task – especially if you're on a budget. But, in an industry based on enhancing image, it's important to keep your salon looking its best.

Your salon's image gives your business credibility for understanding and appreciating appearance. More importantly, if your salon is outdated, it will give the impression that your cutting and styling techniques also are outdated.

An updated space will make clients feel confident about receiving a great look and great products. Luckily, remodeling does not have to leave you penniless, and there are several budget-friendly ways to upgrade your salon.

The lobby is the first thing customers see, so if you are going to do any remodeling, update this space first. A new coat of paint is a guaranteed way to get noticed. Try to focus on more cool, inviting colors (blue-green) versus harsh, bright colors (red), which customers may perceive as unpleasant and tense in comparison to cool-color retail environments.

The reception area should be well-organized and aesthetically appealing. Having a nice reception area tells customers that you are proud of your business and they can expect the rest of the salon to be in equally good condition.

When it comes to buying a reception desk, there are many mainstream furniture retailers and manufacturers to choose from. To save some cash, consider purchasing from eBay and Craigslist if you don't mind using a secondhand desk.

The waiting area of the lobby should be a comfortable place for clients to sit. Consider incorporating a variety of seating options, from chairs to couches to chaise lounges. If you aren't able to spring for new furniture, re-upholster what you currently have. Other than the furniture, spruce up this part of the salon by adding decorative touches, such as throw pillows, a coffee table, candles and art pieces.

Since retail products generate about 25 percent of a salon's profit, display the products at the front of the salon where they are easily accessible to customers. Statistics show that U.S. customers tend to drift to the right when they enter a store, so your best bet is to place products with the highest profit margins to the right of the entrance and slightly right of the middle of the shelves.

While remodeling your salon, it might be time to consider upgrading your styling stations, also. The type of stations you need depends on how your floor plan is laid out. There are many kinds of stations to choose from, such as wall mount, double (back to back), triples (triangle), quadruples, or a combination of different types of stations for an efficient and dynamic floor plan. Mirrors will add dimension to spaces, especially in long, narrow shops. Look for stations that have tool holders and space for electric cords to keep your salon looking clean and clutter-free. There are many resources and places to buy online, so shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal.

If you're remodeling your styling stations, shampooing and drying stations should also receive an upgrade. As a rule of thumb, there should be one shampoo bowl for every three stylists. However, new equipment means big expenses, so be sure that you factor any equipment purchases into your budget before getting started. You also can help keep initial costs down through financing and leasing, or by purchasing used equipment.

The full-service trend keeps growing strong at salons. If you want to add a facial or massage room to your salon, modular walls are becoming more popular because of shorter installation times and easier upkeep. Modular walls come in a variety of wood grains and colors, and they don't need to be painted and can easily be wiped clean. Salon owners are finding modular walls to be the most cost-effective choice in remodeling for the fact that the walls are reconfigurable, allowing owners to change the salon layout down the road. If you are planning for a facial room, try to keep it in a quiet area.

Some little changes to your salon can go a long way, such as adding a fresh coat of paint in the restroom, rearranging the seating area in the waiting room, hanging new artwork or adding fresh flowers at the reception desk. Always make sure to keep surfaces and floors clean, and consider buying additional attractive storage boxes for supplies to keep the salon looking organized.

From the reception area to the waiting area to the restrooms, the space and design of the salon should remain top-of-mind for salon-owners who want to keep customers happy. Your salon should be a place clients want to return to – not just for your amazing services, but because of your inviting space.

LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics and massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for over 18 years and is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Marinello Schools of Beauty offer cosmetology and esthetics programs at campuses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. For more information, visit