So you think you want to open your own salon?

March 23, 2008

Ah, small business ownership.  The Great American Dream.

I talk people out of it all the time.

The biggest reason?  There is less money in it than you think.

The next biggest?  It is more work than you think.

The next?  Just because you are a good hairdresser doesn’t mean you will be a good business owner.

Here is an article for you that gives you some myths and realities about small business ownership.


Myth #1 – Life is easier when you’re your own boss and you own the business.
Reality – Nope. Not a chance. You become the face of your company. Anything that goes wrong, or that doesn’t go perfectly right is 100 percent your fault. You have to fix it. If one of your employees drives your $45,000 delivery truck across a newly poured concrete driveway and cracks it to pieces, you get to pay for it. If your credit manager mistakenly writes down the wrong lien date on the legal paperwork, you get to eat the loss. If you screw up on your taxes, you don’t get to blame anyone else. If someone claims they got sick at your restaurant, I hope you have insurance and a good attorney. You get to pay both of those bills, too.

Here is another with reasons to not be an entrepreneur.


8. Lack Of Reward Begats Lower Motivation – When running your own business, there really is no telling when you will be rewarded or even how you will be rewarded. You may hope for a bigger bank balance or aspire to develop an industry leading product, but that can’t happen without motivation and drive. Becoming an entrepreneur essentially means taking risks in hope of receiving reward, but without ever really knowing when the reward will come. If that’s something you can’t deal with, then starting your own business is not the ideal choice.

Yes.  I know that some people have huge success with their own salon.  But the truth of the matter is that most salons make little or no profit other than the income the working hairdresser/owner generates.  You can read more about this topic in  The E-Myth.

What is the E-Myth?

The “E-Myth,” or Entrepreneurial Myth, is the flawed assumption that people who are expert at a certain technical skill will therefore be successful running a business of that kind.

  • “I want to be my own boss”
  • “I want to make more money”
  • “I want to have have more time to enjoy my life”

Most small business owners assume that owning their own business will deliver on these goals.

It’s a common misconception that because someone understands the nuts-and-bolts technical work, they will similarly understand how a business providing that sort of product or service should function.

If you are hell bent on the idea of going into business for yourself, please do yourself a favor and spend a good year researching the industry and deciding what you will do to be different and to stand out in a crowded marketplace.  Don’t do it because you think the salon owner you are working for is getting rich off of your hard work (chances are they aren’t.)

Here is an article with a very basic checklist for first time business owners.

Here is an article about determining startup costs.

The last thing the world needs is just another salon.


6 Responses to “So you think you want to open your own salon?”

  1. Ron Says:

    Hey there Aura Mae,
    Thank you so much for linking to my article! Running a business IS vastly different than most people realize, isn’t it? You have a unique perspective on running a salon and it sounds like it isn’t a bed of roses! (much like a lumberyard) 🙂

  2. […] GSH archive) Filed under: startup — Aura Mae @ 5:59 pm Tags: business, owner, salon So you think you want to open your own salon? Filed under: beauty, salon — Tags: e-myth, entrepeneur, owner, salon — Aura Mae @ 4:14 pm Edit […]

  3. Ms. 6figures Says:

    I think that you are full of ***T but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I bet that you u are sitting and rolling in doe (money that is). U probably own five or six companies and trying to hold every 1 back from their dreams.Ain’t that dirty i think you should take your idea and shouve it.Beside people can never accomplish their dreams without taking a risk . Look at you for an example you new that you were risking being talked about. Get real. Its not right trying to discourage everyone else. Think positive not negative.

  4. Bob Says:

    I don`t believe that this article was written to try to shatter anyones dreams or to be negative about owning a small business. I do believe though that everything in this article is very true. It`s a long hard road and you have to have the brains and the thick skin to make it thru the tough times. The road will be very bumpy.
    But if it`s your dream the go for it!

  5. Illuminating and entertaining! Ive added your web log to my reading material. Please keep me updated!

  6. […] realized that I am the classic E-Myth example: I am the woman who loved baking pies, so she opened a pie baking business… only to […]

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