How to Find the Right Space for Your Salon

Opening a new salon is an overwhelming undertaking, to put it lightly. Luckily, McKenzie Ryan (@mckenzie_ryan), a realtor with Compass in New York City, has some expert insight on the dos, don’ts and everything in between. 

Location One of the first things salon owners need to identify is who the customer is going to be, Ryan says. “If you’re going after a wealthier, more established demographic, that’s one neighborhood; if you’re looking at a younger demographic, it’ll be very different,” she says. Also, make sure to look for a space that’s on the retail floor of an apartment building “because you already have clients upstairs,” she says, and that you have street visibility. That means large windows and a street-level unit to attract foot traffic.  

Northern light exposure, oversized windows and high ceilings make this space at 901 Broadway in New York a great place for a salon to open shop.

Do the Research Ask your real estate agent to show you what the rent or sale prices look like in the building, she suggests. That will help determine your demographic, and you can price your services to match the tenants’ lifestyle. 

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Aim for Aesthetics Elements like high ceilings add a luxurious feel, Ryan notes. “There is a big emphasis on creating a space that allows a customized experience,” she says. “Look at how you can make a space aesthetically pleasing so that clients post to social media when they’re at the salon. Any owner who isn’t focusing on the importance of photography and social media is doing a disservice to themselves.”

Size Matters Ryan recommends that a salon start in no more than 1,500 square feet. “You should always start a little bit smaller and then grow into the business; you don’t ever want to downsize,” she says.

McKenzie Ryan

Main Street For towns and suburbs, Ryan says to find a space on a street with businesses where people run errands, like pharmacies, gyms and supermarkets. “Having those stores on your street will help increase your sales,” she says.

Timing Is Everything You need to see a lot of property, and you need to study it, Ryan recommends. “In this market, see 20-plus properties,” she says. “Stand outside at different times of the day, especially during what you think your peak hours will be, and see what foot traffic looks like.” Also, Ryan notes, research the retail within a five-block radiusand make sure it isn’t overpopulated with other salons.compass.com

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