Quite often we choose a location because the rent is cheap, we can get into a salon that is going out of business, or we're taking over an existing salon. For the most part these are not the right reasons. A cheap location is usually not in a desirable spot for traffic and visibility. You will have to spend more in marketing and advertising dollars to make the public aware of your location. Instead, choose the more visible, higher-traffic area. It also pays to be in a high-rent district if you plan to charge more for services. Think of your location as an advertisement, a billboard if you wish. Remember that rent is usually the least of your worries; it's the operating costs that can kill you.
A salon that is going out of business can be a bargain, but remember that statistics show that the die has been cast for failure in that location. It's hard to change that kind of karma.
Taking over an existing salon can also be a recipe for disaster. My first salon was a takeover. Although it had a small staff, they were totally freaked out about any change. Within three months some walked out and I had to fire the rest. The bottom line: Don't pay for another owner's failure. —Philip Pelusi is a salon owner and product manufacturer.