Design For Profit

When it comes to designing a salon, picking the color scheme and furniture is the exciting part, but it's still important to remember the bottom line, according to Kristin Chou, vice president of environmentally friendly salon furniture manufacturer Etopa. "At the end of the day, this has to be a functioning business that produces revenue," Chou says. Here, she shares four financial considerations salon owners should keep in mind when planning a build-out.


1. Start by crunching the numbers. Etopa's clients can use the company's space-planning tool to determine how much money they can afford to spend per square foot on designing their salon, as well as how much they can expect to make. "We found that it gets salon owners thinking about revenue generation right from the beginning," Chou says.

2. Make sure your plans include plumbing and electrical specifications. Your architect and contractor will have less to do, which will save you money.

3. Determine your retail space needs. When deciding how much space to devote to the retail area, consider the cost of rent and the amount of foot traffic you'll get. "If you're going into a big retail environment with a relatively high rent per square foot then your salon should have a serious retail component to generate the dollars you need," Chou says.

4. Think portable. Portable furniture is cost-effective because it can be easily moved if a salon relocates. It also gives salon owners the flexibility to change up their space and keep it looking fresh without spending more money. —L.A.