With skills for cutting hair, hair removal, facials or nail care, the possibility of starting a home-based beauty salon is a real opportunity. There is a great demand for cosmetology services and, without overhead costs, providing the same services as a salon allows for competitive pricing. Here are tips for starting this home-based small business.

Step 1.

Having salon experience will provide confidence for going out on your own. If you have no experience, yet have a flair for hair design, manicures or other cosmetology services, start out by working on family, friends and neighbors to be sure you have the skills that can be marketable. To get additional training, check out local schools and colleges. Courses are affordable and you can be using the skills learned right away. Completing training also allows you to be certified and this certificate can be proudly displayed in your home-based beauty salon.

Step 2.

As with any business opportunity, it is extremely important that you follow local and state laws before you officially open your own salon. Register you small business with the secretary of state office in your state. Check with local ordinances for setting up a home-based service business in the home. There may be a need to insure your business in case anything happens when a client is receiving services at your home. Contact your insurance agent to discuss what options are available.

Step 3.

Locate a working space in your home where there is adequate space with access to water and electricity. If looking at the basement or garage, ensure there is also adequate heat, air conditioning, if needed, and access to fresh air. Keep in mind that wherever the location, there should be an entrance that is clutter-free and accessible for all potential clients. If this area is going to be claimed on income taxes for business use, the entrance needs to be specific for the home business.

Step 4.

If a business loan is needed to purchase equipment and renovate an area for the beauty salon, a business plan should be written. Banks require this to secure a small business loan. There is extensive information on the Small Business Administration website for this and much more. A marketing plan should also be drafted to be used as a "road map," guiding all marketing activities to get you from start up to a well respected small business.

Step 5.

Do a telephone survey of local salons in your area. Know what they offer and charge for those services. Price your services at a lower, yet competitive rate. You want the price to entice clients, but setting the price too low may under rate the quality of your services.

Step 6.

Market your home-based beauty salon. Create and print business cards and hand them out to everyone you come in contact with. Print flyers and brochures highlighting your services offered. A service business will get most of its business from referrals so give them to all your friends and family to pass out. Leave your brochures at businesses where potential clients will see them, such as at bridal shops and day care centers. Have a "meet and greet" open house. Offer family discounts on hair cuts or have a special discounted service on each day of the week.


Starting a home-based beauty salon can be a very profitable business. You set your prices and hours of operation and are in control of the work-life balance. Start out providing limited types of basic services, such as hair styling and manicures. As the business grows additional services, such as facials, tanning and hair removal, can be added until satisfied with the small business in your home.