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How we built our hair salon

Updated on November 5, 2014

I wish I had known then what I know now!

The intent of this lens is to help someone who is trying to open their own salon or small business. I will share information about the process that we went through and hopefull provide some great resources so the process is a bit smoother for you!

This is a lens in progress. It is not 100% complete yet but it is on it's way. Let me know if you want to see any aspect in particular!

*the photos on this lens were taken with my iPhone unless otherwise noted*

Connie's Coiffures
Connie's Coiffures

Find a place

So we looked at a couple of different places. We finally decided on a salon that the owner was ready to retire. She ended up being the owner of the building and now she is the landlord. We sat down with her and negotiated a lease with her for a 3 year commitment with an option to renew for 3 more years and to have first right of refusal to buy the building if it went on sale.

The salon had been in business for 27 years so it was a bit outdated. We had our work cut out for us.

demo day 2
demo day 2

Tear it all down!

So we can build it back up!

The following are some random pictures of the tear-down and build out of the space. It took about 30 days total with a few bumps in between. We got a brick through the front door and someone stole all of our tools! Eventually the police caught the guy. A drug addict who liked breaking into salons and small businesses with cash on hand. (we accept cc only!)

It was so rewarding to create our own space. It was a collaboration between Matthew, my sister Bonnie Jordan and I with our construction consultant Carlos & Pater!

We love Birgit!
We love Birgit!

These things are critical!

1. Decide how you want to set up your business. Do you want a LLC, DBA, or???? Consult a Lawyer!

2. Write up your company / ownership agreement with a lawyer. Remember a good lawyer will meet with you and give you recommendations / consulation without paying him first.

3. Get a great accountant. Ask them a ton of questions before you do anything.

4. Trust them and do what they say. They know a lot about their business just like you know a lot about yours!

We use and recommend B&B Financial Consulting

Matthew Holman & James Jordan
Matthew Holman & James Jordan

Salon Blog

So the first thing I did once we worked out our business plan was to start a blog. You can see it at . The next thing I did was to create a website. I used sitebuilder on yahoo. It was very affordable. But not so easy. So recently I was able to change the format to a new better version. Check it out I hope you like it!

As we all know from Squidoo, the more web presence you have and the more points for people to link back to your site the better! So, from learning about squidblog I started to look at word press and decided to do a blog in their format as well. It has a different feel to it and seems to have a lot more options than blogger does. I think this is definitely the choice for those who know a little bit about blogging.

Please take a look and leave a comment!

Matthew Ray Salon top 100 Salons in America
Matthew Ray Salon top 100 Salons in America

Now that it is built we had to start getting the word out

Any press is good press

The big thing for business is getting people to find out about your services and products.

Here is our latest press. Click on the picture to read the e magazine. She the list on pg 58-58

Matthew Homan post work out hair tips
Matthew Homan post work out hair tips

US Weekly

Check out Matthew Holman's post work out hair tips in the February Issue of US Weekly magazine!

Social Media

Make sure you learn all about what you can do to reach out on the internet.

Please like our Facebook page!

Follow us on Twitter

GH 2013 hair by Matthew Holman
GH 2013 hair by Matthew Holman

Good Housekeeping Magazine March 2013

Alison Sweeney's hair by Matthew Holman

Artisan Article
Artisan Article

More Press

The Artisan Magazine Summer 2010

A great article about what it is like to work in the hair and make up room for Days of Our Lives. Great press for Matthew Holman, salon owner!

These types of articles etc really help to raise awareness of your business and you want to put them everywhere you can- your website, squidoo page, facebook page, etc.

Alison Sweeney hair by Matthew Holman
Alison Sweeney hair by Matthew Holman

People Magazine

Alison Sweeney bikini shoot for People Magazine. Hair by Matthew Holman.

KMS California Session Stylist Search 2010 photographic contest
KMS California Session Stylist Search 2010 photographic contest

Judging Competitions

Judging competitions in your own industry help with raising confidence with prospective customers and create additional press exposure for your business. Check out the KMS California Session Stylist Search 2010.

Some Of Our Press

Check out how we keep the buzz going about our salon and what we do as stylists!

Let us know what challenges you had. Or do you have a question about opening a salon or small business? There are so many resources here we can all make our businesses even better!

What's your experience opening your business? - Share something you learned with us!

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      4 years ago

      Looks like your hard work has paid off.

    • Hairdresser007 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Jordan 

      4 years ago from Burbank, CA

      @Deannamay LM: Then you know exactly how it goes!

    • Deannamay LM profile image

      Deannamay LM 

      4 years ago

      Like you lens. I went thru the same thing (building a new salon) three times, not fun. But worth it in the end.

    • yayang0405 lm profile image

      yayang0405 lm 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 

      4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Great information Hairdresser. Wish you greater success in your business.

    • Hairdresser007 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Jordan 

      5 years ago from Burbank, CA

      @takkhisa: We agree with you 100%! We love our clients and they love us (or so we hope!).

      We have to markets some though since clients naturally leave to a salon that is more convenient or they just move etc.

      What we try to deliver is an experience that they will enjoy and get the hair that they are looking for.

    • takkhisa profile image


      5 years ago

      I wish if I could visit your salon someday! I know many small organizations fail to generate profit and customers' love because they only think of "marketing" but the real issue is - you have to deliver the best customer value! So you have to think of customer value creation. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this story about opening your salon. It is an encouraging story and I enjoyed reading it.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I opened an insurance brokerage at the age of 23. That was 8 1/2 years ago. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. I don't think I could do it again. Thanks for a great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Salon build out - Do I need to hire a GC & an architect? I'm on a limited budget & don't want to do anything elaborate. My husband is very handy can he do any of the work? The plumbing? How can I save money? Help please! I will be located in Coral Springs, Florida.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is really cool.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, and it is wonderful to read an entrepreneurial success story! Finding and keeping good people is always a challenge.

    • Hairdresser007 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Jordan 

      7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      @kimark421: Thank you! I cannot believe we are approaching our 3 year anniversary!

    • kimark421 profile image


      7 years ago

      Good lens. It is a huge challenge to start a business from the ground up, and I wish you continued success in the future.

    • Hairdresser007 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Jordan 

      7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      @anonymous: We have a very unique business model and run the business like an art studio. So we both have day time jobs and work there sometimes on the weekends and evenings on our favorite clients. Takes about 2-4 hours a week to manage so it is not too bad so far!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have never had a brick and mortar business, too much work for me. Nice lens.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Glad to hear you are making your dream happen! My hubby and I owned two small hobby businesses (many moons ago). It was very challenging while raising two babies and hubby working full-time at another job. Best Wishes with your salon business.

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Some very important points raised here on opening a successful business, Well done. Featured it on How to start an online business

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've worked in the corporate world for almost 2 decades and have never owned a brick and mortar business. I'm sure there are a lot of variables to take into account. Looks like this lens is taking shape. If I were to open a salon business, I'd like to have a checklist of things to do, so may be you can include that in this lens (since you asked for suggestions). Wishing you the best and much success! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      First, thanks for your nice remarks today on my lens about becoming a writer. I like this lens and I like your bio of "Secret agent hairdresser doing business..." :). Your reading choices are especially great and will help a lot of people who are opening new businesses.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good luck in your business...

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Checked out your pics, beautiful Salon! Bravo! I'm just getting ready to pull my hair through a cap! Really need a foil though :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I hope you are enjoying great success in your business.

      Good info.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Grrr... There are too many to list. Wish I had more time to expound on the subject, but I;m on the fly right now. . Cool subject! ~ Nice work, and keep it coming...

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 

      8 years ago

      Rockin' Lens and very nice website. It's very clean and easy to use. Good sutff. Good luck!!

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      8 years ago from Quezon City

      I've never opened my own business so thank you for sharing your experience and all this information! I'm sure having your very own salon must've been really rewarding for you after all that hard work.Good luck, I'm sure you will do great! (:


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