Hair salon for sale in the UK: What to look for

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Hair salon for sale in the UK: What to look for

The hairdressing industry creates a large range of employment opportunities, with big businesses and independent companies competing alongside each other in a creative market. The powerful influence that emerging and evolving fashion trends have on our society, coupled with our desire to look younger, is one of the main reasons why haircare is such a lucrative sector.

Also, according to Habia, with the economic growth of recent years and an accompanying increase in disposable income, the amount we spend on essentials occupies a smaller proportion of our budget, which leads to greater scope for discretionary spending on hair services. This is great news for hair salon owners, who have no reason to expect a decrease in profitability in years to come.

Hair salon for sale

Research indicates that, as of 2018, there are over 42,000 hairdressing, barbering and beauty businesses in the UK. Together, they generate almost £7.5 billion for the UK economy (the National Hairdressers Federation and the National Beauty Federation). It was also found that around 260,000 people are employed in the industry and 58 percent of those in hairdressing are self-employed.

It is probably a frequent fantasy of many of these employees to own their own hair salon. Whether you strive to own something modest or grow a global customer base and provide services to top celebrities, starting your own hair salon franchise could be a profitable and rewarding business venture.

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London Hair Salon Business for Sale

Where better to open a hair salon business than London, a busy, dynamic city and, arguably, the UK’s hub of fashion and creativity? Hair salon businesses currently looking to expand their UK network include The London Hair Academy, Cobella and Headmasters.

Benefits of opening a hair salon franchise

Starting an independent hair salon business can be a difficult and complicated process, involving complex decisions and hidden costs. However, opening a franchise in the sector has a number of benefits:

  • It allows you to work from a successful business model, so you can rest assured you’re making the right decisions when it matters most. You’ll save time and money, as you won’t need to develop and troubleshoot a business model, brand identity and range of services.
  • It’s likely you’ll have a loyal customer base from the get-go. If the franchise you join has established a positive reputation and is a popular brand in the hair salon marketplace, you may find that consumers in your local area will trust your business from the moment you open your doors.
  • You will receive guidance in a range of areas, from staff training to finding the right location, to marketing techniques and insurance issues. Most franchises offer an initial training programme, imparting all the vital knowledge needed to launch a successful business. But you should also be able to contact the franchising team throughout your contract term about any other queries.
  • As the franchisor is likely to have significant buying power, equipment and supplies should be priced at more favourable rates, which will come in handy when you’re faced with hidden costs.

It can be extremely liberating and exciting to be your own boss. You can express your creativity, manage work around your family-life and ensure the company is consistent with your personal values. Not to mention the scope to earn a virtually unlimited income.

However, being your own boss doesn’t work for everyone. Quite a few franchisees find themselves working long hours and still experiencing financial losses. But, if you take your time and don’t make any rash decisions, you are more likely to build a thriving business based around your passions and personal requirements.

What to look for when starting a hair salon business

  • Competitors

When you approach a hair salon franchise, consider the territory you’d like to work in. It’s likely there will already be at least one hair salon of some kind operating there, so you’ll need to have a unique selling point (USP) if you’re to do well. Think about what your would-be competitors offer their customers and how you can differentiate yourself from them. Ask yourself: Do you both offer the same services? Do you charge a similar price for them? Do you both target the same consumer demographic? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can work out how you can distinguish yourself in a busy marketplace.

  • Location

Although the location of your hair salon will be approved by your franchisor, it’s likely you’ll have to find it yourself. This step is vital; your decision will have a huge impact on your long-term profitability. Of course, the type of location you choose should be influenced by your target demographic. If your franchise has a ‘trendy’ brand identity and aims its services at teenagers and young women, setting up a franchise unit in a busy city centre or on a university campus is a wise decision. On the other hand, if it’s geared more towards older women or families with young children, you might be better off lowering your rental costs by finding a location further out of the centre in a spot with parking facilities.

  • Set-up cost

If you’re buying into a franchise, you will be required to adhere to a fixed décor plan when it comes to setting up your franchise outlet. Your brand will have a set image, so it’s unlikely you’ll have much creative control in the design of the salon. You’ll also need to invest in certain products and pieces of equipment, and, depending on the business, these costs can be substantial. For this reason, you should put some time aside to consider how much it will cost you to join a particular franchise and whether it is feasible for your budget.

  • Marketing

Some franchisors charge a marketing fee to cover the cost of promoting the business on a national scale. This is usually worth the extra expense, as any increase in nationwide brand awareness should have a positive impact on your individual business. As a result, it’s worth checking whether your franchisor carries out national marketing activity. If they don’t, you’ll probably have to work even harder to get your name out in your area, attending local events and organising publicised discount days.

Franchise Opportunities

There is a huge variety of franchise opportunities on offer if you want to start your own hair salon. Here, we take a look at two haircare businesses currently in the Point Franchise directory.

Rush Hair

Rush is a national hair and beauty brand dedicated to providing professional hairdressing services and ensuring everyone leaves feeling special. Offering full-head colours, highlights and balayage, Rush helps its customers find the perfect hair colour for them.

The franchise opened its very first salon in 1994 and, over the past two decades, it has generated countless job opportunities for local people and businesses. Now, the franchise has a network of more than 60 outlets providing services across London and the South of England, and collectively welcomes thousands of clients every week.

Rush has become a market leader for a number of reasons. It has developed trust among its customers and built a business model that has been proven to be profitable over the years it’s been operating. Its success can be measured in its popularity; the average customer comes back every six weeks and each spends roughly £600 a year in its salons.

As a general guide, the cost of a hair salon usually ranges between £150,000 and £165,000. A minimum personal investment of £15,000 is also required. Rush provides partial funding to support the investment.


Another franchise on the Point Franchise books is Supercuts. Although it’s not currently franchising, the opportunity to join the business may arise in the future.

Supercuts is a hairdressing franchise that not only offers hair services, but also sells a large variety of professional haircare products from countless different brands. The brand believes that ‘good looks cost less’ and boasts that you can walk into any of its 120 UK salons and come out with a fresh, new look without the large price tag. You don’t even need an appointment either; subject to availability, you can drop in whenever it’s convenient and leave feeling more confident.

Becoming a franchisee will enable you to be part of a knowledgeable, dynamic team that is continuously honing their craft by finding innovative techniques and styles. The brand strives to improve its franchisees’ profitability by organising regular visits from a franchise business consultant, who can provide vital coaching and support.

In order to invest, potential franchisees need a minimum net worth of £500,000 and a minimum liquidity of £150,000. The initial investment ranges from £145,000 to £297,000, and you’ll also need to pay a four percent royalty fee and a five percent advertising fee.

>> Read more articles on the Hair Salon & Barber sector

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