Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Blow Dry Bar Business [11 Steps]

Start your own profitable blow dry bar business in just 11 steps! Learn how to develop a business plan, find the perfect location, and build a successful team to make your business a success.

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 05, 2024

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This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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1. Perform market analysis.

Before launching a blow dry bar business, it's essential to understand the competitive landscape and customer demand. A thorough market analysis will provide insights into local trends, potential clientele, and what it will take to differentiate your business from existing offerings. Here's how to go about it:

  • Research the demographics of your target area to determine the potential customer base, focusing on age, income, and lifestyle preferences that align with blow dry bar services.
  • Examine local competition by visiting nearby salons and blow dry bars to assess their services, pricing, and customer experience. Note any gaps in the market that your business could fill.
  • Analyze industry trends by reviewing trade publications, beauty and fashion blogs, and market research reports to understand the latest in hair care and styling.
  • Conduct customer surveys or focus groups to gather direct feedback on what potential clients are looking for in a blow dry bar experience.
  • Consider the impact of location on your business, evaluating foot traffic, visibility, and proximity to complementary businesses such as fashion boutiques or makeup studios.
blow dry bar business image

Are Blow Dry Bar businesses profitable?

Yes, blow dry bar businesses can be profitable when managed properly and with a good business plan. They require low startup costs, and the services are generally in demand. The key to success is to consistently offer high-quality services and ensure that customers are satisfied with their experience. Additionally, a blow dry bar should have an effective marketing strategy in place to attract new customers and keep them coming back.

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2. Draft a blow dry bar business plan.

Creating a thorough business plan is a crucial step in launching a successful blow dry bar. It helps in mapping out the specifics of your business, setting achievable goals, and defining strategies for growth. Here's a guide to help you draft a comprehensive business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Briefly describe your business concept, including the services offered, target market, and unique selling propositions.
  • Market Analysis: Research and detail your industry, market trends, target demographics, and competitor analysis to understand demand and positioning.
  • Marketing Strategy: Define how you will attract and retain customers through branding, pricing, promotional tactics, and customer service excellence.
  • Operations Plan: Outline the day-to-day operations, including location, facilities, technology, equipment, and staffing requirements.
  • Management Structure: Describe your business's management team, their roles, and experience, as well as any advisory board or consultants.
  • Financial Plan: Provide projections for startup costs, pricing strategy, revenue forecasts, profit and loss, cash flow, and break-even analysis.
  • Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks and challenges and outline strategies for mitigation and crisis management.

How does a Blow Dry Bar business make money?

Blow Dry Bar businesses make money by providing customers with professional hairstyling services. They typically offer services such as blowouts, updos, braids, and styling. These businesses make money by charging customers for the services they provide. An example of a target audience for a Blow Dry Bar business could be young professional women who want to maintain a polished, professional look.

3. Develop a blow dry bar brand.

Creating a strong brand for your blow dry bar is crucial as it will define your business's identity and set you apart from competitors. A well-crafted brand resonates with your target audience, reflects your salon's personality, and communicates your values and services effectively. Consider these key points for developing a powerful brand:

  • Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine what makes your blow dry bar unique. It could be your styling techniques, exclusive products, exceptional service, or luxurious experience.
  • Define Your Target Audience: Understand who your customers are, what they value, and what they expect from a blow dry service. This will guide your brand's voice and aesthetic.
  • Choose a Memorable Name: Select a name that is catchy, easy to remember, and gives an indication of the experience or service offered.
  • Design a Captivating Logo and Visuals: Your logo, color scheme, and design elements should visually communicate your brand's essence and appeal to your target demographic.
  • Create a Consistent Brand Voice: The tone and style of your communication should be consistent across all platforms, from social media to in-store interactions, reflecting the brand's personality.
  • Emphasize Customer Experience: Make sure every touchpoint with your brand, from the ambiance of your bar to the quality of service, aligns with the brand image you want to project.

How to come up with a name for your Blow Dry Bar business?

Naming a business is an important step in creating a successful business, and for a Blow Dry Bar, it is no different. Consider a name that is both catchy and memorable. Brainstorm ideas with family and friends and find inspiration in your style of work, the local area, and the clientele you hope to attract. Once you have a few ideas, research the current market to make sure your name is unique and not already in use.

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4. Formalize your business registration.

Once you've conceived your business plan and secured funding, the next critical step is to formalize your blow dry bar business. This step is essential as it legitimizes your establishment, ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements. Here's how to go about the registration process:

  • Choose a business structure that best fits your blow dry bar, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, understanding the legal and tax implications of each.
  • Register your business name with the appropriate state authority, ensuring it's unique and meets all naming requirements.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, especially if you plan to hire employees.
  • Apply for the necessary business licenses and permits, which may vary depending on your location and the services you offer.
  • Register for state and local taxes to ensure you comply with sales, use, and payroll tax requirements.
  • Understand and procure the necessary insurance policies to protect your business and employees, such as general liability and professional liability insurance.

Resources to help get you started:

Access crucial resources designed specifically for blow dry bar entrepreneurs, featuring publications, industry reports, newsletters, and more to stay ahead in market trends, operational efficiency, and strategic business expansion:

  • American Salon Magazine: Offers insights on beauty industry trends and business tips. Visit website.
  • Professional Beauty Association: Provides industry-specific research, educational resources, and networking opportunities. Visit website.
  • Modern Salon: Delivers news, education, and professional growth content for the salon community. Visit website.
  • Beauty Business Journal: Publishes articles and reports on the global beauty industry trends, including hair care. Visit website.
  • Hairdresser Journal International: A leading publication with news, features, and educational resources for salon professionals. Visit website.
  • The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All: A book by Alli Webb offering strategic advice on creating and growing a blow dry bar business. View on Amazon.

5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for blow dry bar.

Before launching your blow dry bar, it's crucial to make sure you've secured all the required licenses and permits, as these are essential for operating legally and ensuring the safety of your services. The specific licenses and permits can vary depending on your location and the services you offer. Here is a guide to help you get started:

  • Cosmetology License: Often, a blow dry bar will require staff to hold individual cosmetology licenses. Check with your state's cosmetology board for details.
  • Business License: Register your business with your city or county to obtain a local business license, permitting you to operate legally.
  • Salon License: In addition to individual licenses, the salon itself may need a separate salon license, subject to health and safety inspections.
  • Health Department Permit: This ensures that your salon meets health and sanitation standards. Regular inspections may be required.
  • Seller's Permit: If you plan to sell hair care products, you might need a seller's permit or a resale certificate.
  • Building Permit: If you're constructing a new space or significantly altering an existing one, a building permit is usually required.
  • Fire Department Permit: This may be necessary if you're using certain chemicals or if the number of people in your salon reaches a certain threshold.
  • Sign Permit: If you plan to put up signage, your city or county might require a sign permit based on size and location.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Securing your financial foundation is crucial when starting your blow dry bar business. Opening a dedicated business bank account helps keep your personal and business finances separate, simplifying accounting and tax processes. Additionally, exploring funding options can provide the necessary capital to get your business off the ground. Here's what you need to know:

  • Research banks and financial institutions to find one that offers business banking services with favorable terms for small businesses.
  • Prepare the required documentation, such as your business registration, EIN, and any other legal paperwork, before applying for a business bank account.
  • Consider the types of funding available, including business loans, lines of credit, investor capital, or crowdfunding, and choose the one that best suits your business needs.
  • Develop a solid business plan to present to potential lenders or investors, highlighting the viability and growth potential of your blow dry bar.
  • Understand the terms and conditions of any financing you accept, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any potential equity you may be giving up.
  • Keep an eye on your business credit score, as it will impact your ability to secure funding in the future.

7. Set pricing for blow dry bar services.

Pricing your blow dry bar services is a key step in the business setup process. It should reflect your costs, desired profit margins, and market position. Below are some guidelines to help you set competitive and profitable pricing for your services:

  • Cost-Based Pricing: Calculate the total costs of providing your services, including products, labor, overhead, and then add your desired profit margin to determine prices.
  • Competitive Analysis: Research prices at local blow dry bars to ensure your pricing is in line with the market while still allowing for a unique value proposition.
  • Service Tiering: Offer different pricing levels based on the experience of the stylist or the complexity of the blow dry and styling options.
  • Membership or Package Deals: Consider offering memberships, packages, or loyalty programs that provide value to frequent customers and encourage repeat business.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Adjust prices for peak times, holidays, or special events to maximize profits and manage demand.
  • Transparent Pricing: Ensure that your pricing is clear and transparent to avoid customer dissatisfaction and build trust.

What does it cost to start a Blow Dry Bar business?

Initiating a blow dry bar business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $29000 for launching such a blow dry barbusiness. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your blow dry bar business.

8. Acquire blow dry bar equipment and supplies.

Starting a blow dry bar business requires careful selection of high-quality equipment and supplies to ensure the best service for your clients. This step is crucial as it not only impacts the overall client experience but also the efficiency and flow of your services. Here's a list of essentials you will need to acquire:

  • Hair dryers: Invest in professional-grade, lightweight hair dryers with various heat settings and attachments.
  • Styling chairs: Comfortable, adjustable styling chairs that can accommodate clients of all heights.
  • Styling stations: Stations should include a mirror, ample counter space, and storage for tools and products.
  • Shampoo stations: Ergonomic shampoo bowls with comfortable neck rests and chairs.
  • Hair styling tools: A range of brushes, combs, curling irons, and flat irons to create various styles.
  • Quality hair products: A selection of shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, serums, and other styling products suitable for different hair types.
  • Salon consumables: Items such as towels, capes, and disposable neck strips.
  • Point of sale system: A reliable POS system to manage bookings, sales, and client records.
  • Sanitization equipment: Tools for cleaning and sterilizing equipment between clients.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies Needed to Start a Blow Dry Bar Business:

  • Computer with internet access
  • Software for appointment scheduling, such as Salon Iris or Booker
  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Accounting software, such as QuickBooks
  • Point of sale system
  • Credit card processing machine
  • Hair dryers and diffusers
  • Hair brushes, combs, and clips
  • Hair styling products
  • Styling chairs
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Towels and capes
  • Salon reception area furniture
  • Mirrors
  • Lights
  • Retail products, such as hair care products and accessories
  • Storage containers

9. Obtain business insurance for blow dry bar, if required.

Starting a blow dry bar involves several critical steps to ensure the safety and protection of your business, employees, and clients. One key component is obtaining the proper business insurance. Here's what you should consider:

  • General Liability Insurance: This covers claims of bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. It's imperative for protecting against accidents that could occur within your blow dry bar.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this protects against claims of negligence or harm from the services provided to your clients.
  • Product Liability Insurance: If your bar sells hair care products, this insurance can protect against claims due to damages caused by those products.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: Required in most states if you have employees, it covers medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Property Insurance: This protects your physical assets, such as salon equipment and inventory, from fire, theft, or other damages.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: In case of unforeseen events that disrupt your business operations, this can help cover lost income and expenses.

Consult with an insurance broker who understands the unique risks associated with a blow dry bar to ensure you have comprehensive coverage tailored to your specific needs.

10. Begin marketing your blow dry bar services.

Marketing your blow dry bar is essential to attract and retain customers while establishing your brand in the competitive beauty industry. A well-crafted marketing strategy will create buzz, drive traffic, and ultimately increase sales. Here are some effective ways to market your blow dry bar services:

  • Develop a strong brand identity: Create a memorable logo, choose a cohesive color scheme, and develop a voice that resonates with your target audience.
  • Utilize social media: Engage with clients on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Showcase before-and-after photos, styling tips, and special promotions.
  • Offer opening specials: Attract new customers with discounts, bundle deals, or a complimentary service on their first visit.
  • Partner with local businesses: Collaborate with nearby businesses to cross-promote services and tap into their customer base.
  • Implement a referral program: Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by rewarding clients who refer new customers.
  • Leverage local influencers: Partner with local influencers to reach a broader audience and gain credibility.
  • Host events: Organize events such as styling workshops or a grand opening party to draw attention and create a community feel.
  • Invest in search engine optimization (SEO): Ensure your website is optimized for search engines to increase online visibility to potential clients searching for blow dry services in your area.

  • Computer with internet access
  • Software for appointment scheduling, such as Salon Iris or Booker
  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Accounting software, such as QuickBooks
  • Point of sale system
  • Credit card processing machine
  • Hair dryers and diffusers
  • Hair brushes, combs, and clips
  • Hair styling products
  • Styling chairs
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Towels and capes
  • Salon reception area furniture
  • Mirrors
  • Lights
  • Retail products, such as hair care products and accessories
  • Storage containers

11. Expand your blow dry bar business.

Expanding your blow dry bar business requires strategic planning and a good understanding of your current success. It's important to assess your growth potential and take calculated steps to ensure your expansion is as smooth and profitable as possible. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Assess Market Demand: Before expanding, make sure there is enough demand in new locations. Research demographics and competition to validate the potential for growth.
  • Franchise Opportunities: Consider franchising your business model to allow for faster expansion with less direct management required for each new location.
  • Invest in Marketing: Boost your marketing efforts to raise brand awareness in new areas. Utilize social media, local advertising, and promotional events to attract new customers.
  • Streamline Operations: Standardize procedures and training across all locations to ensure consistent service quality and brand experience for customers.
  • Financial Planning: Secure adequate funding for expansion. Create detailed financial projections and consider engaging with investors if necessary.
  • Location Selection: Carefully choose new locations based on traffic patterns, visibility, and proximity to complementary businesses such as shopping centers or gyms.
  • Staffing: Hire skilled staff and provide extensive training to maintain the level of service your clients expect. Consider promoting from within to ensure new locations are managed by those who understand your brand.