How to Start a Beauty Supply Store

Beauty Supply Store Business Plan Template

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How to Start a Beauty Supply Store

beauty supply products

A beauty supply store may seem like an easy business venture but there are many factors that you will need to consider before opening your doors.

1) Beauty Supply Store Business Plan

Whether you are planning on starting an online beauty store or one in your local area, you need a detailed business plan. A professional beauty supply store business plan helps you understand your roadmap to a successful business and can help you raise funds from investors or apply for a small business loan through a local bank when the time comes for expansion, moving locations, etc.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a beauty supply store is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Beauty Supply Store Business Plan Template here.

2) Physical Location

Finding a good business location for your beauty supply store is paramount in making sure that customers visit your business often and become regular clients of yours. You should look at things such as how close you are to other businesses in the vicinity, how easy it is to get there, and how much foot traffic you can expect when you’re in the chosen physical location.

3) Business Licenses and Permits 

No matter if you’re starting an ecommerce store or a brick-and-mortar one, there are several government agencies that would require certain licenses and permits to be obtained in order for your business to run smoothly legally. You should research which ones apply to your business before applying for them so it doesn’t delay how long it takes for you to get started with your beauty supply store business.

4) Supplies

You will need various supplies such as makeup palettes, mannequins, mirrors among other things so ensure that these products are available within your budget before opening up shop. Make sure that they match how extravagant or how simple your store is and how much budget you have.

5) Market Research

One of the most crucial steps in how to start a beauty supply store is by doing proper market research. This means that you need to step outside your home and go out into the world (or use the internet if you’re running an online beauty supply store) and see how many beauty stores there are already in your area. Talk to people who own these businesses as well as customers about what they like or dislike about these beauty stores and how yours could be better than them all.

6) Competition

Once you have done some preliminary market research, find out which other beauty supply stores are near your potential location so that you can keep note of how good their product line-ups are, how well they treat their customers, and how much they charge for their products. This way you know how to differentiate your business from theirs so that you can stand out in the crowd.

7) Marketing Plan 

It’s crucial that a beauty supply store includes an extensive marketing plan before opening up shop to ensure that people actually find out about your business. It’s how you plan to gain new customers and retain the ones that have been loyal thus far. 

For example, use social media marketing efforts to manage your online presence, offer coupons every now and then, promote specific offers on Instagram or create unique contests on Facebook that will encourage people to shop at your store more often.

Having several marketing strategies in place such as advertising on social media networks, internet campaigns, postcards, etc. will help promote your beauty supply store effectively at relatively low costs. 

Once customers start visiting your store though, make sure to communicate with them enough so that these existing customers become regulars who keep coming back time and again because of the quality of your customer service and the wide selection of products.

8) Pricing 

Make sure that your beauty supply store has adequate pricing structures in place so that you’re always earning from how much customers are spending no matter how busy the store gets. 

You don’t want people to buy a few items and leave because they feel as if they were “ripped off” by how high your prices are so keep this in mind when it comes time to run a sale. There’s nothing worse than going for a once-a-year sale but offering discounts on specific items only, leaving customers feeling bad about how much money they spent elsewhere or how little they saved by coming to your store instead of somewhere else.

9) Sample Size Packaging 

Running a beauty supply store means that you need to ensure that your samples are the perfect size for customers. This way, they can try out how well-suited certain brands or products are for their skin or hair type before actually buying them. 

You also want to make sure that these samples are affordable so that they don’t cost more than how much they would if someone were to purchase an entire unit of it or how long it takes them to go through one sample container’s worth of the product.

10) Offerings 

Once your store is up and running successfully, then you have several different ways in which you can expand your business further without creating unnecessary work. 

You can create beauty supply products yourself, you can partner with beauty brands that have been around for decades or you can create beauty services that require knowledge in order to ensure they’re done properly. By creating your own brand of beauty products and selling them in your own business, you can make even more money from your store.

11) Inventory 

A beauty store requires constant replenishing of the items on the sales floor while creating enough space for your customers to browse and not feel overwhelmed when they walk through the doors. 

Make sure that your back room is always organized so that you know how to find products easily when they’re needed and that shelf space is always available so that you can maximize how much product you can stock at any given time.

12) Upsells 

You need to upsell in order for your business venture to be successful long-term because it means you get more money per visit. 

For example, the customer was going to spend $40 on products but ended up spending $60 instead as part of how you used techniques such as bundling effectively. 

Most importantly, make sure not to focus on upselling as customers will see you as being pushy and not conversational in how you approach the situation.

13) Customer Service 

Customer service is important because it’s how you can ensure that your customers will keep coming back. This means maintaining the store at all times, keeping an eye out for potential problems that may occur, and making sure that any customer queries are handled as efficiently and timely as possible. 

By having great customer service practices in place, you’ll be able how develop relationships with your customers so that they won’t go anywhere else whenever they need beauty supplies.

14) Fluctuations 

You need to monitor fluctuations in order for your business to be successful long-term because it means you’ll know when something is wrong and how to fix it. 

For example, if your expenses start rising and there’s no reason for why they should be doing so (e.g., a price war has broken out in your industry), then this is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible since it could seriously affect how you’re running your business on a day-to-day basis.

15) Hiring the Right People

Hiring the best staff means they know what they’re doing and can keep up with demand at all times, including how to maintain the store and how to effectively manage customer queries. By putting the right people in place, you’ll be able to focus on other aspects of your business without having to worry about the service your customers are receiving and the condition of your store.

What are the Steps to Opening a Beauty Supply Store?

establish your beauty brand

Steps to opening a beauty store:

  1. Determine what products you want to sell.
  2. Beauty supply stores often carry hair extensions, wigs, hair dye, makeup, and nail polish among other items like vitamins and supplements. The more niche your product offerings are the better it will be for attracting targeted clients who might not otherwise think of looking for those items in a beauty store. 

    For example, you could specialize in providing hair extensions for Indian women or African-American men who want to add a bit of length and volume to their natural hair. You can also work with customers to customize products if there is an overwhelming demand for them.

  3. Gather equipment and set up shop.
  4. If you’re going to offer salon services like haircuts, coloring, and styling then yes, you will need the equipment to provide those services. In addition to that, having a cash register system will be necessary so people can pay for their items at the counter. Other than that, all you really need is shelving units where customers can browse your product offerings while they shop around.

  5. Hire staff if necessary.
  6. Hiring staff is not necessary but it could help you manage your business better if you’re wanting to focus on marketing and other aspects of the store. You can hire sales associates for helping customers find what they need in the store, or stylists for doing salon services like haircuts and coloring.

  7. Market your business with marketing campaigns that will bring in customers.
  8. There are many different strategies to adopt when marketing a beauty store. One effective tactic would be search engine optimization where you a build website that ranks highly in search results when people search for “beauty supply” or “hair extensions”. If you’re going with an online store, this is especially important to help users find your site outside of advertising. This will get more traffic coming to your site where they can discover your products and buy them online.

    If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Beauty Supply Store Business Plan Template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

    You can also take advantage of event marketing by having an attractive booth at a special event where people might be interested in making purchases related to beauty and hair. For example, if you live near a college town with lots of young women, setting up shop next to the campus during homecoming weekend could help reach those students who may need extensions or other products that your store offers.

  9. Stay consistent with product quality and customer service for continued success.
  10. Keeping consistent product quality is key for encouraging customers to return and buy from you again. Try testing out different suppliers for your items so you don’t have to compromise on price but can still get items that are high-quality like human hair extensions or synthetic wigs. 

    Customer service is also crucial in the beauty supply industry since people are often shopping for items related to appearance and self-image. Focus on being friendly, offering fast shipping times so clients don’t have to wait long, and providing good-value products so they don’t feel like you ripped them off.


How Big is the Beauty Supply Industry?

The beauty supply industry is estimated to be about an 18.9 billion U.S. dollars industry as the latest report and continues to grow at a healthy rate, increasing by 2.8% each year. This growth can be attributed to how diverse the beauty supply business is and the ample opportunities that exist for ownership.

What are the Key Segments of the Beauty Supply Industry?

beauty supply distributor

The beauty supply industry is diverse, meaning there are many different opportunities for how to run a beauty store. This diversity can be how big your store is, how expensive your products are, and how far you expect customers to drive to your store. 

The key segments of the beauty industry include:

  • Haircare products
  • Skincare products
  • Cosmetic products
  • Other products


What External Factors Affect the Beauty Supply Industry?

There are many external factors that affect how the beauty supply industry is done, including how much people are using social media, how strong the dollar is compared to other countries’ currency, how much people are willing to spend on beauty products, and how many influencers are promoting these products.

Technology has also transformed the beauty industry by allowing consumers to interact with their products virtually before buying. Check out the infographic below for more information.

beauty industry infographic

Who are the Key Competitors in the Beauty Supply Industry?

ULTA Beauty and Sally Beauty Supply are two of the most popular beauty supply brands nationwide. There may be other beauty stores in your local area, so be sure to research your area and find out where your target market tends to shop for these products.

The beauty supply is a booming industry with plenty of room for new business owners. There are many different ways to open a beauty store, but they each have their own pros and cons. One of the most popular types is the convenience store. 

Convenience stores sell beauty products alongside everyday items like groceries, snacks, gifts, and more. This type of store allows people to conveniently pick up essentials for themselves or their family members.

With the growing trend of consumers purchasing products online, you may consider creating an online beauty supply store instead of having a brick-and-mortar location.


What are the Key Customer Segments in the Beauty Supply Industry?

beauty supply wholesaler

There are four different customer segments that you should consider when launching a professional beauty store. These segments are the following:

  • Salon professionals
  • Beauty schools and students
  • Estheticians and beauty salon technicians
  • Home hair care enthusiasts

Each customer segment has its own needs, so you’ll need to identify how your business satisfies the different segment needs depending on your primary target market. 

For example, salon professionals need product lines that will meet the demands of their particular clientele. A beauty school, on the other hand, would want to teach how to use certain products and how they work on different skin types. This helps prepare them for what they’ll experience in an actual salon environment.

What are the Typical Start-Up Costs for a Beauty Supply Store?

If you plan to start a beauty supply store, how much it costs to start this type of business will depend on what you want to offer customers. Prices can range from hundreds of dollars up to millions for full-service stores, but the following is a general breakdown:

Business Licenses / Permits:  In most cases, these are annual or biennial expenses that must be acquired before starting your beauty supply store. These include federal tax ID numbers and local business licenses. Depending on how much detail your city requires in your application for a business license they could cost anywhere from $25 – $500 dollars. You will also have initial fees for permits or zoning requirements. These can be anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars.

Inventory, Store Fixtures, and Display Cases: Depending on how much you want to offer customers, how many display cases are necessary, how much inventory you need to order, how much cosmetic products are available to the public will determine how much it costs to start a beauty supply store. 

The average startup cost for inventory can range anywhere from $15,000 – $100,000 if you have the capital to invest in the products upfront. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need professional-grade fixtures and counters for your displays as well as cases that allow customers privacy while browsing through your merchandise. These could run anywhere between $2,500 – $15,000 depending on how much detail you want. 

You’ll also have to allocate funds for your grand opening marketing campaign that could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on how big you go.

Advertising, Marketing, and Promotional Supplies: Anyone who has run a business knows how crucial advertising is in bringing in customers through the door of your beauty supply store. With so many new businesses starting up all over the country every day, how can they expect anyone to know about them?  

The more word-of-mouth promotion you receive at first, the better chance your store will survive early on; however, how can you get people talking about your business if they don’t know it exists? This is why every small business owner must invest in a reliable marketing and promotional campaign, and how much to spend will depend on how much you want to invest. This can start as low as $100 for signage if you make it yourself, or up to thousands of dollars for banner stands, print advertising, billboards, etc.

You’ll also have personal costs associated with starting your beauty supply store such as your time. You might work 10 hours each day in the beginning until things are organized properly at your business. This can be free labor but if you’re hiring employees this will mean additional payroll expenses every month on top of what you’re already putting into startup costs.

Learning how to start a beauty supply store doesn’t need to be intimidating when there are guides like this one that can walk you through how to create a business plan, how much it might cost to start your beauty supply store, how many hours you’ll need to put into it until things are running smoothly, and how much money you can expect to bring in each month. This will set realistic expectations so there are no surprises along the way.

No matter how big or how small your budget is for startup costs if you have a passion for this type of industry then starting a beauty supply store is not only an excellent business venture but also one of the most rewarding.

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Beauty Supply Store Business Plan Template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.


Is Owning a Beauty Supply Store Profitable?

Yes, owning a beauty supply store can be very profitable. To improve the profitability of your own beauty supply store, you should reduce unnecessary expenses to improve net profit. For example, you can use social media advertising to attract large groups of new customers to your store. Another way is to promote specific products that are likely to generate high sales, such as beauty supplies or accessories related to popular culture. You could also introduce discounts and offers so you can compete with other stores in the city.


How to Start a Beauty Supply Store FAQs

A beauty supply store is a retail business that sells cosmetics, skincare, and other products used by hairstylists as well as general consumers. It can be in the form of an online or offline business. The goal of these stores is to provide customers with all their needs for makeup, hair care, nail care, skincare, and more. They also offer how-to advice on how to use their products correctly so they will get the most out of them. 

These stores typically stock items such as shampoos, cosmetics, hair extensions, and tools such as curling irons and flat irons. The products they carry can vary significantly depending on the size of their inventory and the area where they are located. They may only sell one type of shampoo or a wide variety of product lines depending on what customers in their locality prefer to buy. 

These stores usually have staff members who are knowledgeable about each product's ingredients and how it works best for different people with various skin tones and hair types, etc.

  • Run a Contest: Offering a contest can be a great way to get people excited and engaged with your business. There are various ways how you could set up the contest and how you could pick the winner. For example, you could have a photo contest where people submit their favorite hairstyles or have a video contest where people have to create a how-to video on how to do an updo. You could also add in some prizes such as coupons to use in your store for the person who wins the contest.
  • Get Social: Ignoring social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is no longer an option when running a business today. It is essential that you have a presence on these sites, build brand awareness, and know how to engage your customers with fun contests or even how people can share their experiences with your products.
  • Build Strong Relationships: Even if there are other beauty stores located in the same area as yours, it doesn't mean that they won't work together to find ways how they can benefit from each other's success. There are many ways how competing beauty supply businesses could partner up to help one another out such as offering each others' products at both locations, cross-advertising on social media networks, etc.

If you want to open a beauty supply store, it's crucial to maintain quality and customer service in order to attract and retain your customers. 

To maintain quality in your own store, you should:

  • Make sure that all of the products you sell are clean and in pristine condition so that they don't become contaminated and unsafe for your retail store.
  • Offer a variety of hair care services such as hair styling, relaxers, weaves, or even extensions at competitive prices. 
  • Keep up with trends by stocking new products when necessary such as different hair colors or styles.
  • Take out expired products from inventory so that they don't become stale and less effective.

To maintain customer service in your own beauty supply store, you should:

  • Greet clients soon as they walk through the door 
  • Ask how you can help them 
  • Encourage customers to browse around the store 
  • Offer suggestions on how they could achieve their desired look
  • Anticipate and address your customers' needs. 
  • Thank each customer after a purchase.
  • Ensure that all of your employees are knowledgeable about how to use different hair products and services on different types of hair.

A beauty supply store can sell many different types of cosmetic products, not just hair care products. For example, the store could sell makeup, nail polish, and other beauty products. They can also offer other services such as haircuts. Customers can also learn how to do their own hair at home through training courses.

Offer value-added services such as free consultations with stylists or even free samples of new items before they go on sale so that people have the chance to try them out first before committing to purchasing one.

Some beauty stores choose to only offer haircuts. They may specialize in a certain type of haircut such as African American haircuts, men's haircuts, and even weave installation services. These types of stores typically focus more on male or female clientele who visit the store every month to get their haircut. This strategy will then generate more income for the business because clients must come back frequently for haircuts compared to other types of beauty supplies that customers might buy once and never need again unless they run out.

Beauty stores are typically located in a shopping center or mall along with other beauty-related businesses including beauty salons, nail salons, tanning salons, and barbershops. Since beauty stores stock a large amount of inventory, they should be located in busy areas such as around schools or other places that draw in foot traffic.

Beauty products are typically displayed on shelves for customers to find what they need quickly without needing to ask anyone working there. However, larger items such as hair weaves may not physically fit onto the shelves so these larger items can be kept out of sight and stored where customers will be able to see them when an employee retrieves them from storage.

Most beauty supply stores provide a wide range of beauty products for women and men to look better so that they will buy more in order to further improve how they look. Buying these types of beauty supplies can be expensive, so some men or women may not be able to afford to spend much money on such items on a regular basis to maintain their appearance.

  1. Hire a general manager to handle the finances, marketing, and inventory management. 
  2. Hire a receptionist or sales associate who can help customers find what they need and give them information about the products being sold. 
  3. Hire employees to work in the back of the store stocking shelves with items or assisting customers who want their hair braided, cut, or styled. Make sure that employees have a good work ethic and a positive attitude.
  4. You should also hire a few people to work at the front of the store who are friendly and talk to customers while they shop. These people will then have direct contact with how much revenue you make from the sales you do each day.

Yes, a beauty supply store can be profitable. It depends on how much you invest in the business, how many products you buy, and how often you buy products. This type of business can offer you the opportunity to grow your wealth and establish your independence.

Though the beauty supply industry has gone through some tough times, it has come out of them even stronger. Being aware that there are competitors in your area will help you find ways to survive and grow as well as how you might be able to work together. 

It is important to keep track of your profits and losses so that you can see how profitable your business is becoming. Being able to anticipate trends can also lead you to sell more products and drive up profits for your store.


Helpful Videos

How to Start a Beauty Supply Store: S1E1 (Why I Started this Series)

How to Start a Beauty Supply Business Online 2022 [Complete Guide] | #BeautySupply


Additional Resources

Black Owned Beauty Supply Association
Jinny Beauty Supply Vendor

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