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Setting up a Nail Bar Business

All you need to know about starting and running your business

Business guides » Setting up a Nail Bar Business

What is a Nail Bar Business?

Currently worth nearly £400 million and with more than 3,500 nail salons in the UK, the nail industry in the UK is booming. With more people than ever paying for their nail treatments every month, now could be a great time to set up a nail bar business.

A nail bar, also known as a nail salon, is a shop that provides various treatments for fingernails and toenails.

This could include:

  • The application and removal of gel polish, shellac polish or nail varnish.
  • Nail designs and nail art.
  • The application and removal of acrylic nails, artificial nails and nail extensions.
  • Manicure treatments, including cuticle tidying, and cleansing, soaking, filing, shaping, trimming, grooming and buffing fingernails.
  • Pedicure treatments, including foot spa, foot soak, foot scrub, cuticle tidying, and filing, shaping and grooming toenails.
  • Hand treatments, including hand massage, moisturisation and cuticle oil treatments.


Depending on the size of your nail bar and how in demand your business is, you may hire additional nail technicians to perform treatments. If you set up a nail bar business, you and any nail technicians you hire will use your own skills and an array of equipment to provide different treatments to your clients. You may offer pre-scheduled appointments or on-the-day walk-in appointments, depending on how busy you are. Many nail bars succeed as a result of repeat business and customer loyalty.

Because you will be using products and chemicals on your clients, you need to ensure you thoroughly research any products you use and check whether your customers have any allergies or sensitivities before using any products on them.

Starting up a nail bar business can be both financially and personally rewarding. Nail bars can be a lucrative business venture and can offer you the potential to earn a high income.

To ensure your business succeeds, you will need to ensure you are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. This can include knowledge about nail and skin care and new nail trends and styles. You will also need patience, attention to detail, a steady hand and good hygiene practices.

Even if you are a skilled technician, there are other qualities that you will need to make your nail bar business succeed. This includes good communication skills and customer service skills, creativity and a genuine interest in your customers.

Types of Customers

Although traditionally, nail treatments are associated with a specific demographic, in fact, many different people attend nail bars for different treatments.

There are several factors that could result in your nail bar attracting a specific customer base. Determining your typical customer base can help you to plan your marketing and advertising strategies more effectively, encourage more business and maximise your profits.

Some factors that can affect your typical customer base are:

The treatments you offer:

Many people choose their nail bars based on the available treatments. For example, they may prefer gel polish over shellac or may want a nail technician who offers nail extensions. Consider your own skills, experience and preferences, the cost of equipment and your local competition when determining what treatments you will offer.

Your location:

Your location can impact your customer base as many people opt to visit a nail bar that is in a convenient location for where they live or work. If your nail bar is located in or close to a residential location, your clients are likely to be people who live nearby. If you are located in a town or city centre, you may attract clients who work in the area or visit the centre for other reasons, such as shopping and socialisation.

Your price points

Your pricing will have a significant impact on your customer base.

Clients can typically be categorised in three ways:

1. Budget: Budget clients look for nail bars that offer treatments for the lowest possible price.
2. Mid-range: This type of client looks for a combination of value and luxury. Although they don’t want to pay premium prices, they don’t look for the cheapest option and instead look for a quality service at a reasonable price.
3. Luxury: This type of client usually wants high-end treatments using the best equipment and products. They are happy to pay higher prices for the best service.

Your brand and aesthetic:

When choosing a nail bar, customers may look at your shop exterior and signs, your website and the interior of your nail bar. Your brand and aesthetic can help to attract certain customers.

Nail polish
Painting nails
Nail file

Equipment You Will Need

Equipment is essential for your nail bar business. Without the correct equipment, you will be unable to offer many of the nail treatments and services.

Although some of your equipment requirements can vary depending on the types of treatments you offer, the guide below shows the typical equipment requirements of a nail technician.

Nail Equipment:

Nail clippers or scissors

Clippers or scissors allow you to quickly shorten the nail length and are particularly necessary for pedicures and toenail treatments. You will need at least one pair of good-quality nail clippers.

Nail files

You will need different types of nail files for different tasks, including:

  • An electric file.
  • A coarse file.
  • A fine-grit cushion file.
  • A medium file.
  • A fine file.
  • An ultra-fine file.
  • An acrylic file.


Buffers help to prepare the nails and smooth the nail surface. Buffers can become easily damaged, so investing in good-quality buffers can help to extend their longevity.

Cuticle pushers

A cuticle pusher pushes the skin from the cuticle back and away from the nail. They create tidier nails and help the nails to grow stronger. You can choose from metal, plastic or wooden cuticle pushers.

Cuticle nippers

This is a tool that is used to trim tough cuticles, hang nails and remove dead skin cells from the cuticles.

Cuticle oil

Cuticle oil is used to moisturise and hydrate nail beds. You will usually use it at the end of your nail treatments. Cuticle oil can help to encourage nail growth and make your nails stronger.

Nail cleansers

This cleans the nails before you apply the polish, gel or acrylics. It helps to prepare the nails by removing any dirt or oil and softening the surface of the nail. Nail cleanser helps to ensure a smoother, more professional finish.

Dappen dishes

These dishes (usually made from plastic or glass) are used to hold and mix acrylic nail liquid and other liquids. They are also used to hold powders and glitters.

Acetone and/or other soak solutions

Soak solutions are used to remove polishes, such as gel and shellac. The nails are soaked in acetone to break down the gel and the remainder will be buffed off using a special buffer.

Acrylic powder

This is the substance that is used to create acrylic nails and nail extensions. The powder is combined with a liquid chemical which causes the powder to harden. They can also be mixed with a pigment to create different colours or glitter can be added.

Acrylic liquid

Also known as a monomer; this is the chemical that is mixed with the acrylic powder to create the acrylic nails.

UV or LED lamp

An ultraviolet lamp is used to dry acrylic nails and gel nail polish. There are different types of lamps available, including plug-in lamps and cordless lamps.

Nail polishes

You may choose to work with gel polish, shellac polish and/or nail varnish. You will need to purchase polishes in a wide selection of colours. You may also purchase special polishes, such as glitter, metallic and matte.

Base coats and top coats

These help the polishes to adhere better, help to protect your nails, strengthen your nails and protect the polish from chipping.

Decorative accessories

You will need decorative accessories to help you do nail art and nail design. You could choose nail stickers, an assortment of glitter and gems, transfer foils, gold leaf, metallic powder, and adhesive strips. You will need a variety of colours and designs to allow you to create different designs.

Soak off bowls

Also known as manicure bowls, soak bowls are used for soaking and softening the nails and surrounding skin before a manicure. They can also be used for soaking off acrylic nails or gel nails.

Cotton wool pads and cotton wool balls

These will have multiple uses in your nail bar, including cleaning nails, wiping off excess liquid and removing polish. You will need to have a good supply of cotton pads and balls at all times.

Nail art brushes, acrylic brushes and gel brushes

You will need a variety of different brushes depending on the task. You will also need brushes of different sizes and thicknesses.

A foot file

A foot file can be made of metal or sandpaper. They are usually two-sided, with one side containing a rough file to remove calluses and dead skin and a fine file on the other side to smooth the skin.

Salon Equipment:

Manicure stations

Your manicure stations will be the central feature of your nail bar and will need to be both attractive and functional. You may opt for one long station that multiple customers and technicians can use at one time or individual manicure stations. Ensure your stations are in line with your brand and aesthetic. You will also need comfortable chairs for both the technicians and the clients.

Nail polish racks or shelves

These are used to display your nail polish colours in an attractive and professional way. It can be a convenient place to store your polishes and give your customers an easy view of all your available options.

Pedicure chairs

Pedicure chairs have a built-in foot bath. They may also come with a massage feature. Pedicure chairs are particularly recommended for high-end salons that offer luxury pedicures.

Foot spa basins

If you opt not to have pedicure chairs in your nail bar, you will need foot spa basins. These are large containers that can be filled with water and used to bathe and soak the feet before a pedicure.

A manicure tray or trolley

Manicure trays can be used to store all the necessary tools required for a manicure. This helps to keep your salon tidy and makes it easier to transport the tools around the salon.

Cleaning equipment

Maintaining a high level of cleanliness is essential in your nail bar. You will need to wipe down chairs, equipment and surfaces between each client and ensure your premises are clean at all times. Some cleaning equipment you may need includes a sweeping brush or hoover, a mop, disinfectant, cloths, sponges, and cleaning products.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE can help to protect both you and your clients. Some of the PPE you may require are gloves, aprons and masks.

A CCTV system

CCTV can protect your business from potential break-ins and theft. A CCTV system can cost between £300 and £5,000 depending on the specification of the equipment, how many cameras you require, and the installation costs.

Reception and admin equipment

Some of the equipment you may require for your reception includes:

  • A laptop or computer – For advertising, making appointments and accounting purposes.
  • A phone – For customers to make appointments.
  • An appointment book or scheduling software – To keep track of appointments and cancellations.
  • A reception desk and chair.
  • A cash register and Point of Sale (POS) system.
  • Business cards and appointment cards.
  • Pricing signs and opening hours signs.
  • Shelving for displaying products.
Having nails done in nail bar

Typical Pricing

When setting up your nail bar business and creating your business plan, you will need to calculate your approximate set-up costs and running costs. Planning your business’s finances can help you determine how to finance your initial investment, plan your pricing strategy and predict your profits.

Some of the typical costs you can expect when setting up and running a nail bar business are:

A nail bar premises

Your salon will likely be your biggest expenditure. You will need to rent your premises on a monthly or annual basis. Rental prices can vary significantly, depending on the location, the size of the premises and the on-site facilities. City centre locations and newly built premises usually have the highest rental costs. Rental costs are often calculated per square metre. They can range significantly, from £500 to £15,000 per square metre annually.

Refurbishment and installation costs

You will likely need to refurbish or convert your venue to incorporate the furniture and equipment you need for your nail bar business. You will also want to decorate your premises to fit the aesthetic of your brand and make it attractive to customers. Renovation costs can vary, from £500 to £20,000 depending on the level and scale of work required.

Equipment costs

The cost of equipment can vary based on how much equipment you require. The bigger your nail bar is and the more nail technicians you hire, the more equipment you will require. You may choose to purchase less equipment initially and expand your equipment as your business grows. Purchasing equipment could cost between £1,000 and £20,000.

Maintaining, repairing and replacing equipment

Repairs, maintenance and replacements are ongoing costs you will need to factor into your budget. Correctly cleaning and maintaining equipment and ensuring it is used correctly can extend its life, but potential repairs and replacements should still be factored into your budget. Keep in mind that equipment such as nail files and buffers will have a shorter lifespan.

Replenishing stock

You will need to make regular orders for stock including polishes, acetone, cleansers, acrylic powders and liquids, cotton wool and nail decorative items. You may need to make fortnightly or monthly stock orders.


If you hire additional nail technicians, you will need to pay them at least the national minimum wage of £9.50 per hour and account for other expenses such as holiday pay, sick pay and maternity/paternity pay. You may choose to initially operate your business independently and then hire staff once your business has grown.


Branding may be key to the success of your business, especially if you are competing with other nail bar businesses and salons in your area. Branding could include creating your business’s visual identity, a logo, business name, your business website and your brand message. You can hire a professional to help you with branding or do some of the work yourself. Branding can cost between £500 and £10,000, depending on the level of branding you require.

Marketing and advertising

Marketing and advertising are great ways of growing your business. You may spend more on marketing and advertising when your business first launches, and you are trying to grow your customer base. It is recommended that you spend no more than 3% of your annual revenue on advertising costs. For example, if your annual revenue is £30,000, your advertising costs should be less than £900. You may be able to reduce your advertising costs by utilising social media.

Running costs

These are the everyday costs associated with running your nail bar business. It could include your overhead costs such as electricity, gas, water and council tax. Most of your running costs will be paid monthly, although some may be paid quarterly or annually. Keeping your running costs as low as possible allows you to maximise your profits.

Business insurance

There are several types of coverage options you could choose for your nail bar business. The cost of your insurance can vary depending on your insurance provider and the level of coverage you choose.

Your insurance options include:

  • Public Liability Insurance.
  • Product Liability Insurance.
  • Nail Treatment Liability Cover.
  • Employers’ Liability Cover.
  • Personal Accident Cover.
  • Business Equipment and Stock Cover.


Once you have calculated the expected costs associated with setting up and running your business, you can then determine your pricing strategy.

Your pricing will likely depend on several factors.

  • The location of your business.
  • The type of nail treatments you offer.
  • Your business’s reputation and demand.
  • The types of products you use.
  • The training, qualifications and experience of you and your staff.
  • Your brand and aesthetic.
  • Your local competition.

Safely Running a Nail Bar Business

Safe practices in your nail bar are essential to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of you, your customers and your employees.

Some safety practices you can employ in your nail bar business are:

Ensure all chemicals are stored safely

All chemicals should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. They should be kept upright to prevent spillages and be protected from contamination.

Adhere to labelling guidelines

You must always read the instructions on the labels carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You should also pay attention to use-by and best before dates and never use any product that is past its expiration date.

Use personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE can help to protect you and your customers. You should wear gloves that are of an appropriate thickness and length and are powder-free. Wearing masks is also recommended if any of the products you use give off harmful vapours.

Conduct a client consultation

If you will be using any type of products or chemicals during the nail treatment, you should perform a client consultation before every appointment. This allows you to obtain any necessary personal details or medical information, such as any allergies or skin conditions, learn about the client’s requirements, learn more about the client’s nails and hands and give information about aftercare. You should also ask the client to sign their consultation card, particularly if it contains any medical information.

Clean, disinfect and sterilise

Having effective cleaning procedures is essential for your business. Especially as you will have multiple clients a day and are dealing with the human body and hazardous substances. A cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising schedule and cleaning policies should be in place that cover the cleaning of furniture, equipment and surfaces. You should also implement handwashing procedures.

Properly maintain equipment

You will be dealing with electrical and potentially hazardous equipment on a daily basis. Ensuring equipment is clean and properly maintained and performing regular equipment inspections can help to protect you and your employees and can help to extend the lifespan of your equipment.

Sterilised nail bar
Nail artist wearing mask for safety

Keep a fully stocked first aid kit

If a client or employee has an accident or injury, it may not be serious enough to warrant medical intervention. Instead, you may be able to offer treatment yourself. Having a first aid kit that is checked and replenished regularly and is easily accessible is recommended.

Implement security measures

Theft can be a major problem for many businesses. Ensuring your stock is safely stored and your salon is secure can help to protect your business. Installing a CCTV system, a reliable lock, and an alarm system are just some ways you can protect your nail bar business.

Obtain the relevant qualifications

Although qualifications are not a legal requirement for a nail technician, they can help to ensure safe and correct practices. You can opt for a general nail technician qualification, or you can become certified in specific treatments.

Carry out risk assessments

You should identify any potential hazards and risks in your business and how these can be reduced or eliminated.

As part of your risk assessments, you should:

  • Identify hazards.
  • Determine who could be at risk.
  • Evaluate any potential risks.
  • Implement relevant safety measures.
  • Record the results of the risk assessment.
  • Review the risk assessment regularly.


If your nail bar business has more than five employees, risk assessments will be a legal requirement and will need to be recorded.

Ensure proper ventilation

Because you will be working with chemicals which can release harmful vapours and dust from nail filings, you should ensure that your nail bar has proper ventilation. Fresh air should be able to circulate via open windows and doors, or you may opt for artificial ventilation (e.g. an extractor or dust ventilation unit).

Exercise your right to terminate the treatment

If you feel threatened or unsafe or a customer doesn’t maintain professional boundaries or acts inappropriately, you have the right to terminate the treatment immediately. You could have your code of ethics visible to customers or ask them to sign a contract stating they will act appropriately. If you ever feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way, terminate the treatment and contact the police, if necessary.

Legal Requirements

Complying with all legal requirements is essential for all businesses in the UK.

There are specific laws and regulations that apply to nail bar businesses and nail technicians that you should be aware of, including:

Apply for a premises licence

You will need to apply for a premises licence with your local authority to allow you to legally run your nail salon and perform nail treatments. Contact your local authority for more information.

Comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations

The COSHH regulations state that you must control any potentially hazardous substances. You must appropriately assess, control and reduce any risks or potential hazards and protect people from harm. As a nail business, you will likely be dealing with several potentially hazardous substances, including chemicals that can irritate the skin or cause respiratory problems.

Comply with the legal standards for beauty products

All beauty products you use and sell must meet the minimum legal standards, as set out by the Cosmetics Products Enforcement Regulations 2013.

Comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

The Electricity at Work Regulations state that any workplace that uses electricals must construct electrical systems in a way that prevents danger. They must also maintain electrical systems to ensure they are safe, ensure electrical equipment is checked by a competent person annually and conduct Portable Appliance Tests (PAT). Your electricals could include your UV lamps, electrical nail file and other equipment.

Comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), you must ensure that all work equipment is safe to use, maintained properly, suitable for the job and used appropriately. You must also ensure that you and any employees you hire are trained on how to use the equipment and wear PPE, where necessary.

Comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act lays out the duties of all employers in the UK regarding ensuring the health, safety and welfare of everyone in your workplace. As you are the business owner, you will be responsible for protecting the health and safety of your employees and any clients or visitors to your business.

Comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (1992)

Under these regulations, if your business has five or more employees you must ensure you conduct appropriate risk assessments, minimise any risks and maintain all equipment. You must also make sure high levels of cleanliness are maintained.

Comply with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013

RIDDOR states that you must report all injuries, diseases and dangerous events to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) using an appropriate recording document. The HSE may conduct an investigation into the incident. They can then provide advice or, in serious circumstances, may opt to prosecute.

Comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

The Manual Handling Regulations can help to protect you and your employees from sustaining an injury or illness as a result of manual handling tasks. The regulations apply to the lifting or moving of equipment and any repetitive movements when performing treatments.

Implement health and safety policies and fire safety procedures

All businesses should have health and safety policies that help to manage health and safety in your business. They protect the health and safety of you, your customers and your business. As the business owner, you are also responsible for fire safety on your premises. This could include conducting fire risk assessments, implementing fire safety measures, ensuring staff are both informed and trained on fire safety, and implementing emergency procedures.

Apply for permission to advertise outside your shop

If you put advertising or display boards outside your shop or advertise on posters or signs, you will need to apply for permission from your local authority. You must also ensure your outside advertisements stay clean, are in a safe condition and are not hazardous.

Comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA)

You must comply with both pieces of legislation when storing or sharing personal information, such as your customers’ contact details, delivery details or payment information. You must also apply for a Notification to Process Personal Data Licence. If you process or store personal information such as customer accounts and records, you will need to apply for a licence with the Information Commissioner’s Office and renew your registration every year.

Apply for a licence to play music

If you play any background music in your nail bar, you will need to apply for a licence with Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

Comply with employment legislation

If you employ any staff, you must ensure you follow employment legislation, including the Employment Rights Act (1996) and the National Minimum Wage Act (1998). You must also comply with legislation relating to recruitment, working hours, sickness, discrimination, dismissals, and maternity or paternity pay.

Register your business

You must register your business with HMRC before you begin operating. You can register as a sole trader or as a limited company. You will need to register your business name and any other relevant information.

Register for self-assessment tax

This allows you to calculate and pay your own taxes each year. You will need to track your finances every month and submit any expenses as part of your tax assessment.

Nail artist being creative with nail design

Positives of Owning a Nail Bar Business

Being a nail technician can be rewarding in many different ways.

Some of the main pros associated with owning a nail bar business are:

You can be creative and artistic

Nail designs and nail art require you to be artistic and creative. You can create new, individual designs with different colours, shapes and patterns. Being creative every day can be a lot of fun.

You can help people feel good

Making people feel good about themselves and building their confidence can be very rewarding. Many of your customers will view their nail treatments as a form of self-care and self-love and you can be an important part of helping them feel good.

Customer loyalty

People are usually loyal to their favourite nail bar or nail technician for years. You will likely have regular clients and may even find yourself working with multiple people from the same family or friendship group. High customer retention and customer recommendations can help to ensure the success of your business.

Be part of big occasions

People often get their nails done for big occasions such as weddings, birthdays, holidays and parties. Being a part of your customers’ special occasions can be very rewarding and make your work feel more special.

Flexible working hours

Being a nail technician allows you to work a flexible schedule. You can set your opening hours and working hours and book appointments for times that are most convenient to you.

Meet many different people

At your nail bar, you will meet different people from different walks of life. Talking to different people can be interesting and enjoyable, especially if you consider yourself a people person.

Design your working environment

As the salon owner, you can design the aesthetic of your business, choose the furniture and equipment, select your employees and even choose the music you play. You can design your perfect work environment that is positive, relaxing and enjoyable.

Opportunities for growth

There are multiple ways you can grow your business and increase your profits. You can hire more employees, take on more clients, expand your shop or even open additional nail bars. The opportunity for growth provides you with unlimited income potential.

Build connections

You can build important connections in your local community with your clients, fellow business owners and other people in your industry. Because you will be sitting with each client for an hour at a time (or potentially longer), you will likely spend a lot of time talking to them and learning about their lives.

You can offer a personalised customer experience

You can offer a tailored experience and personalised consultations and treatments. Not only can this improve your customers’ experience and result in repeat business and recommendations, but it can also make your job more enjoyable.

Easily gain exposure

The rise of social media makes it easier than ever to gain exposure. You can post photos and videos of your clients’ nails and your work and become noticed online. This can grow your client base, increase your experience and profits and even allow your business to become well-known online.

No qualifications required

You won’t need any specific qualifications to set up a nail bar business. What is most important is your creativity and a steady hand, although previous experience will also be beneficial. This makes setting up your own nail bar business more achievable.

Nail bar open at weekends

Negatives of Owning a Nail Bar Business

However, there are some negative aspects of owning a nail bar business that you should be aware of, including:

It can be expensive

Nail bars can have high start-up costs and running costs. It will likely involve a high initial investment, meaning you may have to obtain outside investment or invest from your savings. This makes the business higher risk and makes it more difficult to make reasonable profits.

Work can be inconsistent

Your work may be inconsistent, and you may find that you don’t have a stable income from month to month. Seasonal changes may affect your income and although you may be busier at Christmas and in the summer, there may be other times of the year where you have fewer appointments. This can make it difficult if you have employees that you consistently need to pay and running costs to account for.

Physical strain

You may not consider being a nail technician as a strenuous profession. However, as you will be sitting down all day, this can affect your metabolism and can cause pain and strain in your hips, neck and back. Nail technicians may also feel strain or obtain an injury in their fingers, wrists or hands from the repetitive movements and the strain of keeping their hands steady for hours at a time.

Building your clientele can be difficult

Successful nail technicians often spend years building up their client base. This could mean you initially receive less custom and earn a lower income. If you have invested a lot of money into your business and can’t initially make a profit, this could result in your business failing.

Working weekends

Most nail bars are busier in the evenings and at the weekend when most of their customers aren’t at work. Although this can mean more business at the weekend, it does mean you are working less sociable hours and miss out on important family and social events. Even though you can choose your opening hours, not operating during peak times can have a detrimental effect on your profits.


With many established nail bars and salons in the UK, this can be a competitive industry. If you already have established, successful nail bars in your area, this can make it more difficult for your business to succeed.

It can be stressful

Not only do you need to ensure all of your work is perfect and that your customers are happy, but as the business owner, you are also responsible for the day-to-day running of your business, ensuring health and safety and the overall success of your business.

High time commitment

Not only will you need to be available for nail treatments and services, but as the business owner, you will also need to consider the time you will need to spend on administrative duties, such as doing taxes, marketing and advertising, making appointments and ordering stock. Running a nail bar business can be time-consuming and demanding.

High risk

Running your own nail bar business can be high risk. Some of the potential risks you could encounter include liability issues, employee accidents, and the risks associated with using chemicals and certain types of equipment.

No benefits

As you are self-employed, you won’t receive benefits such as pension contributions. You will also be responsible for doing your own taxes and organising your National Insurance contributions.

Planning Your Nail Bar Business

An effective and well-designed business plan is essential to the success of your nail bar business. A business plan can help you to focus on the specific steps that will help your business succeed, plan your short-term and long-term goals, determine your financial needs and help your business to grow.

When creating your business plan, ensure it contains information such as:

  • Your company information.
  • Your company description.
  • The services you will provide.
  • Your branding, marketing and advertising plan.
  • The structure of your business.
  • The operational plan for your business.
  • The financial plan for your business.


Some of the factors you will need to consider when planning your nail bar business are:

What treatments and services will you offer?

You may offer a wide range of nail treatments or choose to specialise in specific treatments. Consider your own skills and experience, the cost of the equipment, the services offered by your local competition and the most popular nail treatments when considering what you will offer.

What will your business brand and aesthetic be?

Your brand and aesthetic will have a significant influence on the types of customers your business attracts. Consider how you will design your nail bar, your business name, logo and the types of nail art you do.

Will you hire any employees?

Depending on the size of your nail salon and the number of nail treatments you want to do per day, you may need to hire additional nail technicians. Calculate the costs associated with hiring employees and whether this is the correct move for your business.

Where will your business be located?

Your location will have a significant impact on the types of customers you are likely to attract. It will also impact your premises’ rental costs. If your business is located in an area with high footfall or a place popular with your target market, the increased custom and higher profits will be extremely beneficial to your business. Consider your rental budget and your size requirements when choosing your premises.

What local competition do you have?

Being aware of your competition is an important step to ensuring the success of your nail bar business. Look at what other nail bars and salons do well and areas you feel they could improve. You should also look at the types of nail treatments they offer, the products they use and their typical customer base. Consider how you can make your business stand out from your local competition.

What are your equipment and product requirements?

Consider what equipment you will need for your nail bar business. You will need to decide exactly what treatments you are going to offer to determine what equipment and products you need. Calculate the approximate costs of purchasing your equipment and replacing and replenishing your stock. Consider if there is any equipment you can buy later on, once your business is more established and you have begun to make a profit.

What are your initial set-up costs and running costs?

You need to determine your approximate start-up costs and running costs to enable you to calculate your initial investment, determine how you will fund this investment and what your monthly or annual costs will be. Creating a budget is a key part of your business plan. It can also help you to determine whether you can finance the business yourself or whether you require outside investment or a business loan. Consult the list above to help you calculate the approximate costs associated with setting up and running your business.

What is your pricing policy?

Different treatments will have different pricing policies, depending on the amount of work that is required, the time the treatment will take and the equipment and products you will need. Calculate your acceptable profit margin per treatment and look at the pricing of your local competition when setting your prices.

What are your sales forecasts?

You will need to determine how many nail treatments you can feasibly make each day and what your weekly, monthly and annual sales forecasts will be. As your business grows, your sales forecast will change.

What are your business objectives?

Your business objectives are crucial for creating a successful business plan. Your business objectives highlight the targets and goals of your nail bar business and help you to create a one-year, three-year, and five-year business plan to help you grow your business.

Your business objectives should be SMART:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-bound

Have you complied with all legal requirements?

Consult the list above and ensure you have complied with all legal requirements before opening your nail bar business. Failure to comply with the legal requirements could negatively affect your business and your profits.

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  • COSHH Unit Pagecoshh awareness online course

    COSHH Awareness

    £20 + VAT
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  • Workplace First Aid Units slideWorkplace First Aid Course

    Workplace First Aid

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  • Health and Safety for Employees Unit OverviewHealth and Safety Level 2

    Health and Safety for Employees

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  • Team leading units on first pageTeam Leading Level 2

    Team Leading Level 2

    £20 + VAT
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