How to start a nail salon business in the UK


Today, many people do excellently well at caring for their hands and feet. They have learned simple tricks of providing a great manicure for themselves.

This could make anyone think that nail salon business is not something lucrative. Nail salon goes beyond fixing and polishing nails; it involves being skilled in caring for nails at the professional level. Only very few people can do this.

Nail care business is a very popular and profitable business all over the world. The annual revenue of nail salons in the UK exceeds £3 billion with nail technicians earning as much as £8.65 per hour. As lucrative as this figure is, the nail salon business is not yet at its peak; it is growing daily. Hence, there is more than enough opportunity for new people to get in the business and create a sense of uniqueness for themselves hence making a good amount of money without so much struggle. However, a new entrepreneur intending to start this business must be harmed with certain key facts about starting a nail salon.

The business model of a nail salon is straightforward, unlike many other startups. The implication of this on your intention to start the business is that you get to the business much faster. After ticking all necessary paper works, the baseline of a nail salon, just like any other business, is to give your customers the best look and keep them happy. If you are considering the opening of a nail salon, the following tips are vital to whether you will have a successful nail salon or not:

Hands-on experience

One of the biggest mistakes people make in starting a nail salon is to think they have got it all figured out because it appears all simple. As a result, many of such businesses fail or are struggling; every business has its challenges which if you are not prepared for will likely kill the business. The very first step toward starting a nail salon is to work with an established nail salon. You will not just be learning unique skills about nail care; you will come face to face with peculiar demands of the profession which you definitely never thought it’s so serious. It will also help you learn the administrative side which will make all the difference since you are planning to start yours.

Draw a plan

Now that you have acquired the all-important hands-on experience, the next step is to decide what your nail salon will be all about. A key factor to success in business is to have a clear vision and path about what you are doing as well as how you will be doing it. Begin by writing a vision for your nail salon. This will inform all other decisions you make thereafter hence you must take your time and be sure it is what you want.

Get your licenses

Having prepared your business plan, your path is clearly laid before you and it is time to journey. The next step in starting a nail salon to get the necessary licenses in order to operate without hindrances of any sort. This differs from place to place; some key licenses are the certificate of cosmetology and seller’s permit that allows you to legally sell specialty products.


Before considering starting a nail salon, it is expected that you know it will cost some money. If you do not have enough, you can get help from families and friends or get a business loan. A key lesson for all business owners is to save as much as possible because every cent matters.

Startup costs

One of the most tedious aspects of starting a business is finance. Do not forget how you made your money which is never a joke hence must be spent with accountability. Draw a chart of every aspect of business that will need funding e.g. getting a property, license, equipment, employees, etc. This is one of the key advantages of getting hands-on experience. Nevertheless, you should also talk to an established owner about the costs involved in running a nail salon.

Set it up

This is the implementation phase.

Getting the perfect location

This involves getting a suitable location for your nail salon – the location must suit your business vision. Usually, it should be a balance between commercial convenience and posh privacy. You may also want a location that is popular with your customers as this could give you a significant advantage.

Furnish the space

After securing the perfect fit location for your nail salon, the next thing is to furnish the space. Desks, chairs, reclining seats, and manicure tables are some of the must-have items. After putting these things in place, you should then focus on making the looking pleasing to the eyes and ultimately create a relaxing atmosphere. Beautiful and classic wall hangings and potted plants are some of the things you can incorporate to create such an atmosphere.

Get the necessary essential supplies

Certain items are fundamental to the day-to-day running of a nail salon. Nail clippers, files, scissors, buffers, moisturizers, finger and toe separator, and towels are few of the items that are your best friends on this job. Get these items and make plans for regular updates.


Every business needs to be properly promoted to ensure your business is known by your customers. This business promotion is what is called marketing. This can be done by designing classic flyers and putting them in places where your target customers can easily see them or get a copy. On this flyer, ensure details such as the name of your salon, what you do, your address, and contacts are clearly stated on the flyer.

Another key marketing channel is social media. Today, any business that is not leveraging on the power of social media is missing out on key opportunities to promote its activities as well as share testimonies from satisfied clients.

Work with qualified technicians

Price your services competitively

Offer extra services such as giving clients professional advice on how to care for their nails.


If you have decided to start a nail salon business, it is important to take note of all the steps stated above in order to run a successful business.