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Setting up a massage and nail salon

A beauty salon is a regular fixture in Filipino neighborhoods. And because Pinoys put a premium on looking good, they are liable to spend for salon services on a regular basis.
By Mishell Malabaguio |

A beauty salon is a regular fixture in Filipino neighborhoods. And because Pinoys put a premium on looking good, they are liable to spend for salon services on a regular basis. Unlike traditional hair salons, massage and nail salons offer a premium service to its customers. Here are some tips to help you start one yourself.

STEP 1: Map out space requirements.

For a startup salon, a 40- to 60-square meter space ideal. Allocating space is a matter of deciding what type of service to specialize in. Once you’ve decided which one to highlight, you can determine how much area to allocate for each service. As an example, if your main business is massage, you may allocate something like 65 percent of the space for that area, 20 percent for the nail salon, and 15 percent for the reception, service, or break-room area.


STEP 2: Concentrate on the service, less on the equipment.

Some of the typical requirements include: massage beds that can be made to order, and foot tubs and built-in foot sinks. Of course, nail polish massage oils and other necessities need to be purchased. In a service-oriented business like this one, you don’t have to impress your clients with big and expensive equipment and fancy brands. Instead, focus on excellent services and customer care you can render to them. Buying second hand equipment doesn’t matter, as long as your service remains top notch.

STEP 3: Get the necessary permits

Permits you will need are: Mayor’s permit, the business permit, the certification from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and the building permit for your construction or renovation activities. You can get these permits from the City Hall (mayor’s permit and building permit), the Department of Trade and Industry (business permit), and the BIR district office (the BIR certification).


STEP 4: Mind your staff

As a service oriented business, the quality of your employees should be of utmost concern. Screen them well, and train them according to the standards you expect them to perform. At the startup phase, a minimum of four employees is needed for a salon. Since you’re working with a skeleton crew, make sure they can multi-task as needed.

STEP 5: Treat it as a ‘hands on’ job

Attention to detail is very important for any service-oriented venture, and this is also true for a salon. Conduct regular inventory checks, have meetings with your staff to know the trends in the shop, and most importantly, talk to your customers by encouraging feedback. This will ensure that your salon will continue to attract patrons and be a viable long-term business.

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