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Thinking About Buying a Nail Salon? Ask These 4 Questions First!

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Buying A Business

Beauty salons have seen tremendous growth in the last decade, and nail services are no exception. Holding nearly 16 percent of the market share, the sector is a key player in the salon industry. Although many nail spas have taken a hit more recently due to the pandemic, sales are expected to climb in the upcoming months. If you’ve been holding off or have recently thought about buying a nail salon, now may be the right time. Keep reading as we cover essential questions you should ask before venturing into this new opportunity.

Questions to Consider Before You Purchase a Nail Spa

There are currently over a million nail salon businesses in operation throughout the United States. Whether you want to specialize in manicures and pedicures, gel and acrylic nails, or offer a full suite of nail services, the options are almost endless. Still, even if you have years worth of beauty experience under your belt, there’s plenty of additional work that goes into buying and starting a small business. Before exerting your time and resources into becoming a new business owner, make sure to address the following questions.

1. How will you cover the starting costs?

As you enter into this 57.9 billion dollar industry, you’ll need to think about startup costs. Like any beauty business, salon tools and equipment are mandatory to get your new salon up and running. Since salon equipment can be pricey, ask the existing salon owner if they’re willing to include any in the sale. Depending on their answer, you’ll want to budget for any new essentials you’ll need to open your business.inside of a nail salon

2. How will you account for your staffing needs?

Unless you plan to take on the double role of owning and serving your nail clients, you’ll need employees to help run your salon. Consult with the seller and see if the current nail techs plan to leave after the ownership transfer occurs or if they’re open to staying. Finding and training new nail stylists may take several weeks or even months to complete. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time and budget enough resources into recruiting and onboarding new hires. At a minimum, licensed nail technicians require certification from a board-approved cosmetology or nail tech program. If you’re having trouble finding qualified candidates, try networking with a local beauty school or using a reputable job recruiting website.

3. What’s the real business value?

Next, you’ll need to calculate the salon’s real business value. Asking prices for nail salon services vary depending on the customer base, location, and cash flow. For instance, pricing for a salon in a busy shopping center with high foot traffic will likely be higher than a salon in a rural area with fewer customers. If you need help determining if the asking price is reasonable, consider hiring a professional business broker or accountant.

4. What are your plans for future growth?

As a new owner, you’ll undoubtedly need to put in plenty of footwork to turn your new salon into a profitable business. To plan ahead, brainstorm ways you can attract more walk-ins and a loyal customer base. Word-of-mouth, online marketing, and social media advertising can go a long way in getting the word out about your services and new client offerings.

Ready to locate your ideal nail salon business for sale? Get in touch with the professionals at Sunbelt Business Brokers. For decades, we’ve been matching buyers with business owners who are ready to sell. Contact your nearest Sunbelt office today to get started on becoming a profitable nail salon owner!


Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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