How to Write a Nail Salon Business Plan + Free Sample Plan PDF

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

7 min. read

Updated April 1, 2024

Download: Free one-page nail salon sample business plan

Nail trends are changing faster than ever. With social media fueling endless inspiration, people of all ages are embracing self-expression through their appearance, and their nails are no exception.

With the number of manicurists and pedicurists projected to grow 9% in the next decade, this burst of creativity is opening opportunities for nail technicians who dream of owning their own nail salon.

But just because the market is booming doesn’t mean anyone can start a nail salon and be successful. To build a financially stable business, you’ll need to have a sharp understanding of your ideal client, define the unique services that sets you apart, and develop smart marketing strategies to bring customers in your door.

A well-crafted business plan will help you focus your planning efforts on the tactics and strategies that attract loyal clients. And it’s key for convincing banks or investors if you need funding to get started.

Nail salon business plan checklist

Here are a few sections we recommend including in a nail salon business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Products & services
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing & sales plan
  • Company overview
  • Financial plan & forecasts
  • Appendix

Writing a business plan thorough enough to impress lenders typically requires following a standard format. But if you aren’t seeking outside funding, you shouldn’t feel like you have to stick to that structure.

For instance, don’t spend too much time on the products and services section of your business plan if you’re writing it to determine how to market your business. Just include the sections that are relevant to your situation.

Here’s an example of a nail salon business plan outline. Just remember that your business plan might have different sections. It’s all about what you need for your business.

A sample outline of a nail salon business plan.

Executive summary

The executive summary is essentially your nail salon’s opening pitch. 

It shouldn’t be more than 1-2 pages, and should be written last, despite going first in the plan. Just outline the objective of your business, and your mission. 

Are you focused on intricate nail art, speedy manicures, or a luxurious spa-like experience? 

Then, describe the issue you solve for clients and your unique value proposition — the factor or factors that make you different from the competition. Some examples include:

  • A unique combination of services
  • An emphasis on naturally made products
  • Partnerships with other beauty service providers (hair, makeup, etc.)

The executive summary is all about being concise, but capturing the reader’s interest so that they’ll want to read more.

Products and services

The products and services section is all about detailing your revenue streams. Start with your core nail services. Maybe you offer:

  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Gel/acrylics
  • Nail art

Once you’ve written down the basics, expand to emphasize any unique offerings, such as:

  • Intricate designs
  • Complementary services like aromatherapy
  • Plant-based ingredients

You should mention any retail products you plan to sell, such as:

  • Nail polishes
  • Nail care kits
  • Hand creams.

These are potentially additional revenue streams for your business. Use the products and services section to focus on your unique value proposition. Maybe you’re known for your eye-catching nail designs, or have partnerships with complementary businesses like hair salons. Anything that contributes to your sales and profitability is worth including.

Market analysis

This is where you get to know your target market and your competition. What’s the size of the nail salon market in your area? Can your customers be grouped factors like:

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Spending habits

The market analysis section should outline the specific groups in your community that you aim to serve, such as working professionals, students, or individuals seeking luxury treatments.

If you’re already running a nail salon, you likely have a sense of your customer demographics. But studying industry trends (like the growing demand for natural nail care) and whether they can help you understand how your customers’ motivations and desires might change over time.

Use your business plan to compile that research, and zero in on the demographics and desires of your perfect client. Maybe they’re:

  • Busy professionals seeking quick lunchtime manicures
  • Trend-conscious teens and young adults
  • Parents looking for some relaxation

You should also scout out your competition. List other nearby salons in your plan, noting their strengths and weaknesses. How will you stand out and win customers over?

Marketing and sales plan

The marketing and sales plan describes your strategies to turn your target market into paying clients.

Start by detailing your strategies to reach customers. 

We recommend you prioritize social media channels, as they’re a major driver for the beauty industry. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are ideal for showcasing your nail work. 

Other marketing tactics to consider include:

  • Online ads
  • Partnerships with local businesses
  • Loyalty programs for returning customers
  • Incentives for customers who bring friends to your business 

Whichever marketing channels you choose to invest in, remember that your market research and unique value proposition should inform the content you put out to entice consumers. 

For instance, if most of your customers are working professionals, determining other businesses they frequent and seeking our partnership opportunities with them could be a valuable approach. But if your clients are mostly high school and college students, you’re most likely to be successful with an engaging social media campaign.

Make sure to track the results of your marketing efforts as well, so you know which strategies are paying off.

Company Overview

The company overview is where you highlight your team and business history. (If you aren’t seeking a loan or investment, you can likely skip this section).

Outline your business structure. Are you a:

  • Sole proprietor
  • LLC
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

Then, highlight your team. Even if it’s just you, summarize your experience and any special certifications you hold. If you have key employees like nail salon technicians, a manager, or an administrative assistant, list their experience and skills. And if you plan on hiring, briefly mention the skills you’ll be looking for in future team members.

If you already have customers or brand partnerships, mention them in this section as well.

Financial Plan

The financial plan is all about deciding how successful your business can be. You’ll need a few things:

Sales Forecast: How much do you realistically expect to bring in each month? Consider the average price of services and how many clients you can serve.

Profit and Loss (P&L): This lists your income minus expenses. Don’t forget things like rent, nail polish, and staff salaries.

Cash Flow Statement: This shows when money comes in and goes out, which is crucial for managing bills.

Startup Costs: If you’re seeking a loan, itemize costs like salon equipment, initial inventory, and any renovations.

Detail the assumptions behind your profitability and starting capital projections to provide clarity on your market analysis and expectations. Also, outline any potential risks, such as economic downturns affecting discretionary spending. And if you’re seeking funding, outline here how you will use those funds to support your business operations.


This optional section is where you include extra materials that strengthen your main points, but don’t fit in the actual plan. 

Maybe you surveyed customers about their preferences for a new product line, or researched the demographics of your neighborhood online. 

Include those reports in the appendix, if you think anyone reading the plan will benefit from the additional information. 

Remember, only include items that truly add value to your plan.

Download your free nail salon one page sample business plan

Download our nail salon sample business plan template right now for free. You can also view other salon and spa business plan templates, or browse Bplans’ gallery of more than 550 sample business plans to find more inspiration. 

In a space as full of entrepreneurs as the nail industry, standing out is crucial, and writing a business plan is one of the best ways to make sure you set yourself apart with a strategy that’s financially viable and built for long-term success.

And remember, you’ll need a plan if you’re looking for a loan or investment to fund your business.

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Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.