A Guide to Setting Up A Beauty Spa Business

Ici - A Guide to Setting Up A Beauty Spa Business

Beauty therapy and makeup is an in-demand service that provides customers with treatment sessions to support both personal presentation and stress reduction. Beauty therapy is as much about beauty service as relaxation, so as a beauty spa owner, you’ll want to provide a full package that includes both a pleasant setting and professional service.

Qualifications and experience

It’s a good idea to have prior work experience as a beautician, beauty therapist, or salon manager before you start your own business. You’ll probably find it useful if you also have relevant qualifications in beauty therapy that give you the core skills you need as a beauty therapist. Having the right experience and qualifications gives you vital knowledge to run a successful salon, and it can mean you have built up a good support network of others in the industry who could assist you with knowledge and insights.

Developing a solid business plan

Have a solid business plan in place before you take action. Your business plan should cover financials, estimated monthly budgets (including expenses and incomings), fee schedule, types of services, and long-term strategy, including how much you plan to grow your business in the future. A detailed business plan outlines exactly what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it, and it leaves as little to chance as possible.

Sorting out your finances

As with any other type of business, your beauty spa will need to be supported by financing. Whether it’s your savings, a bank loan, financing from equity investors, or other types of financing, be clear about how much you’ll need to start and to operate your business until it’s profitable, and know how you will obtain this financing.

Licensing and compliance

You may need to have special permits or licensing to open a beauty spa or service in your region, so check the government-run Australian Business Licence and Information Service to find out the compliance requirements for your specific type of business. You might need to make sure that your premises are registered with the local council and that they satisfy basic requirements for beauty facilities. There might be different types of rules depending on the types of services or procedures you’ll be offering, so seek advice if you’re not sure.


You’ll need to have insurance such as public and products liability insurance so that you, your staff, and your business are covered for injury or damage that happens in your spa. We’d probably all prefer not to think about these things, but unexpected occurrences do happen and a comprehensive insurance policy can protect your business against this type of risk. Your beauty spa insurance policy might also cover other typical commercial-site issues like fires, business interruption, burglary, and equipment.

Choosing a prime location

Consider everything from local demographics and accessibility, to noise levels and aesthetic appearance when choosing the right location to open your beauty spa. You might opt for a busy shopping centre or a local strip with attractive shopfronts and plenty of foot traffic. Leasing costs, site-maintenance requirements, and spaciousness might be other factors to consider. If you’re doing a fit-out, you may need to have a permit from the local council.

Choosing an attractive theme

Do you have a specific theme in mind for your beauty spa? A theme allows you to focus and coordinate your décor, services and brand, so that customers can understand what it is they expect to receive when they come in for a treatment session. Suitable themes might be as general as wellbeing and healing, exclusive and high-end services, or natural beauty using organic products. Your theme can become your selling point in your marketing materials.

Buying the right equipment

Your business plan should outline the equipment you need. This will vary depending the size of your spa and the types of services you’ll be offering. You’ll likely need workstations, mirrors, chairs, basins, a reception desk, lounges for waiting customers, and a cash register. You’ll also need storage facilities for treatment products, and any other special equipment ranging from tweezers to skin laser machines. Remember your equipment could be subject to specific compliance requirements, so have processes for maintaining these as required by law.

Hiring the best staff

How many staff do you need? You will probably need at least one administrative assistant or reception staff member to assist with bookings and greeting customers. Estimate how many staff you need and incorporate this into your budget and business plan. You will also want to make sure you have sufficient space for extra staff members.

Keep in mind there are additional compliance requirements associated with hiring staff. Consider the National Employment Standards, pay rates, annual leave, superannuation, and other employment regulations. Get advice if you have any doubts.

Marketing and promotions

Marketing and promotional activities allow you to get your message out there and connect with potential customers. Develop a specific plan for a highly anticipated grand opening and for marketing your business to locals. Set up a budget so you know what you’re spending on marketing. Track your marketing campaigns – whether it’s on social media, paid clicks, or physical mail-outs – and adjust to ensure you’re spending your marketing dollars in the most effective channels.

Setting up a successful beauty spa

Setting up your own beauty spa can be a rewarding and profitable way to pursue your passion in beauty. Like many small business pathways, having a relevant qualification under your belt can help you build a foundation of core skills that will propel you to success. If you’re planning to set up your own beauty spa, why not start by becoming a qualified beauty therapist and makeup artist with International Career Institute’s Certificate in Beauty Therapy and Makeup? Contact us today to discuss a career in beauty and makeup.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.