Starting a Spa from Scratch

If you’re an esthetician, pedicurist, manicurist or simply have the itch to start a small business, starting your own spa may be the perfect answer. Starting any business from scratch can be an intimidating project to undertake. There are many unknowns, unforeseen obstacles and financial considerations to take into account. However, if you organize yourself and your team well and do the necessary research to plan effectively, you can come out of the other end with a business that could last generations. Here we will explore some of the basic first steps which need to be taken in order to move forward with your dream of having your own spa.


Some of the first steps you will want to take in your journey to starting your own spa is completing the legal and logistical requirements. For one thing, you should decide, possibly with the help of an attorney, what type of corporation you will be forming. There are LLC’s, P.C’s C corps and others. Each has different implications when it comes to various forms of liability and taxes. Examining the different types of corporations and figuring out which one best suits you can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Once you have completed this step in that you have registered with your local state business board and the IRS, you can open a business account for your spa business and move on to the next logistical steps.


Before getting equipment or hiring employees, you will need a suitable location for your business. When choosing a location, you should take into consideration the proximity of your business to your desired client base, the zoning laws for that location and whether or not you will be buying or leasing the space. With regards to your proximity to your potential client base, closer is always better but, keep in mind, commercial locations in highly trafficked areas tend to rent or sell for substantially more and this is an increased cost which could affect your profitability. This brings us to the next location-related consideration for your spa which is the local business zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances dictate which, if any, types of businesses are allowed to be at a certain location, whether or not those businesses (and their clients) are allowed to use ordinary pedestrian parking and what noise and schedule limitations need to be maintained by the business. The strictest of these restrictions generally apply to less “savory” businesses like night clubs which are not permitted, let’s say, right next to a grade school. Nonetheless, you will want to review these regulations thoroughly to make sure that your location is appropriate for your spa. Finally, whether you will lease or buy the location for your spa is a decision you should not take lightly. Buying the location will ultimately have the consequence of acquiring an asset (and its liabilities) against your business and will also require more starting capital. Leasing the location will require less capital and makes your spa more agile, but the money you invest in rent every month ultimately gets the business nothing.


Your new spa’s business plan should include a plan for what types of employees you will need and how many, what types of equipment you will need and what other business-specific startup costs need to be taken into consideration for your budget. You should do thorough research in your local market to correctly anticipate what types of salaries you will need to pay the various types of employees and what amount of revenue they are likely to bring in so that you do not overextend your business. Regarding the equipment, you should contact a reputable supplier like in order to get the best equipment for your new business at the best price. Finally, your new spa business will need to have a marketing plan so that you can effectively get your name out there when it is time to open the doors for your spa. Do you have an independent website and a social media presence? Will you run paid ads? Do you have someone who is capable of handling SEO to help make your business visible? All of these things are considerations that you will want to take into account.


Although all new businesses, including spas, will be met with obstacles to overcome and will need time to get off the ground, starting your spa with a good plan and the right information will ultimately lead you to success. If you are truly committed to making your dream of owning a spa into reality, then nothing can stand in your way.