by Laura Armenta, PBA Communications Coordinator

For many professionals in the beauty industry, venturing off to start an independent salon feels like a natural step to success. Being a business owner can be satisfying and extremely rewarding; it can also be difficult and exhausting. While it’s important to maintain a separate work and personal life, it’s crucial for salon owners to realize that their business is an extension of themselves. Self-image and confidence play a crucial role in the potential success of your salon.

For many, confidence can be a daily struggle and very introspective. However, there are many things you can do on the outside as a business owner to exude confidence and positive self-image for both yourself and your salon. As the face of your business, a positive first impression may be the deciding factor in retaining a client.


There are common attributes that make up a confident person and boost self-image. Maintaining eye contact and having a firm handshake are small gestures that make a good impression. Be sure to stand tall (posture is important).  Take the time to get to know your clients and recognize their needs. Your clients will look to you for guidance and reassurance, so stay current on the latest trends and offer your insight. Clients will appreciate your wealth of knowledge, and this in turn will give you a confidence boost.


Keeping true to your word, being reliable, upfront, and honest with your clients and suppliers will give you peace of mind. If you make this a common practice, you’ll never have to worry about keeping your stories straight or having to remember little white lies. Even the most insignificant twist of the truth can come back to haunt you, and you don’t want to give your business a bad name. Remember to always put your best face forward and show your true colors. Stick to a schedule during your work day. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time between appointments. Instill a clear-cut late policy for your appointments, and follow through. Your time, as well as your clients’, is valuable so don’t waste it.


Your physical appearance, as well as the condition and state of your workspace speaks volumes. A clean and tidy salon will be more inviting. Likewise, if your physical appearance is neat and put together, you’ll feel more confident. Clean your station between appointments and make your clients feel welcome. Something as simple as providing water for clients may help them feel more comfortable. You want clients to enjoy their time and experience at your salon.

Social Media/ Networking

You’ve built your business, you’ve worked hard to maintain it, and you have a steady client base. Now what? Get out there and network! Use social media to its fullest potential and get to know your community. Get involved with local and small business organizations. Being aware of community happenings will keep you in tune with clients’ needs, as well as their demographics, giving you the guidance to properly structure your salon dynamic.

Know Your Limits

As a stylist/salon owner, you see clients come and go every day and it’s inevitable to form lasting bonds with some of them. However, it’s essential to draw a line when it comes to over-sharing. Be mindful of using your clients as a sounding board. Gossiping or speaking negatively in front of clients will make your salon image plummet. While it’s inevitable that as a small business owner, your personal and business lives intertwine, it’s pertinent that you know how to carefully maneuver through this obstacle.

The most important thing to remember is that your business is a reflection of you, and vice versa. Take pride in your career, your salon, and yourself. Keep a tidy, clean fresh workspace, and give your clients the respect they deserve. Strive to continually expand your education to stay ahead of the trends. Be a leader and successfully guide your clients and give them the best service you can give. Nothing will make you more confident and proud than building a loyal clientele. Ultimately, as a business owner, the success of your salon depends on you.

About the Author

Laura Armenta is the coordinator of marketing and communications for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). PBA advances the professional beauty industry by providing our members with education, charitable outreach, government advocacy, events and more. PBA is the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons and spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals/NCA. Visit or call 800.468.2274 (480.281.0424) for more information.