Episode 108

Tina Black and Cindi Quinn Ventura

Podcast Length: 58 mins | Date Published: 28th September 2021

Should I start a salon from scratch or buy an existing business?

A question that I am often asked is, “Should I start a salon from scratch or buy an existing business?” This was the topic of a recent clubhouse event that I hosted, and I’ve recorded it for you as it’s always a relevant topic that arouses a lot of interest. I know that you’re going to enjoy it.

Like most things, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to cover all cases, and there are multiple things to factor in and some ‘for and againsts’ to consider before making a decision that is right for you. 

Sharing the mic with me today is Tina Black and Cindi Quinn-Ventura, both salon owners who, like myself, have either bought existing salons or started a business from scratch. We openly share our experiences of what worked and what didn’t.

For those who want more information, you should check out episode 63 on the Grow My Salon Business podcast that I did in 2020, where I discussed the same topic.

In this Episode:

[0:02:14] An introduction to my two guests, and the topic we are going to be co covering today.

[0:03:11] My experience of starting a salon business from scratch compared to my experience of buying a salon. 

[0:07:02] Why it’s so hard to answer the question of whether it’s better to build a salon from scratch or buy one. 

[0:08:21] Major learnings that Tina had when she entered the salon industry. 

[0:09:53] The business model that Tina has developed for her salons. 

[0:13:10] Cindi’s educational and professional background, and how she made her way into the salon industry. 

[0:16:16] Important lessons that Cindi learned when she transitioned from the corporate world to being the owner of a salon. 

[0:19:52] Factors that indicate what a business is worth. 

[0:25:00] The importance of culture in determining the success of a salon. 

[0:27:53] A red flag to look out for when buying a salon business.

[0:30:15] Challenges Cindi faced when bought her salon business. 

[0:34:11] The gift that the COVID-19 pandemic gave to Cindi. 

[0:36:15] Tina’s experience of buying a salon where the previous owner stayed on as part of the business. 

[0:36:58] Advantages and disadvantages of having the previous owner stay on after the business has been sold. 

[0:39:00] Why changing a culture as a new salon owner is so difficult. 

[0:43:49] A for and against list comparing starting a business from scratch and buying an existing business:


Starting a business from scratch


  • Create the culture you want from day one
  • Employ people to fit the culture you want
  • Create the salon design you want from scratch
  • No negative history


  • Cost of fit-out
  • No existing clients
  • No existing staff
  • No trading history
  • Lacking salon systems and expertise

Buying an existing business


  • Existing infrastructure 
  • Existing client base
  • Existing staff
  • Existing relationships with vendors and suppliers
  • Existing systems
  • Instant cash flow (in theory)


  • Possibly pay too much for the business
  • Inherit a culture you may not like
  • Inherit business relationships you may not like
  • Existing staff often leave
  • Staff and clients often resistant to change 

[0:48:17] What Cindi would do differently if she could go back in time. 

[0:49:10] The culture that Cindi is now trying to build. 

[0:51:20] A panel member shares his successful experience with taking over existing salon businesses.

[0:54:23] Final words of advice from Tina for anyone interested in buying an existing salon.


Links and Resources:

Grow My Salon Business

Club House @antonywhitaker 

Instagram Grow My Salon Business

Episode 63 Is buying an existing salon a bad idea?


Cindi Quinn-Ventura



Tina Black