Hi there -
My husband and I opened a wine store in Andersonville about two years ago and while it isn't a nail salon i did go through the whole business planning / obtaining financing process.
You can find many different business planning books at any bookstore around - most come with a software package that has the financial models to assist in building out of the business plan. I don't necessarily think that any one book is better than the others...
Here is a little bit on what else helped us:
I took a class through the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center called Fast-Trak; it was a very good class that provided me with a lot of excellent resources in addition to the ability to vet my ideas. You can check it out at: http://www.wehaveanswers.org/
Another thing that I would recommend you do it read the book “E-Myth Revisited: Why most small business don’t work and what to do about it” by Michael Gerber. In this book Michael talks about the fact that for a small business to work you must have a great combination of a ‘technician’, ‘manager’ and ‘entrepreneur’ and that most ‘technicians’ go into business for themselves because they don’t want to work for someone else the rest of their lives (which is a great reason) but they aren’t really good ‘managers’ or ‘entrepreneurs.’
Additionally this book talks about the fact that you need to develop standard processes and organizational models to truly be successful. I wish I would have known this from the start because we are currently spending time going back to establish these standards and are finding that it is saving us time and energy.
On the financial note, and I don’t mean to be discouraging but typically the most money you are going to get from a grant or through the SBA is in the 20K-40K range, typically they are not comfortable lending start-up business any more money than that. I’m not sure, but I would imagine that you will need a bit more money than that – especially given your location, need for build-out etc…
One thing that we did was open a Home Equity Line of Credit to finance our business (our start-up costs were about $125K but the property we rented was in shambles and we sent a lot of money on that). We also worked for 1-2 years prior to opening to save some additional cash, which also helped.
One more thing - i went through this process without kids but while working a full-time plus job as a management consultant and it was an extremly time intensive process. My husband and I spent at least 20 hours per week for over a year and a half trying to get our store open - it was definitly a part time job. I'm not sure what your current job situations is, but if you are a stay at home (but still working) mother, i would suggest finding part-time daycare option so you can focus a portion of your day on this endevour. Like I said earlier, it will totally be worth it in the end but it isn't easy.
If and when you decide to move forward, I have some great contacts of individual who are willing to help and other helpful ideas. Please let me know if you would like to spend more time discussing the idea or need help with anything else. Because our business involved liquor, it was even more challenging to open so I have a lot of resources that we used for a variety of situations.