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10 steps to begin a beauty business

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Are you looking to become a beauty therapy boss? Do you want to change careers, or pursue a new position in this exciting industry? Is your dream to open your own beauty business, but you’re not sure how to start?

In this blog, we break down 10 essential steps you can take to not only kickstart your own beauty business… but build a business which is fun, fabulous and profitable too!

1. Nail the essential skills

The first and arguably the most important step is to nail the essential beauty therapy skills. Whether it’s spray tanning, make up artistry, eyebrow lamination, eyelash extensions or any of the other key skills, you’ll need to master these treatments before you can consider pursuing a beauty career. 

By completing online beauty therapy courses, this will equip you with the key knowledge, practical experience and proof of qualification. Whilst you don’t need to have a degree to begin your own beauty business, taking the initiative to complete these studies will help grow your skill set in addition to giving you that all-important confidence boost. 

You’ll truly be able to walk your talk.

2. Read up on all the legalities

This is a super important step, as it’s vital that you understand what legal implications are involved and what your responsibilities will be as a beauty therapy boss.

For example, you’ll need to ensure you have all the paperwork in place to begin your business… such as the correct licenses, depending on what treatments you’re going to offer your clients, as well as a business number, business bank account, cosmetic regulations and so on and so forth. 

Our courses all include units of study which cover topics such as client consult and legalities. Because we understand how critical it is for you to be legally protected at all times. Help and guidance are available out there, so don’t feel daunted or overwhelmed by this particular step. It’s simply going to be beneficial for you in the long run.

3. Figure out your business structure

Are you going to be a mobile salon? Are you going to set your business up in your own home? Will you look at renting a salon space, so you can potentially invest in some bigger equipment in the future?

It’s crucial to clarify exactly what beauty business you want to open, as this will again help you to understand your legal responsibilities, and will also help you to identify what kind of working-life you want to create.

Perhaps the idea of driving to clients’ houses fills you with dread and you’d rather be much more relaxed if you could set up in a single space. Or maybe you’d like the freedom of meeting clients in their own homes, so you don’t have the added expense of renting a salon space.

Decide what will work best for you and how it will fit with your other life responsibilities (e.g. childcare, space within your house).

4. Calculate your costs

Leading on from our previous point, once you’ve decided exactly how you want to establish your beauty business, you can then begin calculating your expenses and costs.

This step also involves deciding what kind of service costs you’re going to charge clients. Remember, you’ll need to calculate a price which will cover the cost of equipment, beauty solutions, transport costs (if you’re mobile) or the cost for renting space, in addition to your time as an expert beauty therapist. You’ll likewise want to ensure that this price does generate you a degree of profit.

Equally, if you’re considering hiring extra staff you’ll need to consider payroll and staffing expenses.

Initially, when you’re in the beginning stage of setting up your business this can all seem quite expensive. But once you’ve got the majority of things set up and you’ve purchased your main tools, these expenses may level out further along the line.

Whether you decide to take out a loan or not is up to you, but before you get started make sure you’re aware of all your predicted outgoings so you have a sufficient income to avoid unnecessary debt.

5. Do your market research

So you’ve gained the key beauty therapy skills, brushed up on your legal knowledge, identified what business structure will best suit you and now understand exactly what costs you’ll be likely to encounter.

The next step is to scope out the industry in a little more detail. Chances are, you’ll already have an awareness of the beauty therapy market (as you’re obviously already interested in this industry. Yet at this point, it’ll be hugely beneficial to dig that bit deeper to understand the specifics.

And by specifics we mean… what kind of demographic is most active in this industry (i.e. who your target customers will be), what kind of competition you’ll be going up against, how these competitors are advertising or marketing themselves, how accessible the location is that you’re going to set yourself up in, what beauty trends are particularly popular for your target market at the moment, what ‘gap’ in the market could you jump on…

Basically, you should research anything and everything that will give you more of an insight into how the beauty industry is faring in your area. It’ll also be a major advantage to have some background knowledge about your target market to hand, so you know exactly how to connect with that kind of individual.

6. Develop your brand

This is one of the most exciting steps – building your brand! At this point, you can begin brainstorming what kind of identity you want to create for your business.

We’re not only talking about beauty business names, logos or brand colours. We’re also talking about the ‘bigger picture’ for your business and how you want to appeal to your chosen market.

Consider what kind of impression you want your business to create. Do you want it to be bright, bubbly and fun? Or maybe sophisticated, sleek and high-brow? Or maybe you want it to be edgy, chic and trendy?

Once you’ve decided, this will then influence what kind of language you use, how you connect with your clients both online and offline, in addition to shaping any marketing material you go on to create.

It’s great to land on a catchy business name and design a snazzy logo, but what will make your business much more successful is building a brand strategy which fully fleshes out the personality of your brand too.

Ask yourself, how would you want your ideal client to describe your business if your business were an actual person? What kind of impression do you want to leave them with?

7. Position yourself as a pro

One of the ways you’ll ultimately secure success as a beauty therapy boss is by ‘owning’ your corner of the market.

So whether you’ve decided to specialise in one particular skill, or you’re setting yourself apart from the competition by targeting your services to one particular type of clientele… the more you establish your business as the ‘go-to’ in this specified slice of the industry, the more popular and visible your brand will become.

Perhaps you’ve decided to set up a beauty business which specifically caters to the fashion industry. Or maybe your business will be targeted towards bridal parties. Or perhaps it’ll be a service exclusively for the older woman, helping her to regain her confidence with a boost to her self-care regime.

Whatever your speciality is, make sure that your online presence reflects this. Don’t be afraid to appear ‘exclusive’, as the more you showcase yourself as working with one particular client, the more appealing you may seem when this client does come across your services.

That’s not to say you should turn away clients that don’t strictly fit your defined niche in the meantime. You have to generate revenue, after all! Plus, when you’re in the beginning stages of building your business you may not have the luxury of being uber picky.

What we’re saying is that you can establish your services for one particular niche, in order to appeal to a specific target market and make a bigger splash for your online presence, whilst in person making your services accessible for all.

8. Set yourself up online

A number of blogs that answer the all-important question of ‘how to start a beauty business’ will most likely jump ahead and suggest setting yourself up online as early as step 3. But we’ve left this essential step until this point, so that you’re better equipped to create the strongest digital presence possible.

You’ve done the market research and built the brand strategy, and all this ‘background work’ will make this part of the process so much easier and more effective.

Whether you create your own website or stick with creating a Facebook and Instagram profile to advertise your services, setting yourself up online is going to help you reach a much wider customer base. And seriously, don’t forget to create a Google My Business account either.

By setting up these profiles, this will also mean that any clients who hear about you via word-of-mouth can find you online without much difficulty, and then you won’t have to worry about losing out on any potential customers!

When you do set up these profiles, remember to make your branding consistent across the board. In other words, use the same colours, font type, business description etc. for all your platforms, as this will help you appear more professional, legitimate and ‘trustworthy’ as a business.

9. Build your presence

You know the saying, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’? Well, neither is a beauty business. It’ll take some time for your business to gain exposure and popularity with your target market, so don’t be disheartened if your diary isn’t immediately flooded with back-to-back appointments.

This ‘growth’ stage for your business is actually an ideal time to develop your online portfolio and presence. And by this, we mean begin capturing and sharing evidence of your amazing skills.

For example, you could take some ‘before and after photos’ of any beauty treatments you complete and post these on your website/social media profiles. Grab a quick video where you’re talking about top beauty tips or recommendations for certain products and share this video on your Facebook page. Create an Instagram story that shows your audience what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of your business.

Basically, become active on your website/social media to showcase your skill to prospective clients. By posting more evidence of your skills, alongside some fun or interesting content, this will help to grow your online following and help your brand exposure too.

Another way that you can begin building your online portfolio is also by kickstarting your own beauty business blog. This again can be a space where you show off any spectacular treatments, or you could use it as a space to write about your experience of starting and running your own beauty therapy business. It’s your blog – make it what you want!

What’s important is that you are regularly posting and ‘getting in front’ of your audience, reminding them of all your wonderful services and what stunning transformations you can offer them too.

10. Keep promoting yourself

This tip largely leads on from step #9, but we don’t only mean promoting yourself on social media – you can promote yourself both online and offline.  

For instance, encourage your clients to refer you to their friends and family (because as we mentioned before, word-of-mouth remains super important and you can’t underestimate its power!) You could even start up a reward system, where every time a client refers a friend/family member to you, they earn a ‘stamp’ on a loyalty card or a discount on a future beauty treatment. 

Another top tip is to ask any happy clients to drop you a review on Google My Business (as this will benefit you when people search for you on Google, helping to make your business more visible and highlighting how good you are by promoting all those 5-star reviews.) 

Bottom line, chances are that any prospective clients will want to check out how good you are before they book an appointment and part with their hard-earned cash. If you have lots of snaps readily available on your social media – we’re talking about those before/after transformation snaps, ‘behind the scenes’ treatment videos etc. – then these potential clients may be more likely to trust that you’ll do an ace job for their beauty treatment too. 

It may be too early to consider investing a budget behind paid online advertising, however, you can still tap into the potential of organic social media posting in the meantime. Encourage your followers to share your posts (again helping to spread the word of your business) and consider increasing engagement on your profiles through running exclusive competitions or raffles.

There’s so much you can do with social media. Remember, the aim is to increase brand awareness and to get your business ‘in front’ of more people. 

So there you have it. Our top 10 steps for beginning your own beauty therapy business. As we mentioned in step #1, nailing the essential beauty skills is vital for your future success, so make sure to check out our courses here and kickstart your pro education today. We can’t wait for you to unleash your inner beauty artist!

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