Your makeup is always flawless, you’re obsessed with all the latest nail art trends, and you can strobe, contour and create Cara Delevingne-esque eyebrows in your sleep. You’re always the last person to get ready for a girls’ night out because you’re busy doing everyone’s hair and makeup, and people are always telling you to start your own YouTube channel. So how do you turn your passion for beauty into a business? Follow our 7 tips below to discover how easy it is to get down to the business of beauty:
First things first: if you’re going to start a beauty business, you’ll need a qualification. It doesn’t matter if you want to start your own business, manage a local salon or travel around the country as a freelancer; making sure that you have a recognised qualification is crucial. At AIAS, aspiring beauty students can complete a range of diploma and certificate courses including Beauty Therapy, Salon Management and Nail Technology.
Once you’ve graduated from your beauty course, it’s time to create a list of the services you want to offer. Will you specialise in a single type of beauty treatment (e.g. eyelashes and eyebrows), or will you offer a range of beauty services? Is there a particular type of product that you’ll be using? How much will you charge for your services to make a profit but still remain competitive? Will you offer discounts and/or treatment packages? By answering each of these questions, you’ll be able to create a treatment list based on your areas of interest and expertise.
Getting your new business up and running can be a daunting task. In order to make sense of all your ideas, keep track of where you are and prioritise all your tasks, you need to create a business plan. The Australian government offers some great free resources on writing a business plan that you might want to check out.
Now that you've got your business plan in hand, it’s time to get your finances in order. Figuring out how much money you’ll need is a good place to start. Whether you’re using your savings to turn your spare room into a salon, or seeking a small business loan to put down a deposit on a new space, ensuring that you have the finances to make your dream a reality is essential. Make an appointment with your local bank to understand what you need to be eligible for a loan. You’ll need to take your business plan (above) with you to demonstrate why the bank should invest in your business.
For the vast majority of new beauty businesses, you just need a bright, spotless space in a good location – the aesthetics are secondary. Don’t worry too much about investing in the latest equipment or interior fads – instead, start by ensuring that all your ducks are in a row. Choose a memorable business name, validate your ideas by asking your friends and family for their opinions, and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What experience would you like to have during your treatment? Would scented candles and soft music be appropriate, or would your clients respond better to upbeat music and a well-lit space? Considering your clients’ needs when building your business will ensure that they are more likely to come back - and recommend you to their friends.
It’s important to dress for success no matter which industry you’re in, but nowhere is this more evident than the beauty business. As a business owner, you are the spokesperson for your business, so how you look can have a huge impact on your success. Would you trust a hairdresser with a bad haircut? Neither would we. Your ability to look the part will also help you build your network and get mentored by influencers in the beauty industry, including salon owners, makeup artists, editors or brand representatives.
With your qualification mounted on the wall and your treatment list printed, it’s time to get your business out there. Facebook and Instagram are two platforms that offer free marketing opportunities for new business owners. From posting photos of your latest nail art to offering 2-for-1 facial vouchers, social media can be the perfect platform for savvy new businesses to reach and connect with their clients. All of your key business information (including your phone number, address and website) can also be included on this free page, with customer reviews adding an extra layer of authenticity to your services. It’s also a good idea to use social media to showcase a portfolio of your work, with a watermark so people don’t reuse your images.