How to open a beauty business

One of the most exciting things about working in the beauty industry is knowing there are never-ending opportunities out there to be taken. While some may prefer to remain in the employment of beauty salons, the more entrepreneurial among us may be ready to forge their own path. You don’t need to have a trust fund to begin your own beauty business these days, you can get going with limited resources. So here are some useful tips to get you started.

Develop a minimal viable product (MVP)

Don’t let the business jargon scare you, working out your MVP is actually pretty simple. First, decide what service or package of services you can begin your business with. For example, a nail technician may have all the products they need to do gel nails to start with and decide to offer a mobile service. The cost of launching this business will include buying the gel nail products required, running a car and petrol, and a calculation of time and money for marketing. This should give you the beginning of a business plan, including a product to take to market. And,  you haven’t had to pay for premises or costly equipment.

Start marketing

Thanks to social media, you can do some very effective marketing for a very low cost. If you feel daunted by the idea of making your own website, just set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account and use Instagram. On these channels, you can demonstrate your work, collect customer testimonials, show yourself as the beauty expert you are, advertise your services and organise bookings. If you want to reach a bigger customer base, explore paid marketing on Facebook and Instagram to target your ideal clients.

Develop wonderful customer service

You’ve been trained to do the job beautifully, but winning the loyalty of your customers is about more than just your skills. You need to work out how to deliver an experience that goes over and above the competition. It can be as simple as being super quick to respond to enquiries, keeping a note of things they’ve mentioned to develop a personal connection and investing a little more time in keeping them happy. Loyal customers are your best brand ambassadors as they take your message out into the world and share it. You cannot beat this sort of social proof when it comes to driving sales.

Setting up shop

If you are in a position to get your own premises, think carefully about how you invest your money. Think about the location of the salon, the footfall going past it, how much you need to make each month to cover rental, utility and tax costs, and what equipment you need to fill it with. It’s no good having a stunning new salon that is empty of customers and is hidden somewhere nobody knows. You also need to factor in insurance, legal protection and having the correct licenses to practice. Once all these things are in place, you’ll be good to go.

Stay on top of your finances

Don’t make the mistake of being so focused on what you do that you don’t pay attention to the money coming in and out of your business. If you are self-employed, you need to register with HMRC and then save around 20% of your earnings each month in tax. All your salon expenditure must be recorded by holding onto your receipts, and pay attention to the amount of National Insurance that you are required to pay. The self-assessment website run by the Government has lots of great advice for the newly self-employed. But if you’re not money savvy, it’s a smart idea to employ an accountant to look after you from the beginning. They can help you comply with the law and make sure your tax bill and any deductions are correct.
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