Are you interested in learning how to start a lash business? You’re not the only one who feels this way!
This is not surprising when you consider that lash extensions are fashionable and practical. Whether you want fuller-looking lashes or more dramatic ones, they make your eyes look bigger and prettier. They also give your face an instant lift.
But how to start a lash business? It’s easier than you think. Below are some tips for anyone interested in starting their own lash empire.
Why start a lash business?
There are many reasons to start a lash business. Firstly, the demand for lash extensions is on the rise. A study showed that the global market was worth $1.1 billion.
This shows that people are increasingly using lash extensions as a beauty enhancement. Secondly, you have the opportunity to be your own boss and work from home. You can decide your own hours and work as much as you want.
Lastly, this business has a low startup cost which means it doesn’t require a lot of money. You’ll need to invest in some things if you plan on starting your lash salon- namely, adequate space and equipment.
A step-by-step guide on how to start a lash business
When it comes to developing a small business, it is a good idea to find a location in a high-traffic area and an area with low overhead. For example, if you have a salon, look for a space in the city center.
If you have a retail location, try to find one with plenty of foot traffic. As for overhead costs, consider looking at fairly priced spaces or renting out space from another company that shares the same industry.
1. Branding your business
When questioning how to start a lash business one of the first steps in branding. Branding is so important when it comes to your business. Think about your name and the message you want to convey to your customers.
You’ll also want a logo, which can be as simple or detailed as possible. And if you’re looking for inspiration for some pictures of lashes, there are plenty of photo sites where people have uploaded pictures of their work.
Choose a business name that can hold all of your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want to pick something short and easy to add to the fact that a lot of your business will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Once you’ve got a list of possible names, visit the US Patent and Trademark Office to ensure they are available for registration. Check if related domain names are available at a web cataloging site.
2. Analyzing your competition
The next step in how to start a lash business is analyzing your competition. It’s important to know what you’re up against. You want to be able to understand their prices, why they are popular, and how you can improve on their services. A good place to start with this is online reviews. Read through them and see what people say about the different lash salons in your area. This will give you an idea of who the best in your area is so you can set yourself apart from them.
- Identify your competition – Competitive situations arise when two different companies target the same market segments and sell similar products. Ads by one company can operate next to ads from another without competition.
- Research about your competition – Gather information about the products or services they offer, the pricing, their advertisement and marketing strategies, branding, and reputation in the market.
- Evaluate their strengths and weakness – Analyse the gathered information and determine the particular strengths your competitors have over you and their weaknesses. This will help you to re-evaluate your own plan and strengthen your position in the market as compared to others.
- Get in touch with your competitors – It can be beneficial to take the time to get to know your competitors. That first step is often more than enough for a relationship that benefits both sides of an agreement. Even if you don’t come up with an understanding with them, talking will still give you important information about how best to differentiate your business in the marketplace.
- Determine your advantage – The competitive landscape will help you identify your company’s competitive advantage. Maybe it’s lower prices or promotions that attract new customers- but remember, this type of strategy can be copied by the competition and might not be viable in the long run.
3. Training and certifications
Installing lashes is a process that may be unfamiliar to you. However, there are many sources of information available to help you learn the ropes on how to start your lash business.
When looking for the perfect eyelash extensions training programs, you will encounter a wide variety of options. Some of them are excellent while others can be completely useless.
Due to how relatively new this industry is and its sudden popularity in the 2000s, there are an incredible amount of providers claiming they offer the best courses on eyelash extension training- but which one should you choose?
The National Association of Lash Artists is a good resource for starting your search for an accredited eyelash extensions course.
Every eyelash extension course is different- some artists provide ongoing support after your course, others do a 2-day crash course and the rest spread out learning over weeks. The important thing to remember is that you should find an instructor and a teaching style that works for your schedule. You can find and choose from several different courses.
4. Creating a business plan
Every business needs a plan. This guidebook will help you go through the launch process and maintain focus on your goals. A business plan also enables potential partners or investors to understand your company’s vision better – if you’ve never created one before, it can be an intimidating task; consider hiring someone experienced to create professional work for you.
Here are some sections that your business plan must include:
- Executive summary – Include the basic information about your company, your mission, your offered product or service, and information about your company’s leadership team, location, and employees. You should also include financial information and growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.
- Company description – Give in-depth information about your company. Go into detail about the issues your business solves.
- Organization and management– Layout the structure of your organization and give information about the core team. Tell each core member’s experiences, skills, and achievements.
- Products and Services – Describe the product or services you are going to offer, be specific about how it is different from the rest of the market.
- Marketing – Provide your marketing and sales strategy, make it unique, and cater to current trends in marketing. Describe how you are going to gain customers and retain them.
- Financial information – Use graphs and pie charts and describe where you are acquiring funds and how you are going to use them judiciously. Also ask for funding, if that is something you require.
5. Select a business structure
When it comes to starting a business, there are plenty of things to consider. The type of legal structure you choose for your eyelash extension salon will shape how taxes are handled, what personal liability is incurred, and what registration requirements must be met. Make the best choice with these considerations in mind.
- Sole proprietorship – is the most common type of structure for small businesses. The owner will keep all profits and be responsible for debts, but no legal distinction exists between the company and the owners.
- Partnership – similar to a sole proprietorship, but with more than one person. Again, the owners take on risks themselves by keeping profits as well as being liable for losses.
- Corporation – this is a distinct legal entity from its owners; it’s not possible to lose personal responsibility.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) – combines aspects of corporations with those of partnerships or sole proprietorships: again only allowing risk-taking when revenue is made.
Register for taxes
The final step before you are able to pay taxes is getting an employer identification number or EIN. The IRS website offers several ways of filing for your EIN- whether it be online, by mail, or fax – all depending on what works best for you.
Once obtained, the next thing would be to choose which tax year your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) OR a fiscal year that starts at any month within the 12 months period.
This decision determines how often taxes need to be filed and paid- either monthly or quarterly based on what company structure was chosen beforehand during the formation of the business entity.
It’s important that if someone wants help with their taxes they consult an accountant because this ensures they are completing them correctly whether as sole proprietorship/FIEs operating under 1 owner OR as corporations & LLCs governed by boards &shareholders.
Get funding for your business
There are a number of methods for financing your business, but the most common is borrowing from a bank. Getting approved requires a solid business plan and strong credit history. The Small Business Administration can act as a guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval by guaranteeing an SBA-guaranteed loan.
There are also government grants to help fund entrepreneurs; visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you. Venture capitalists offer potential investors an ownership stake in exchange for funds – keep in mind that this will mean you would be sacrificing some control over your company’s future.
Crowdfunding offers an increasingly popular low-risk option, where donors back entrepreneurs’ visions with money or services instead of cash upfront (similar to donating). You could self-fund via savings or property sales and family/friend support if necessary too.
6. Apply for licenses
An important step on how to Start a lash business is obtaining permits and licenses from various government agencies.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting this type of business include doing the “doing your own thing” paperwork – which is required by OSHA‘s health license or permit- as well as trademarks, copyrights, patents (and other intellectual properties), industry-specific licenses & permits, etc. It will also require you to obtain state-level licenses/permits depending on where you live.
The process varies so it is best to check up on what local governments in your area are requiring for these types of businesses before making any assumptions about how they should be done; SBA has a guide for complying with various requirements at the federal level if you need more information.
This step shouldn’t be taken lightly because failing to comply can lead to hefty penalties which could result in fines or even prison time.
7. Open a business bank account
To earn your money before you start making it, you’ll need a place to store it. That’s why opening up a bank account is the first step in business finances.
Keeping your company’s finances separate from your personal account can make filing taxes and tracking income easier for both parties; so even if running an eyelash business as a sole proprietorship, this is still worth doing. Opening up one of these accounts is quite simple, just inquire at the nearest bank about their rates and features.
You can start a business bank account once you’ve received your federal EIN.
There are many options when it comes to business banking. To find the best option for your small business, you should shop around so that you can find a bank with low fees and good benefits. Banks vary in terms of offerings so be sure to look into what they have available before selecting which plan works for you best.
Merchant Services is a business that helps businesses process credit card payments. You should know what to expect with opening an account before signing up, so these are just some of the different rates and fees you may need to plan for:
- Discount rate: The percentage charged per transaction billed by the processor
- Transaction fees: The amount charged for every credit fee processed through your merchant services account
- Address Verification Service (AVS) Fees
- ACH Daily batch fees: Fees are charged when you settle one or more transactions on your account each day. These are typically higher than monthly minimums because they’re billed only once per month instead of being assessed daily until the balance reaches zero.
Here is the list of documents that will be necessary while you open a business account –
- Your business’s formation documents
- Ownership agreements
- Business license
- Employee Identification Number or EIN (or Social Security Number if there are no articles incorporated)
8. Get insurance
Many entrepreneurs don’t think about their business insurance, but it can be an essential part of success. On the one hand, some unpredictable events could have a devastating impact on your company-things like fires or employee injuries.
By protecting yourself with business insurance you reduce the hazards and vulnerabilities in your organization (for example risk management).
How to market your lash business?
Marketing is key to any successful business. It’s the only way you’ll be able to reach your target audience, so it’s important to market your business effectively.
There are many ways you can market your lash business.
Consider blogging, posting on social media sites, and sending out email blasts. Digital marketing tools, like Google AdWords, will help you create eye-catching ads that will attract potential clients.
You could also offer a free consultation or trial session at first for prospective clients who are interested in learning more about lash extensions before they commit to a service appointment.
It’s important to stand out from other competitors in the field. This is easier said than done. But you can do some simple things to make sure your business stands out from the crowd.
For example, consider creating unique content for social media pages or blog posts. Or try hosting events with other local businesses to create an opportunity for cross-promotion without having to spend much money on marketing campaigns yourself.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media is the perfect way to promote your business and its products. If you want to build a successful lash business, you need to establish your presence on social media. Once you have established your website, social media can be used to reach customers who aren’t familiar with your company.
The best way to start using social media for marketing purposes is by setting up a professional-looking Facebook page for your company. With this method, you’ll instantly have your own web page.
You can also use pages like Instagram and Pinterest which are ideal for promoting eye-catching pictures of different styles of lash extensions. These pictures will make potential customers more apt to click through and visit the site where they can read about how the lashes work and what they cost.
2. Networking with other beauty professionals.
One of the best ways to get a head start with your lash business is to network with other beauty professionals. You can do this by attending local trade shows, networking groups, and by utilizing social media accounts.
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or have years of experience in the makeup industry. Getting started in this requires more than just knowing how to start a lash business, so it’s important to connect with others who share your interests and who may be able to give you additional insight into the industry.
Network with other lash professionals to find out what they’re doing that’s working for them or ask for recommendations on tools or techniques that may work for you. It’s also an opportunity to learn about their challenges and mistakes to avoid them in your own business.
Launch your business
Planning is pivotal for you to launch your eyelash brand successfully. You’ve acquired the skills and certifications, purchased equipment and supplies, set up your salon, and built a customer base. Now it’s time to launch your lash business.
To keep your small business successful, you will need to start thinking about future growth. How do you want to expand and grow? Remember that more high-quality services can equal more customers, which equals increased profits.
A successful entrepreneur of a lash business might consider expanding their services in many ways such as developing a webinar or something similar and selling tutorials online. Perhaps the entrepreneur could even become eyelash wholesalers by themselves.
Having your lash business make money means you are one step closer to becoming the successful, independent small business owner you envisioned. Now, it is up to you- but don’t stop there.
Your company will require ongoing support from its owner to continue developing and prosper for many years to come. You’re now aware of all of the steps about how to start a lash business.
With this information in mind, you’re ready to launch YOUR eyelash salon and achieve YOUR vision.