If you recently qualified as a lash artist and you’ve decided to take the next steps towards starting your own eyelash extension business, we’re sure that everything currently feels exciting and overwhelming all at once! There’s so much to think about, and the guidance online isn’t always clear, which can be frustrating.
To help set the record straight and make sure you tick all the necessary boxes, we’ve compiled a list of seven things you should do to launch a successful lash business.
Decide on what your lash brand will look like
Just like it is for any other business, establishing your brand is an important part of starting out on your eyelash extension venture. If you’re the creative type, this will be fun! However, if the thought of talking colours and design sends unpleasant shivers down your spine, this might not be your favourite part of building your business.
At the very least, you’ll need to choose a brand name, logo and colours which you can use consistently across your marketing. Your brand name should indicate the service you offer and be short and snappy enough to be worked into a logo. If you’re stuck for ideas, it can be helpful to have a brainstorming session with a friend or to Google the names of other successful lash businesses.
Next, you’ll need to choose the colours that will represent your brand and we’d recommend selecting a maximum of four. The colours should complement each other and work well within a logo, which is going to be your next task. If possible, we’d recommend outsourcing your logo creation to a specialist, to ensure it looks professional – unless you are a graphic designer yourself, of course! Once you’ve got your logo, you can use it in all your marketing materials and across your social media.
Set up social media accounts
Nowadays, social media is a key part of building a business. It helps create an image of legitimacy and opens up new ways for potential customers to stumble upon you. It also provides a handy platform for you to be able to send a message out to your clients without having to contact them all individually.
Facebook and Instagram are necessary for starting your own successful eyelash extension business, whilst LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are additional nice-to-haves. You should only expand onto these secondary platforms if you have the capacity to update them with regular, interesting content. On the other hand, creating a Facebook and Instagram account is a great way to showcase your work. You can upload photos of the looks you create on your clients and ask them to comment, like and share the images, so the message spreads far and wide.
Check out our blog posts How to use Instagram and Facebook to boost your eyelash extension business and How to take great Instagram photos for your beauty business to get started!
Set your prices
Setting your prices is perhaps the most important part of starting your business, as it will determine how much money you make. It can be tempting to set your prices high, to make the most money, or to set your prices low, to attract more clients, but both of these tactics are actually counterproductive. Overpricing your services will scare good clients away, and underpricing your services will undermine the quality of your work and make it difficult to raise your prices in the future.
Your first step should be to research how much other lash technicians are charging in your area. Get an idea of the prices that artists with a similar level of experience to you are charging and match them. It’s better to start lower, and then you can raise your prices over time, as you gain experience.
Surveys can also help determine whether the price is right. Using Mailchimp, or another tool to build surveys, you can send a questionnaire to your friends, family and connections, asking them their opinions on the prices you are considering. Ask them for honest feedback about whether they think the prices are too high, low or just right.
Define your cancellation policy
It’s inevitable that, at some point, a client will cancel their appointment, or not turn up at all, and it’s completely down to you how you deal with this. However, it is important to set out your cancellation policy in advance, to manage client expectations and protect yourself from any issues that may arise.
It is common for lash technicians to charge a booking fee, which becomes non-refundable when a client cancels after a specified deadline – usually 24 or 48 hours. By letting the customer know your cancellation policy at the time of booking, it will encourage them to give you plenty of notice when they need to cancel, giving you a chance to fill the booking and not lose out on the income. In the case of no-shows, it’s not uncommon to charge the client 100% of the treatment fee; after all, that missed appointment could have been filled with another paying client.
How to register your lash business
This is where you get to make your business official! Depending on where you are in the world will determine how you go about registering your business. We’ve provided details for Australia, the US, Canada and the UK here.
In Australia, you’ll need to register for an ABN (Australian Business Number). You can do this online here, by selecting ‘register your business.’
If you’re feeling a little unsure, the website has a guide which eases you through the process – we promise it’s not as scary as it seems!
In the US, most small businesses owners have to register their business names with state and local governments. There are different levels of name protection required for different types of businesses, so make sure you check how best to register for your situation. The full details can be found on the Small Business Association website.
Registering your eyelash business in Canada is easy and can be done by the Government website. You’ll need to have decided on a few things prior to registering, such as where you’ll be based and your business name.
How you register your business in the UK will depend on how your business will work financially. You’ll either be a sole trader, a limited company or a partnership. The UK Government website has helpful information to decide which type of business set-up would be best for you, and you can register from there too.
Open a business bank account
Make sure you keep your business finances separate from your personal finances by opening a business bank account. Whether you’ll be managing your money yourself, or using an accountant, keeping your dollars in order will make life so much easier. Your current bank will most likely offer a business account option, but we’d recommend checking out other banks too, to compare perks and interest rates.
Get insurance for your eyelash extension business
Wherever you are in the world, getting insurance is part and parcel of creating a successful lash business. It will protect you from losses that you experience whilst going about your normal working life and any compensation claims. You can choose different levels of cover, but keep in mind that insurance cover is not something to cut corners on – one day, you might be grateful that you took out that more expensive policy.
Starting your own eyelash extension business isn’t easy, but it will be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. If this is your dream, don’t give up on it just because there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Once you’re the proud owner of a successful lash business, you won’t look back.
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