Six steps to become a successful beauty entrepreneur
Do you have a dream of opening a beauty salon or mobile beauty business? Here are six steps to becoming a successful beauty entrepreneur.
Like any business, there are some important steps you need to follow when launching a new beauty business – whatever kind of treatments you plan to offer. And to help you make the leap, we look at six you need to follow.
From identifying your niche and researching the viability of your idea, to working out whether your new business is financially viable and spreading the word, these are all essential steps on your journey to success as a beauty entrepreneur.
1) Solve a problem
The first step on your way to beauty business success is to know what problem you want to solve for people – a problem they will be happy to pay to solve.
Don’t just think, “I am going to start a beauty business.” Instead think about what gap or niche you can fill. For example, does no one do a mobile manicure service for older people where you live? Or is there no hair salon that caters to younger people? Perhaps there’s demand for injectables or hair removal, but no one currently offering them?
Maybe you specialise in a specific service that no one is currently offering where you are, or you provide a service for a segment of people who don’t feel there’s anything for them right now. If you solve a real problem that exists, then you will have a ready-made customer base just waiting to book with you.
The key to finding out what you can niche in, is listening to what potential customers need. What do people complain about? What do they ask for in local Facebook Groups? If you can find the right niche – a problem that isn’t being solved currently, and that matches with your skill set and what you want to do – you have the beginnings of a successful business.
2) Do market research
Once you have the beginnings of an idea, your next step is to start researching whether it is genuinely viable. And that means market research. Take a look at what other beauty offerings are available in your area. Try to work out what kind of customer base they are serving, what their offering is, their point of difference and their price level.
You can also start asking people who are a good fit for your ideal customer what they think of your business idea, whether it is something that would appeal to them, and if they have any suggestions or improvements.
3) Work out your finances
So now you know there is a demand for what you plan to offer, and you have a picture of the current market, your next step is to work if it is financially viable.
Do you need a physical salon, for example? If so, you will need to equip it and invest in concept salon furniture as well as supplies. How much will that cost? Do you have the budget for starting out, or will you need to get a loan? And if you need a loan, what terms can you get?
Also look at pricing. You have an idea of what people are currently paying in your area from your market research. Where do you sit on the quality spectrum? Will you be a luxury offering with prices reflecting that? Or will you be cheap and cheerful? And how many customers can you realistically treat a day?
Once you know this information, consider whether your business idea can conceivably make you enough money to pay back your start-up costs and give you the income you want or need.
4) Think about marketing
Any business needs customers, and those customers usually find you through advertising. So think about how you will spread the word about your new business. Do you have a marketing plan? This will cover how you reach new potential customers and nurture them until they are ready to make a booking with you.
Social media can also be a powerful way to establish a brand presence and attract customers to your beauty salon, or book your mobile services.
5) Plan time to work on your business
Once your business is up and running, you will need to set time aside each week to keep it going. A big mistake too many first-time beauty entrepreneurs make is getting caught up in the day-to-day running of their business, and eventually running out of customers, or not making enough money.
You need time in your working week to do your marketing and keep on top of your books. This way you’ll quickly spot whether you are making or losing money, and can tweak your business accordingly.
Of course this will mean time away from actually giving treatments, so you need to factor this time into your pricing plan.
6) Let the media know
Once you are ready to launch, it is important to spread the word. And one of the best ways to get an early push for customers is through PR. So let your local newspaper, radio station and blogs know you are launching your exciting new business.
If you have an interesting backstory, let them know. Otherwise, focus on how you are offering something needed and new for local residents. You could even host a launch party in your new salon and invite local journalists and influential local people.
Don’t be shy about staying in touch with the media once you have launched, too. If you have any interesting stories, put together a press release or call up local journalists or bloggers. And if you can add a comment or experience to a current news story, do.
Launch your beauty business
It can feel daunting launching a new beauty business, but don’t let that put you off. By following all the right steps you stand a much better chance of success. And who knows? This time next year you could be a proud beauty salon owner!