Hair and beauty skills are just as much in demand as ever, and if you know your way around a curling iron, it could be a great way to earn a living. This industry can be exciting, but also very competitive, so before you apply for a start-up loan, there are some essential steps which will help set you up for success.
Build a business plan
A business plan is crucial to long-term (and even short-term) success, and it’s one of the first documents a lender will want to see before they offer you a loan. You have to know what you want for your business and how you plan to get there, and that includes considering important details like the location. Your plan should include things like parking facilities and public transport options in the area, as well as proximity to any competitors. You should also consider what you could do to set your business apart from your competition – the point of difference that will help cement your success.
Work on your skills
Like any other industry, the beauty sphere is constantly changing, with new knowledge and skills becoming commonplace, so whether you’re a newbie or a pro, you’ll need to keep honing your skills throughout your career. A qualification will go a long way, so if you’re not already qualified, a certificate in beauty therapy could be a great way to start your career. Practical certificate courses will give you skills in massage, facial treatments, nail care, and makeup, amongst other things. Crucially, you’d want to choose a course that not only covers all aspects of the theoretical but one that includes work placement as well.
Create your space
Whether you’re planning on running your business from home or renting out a studio, finding the right place to work from will be crucial to your success. As long as you can secure a great location with plenty of foot traffic, as mentioned in your business plan, you’re well on your way to building something great. Think about the services you’re planning on offering and the equipment you’ll need in order to provide those services, and then plan your space around that. You may want to include a massage or spa room and have a separate station for wax treatments. Just make sure everything fits comfortably within the space you have available.
Hire the right staff
The collective skills of your staff members will determine which services you can offer and how much training you need to provide, so it’s natural to seek out staff members with strong knowledge and skills. Just don’t forget the value of personality. Building a loyal customer base is extremely important in the beauty industry, and your staff will be the main point of contact. Solid training is great, but the right character is priceless. The way staff members interact with your customers will be the difference between a passable service and a memorable experience.
Find your niche
It’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to sell one product or service to everyone. The reality is that there will always be people who aren’t interested in your products, and people who already have a preference for another provider. Once you find and target your niche, you can funnel more money and resources into the people who might actually be interested in paying for your services. School leavers preparing for formals and brides-to-be are popular marketing targets, so if you are planning on tailoring your messages for these groups, be sure to scope out the competition and their offerings first.
Choose your products
The products you endorse will either earn you repeat business or turn customers away, and your selection will depend largely on the types of customers you want to attract. If you’re targeting middle-aged women with access to disposable income, opt for top-line products, but if your main audience is students and young women, you’ll be better off selling budget wares within their budget.
Get into advertising
Trying to bring customers into a new business without advertising is like waiting for rain in the desert. In the early stages of operation, getting the word out about your offerings is crucial, and this is also a great opportunity to draw in potential customers with special offers and discounts. You should be wary of over-spending on flyers or any form of advertising easily ignored, so try unconventional methods that demonstrate your skills – filmed hair and make-up tutorials could gain much more traction online than a simple business card.
One of the great things about going into the beauty industry is that as long as people keep caring about their physical appearance, you will have bread to put on the table. Additionally, due to the ever-changing landscape of both trends and products, you can find a hands-on course for almost everything you need to know, and the rest comes through experience. The sooner you begin, the closer you’ll be to achieving success.