Do you love perfecting people’s hair? Does it drive you frizzy seeing people with poor cuts? By training the next generation of hairdressers or barbers, you can ensure everyone gets the hairstyle they deserve. Aside from the rewarding experience of inspiring careers, teaching can also be an exciting way to earn money.

This guide will explain how to set up a hairdressing academy, covering:

  • How to start up a hairdressing training academy
  • How to keep students engaged and happy
  • How to manage finances

How to start up a hairdressing training academy

Qualifications and experience

First, dig out certificates or documents related to any hairstyle or beauty training you’ve had. You can proudly display these credentials when you open and use them for marketing yourself.

Aside from qualifications (if you don’t have any yet, possibly search for courses), beauty experience will speak volumes. So if you have years or even months of experience, make sure you shout about it. The more experience you have, the more credible you’ll look. 

Use your credentials or experience to show off your skills and abilities. You can back up your technique if you provide a photo portfolio of past cuts. It will also inspire potential students to learn from you by having a level to aspire toward.

Partnerships

Another way to add value to your salon training services is to partner with other businesses. If local hairdressers or barbers don’t have the time to train up an apprentice, your academy can help. By networking with those in the industry, students will see clear opportunities to get jobs afterwards. You could also work with organisations that would benefit from hairdressing like care homes or homeless shelters.

Regulation and registration

To get started, you will need to register your barbering course business with the UK Government and decide on a legal structure.

If you choose to be a sole trader, you will be personally liable for your business’s finances. That is because you and your training academy will be the same entity legally. 

Alternatively, you can become a private limited company (Ltd.), which means the business will be legally separate from you. So you would only lose the money put into the business if you can’t pay its debts. Setting up a limited company can mean more paperwork and responsibilities.

For more information on choosing a structure, see: How to set up your business: Sole trader or limited company

You can also face legal action for claiming to provide a service that you can’t in the UK. The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has the power to fine you if they receive complaints of you breaking the Unfair Trading Regulations. 

Their general rules include:

  • Can’t mislead consumers
  • Must be clear about prices
  • Can’t exaggerate if consumers are likely to take it literally
  • You can’t deliberately hide information from the consumers, and they deserve to make informed decisions

You may not want to claim that your course will 100% guarantee a job, for example. If you did and a student could not find work after completion, they could take legal action.

To give the training you provide more weight, you can seek for your courses to be accredited. By getting accreditation, what you offer would be recognised as a qualification that meets the standard of a governing body. You can apply directly to CPDUK for guidance on starting the process in the UK.

Insurance

To minimise the cost of legal troubles, be sure to get the right insurance.

Paid training can count as professional advice. If any student follows your teachings and it doesn’t work out for them, they could take action against you. By having professional indemnity insurance, you have cover against those types of claims.

Superscript offers this professional cover from £7.58 a month.

In hairdressing, there are a lot of tools to use, and some of these objects could cause damage. Razors and scissors can have the potential for harm, especially during training. If a customer is injured, you could face legal action. To make sure you’re covered, take out public liability insurance

Superscript also offers public liability cover from £5 a month.

Equipment

For a successful training service, you need to make sure you have the right tools for students to use. Depending on the size of the class, you may need multiples of your equipment.

Some of the tools you may need can include:

  • Scissors
  • Hairdryers
  • Curling irons
  • Straighteners
  • Razors
  • Brushes
  • Shaver’s
  • Combs
  • Clips
  • Spray water bottles

To cut down on some of these costs, you may charge students a lab fee or ask them to bring some of their own tools. 

Location

You need a place to teach with your tools, so choosing the right location for your business is essential. It would help if you were somewhere accessible. Perhaps think about parking for your customers and what spaces can hold your classes.

Think about the services you want to teach and what utilities you’ll need for that. Electricity will play a big part in your costs with the use of appliances and lighting.

To keep track of your running costs, you can set up a current business account like Countingup. Its mobile app has built-in accounting software with an expense categorisation feature, so you can easily track ongoing spending.

Funding

With the potential costs of securing a location and equipment, you may decide to seek additional funding.

One option is to apply for a bank loan in the amount that you need, and pay it back over time with interest. But, for the bank to accept your application, you’ll need a business plan.

For more information on approaching banks, see: How to get a small business loan?

Another option is to take your idea to investors. If they see potential in your business to grow, they can offer you what you need in exchange for a stake in it. A business plan is also helpful to get investment.

For more information to seek investment see: What does an investor look for in a business plan?

How to keep students engaged and happy

Market research

It might be helpful for you to start with some research to help you with your marketing. Focus on finding who your audience will be and where the competition is.

Researching your target market can involve speaking directly to people who want to go into the industry. You can create surveys to send out in your area to find information about potential customers. Learn what they are looking for from training and what channels they use so that you can market accordingly.

To look at what competitors do, find information about other courses online. Perhaps look at reviews, and if there are any common problems that others face, maybe you can focus on those areas. 

Designing a course

When you design your course, consider the styles, lengths or gender of hairdressing to cover. Even for men’s hair, for example, a faded cut is a different technique to creating longer one’s. Consider different skill levels that you want to do. There may be differences in how you should teach people with varying levels of experience.

Pricing

To decide how much you should charge for your courses, look back at your research into the competition. You can consider the time each class is going to take and what you believe is the amount customers are likely to pay.

For more information, see: How to negotiate prices with clients

Branding

The first stage for marketing your beauty course business is creating a brand that customers can trust. Branding is the identity of your business toward the public. It often provides the first impression to potential customers, so your brand represents your business positively.

If you use your name or a separate one for the company, you can also create a logo to make it recognisable. By selecting a few different colours your business will use throughout its marketing, you make your identity appear more professional.

Content marketing

With training businesses, it’s helpful to offer some advice and instruction for free to draw in customers. By giving people an introduction, they’ll know what to expect from you. To do this, use content marketing to put out articles, blogs or videos that offer hairdressing tips.

The idea is to offer some value for free to the customer. For example, you could upload videos to YouTube showing cutting fringes. Encourage people to join your class to learn to do hair colouring. 

Website

To bring your content together, set up a website to upload videos and articles. You can include all of the information about you (your experience and qualifications) and any partnerships you have. You may also want to include prices and contact information for students who have any questions.

Setting up a website can seem daunting, but plenty of site builders can help you.

A few recommended ones include:

  • Wix — offers free and paid site-building
  • GoDaddy — also can help with marketing
  • Squarespace — gives you lots of template options

For more information on setting up a site, see: How to create a business website?

Social media

When it comes to marketing your business, social media is another essential tool. By setting up free accounts on platforms, you can start promoting your helpful content. 

With your market research, you may have found out which platforms your audience uses most. To reach those people, you also can create paid campaigns. For example, you can create a Facebook ad campaign that uses your portfolio of pictures to encourage people to sign up. Alternatively, you can promote a competition on Instagram to spread awareness of your business, by giving away a pair of straighteners.

To learn more about marketing on social media, see: How to use social media for business?

Networking 

A way to network is through Linkedin, a social platform that allows you to connect and communicate with professionals. You might be able to find industry leaders to contact. Beyond other hairdressers, reach out to equipment suppliers. 

You may be able to get a sponsor from supply companies, or perhaps free tools. Suppose your students learn with particular shavers, for example. In that case, they are more likely to continue to buy from that supplier in the future.

How to manage finances

Business current account

An essential way to manage finance is to set up a separate business current account

If everything is in the same place you can keep track of your cash flow, the money that comes in and out of business. Having a healthy cash flow can avoid situations that might stop you from continuing. For example, suppose you are unaware that student payments are short and order new hairdryers. In that case, it could mean you cannot cover electricity costs which affects your ability to continue with classes.

Countingup lets you set up a business current account with ease. You can manage it through the mobile app and receive regular cash flow insights, so nothing goes unnoticed.

Invoicing

Another crucial part of managing your finances is making sure you get paid for the service you provide. Local hairdressers could pay you to train employees or newcomers themselves. Sending invoices throughout your courses is essential to receiving the money you earn.

By keeping track of your invoices, you can also make sure that you are legally covered if students don’t pay for services they received. Each invoice is a document that can be saved in case of any issues.

According to the UK Government, for an invoice to be a legal document, they must include:

  • A unique invoice number (e.g. 001)
  • Business name, address and contact details (e.g. Holly’s Hair, 14 Barberstreet, Cardiff, hollyshair@email.com, 07123456789)
  • Customer name and address (e.g. Barry Beard, Castle Lane, Cardiff
  • Describe what you are charging for (e.g. Blow drying lesson, scissor cut lesson).
  • The date you provided the service (e.g. 18/01/2021)
  • The date of the invoice (e.g. 19/01/2021)
  • Amounts being charged (e.g. £40 Blow drying, £50 Scissor cut)
  • The total amount owed (e.g. £90)

Countingup’s app lets you organise and create invoices simply. You can input all the information and send it out to clients quickly. The app enables you to store invoices with the rest of your accounting information.

Avoid finance getting hairy with Countingup

By setting up a Countingup business current account, you’ll always be able to maintain your finances. Whether it’s making sure you can pay rent or utilities or to see how much each class costs you. 

Open an account in minutes to start to benefit from all of the accounting advantages at your disposal. Having all of your finance and costs together will also make taxes easier. Countingup can provide you with tax estimates throughout the year to know what to put aside. You can focus on building your hairdressing academy and changing the fringes of the future.

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.