The hair and beauty treatment industry is growing, rising from 30,700 enterprises in 2015 to 40,900 in 2016. So if you’re interested in joining the trend and think you’ve spotted a gap in the market, now is the time to get started.

In order to start and maintain a successful beauty business, you need to get a few things in order. Fortunately, we’ve detailed a guide to help you do exactly that. 

The main points we’re going to talk about are:

  • Getting your beauty parlour business started
  • How to find your first clients
  • Fast-track your financial management with Countingup

Getting your beauty parlour business started

Business plan

Before you set up your business, the first thing you have to decide is what you want from it. What will your business achieve? A business plan outlines all your goals and how you expect to reach them. 

Your business plan doesn’t have to be filled with details, but it should include:

  • An executive summary stating your objectives and mission statement
  • Company summary (a brief, elevator pitch style introduction of your business plan)
  • Your funding needs (i.e. how much money your business will need, and why you need it)
  • What your products and services will be 
  • Your marketing plan
  • Management (a little about yourself, the person running the business)
  • Financial plan and forecasts showing how much money you plan to make and your expected costs

Market research

Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much you want to start your home beauty parlour business if there isn’t a market for it in your area. Instead of committing to your business straight away, take the time to do some market research and see if people want or need a beauty parlour in your area. 

When beginning your market research, you should look into more than just the demand. For instance, you can see if there are any competitors and use them to identify any potential mistakes you might make. You might also want to build a customer profile to help narrow down your ideal customer.

If there doesn’t seem to be strong local demand, it might be worth changing your target market. For example, rather than focusing on your immediate area, there could be a nearby town or village that would benefit from your services. 

It might also be that there is a need for a beauty parlour, but a competing parlour already exists. . You’ll need to come up with a unique selling point (USP) for why customers should visit you instead. You could offer a different service, discounted prices, or something else entirely. 

Complete a beauty course

If you’re planning to open a beauty parlour business, you’ll need to know how to provide the essential services at the very least. Training will also make the customer feel more comfortable in your abilities. Anyone would be wary of going to a hairdresser who’s never cut someone’s hair before. 

Look into available courses; these could be at a local college or online. Find something that suits you, and make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest treatments and techniques. Once your business is up and running, you’ll be to claim any future training as a business expense

Register your business

When you feel suitably prepared, it’s time to register your business and become a sole trader. First, you’ll need to apply for the annual Self Assessment, and part of that includes keeping accurate business records.

As a sole trader, you won’t need to register a specific name for your business, but you will need to include your chosen business name on official paperwork like invoices. 

Your business’ name

There are certain things you’re not allowed to use in your business’ name. These are:

  • Offensive words
  • Existing trademarks
  • ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ 
  • ‘Limited liability partnership’ or ‘LLP’ 
  • ‘Public limited company’ or ‘plc’
  • Sensitive words, without permission

Set up your business bank account

Once you start running your business, you should open a business current account to keep your finances separate. A business account works exactly like a personal bank account, but makes it a lot easier to keep track of your business financials. 

Some business accounts, like Countingup, come with accounting software built-in. These features can make it clear to see exactly where your money is coming and going — perfect for your financial accounting and Self Assessment. 

Obtain licences, permits, and insurance

Since you’re going to work directly with people, it’s recommended that you get public liability insurance for your business. Getting this insurance can protect your business from costly court proceedings if an accident occurs on your premises.

Set up your workspace

Now your business is fully registered, it’s time to set up your workspace. 

Decide what services to offer

What type of beauty parlour are you going to be? Will you focus on nails, skincare and makeup, or a bit of everything? What you choose to offer will decide the equipment and qualifications you need, and will affect your operating costs accordingly.  

It’s important not to overstretch yourself straight away. Offer a selection of services you’re comfortable with, and expand your selection as your business grows.

Raise funds if necessary

With an idea of what you’ll offer and the equipment you’ll need, you should be able to figure out how much it’s going to cost. You’ll need to take the cost of renovating your chosen workspace into account too.

With an accurate idea of what this will cost, you’ll need to raise funds for your business to pay for everything. There are several ways you can begin raising funds for your new venture. You can:

Other methods of raising money, such as crowdfunding, are possible — but are designed for online businesses, so it may not work well for small, local ones. 

Purchase necessary equipment

Whether you need specialist chairs or a UV nail dryer, you’re going to need the right equipment. Now is the time to purchase everything you need, and start sorting out your workspace. 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed or carried away, so referring back to your business plan can help make sure that you don’t go over budget. 

Decorate the workspace

Once you’ve got all the equipment you need, it’s time to think about your space’s aesthetic. Your customers will spend a lot of time in your beauty parlour, so it’s important they feel relaxed and comfortable. 

You need to come up with a design for your workspace. Will you go for a fun and colourful look, or choose something that feels more professional? Your space should reflect the service you offer and represent your business. 

How to find your first clients

Now you’re all set up, it’s time to start earning some money. To do that, you need clients to come in and pay for your services. 

Decide on your target market

Marketing is pointless if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach. For instance, something that would persuade older women is unlikely to draw younger men. That’s why it’s important to figure out the type of people you want to come into your beauty parlour. Your target market might expand as you grow, but it’s important to start somewhere.

Imagine who you expect your average customer to be. How old are they? Are they a man or a woman? What are their interests? Once you have an image in your mind, refer to this when marketing your business. You’ll need to use different methods for different groups, and keeping your ideal customer in mind will help you design better marketing. 

Create your online presence

The internet and social media are integral parts of our day-to-day life — so much so that it’s difficult to find a company that doesn’t use them. In fact, nearly 85% of UK businesses had a website in 2019

Website

Having a website for your nail parlour business is vital for informing your clients about new services and similar updates. A website can be quickly updated, and provide customers with all the information they need. If they want to see a detailed list of your services, they can. If you want to allow online booking, you can do that too. 

Eventually, you might even want to start a beauty blog to attract more attention to your business. Think of your website as another sales tool. It’s designed to get people talking about your business and through the door. 

Social media

If people are interested in your business, one of the first things they’ll do when they hear about it is check out the social media pages. Setting up a business page on Facebook is one way you can help provide information, build interest, and interact with the community as your business. 

Regularly interacting with your local community is a great way to catch the attention of potential customers. Once you have their attention, you can occasionally announce promotions to tempt customers further. For example, offering special deals or gifts can help your customers feel appreciated.

It’s no secret that loyal customers are good for business — according to nearly 60% of hair and beauty salons, a good relationship is the biggest driver of customer loyalty. So making your customers feel valued and appreciated should help foster a good relationship. 

Marketing

Now that your business is up and running you need to begin small business marketing to get the public’s attention. The best way to get people to visit your business is to make sure everyone knows about it. After all, they can’t visit you if they don’t know you’re there. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Word of mouth

The point of word of mouth marketing is to get the public talking about your business, without having to spend a lot of money on various advertising campaigns. Depending on your budget, larger campaigns may be too expensive or not have enough focus. Examples of word of mouth marketing are below:

Team up with another business

Depending on the businesses around you, it could be a good idea to create a referral program. For example, if you offer nail services and someone else offers hair styling services, you could offer discounts on each other’s services for a limited time. 

First-order discount

Another way to get people through the door is to offer a discount on their first treatment. Once they’re inside, you can talk them into becoming a repeat customer. 

Referral program

Starting a referral program could be another good way to attract customers to your new business. This way, you’re rewarding customers for spreading the word about your business, as well as encouraging those willing to take a chance on something new. 

Social media marketing

Finally, try to market your business through social media. As a business owner, you can purchase ad space on popular sites like Facebook and Instagram. Ads can help spread awareness of your new business, but may stop being effective once everyone in your area knows about you. 

Fast-track your financial management with Countingup

Starting your home beauty parlour business can be stressful, and regular bookkeeping could take up time you might not have. That’s why thousands of businesses use the Countingup app to simplify their financial management. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today.

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