How to start a face painting business

If you want to start a face painting business, it can be a great way to become your own boss through creating face art. But like starting any small business, you’ll have to plan ahead for successful and organised operations. So, if you wonder how to start a face painting business and you don’t know where to begin, you came to the right place. 

This guide covers how to start a face painting business, including: 

  • Planning for a successful business
  • Setting up your business
  • Organising that business for productivity 
  • Marketing your business to find customers  

Planning for a successful face painting business 

If you want to know how to start a face painting business that succeeds, you’ll first need to create a plan before setting up your business. With a clear and established plan, you’ll know where to focus your efforts and how to approach your daily operations with purpose. 

Do market research 

The first step to starting a face painting business is to conduct market research. This research will help you understand the industry you plan to enter, including it’s demand, target audience, and current trends. You can also get an idea of competitors in your area and which face painting services are popular and profitable.

With this research, you can estimate how much you can charge for your face painting services and what events you may market yourself to. Plus, you can start building a portfolio of designs based on popularity. Overall, understanding the business will help you approach yours with a well-informed plan. 

Find your target audience 

Once you understand your market well, you may want to consider how you’ll specialise your services to narrow down the target audience. For example, you may do face painting for performers or offer your services to kids parties. Whichever you decide will alter how you market your services and which clients you’ll go after. 

With a clear plan, you can easily find the right clients for you and earn more without spreading yourself too thin.  

Build up your skills 

Another important part of starting a face painting business is having the necessary skills to succeed. Can you create beautiful designs with these paints, and recreate them on different faces? If you have art or painting skills, that’s a great place to start. But face painting is different from painting on canvas. 

The greater your skills, the more people will pay for your services. So, you may want to practice your looks or take a face painting course. You can find helpful training at Udemy, Face Painting Courses, or New Skills Academy. If you’re good at self-teaching, you could also invest in a few books creating unique face painting looks. 

Get the supplies 

After you equip yourself with the right skills, you’ll need to gather the essential supplies for your business. Alongside a diverse and quality set of face paints, you’ll likely need: 

  • A kit to travel with your paints 
  • Paintbrushes of different sizes 
  • A mirror
  • A chair and table 
  • A book with your selection of designs 
  • Wipes and cleaning supplies  

Since you’ll likely need to travel to your face painting jobs, you may also need a vehicle to get from one job to the next.  

Create a business plan

Once you understand what you want your face painting business to look like, you can create a business plan. This plan will outline your business’s purpose and objectives, as well as its short term and long term goals. Aside from this, your plan can help you understand and prepare for your startup costs, marketing strategy, target audience, and profit estimates. 

A big part of your business plan is your starting budget. This will outline the startup costs of your business as well as how much you’ll need to keep it running. With a plan for how you’ll spend your money smartly, you can avoid overspending before you make a profit. 

Setting up your face painting business 

Once you have everything you need, the next step in how to start a face painting business is to set it up legally. 

Register your business 

First, register your business with the UK government as either a sole trader or a limited company. Sole traders are personally liable for their business, while limited companies are separate legal entities from their owners. Setting up a sole trader would probably be easier and more efficient as a face painter, and you can always transition if your business grows.  

Prepare for taxes 

As a self-employed person or business owner, you’ll need to report and manage your taxes with the HMRC. Your taxes will likely include income tax, dividend tax, and national insurance. If you do register as a limited company, you’ll also have to pay corporation tax. 

To do this, you’ll need to keep records of what you earn and spend on your business and likely submit a Self Assessment tax return with an accurate report of your income. 

Find insurance 

Next, consider what insurance you may need to protect your small business. Insurance is essential to protecting your business from financial risks. Public liability insurance is a good thing to have for many businesses as it shields you from injury, damage, or loss caused by your business. For example, this insurance could be useful if you injure someone while painting their face, or damage property with your paints.

Organising your face painting business for productivity

Once everything’s set up, the next step in how to start a face painting business is to organise your operations, from your calendar to your finances. 

Organise the day-to-day 

To organise your daily business tasks and time, you may want to use a business management tool like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office. With these tools, you can keep your emails, calendar, and documents all in one place. A designated business email, consistent response time, and overall timeliness, will help you appear professional to clients and suppliers. 

Manage payments 

Aside from organising your day-to-day, you’ll need a system for managing and accepting payments for your services. How you do this may depend on the services you offer. For example, you could charge each customer a  fee, such as £10 a person, if you set up a face painting booth for festivals or fairs. 

On the other hand, you could hire your services to private parties or corporate events and charge an hourly or flat fee. This way, instead of charging per face, you get a set amount for a few hours of your time. Of course, it’s also an option to offer both of these services. 

Either way, you will need a way of expecting the money you earn. For example, you could run a cash-only business. But if you want to be more accessible, you may want to accept card payments using a card machine. If you connect this machine to your bank account, it will be easy and quick to earn money. Just be aware that card payment services may take a small percentage or fee from each sale. 

Plus, if you charge a flat fee for parties or events, you could include a payment tool on your website to make it easy for clients to pay for your services. 

Business current account 

To organise your face painting business finances, you’ll want to separate them from your personal ones. So, open a business current account, a bank account specifically for your business. This way, you won’t have to shift through transactions to find what you earn and spend for your business.

Accounting software 

Separating your finances is the first step in organising your bookkeeping. Bookkeeping, or the essential recording of your business transactions, is important for tax reporting and tracking your business performance. But this can be tricky to stay on top of when you’re busy growing your business. With the right modern accounting software like Countingup, you can save time and organise your finances for success. 

Countingup is the two in one business account and accounting software trusted by 40,000 business owners. It will help you stay on top of your business expenses with tools like automatic expense categorisation and the receipt capture tool. This way, you can find tax-deductible expenses and digitise your receipts logs. 

The app also lets you create and send unlimited invoices from anywhere. It will even notify you when you receive invoices and automatically match them to payments. On top of this, the app generates tax estimates and ongoing cash insights. These insights simplify your tax process and track your performance for better business decisions.

Marketing your business to find customers 

Organising your business will help you run it smoothly. But once you know how to start a face painting business, you’ll also need to market that business well to find clients. 

Brand your business 

To make your face painting business stand out, you’ll need to develop a brand identity. Your brand is the design and tone you use to present your business to the public. So, you may want to come up with a set colour scheme and choose between casual or formal language depending on who you target. Then, you can develop a unique business logo that helps you look professional and memorable.  

Create a website 

Next, create a website for your business to make it more accessible. Your face painting business website should describe your purpose and services. Then, add photos of your face paint or your portfolio to show people your skills. Finally, include contact information and any other way to learn more about your business, such as social media handles. 

Use digital marketing 

Your website is a great place for people to learn about your business, but you can reach more people with additional digital marketing methods. Consider creating social media accounts for your business to interact with potential customers and post about your business. 

Instagram, for example, would be a great place to add pictures of your face painting and use hashtags to reach people looking for similar content. You could also create a Facebook page or Pinterest profile to cater to party planners. If you want to reach a younger audience, you may even want to try your hand at making Youtube tutorials or TikTok videos about face painting tips and tricks. 

Aside from posting on social media, you may want to claim your Google business profile. Then, consider advertising your face painting business with Google ads or social media channels. Paid advertising can help you reach the right people with little less effort. 

Network and go to trade shows

Apart from growing your outreach digitally, you may want to network your business to come across potential clients. For example, you could join groups and organisations for event planning and face painting. These groups can help you form relationships within the industry. Then, consider attending trade shows and fairs that will put you in front of potential clients. 

Freelance sites 

Joining freelance sites is another way to find your first face painting clients. If you create profiles on sites like Bark and Poptop, you can help come up as an option when people seek face painters for their events. With a dedicated marketing approach, you can start earning money to grow your face painting business.    

Organise your new business finances with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you start a new business. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

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. 

Find out more here.