Do you want to set up an eyelash extension business? The good news is that eyelash extensions are super-trendy right now, and you can set up your salon in your home if you wish. That said, starting a business can be overwhelming, and there are many steps to cover.
That’s why this guide includes everything you need to know about starting an eyelash extension business, including:
- How to start an eyelash business from scratch
- How to get your first eyelash clients
- How to manage your business finances with confidence
How to start an eyelash business from scratch
The first phase of setting up your eyelash business is to lay the groundwork. Begin by covering the following steps:
Research the market
The first step to starting your own lash business is to conduct market research on the beauty industry. You can start by looking into what similar businesses exist in your area. How many of them focus on eyelash services? You’ll also need to consider the population in your area and how much people might care about an eyelash brand. This information will give you a good idea of what types of clients to aim for. Try to make an ideal customer profile so that you always know who you are trying to serve as a lash artist.
Once you have an idea of the demand, look into your competitors’ prices and other features. See if you can find a gap in the market that your business can fill. For example, there might be demand for mobile eyelash services where you visit clients’ homes?
It’s also valuable to research the current beauty market, specifically focusing on eyelash trends, new skills, and techniques. If one style and technique is particularly trendy, make sure you include it in your list of services to attract more clients.
Build your brand
As a new eyelash business, you need people to recognise you. That’s why the second step is to develop your brand name, logo, colour palette, communication style, and so on. You need your branding to reflect who you are and what you offer in a memorable way.
Once you’ve determined your brand basics, the next step is to describe its missions, goals and visions. Think of the reasons that set you apart from your competitors. You can learn more about building a brand in these articles:
- Why is Branding Important in Business?
- How to Build a Brand for a Small Business
- What are Brand Guidelines in Marketing?
Write a business plan
Next, you need to put together a business plan that outlines everything you need to get the business up and running. Make sure you include information like projected startup costs, business services, as well as long-term and short-term goals. Having a well-thought-out plan helps you structure your business, stay organised in your operations, and look professional to potential investors.
Learn the skills
Legally speaking, you don’t need a specific license to do eyelash extensions in the UK. That said, you do need the right qualifications to prove to clients and insurance providers that you can do the job.
If you don’t already know how to do eyelash extensions, you’ll need to learn everything there is to know about this art form. The best way to do this is to sign up for a course on eyelash extensions. A simple google search for “eyelash extension qualifications” will generate hundreds of courses to choose from.
You’ll want to register for a reputable course. Do your research to find the right educator, even if their course costs a little more. It’s worth it to invest in a legitimate, well-rounded eyelash course to ensure you gain the skills and knowledge you need to provide the best experience and result.
Choose a location
Next, decide where you want to run your eyelash business. The wonderful thing about the beauty industry is that you can run your business from home. Setting up a salon in your home is the more cost-effective option since you don’t have to pay rent for additional premises.
If you already have a few clients but don’t want to set up your own space yet, another option is to rent a chair in an existing lash salon. Both options have their pros and cons.
Home studio advantages
- You call the shots! You set your own hours, schedule, etc.
- Working at home means no commuting.
- You don’t have to pay to rent premises or a chair.
Home studio drawbacks
- You’re in charge of everything, including setting appointments, promotion, etc.
- You might struggle to switch off when you’re not working.
- Clients might hesitate to travel to your home, especially if you don’t live in a central location.
Beauty salon advantages
- You won’t need to worry about maintaining the salon since that burden falls on the person who owns it.
- The studio can help with bookings, promotions, and so on.
- You get the community of working with other lash artists.
Beauty salon drawbacks
- You don’t get as much flexibility since you’ll have to work within the salon’s hours and rules.
- You’ll need to pay for the space in the salon.
- Some salon owners might demand getting a percentage of your earnings in exchange for you working in their space.
Register your business
Once you’ve settled on a location for your business, it’s time to choose a business structure and register it. Your options are to set up as a sole trader or limited company. Both business structures have their pros and cons.
For example, working as a sole trader is a bit easier to manage because there’s less paperwork, but you’ll be personally liable for your business. So if anything goes wrong, you’re not protected and could have your personal assets seized.
Setting up your eyelash business as a limited company will require more reporting and taxes, but your business will be a separate legal entity from you. This means that if anything goes wrong with your business, your personal assets will be protected.
Start your free business registration.
Prepare for taxes
Self-employed people manage their own taxes, including income tax, dividend tax, and national insurance. For limited companies, you also have to pay corporation tax. Small businesses that expect to earn over £85,000 annually also need to register for VAT.
Next, you’ll need to protect yourself and your business by taking out appropriate insurance cover. Insurance can help protect in case something goes awry when you carry out your work.
Public liability insurance can protect you from any damages or injuries your business may be responsible for. This insurance could be particularly important if you work directly with clients in their homes, for example, if you offer mobile services.
If you drive to clients, you’ll need car insurance for your business transportation, and you may want to insure your eyelash extension kit as well. If you lose or damage these tools and don’t have insurance, it could hurt you financially and prevent you from working.
Set your prices
Before launching your new eyelash extension business, it’s good to have a set price list ready to go. Outline the services you want to offer and establish prices that are reasonable and clear to customers. Look at other businesses in your area and research average price points to find the right price levels.
The goal is to set competitive prices that attract clients but also allow you to cover your expenses and turn a small profit with each job.
How to get your first eyelash clients
Now that you’re ready to launch your new eyelash business, follow these steps to create some noise about it and grow your client base.
Create a professional website
If you want your business to be found by people searching for eyelash extension services online, you need a professional-looking website. Your website will be the first impression your customers have of your brand, so it’s important to get it right.
The good news is that creating a business website is relatively easy and affordable. You can use website builders like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace to create your website using templates.
Once your website is up and running, you will want to make sure it looks the part. Select a design that reflects your brand identity and include the following pages:
- About Page – everything a customer needs to know about you.
- Services and Pricing – what you offer and how much it costs.
- Gallery – pictures of your previous work.
- Booking Page – diary with availability.
- Contact Page – phone number and email address.
- Terms and Conditions – a standard website requirement.
These pages will give a customer all the information they need before booking an appointment with you.
Use social media effectively
Social media is probably the most effective method you can use to promote your eyelash business. Lash technicians like yourself will probably be most successful using Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook.
How you use social media also affects your success, so it’s important to get it right. The key to success is to leverage the power of social proof by posting before and after pictures of your work.
It’s also a great idea to leverage Instagram and Facebook ads to expand your outreach and help attract more clients to your account, where they’ll see your awesome pictures. It’s also good to share useful tips to showcase your knowledge and add value to your followers.
Another powerful method is to post in local Facebook groups that are designed for people in your particular city. Share tips, answer comments, like other people’s posts, and do what you can to provide value.
Make it easy to find you
You might be familiar with social media marketing but know less about local search. The idea with local search is for your business to appear at the top of the search results when people search “lash salon near me” in their search engine.
To leverage local search, you need a Google My Business account.
Reviews are critical
Did you know that 89% of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying products and that 79% of consumers trust the reviews as much as personal recommendations?
These numbers show us that positive reviews are critical to creating a thriving business. The more positive reviews or feedback you get from happy clients, the more likely you are to attract new customers. One way to encourage clients to leave a review is to offer them something in return, like a £5 or £10 voucher off their next visit or a free eyelash kit.
The more new clients you attract to your eyelash business, the more important it becomes for you to have an efficient and reliable system to process your new income.
How to manage your business finances with confidence
Accounting is one of the most time-consuming parts of running a business, but you can simplify this job by signing up for the Countingup app.
Countingup is a two-in-one business current account and accounting software. This section will explore accounting jobs that you’ll have to do as an eyelash specialist and how Countingup can make them easier.
Invoicing will likely be a major part of your eyelash business. If you charge by appointment, you’ll need to send invoices that list the service you provided and the cost of tools and materials that aren’t included in the price. For example, if you sell lash cleansing products to help clients maintain their new lashes.
Countingup helps you to create and send unlimited invoices with the touch of a few buttons. You can customise payment dates and even add your logo when you create invoices. Once a client pays, Countingup automatically matches the payment to its relevant invoice.
Being self-employed means you can claim a number of purchases as business expenses. If you record your business-related purchases and mark them on your Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will reduce your tax bill by the amount you spent on each expense.
Countingup is especially useful for this task since it automatically categorises your expenses, putting them into HMRC-approved categories as soon as you complete the transactions. This means you’ll keep your records organised and up to date with minimal effort.
Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed, so hiring an accountant can take that burden off your shoulders.
Although, hiring an accountant can present challenges when you try to share files and financial data with them. The good news is that Countingup allows you to share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Simply open the app and send your accountant an invite to the Countingup Accountant Hub.
Start enjoying the Countingup benefits today
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. If you’d like to learn more about the app and how you can get a three-month free trial, click here.