Not everything you need to know about starting your own business is taught during lash training. You may have learned to do the most amazing set of lashes and are confident you will kill it when you are out there offering your services but starting a successful eyelash business requires more than just ace lashing skills.
When we embark on a journey, a little heads up on what's to come can help you move forward with confidence. If you wish you had a mentor who could share everything you need to know before stepping into your entrepreneurial venture as a lash artist? Well, your wish is our command; we have prepared a dossier of all the mistakes you can dodge while taking that giant leap with your lash salon.
Not having a business plan
Imagine going on a road trip without a map. Chances are you will get lost, desperately seek directions from any unauthorized source, and at the end of your journey, you will be exhausted and frustrated. Not having a business plan before starting your lash business will feel the same.
Your business plan should include an analysis of your competition in your area, your target audience, your cash flow (how much you want to spend and how much you want to earn), and your short-term and long-term goals. Having this plan will help you make informed decisions, assist you in foreseeing any hurdles to reduce risk, and not stretch yourself thin financially. In short, it will help you see the bigger picture.
Not having a marketing plan
A business plan is not enough; a marketing plan is equally essential.
If you have a business, you must put it out there to attract potential customers. Investing in a website is worth your time and money, we promise. It will help you show up in Google Searches for someone looking for your service in their area. Additionally, a website adds credibility to your business's existence and authenticity.
In a world of algorithms, hashtags, and comments, being on social media is everything. Ensure you have your business' Facebook and Instagram up and functioning. Invest in a good camera or a recent model smartphone to take quality photos of your work to post them on your pages. Canva, a designing app, can help you create your posts to maintain uniformity in your designs. Social Media scheduling apps also help with planning and time saving; you can schedule posts weeks or even months ahead to go out on times and dates that suit you. A blog can really help pull traffic to your page so if you are planning on starting one, schedule your posts regularly. This may not seem like a priority when you start, but a good marketing plan will lend visibility to your business and help you build your brand in the long run.
Not having a financial roadmap
So, you have the capital to start your business. You have bought your inventory, invested in setting up your lash salon, and now you are only focussing on what you will be earning day to day…but is that enough? A financial roadmap includes income flow, assets and liabilities, balance sheets, and sales forecasts. Maintaining an account ledger helps you analyze your expenses, gives you an insight into your financial health, and estimates how to allocate funds to earn more profits. As a greenhorn, you may find managing all these aspects of the business overwhelming, so the best move would be to hire a salon accountant to help you manage your finances, tax returns, bookkeeping, and advice on making your business successful. It may seem like an added expense, but hiring one would be one of your best business decisions, and there are plenty of companies out there that outsource this kind of work; you don't have to hire a full-time employee, just find a specialist who can assist you when you need it.
Not having any backup
Everyone tells you about getting your insurance and licenses when starting your business. But as a business, you also need to do your bit of protecting your premises, assets, and reputation. Create a salon policies document that outlines the terms and conditions for your customers when availing of your services. Unprepared lash artists can be susceptible to disgruntled clients. Having salon policies will be your safety net to help you save time to protect your business and reputation from unforeseen circumstances and customers. Installing security cameras in your salon wards off crime and protects you, your clients, and your premises. Having these things in place helps customers understand how your business works and helps them feel safe and valued.
Not having a retail space
Whether you are offering your services from home or a salon location, do not miss out on the tremendous opportunities a retail space can provide to make extra sales. Did you know studies have shown time and again that a well-stocked salon retail corner helps with client loyalty? A client is most likely to stay with you longer if you offer them more than your services. Soft sell them the benefits of using the products from your repository to maintain their lashes. Ensure you are selling high-quality and reputed products that will actually work on your clients' lashes.
Prolong Lash aftercare products are oil-free and specially formulated to retain lashes and keep them clean. It's no wonder we've been nominated for Artistic Fur's "Lash Brand of the Year" award! Prolong Lash products can help you build your brand and your business in more ways than one.
Not paying attention to your interiors
By interiors, we don't mean splurging on your décor. However big or small your space is, ensure it looks aesthetically inviting and comfortable. When your client is lying there getting their eyelashes done, you want to make sure they are relaxed, so invest in a cushioned bed along with a fluffy blanket and comfy pillows.
Lashing is a meticulous job that requires precision and long hours of sitting. Invest in a good quality ergonomic chair and bright lighting to help you sit comfortably and safely. An area with armchairs, a coffee table, and a few magazines can be a welcoming sight for customers awaiting their appointment. Add some indoor plants, suitable décor items, and an attractive retail corner to add character to your salon space. If your salon has more than one bed, create privacy between beds by adding curtains or room dividers. The cleanliness of your salon also makes a big difference to your client's footfall. So, ensure you keep your salon tidy and squeaky clean.
With the excitement of setting up your space, there is always the possibility to go overboard with your spending. Make wise choices about where to spend, such as ergonomic furniture, focus on keeping it minimal but appealing, that is, until you have a roaring trade and you can upgrade the look of your salon. Your clients will look forward to seeing small but beautifully changed from time to time.
As they say, "start how you want to finish" if you can start your business the right way, avoiding mistakes many other business start-ups make, you'll be setting up your future. We want to make sure that you are headed in the right direction, and these tips will help you get there. We are certain you will do great things when you start the right way.
Want even more business advice? Being a part of the Prolong Lash Partner Program give you access to invaluable support from the Prolong Lash Team. Check out our Partner Program now.