Are you a hair, skin, and nails lover who dreams of running a successful beauty biz? We’re here to give you the ins and outs of the business side of cosmetology!
It can’t be all hair fairy hair and rainbow highlights, there are some numbers to crunch and marketing tactics to implement along the way. Don’t stress though, gorgeous… You were made for this: thriving is your only option.
The beauty industry offers a sea of opportunities for motivated entrepreneurs to shake things up in their own way and make their mark! Whether you’re currently in cosmetology school, a recent cosmetology grad, or a seasoned professional, mastering the business aspects of beauty is essential for longterm success.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the business side of the beauty industry, providing valuable insights, tips, and strategies to help you prosper as a cosmetology entrepreneur.
This territory may be completely foreign to some, or heavily explored by others, but its exploration and execution is a necessity to stay seen in such a consistently expanding market!
1. Define Your Niche
First and foremost, you’ve gotta start with what you want to focus on in the beauty world. Maybe you want to specialize in hair extensions and blonding services. Maybe you want to specialize in wedding makeup artistry. Maybe you want to specialize in body waxing services. Maybe you want to specialize in nail artistry. Or, maybe you want to specialize in a little bit of everything!
Because the beauty industry is so vast and diverse, this gives you plenty of options to choose from.
To stand out in this competitive field, it’s crucial to define your niche, even if your niche includes various specialties in one. After all, you’re what makes you unique, but you must define your uniqueness with your specialities to better showcase yourself.
If you haven’t already defined your niche, contemplate what particular beauty services or specialties you enjoy performing the most and go from there. Consider your skills and passions, along with the distinctive value you can deliver to each of your guests to individualize their experience.
2. Create a Strong Brand Identity
Your brand is the heart and soul of your cosmetology business. Your brand is simple: your brand is simply you. How do you want to express yourself in a way that people identify that expression with you?
It’s not just about a creative logo or a catchy name; it’s about the overall experience and perception that guests have when they interact with your brand. How does your brand make them feel? What action does it inspire them to take?
Begin by establishing your brand’s mission, values, and the story you want to tell.
From there, you can venture into the fun stuff such as selecting brand colors, a logo, fonts, images, etc. Creating your brand identity is an exciting part of the job because it allows you to blaze your own trail amongst other cosmetologists.
Your branding should be consistent across all platforms, from your website and social media profiles, to your salon or studio’s physical space. This is what we call omnichannel marketing.
A well-defined brand identity can leave a lasting impression, appeal to your target audience, build trust with guests, and give people another way to better get to know you!
3. Build an Online Presence
In today’s digital age, an online presence is non-negotiable for cosmetology entrepreneurs. You’re not getting out of this one, unless you’ve got one heck of a word of mouth trail.
You know how it is; you’ve probably done it yourself! You hear about a hairstylist and what do you do first? Immediately check out their socials!
Leverage your social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to display your work for all to see and engage with your audience. Post high-quality images and videos of your services, share beauty tips, introduce products you love, interact with followers, and more.
Social media can be a powerful tool for building your brand, attracting new guests, and maintaining a solid relationship with current guests.
Because socials seem to reign supreme in the beauty industry as far as portfolios and connections, it doesn’t hurt to have a website as well. Your website is your virtual storefront, where potential and current guests can learn about you and your services, view your portfolio, and contact you.
For optimal visibility, ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimized for search engines (SEO). Most website builders incorporate these services in their packages, or you can consult with a website development professional.
4. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone of a successful cosmetology biz. From the moment a guest contacts or meets you to the post-service follow-up, every interaction should be marked by professionalism, courtesy, respect, compassion, and a genuine desire to meet their beauty needs. You’re here to serve them!
Listen to your guests’ preferences and concerns, and tailor your services to their individual requirements or requests. You can’t beat personalized experiences coupled a warm, welcoming atmosphere!
Encourage guests to supply you feedback, whether that be asking them in-person, or kindly asking they leave an online review. Use these insights to continuously improve your services and hone your craft.
5. Master the Art of Networking
Networking is a vital aspect of the beauty industry. Most likely, part of the reason you’re pursuing or got into cosmetology in the first place is because you love talking to people. Networking will be a walk in the park for you, because you’re already a natural!
Building relationships with fellow cosmetology professionals, salon owners, beauty influencers, beauty brands, and suppliers can open doors to collaboration opportunities and valuable referrals.
Attend industry events, beauty expos, workshops, conferences, and webinars to connect with like-minded peers. You can learn so much from others, and others can learn so much from you: it’s a win-win!
6. Establish Clear Business Goals
Success as a cosmetology entrepreneur entails a crystal clear vision with aligned goals. Ask yourself, “What do you want to achieve in your beauty business? What mark do you want to make? Where do you see yourself in 6-months, 1 year, 5 years?”
Setting both short-term and long-term goals can provide direction and motivation to follow your dreams and make things happen for yourself!
Your goals might include increasing your guests base, expanding your services, opening a salon or studio, or reaching a specific revenue target. The list goes on: the future is wide open.
Break these goals down into actionable steps and create a timeline for achieving them. Routinely assess your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. Don’t be discouraged when you fail. Failure is part of the journey. Use it as fuel to power through and move forward!
7. Market Your Services Effectively
Effective marketing is an absolute for attracting new guests and growing your cosmetology business. Execute an ominchannel marketing approach as mentioned previously with a mix of online and offline marketing strategies tailored to your target audience. Below are examples of effective marketing methods:
– Content Marketing:
Create informative, entertaining, and engaging blog posts, static posts, videos, or tutorials related to beauty, or specifically your niche(s,) and share them on your website and social media platforms. This positions you as an expert in your field and attracts organic traffic.
– Email Marketing:
Build an email list of current guests and potential guests to send newsletters, promotions, and beauty tips. Be creative with it and make it unique to your business and business goals. Email marketing supports a strong connection with your audience and repeat business.
– Local Advertising:
Invest in local advertising methods such as flyers, posters, business cards, and if profitable, the newspaper. Did you know The Villages Daily Sun is ranked 23rd on the list of the 25 largest newspapers in the USA?! This is definitely a market you want to tap into, however other cities may not have such a popular newspaper with so many choosing digital news coverage. You can also partner with other local businesses for cross-promotions, which is another way to network.
– Online Advertising:
Give thought to running targeted online ads through platforms like Google Ads, TikTok Ads, Instagram Ads, or Facebook Ads to reach a broader audience. It does cost money up front, but the ROI is high!
– Guest Referrals:
Incentivize satisfied guests to refer their friends and family to come see you by offering referral discounts of your choosing.
8. Stay Compliant and Licensed
Compliance with local regulations and licensing requirements is mandatory for the success and reputation of your cosmetology business. Make sure without a shadow of a doubt that you and your staff are properly licensed and trained in accordance with state and local regulations.
Sustain a safe and hygienic environment for your clients, following industry best practices. Frequently update your knowledge of health and safety protocols and make time to stay informed about any changes in licensing requirements.
9. Participate in Ongoing Education
The beauty industry never sits still. There’s always new techniques, products, and trends to keep up with. To remain competitive in this perpetual market, invest in ongoing education and training.
Attend workshops, classes, and seminars to expand your skillset and stay up-to-date with the latest beauty innovations.
Seasonally improving your expertise not only benefits your guests, but also sets you apart as a dedicated and knowledgeable cosmetology entrepreneur.
10. Manage Finances Wisely
Effective financial management is key for the sustainability of your beauty business. Create a detailed budget that accounts for expenses such as rent, supplies, marketing, and staff salaries. Monitor your income and expenses on a recurring basis to ensure you stay on track.
If numbers aren’t your thing, look into working with an accountant or financial advisor to help you manage your business finances, including tax planning and savings strategies.
Becoming a successful cosmetology entrepreneur requires a combination of creativity, skill, and business savviness.
By incorporating all of the above practices and following your intuition where things aren’t so black and white, you can fulfill your dreams in the beauty industry.
We can’t wait to watch you THRIVE!
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