You’ve done your training, you’ve served your time at salon and now you feel it’s time to set up your own business. So, what does that feat mean to you?
There are many reasons that therapists in the beauty industry decide to set up their own businesses. It might be more cost-effective, you might think you can do a better job than those around you or you might feel it is time to take the next step on your career ladder. However, many start the process without fully understanding what is going to be required of them.
Whilst you may be an expert at offering top quality beauty treatments, you are going to be expected to take on much more than this as a business owner. The first obstacle is finances; prices, wages, taxes and overheads. When you set your price you need to do a full evaluation of costs, including an hourly rate for your own time, as well as what level of profit you want to make from each treatment. You need to pay yourself and any other staff at a rate that is fair and representative of the amount and quality of the work that is done. Not only will you need to complete your own self-assessment tax forms, you will also potentially need to look at business rates, corporation tax and whether to become VAT registered. None of this is easy, but it is all vital. It is your responsibility to teach yourself these things or acquire the services of those who can help. When it comes to avoiding unnecessary tax bills, the employment of a good accountant can be a valuable investment.
You also need to consider what premises will work best with your business. Renting a space in another salon can help you to pick up trade from their other customers and benefit from their marketing. This sort of option can be a good starting point, however, you will need to pay either a set fee for the space whether or not you turn up to work, or a percentage of any money you take. It can also be a tough slog working in a place with so much open competition. Choosing to open your own salon is a big step but can be very lucrative if it is done right. You need to select a spot that is going to get you seen whilst making sure you don’t have a competing salon right on your doorstep. A home salon can be another option, which could be a converted bedroom or garage or even a log cabin in the garden. Whilst it can mean very low overheads, you are sacrificing the chance of passing trade.
So, you can offer wonderful treatments and have chosen your perfect location but these are nothing unless you can get people through the door. Marketing is vital in this industry but it is something many salon owners are frightened of. Many are aware of the need for a good social media presence but few know what to do with it. You need to understand what type of post each social media platform prefers, what and how many hashtags to use and, most importantly, how to engage with your clients. You need to spend time looking at other successful pages to see what they do well as well as read up on some well researched marketing techniques.
When you run a beauty business, it has to be more that being your own boss and offering your favourite treatments. With the title of business owner comes a lot of responsibility, and it is often stuff that you have no knowledge or training in. One way to get a handle on this is to use other businesses around you who specialise in these things. For example, I offer social media marketing and PR services which both help to drive new clients through your door as well as free you up to focus on the parts of your business that you do best. Don’t lose sleep over the things that other people can help you with. To help you relax and make the most of your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat and a quote for all your marketing needs.