The gritty determination to create something new, the vision to make people happy, and the business savvy to keep the lights on while pursuing your passion: These are some of the qualities beauty and wellness professionals have in common with entrepreneurs in other industries. While many hairstylists, makeup artists, estheticians, and other beauty professionals are entrepreneurs, the beauty and wellness industry is a little different from others, and entrepreneurship in this industry can be a unique challenge – and a unique opportunity. But in this blog, we talk about some of the qualities entrepreneurs in other industries have that can serve as inspiration and motivation for you as you grow your beauty business.
It’s not bragging if it’s true! You’re good at what you do, and your community should know. Entrepreneurs in the business world take every opportunity to network and promote themselves and their personal brand. The best way to do this is to post on social media! It allows people in your community to get to know you, your values, and your beauty philosophy, all from the comfort of their social media feeds.
The great thing about promoting your business on social media is that the possibilities are limitless – post about beauty trends, your all-time favorite hair transformations, the top five nail colors for summer, or even educational information about injectables. Sharing your expertise in this way helps prospective clients see how knowledgeable you are, and it helps them feel familiar with you, sometimes before they’ve ever even met you.
Beyond the social media sphere, get to know your community by meeting them where they are. Partner with other local businesses to promote each other, and ask other beauty professionals in your area for guidance. Remember: Community, not competition!
When an entrepreneur starts a business, they don’t just unlock the door to their storefront and wait for people to step in. They use the network they built promoting themselves to generate interest and invite potential customers to come generate buzz.
You’re already a pro at making connections and building relationships with your clients – use these skills to create new opportunities for your business! As cosmetic and hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker once said, “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”
Invite clients to refer a friend or relative to receive a discount on their next service to build out your bookings. Attend a styling skills course on a brand-new technique and let your clients know you’re adding it to your service offerings.
Finally, keep an open mind. Beauty and wellness professionals are a creative bunch, so use this power to keep an eye out for ways you can level-up your business and grow your empire.
In order to promote your personal brand, you have to know what it is – inside and out. Your brand is going to influence the way your clients experience services at your salon, from the decor around them to the music playing during their appointment to the way you greet them when they arrive at your salon space.
Another way to develop your personal brand is to actually limit the services you provide, so you specialize in one particular area. For instance, maybe you specialize in styling curly hair, and invest in the resources, knowledge, and products that support curly hair. Or perhaps you specialize in line work tattoos – establishing yourself as the sole authority and expert in one area can actually drive business to you, from clients who are seeking out (and willing to pay for) the best of the best.
As small-business owners, many beauty pros take on a certain level of financial risk opening their own salon or renting a booth. Paying rent is a major expense each month, especially if you’re just starting out or if you’ve relocated to a new community. One way you can build your technical skills and pad your profit margins is to expand your business by selling retail products.
As Mark Cuban once said, “If you can sell, you’ll never be unemployed.” Selling retail products in your salon or booth can seem daunting at first, but it can quickly become a natural part of your routine with clients. Throughout their services, ask if there’s anything they’re having trouble with in their beauty regimen – maybe their scalp is getting dry in the winter or they’re noticing more hangnails than usual. You can make product recommendations that specifically address their concerns, or offer to order them a product if you don’t already have it in your inventory.
There are a few different benefits to expanding your salon business in this way. First, you can increase the amount of money you’re making from each appointment, and second, you’re providing a more holistic service for your clients. They don’t have to run an errand to get a product to solve their problem – you’ve already diagnosed the problem, made a quality recommendation, and sent them home with the solution. Finally, your clients will appreciate that you listen and care enough to make them feel beautiful even after their appointment has ended.
Entrepreneurs outside of the beauty and wellness industry often set their prices by doing extensive research on their target market, their ideal customer, one-time and ongoing expenses, and their competition. Beauty pros should do this, too, but oftentimes they will keep their prices lower because they undervalue the cost of their own labor.
Whether it’s imposter syndrome making you feel you’re not worth the price bump, or fears that clients will get upset and leave if you price your services higher, you are only hurting yourself by keeping your prices low. The cost of your supplies, rent, and inventory continue to rise with inflation, and as you gain more experience and build your book of business, you should raise the cost of your services accordingly.
Raising your prices is the simplest way to boost your earnings, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that the vast majority of your clients are happy to continue receiving their services from you. You’ve spent so much of your time and energy making your clients feel happy and confident, and happy clients tend to be loyal.
Getting a foothold as an entrepreneur in any industry can seem like a daunting journey. But as a beauty professional, be confident in the knowledge you are good at what you do and that your services make a difference in your clients’ lives – these are the most important values you bring to your business!