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If you dream of being your own boss and desperate to use your skills to generate a healthy income, here are a few tips on how to stand on your own two feet and start your own beauty business.
The where and the how
Whether you are working full-time or part-time when you start your business, you may wish to borrow money in order to fund the initial cost of equipment and so on. Should that be the case, a solid and well thought-out business plan detailing how you intend to spend the money and what turnover and profits you expect to make as the business grows.
It's an idea to contact your local Business Link or college to find training courses that will give you the lowdown on business plans, managing your accounts and getting the computing and marketing skills you need. If the business takes off, look into employing an accountant to ensure everything is in order and above board. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise from the taxman.
Before you set the business ball rolling, you will also need to decide where you will base yourself.
Many beauty-based businesses have the advantage of flexibility when it comes to premises. Though you are unlikely to be able to afford your own place straight away (and all the expense that goes with it), it's very possible to run your business from a room in your own home (preferably away from the distractions of family life) or go mobile and visit your clients in theirs, which has the added advantage of on-the-road advertising by way of your car or van. Alternatively, it might be possible to hire a treatment room in a local salon.
Find your target market
The beauty industry is a huge and growing market but that also makes it a competitive one. That means that just heading out with a few home-made flyers and placing an ad in the paper is unlikely to have your phone ringing off the hook.
Targeted marketing is the best approach if you are hoping to make a real go of things, and finding a niche will allow you to put a plan into action. For instance, you believe your most likely customers are young mums with a little disposable income to spare, a visit to the local school or nursery might be the place to start. Consider giving a free demonstration as a way to get things moving - success relies on networking and meeting people that fit your target market is almost certainly the way to go.
Be patient (and realistic)
Even the world's most successful entrepreneurs had to start somewhere and it's important to remember that building a business takes time... a long time.
Whatever your area of expertise, building a client base and making a name for yourself will not happen overnight. In fact, it may take years before your business provides an income you can live on, but if you start off with realistic expectations you're unlikely to become rapidly disappointed and disillusioned and therefore more likely to make it work in the long term.
With this in mind, it is worth keeping your day job and starting off with a few weekend or evening beauty jobs. As things get busier, you can always take a temping job that will enable you to reduce your hours as the business grows.
If you take your time and do things steadily and well, you'll be your own boss before you know it.
Do you run your own company? What are your top tips for building a successful beauty business? Leave your comments below...