Starting a lash business can be difficult, regardless of whether you are a budding artist or a seasoned professional. There is a lot to consider before materializing your dream of owning a startup in the beauty industry.
It requires passion, unmatched skills, in-depth knowledge of the industry, critical competitors analysis, branding, making a business plan, cost, and turn-around time to successfully launch a lash business in 2023.
To help you kickstart, we have gathered reliable tips from the best lash entrepreneurs in this complete “how-to” guide.
Is Eyelash Extension a Profitable Business?
Have you ever done eyelash extensions for your friends at parties? According to research, the lash industry is expected to reach $1.8 billion in upcoming years. Now is the time to start your own eyelash business and be your own boss.
One of the most interesting aspects of an eyelash business is that you can handle this as a weekend endeavor with a huge capacity to be transformed into a full-time project.
Hence, there is room for scalability, but you shouldn’t rush into it.
How Much does it Cost to Start an Eyelash Business?
You will need supplies, equipment, a location for your saloon, business legalization and branding, etc. Accordingly, the estimated cost of starting an eyelash business is between $30,000 and $50,000.
10 Steps Towards Launching a Lash Business
We assume that you already working as an eyelash artist and want to start it as a separate setup.
1. Know your Industry
To effectively utilize your resources, it is always beneficial to conduct thorough research on your industry. Ask yourself the following questions:
What size can you start with?
Know your resources & capital to decide if you can handle the challenges during the pre-turnaround period.
Depending on your budget, your startup will be small or large before overdoing it.
Where are your potential customers?
This is the most critical aspect, in my opinion. The location of your salon outlet should be based on where you believe your potential customers are located.
You shouldn’t locate your business in an area where people aren’t interested or can’t afford your services.
As a result, you can operate in the following ways:
- Start your lash business at home
- Offer mobile service via online booking
- Open your own lash salon
Get helpful information on your customer demographics so you don’t waste your capital.
Who are my competitors?
Learn what services they offer, their skill level, the average price for each service, and their possible weaknesses. Knowing what your competitors are offering and lacking will enable you to better them.
2. Document your Business Plan
Poor planning or poor execution of plans is simply to let some force other than reason shape reality.Robert McNamara said.
A documented business plan can help you better define your company goal, identify your potential customers and create effective business strategies, even if you do not plan to get funding from a bank or investor.
Ideally, an effective business plan should include:
- Overview of the lash business
- Your mission/ vision
- List of services
- Financial management & projection
- Monthly & yearly goals
- Business marketing plan
- Customer service protocols
- Business scalability plan
This document keeps you organized by keeping everyone on the same page. Moreover, these KPIs will allow you to audit your performance.
3. Select a Branded Business Name
You need a name to call your lash business. Spend some time brainstorming a catchy, creative, and branded business name that stands out.
Register your brand name as soon as you decide on it to avoid any copyright issues.
- Easy to read & spell
- Include industry keywords like “lash”, “eyelash”, to boost the SEO
- The name should allow future extension
- Avoid location in brand name
Afterward, proceed with other branding campaigns like logos, banners, billboards, digital social media graphics, etc.
NOTE: Free online logo and brand name generators are not recommended since they lack creativity, uniqueness, and ownership. Spending your time and money on these things is worth because they create the first impression in your customer’s mind.
4. Sort out Business License
Following the rules & regulations of a particular state, you need the following licenses to start a lash business:
- An eyelash extension certificate.
- An esthetician or cosmetologist license from the board of cosmetology in your state.
It is also advisable to register your business with the IRS once you are a certified lash technician.
5. Formalize the Entity & Taxes
Your lash business structure should reflect whether you are the sole owner or if you have partners. This structure will make you responsible for managing the brand legally, its profits and debts, as well as its signatory authority.
The business entity can be chosen from the following options:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Most small beauty businesses are organized as LLCs or sole proprietorships.
Your personal liability for the business is limited when you form an LLC. It would not be your responsibility if your business went into debt or ran into legal trouble.
In addition, you will need an EIN (Employer Identification Number), also known as an FDN (Federal Tax Identification Number), to open a business bank account or hire any employees.
6. Choose a Banking Channel
Business transactions through banking channels are legally compliant. Therefore, open a business bank account before you start sending or receiving payments.
Open a business credit card account so that you can use it to help finance your business during slow periods and purchase inventory until you start making a profit.
By opening a business bank account, your small business will look more professional, and it will separate your business and personal finances, which will help you with your financial management.
7. Consider a Business Insurance
While business insurance is optional, it can be mighty useful to recover from a natural disaster, an unintentional injury to an employee or customer, and online data theft.
Consider insurance policies such as:
- Property insurance
- Liability insurance
- Cyber insurance
Reach out to your local insurance company and discuss your case.
8. Set up a Relaxing Lash Room
The next step to starting a successful lash business is setting up a modern, comfortable, and energetic lash room with quality supplies, ergonomic furniture, and ample space.
Your eyelash extension room should be the main reason for your clients to feel relaxed and return more frequently.
No matter what kind of lash room you want, we’ve got ideas that will add energy to your space:
- Craft an Ideal Interior Decor: Begin by deciding which items will go at which spots in your lash room.
- Lighting: Ensure you and your aesthetician have bright, portable lighting to clearly see every lash.
- Lash bed: Select a good quality ergonomic lash bed or a recliner chair with lumbar support where your customer can relax during the lash session.
- Tasteful Wall Decor: Decorate your eyelash extension room with some tasteful wall art.
- Linens and Sanitary Covers: You’ll need covers for your customer’s lash beds to keep them comfortable and clean.
- Shelves and Storage: Plenty of storage containers and shelves will keep your salon organized.
- Lash Cart: You can use a lash cart to keep all of your extensions and other lash supplies and equipment in one place for convenient accessibility.
- Ergonomic Chair: Get you and your staff an ergonomic office chair for back pain because you will be spending hours dealing with customers. These chairs will help you relax your back when you’re free and prepare you for the next client.
- Sink and Sterilization Area: Keep your business clean and sterile by equipping it with a sink and sterilization area.
9. Set Pricing
Even though pricing is the return on your investment, it should be reasonable and competitive. Keep the following things in mind:
- How much time does treatment take?
- How much does your lash material cost you?
- What is your traveling cost (if you are offering mobile service)?
- How much are your marketing costs?
- How much is your business insurance?
Find out what other local lash technicians charge if you want to stay competitive while still making a profit.
PRO TIP: Develop a menu of services and pricing for your customers to reference when purchasing lashes from you.
Other Pro Tips to Start Lash Business
As soon as you have checked all the boxes for setting up your lash business, you are ready to go. Planning and organization are essential to launching your eyelash brand at every stage. Following are some post-launch tips to scale your lash project.
1. Create a Service Menu
Competitive pricing plays a key role in attracting customers to try a new business. Think smartly when pricing your services by looking around at your competitors.
You can start with a promotional price that customers can reference when they are looking for lash services.
Hire a professional graphics designer who layouts a branded service menu for your business along with print media facilities.
2. Create a Professional Website & Email
In 2023, every business must have an online presence to engage with customers instantly. If you have a professional website, your customers feel more comfortable asking questions and booking appointments.
Your website will be the first impression customers have of your business, so getting it right is of utmost importance.
There is good news: creating a professional-looking website is easy and affordable with WordPress!
You don’t need to have experience in web design. There are a number of WordPress web design companies that specialize in creating locally optimized websites optimized for search engines. You can hire one to get your work done!
PRO TIP: Ask the agency to integrate live chat and online appointment booking via Calendly or any other plugin.
3. Invest in Robust POS
How will you process payments for your lash business? With point-of-sale software, you’ll be able to accept a variety of payment methods from your customers online and in-person, as well as track your sales accurately.
A variety of point-of-sale software is available, each with its own unique features and tools including Square POS, Shopify POS, and Quickbooks POS.
4. Market your Business to Find Customers
Expertly market your brand on social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, or anything famous in your local area.
You should also reach out to your local social media vlogger or influencer who can endorse your services.
Keep local listings SEO, Google Business, and Google Maps activities at the top of your priority list to increase conversion rates.
Using engaging content, you can engage potential clients and enthusiasts of eyelash extensions. YouTube and TikTok are popular destinations for lash artists to share videos of them applying eyelash extensions to willing clients.
Even your own lashes can spark interest in your brand.
5. Expand your Team & Services
You should start thinking about future growth after you launch your business successfully. What are your plans for expanding your services and maximizing your earnings? Expanding your team and services is the best way!
In order to bring more automation and exposure to your customers, the best thing to do is to build a reliable team of artists.
You can go with freshies and train them from time to time, but if you have a nice capital which can support the salaries of professional lash artists, there is nothing quite like it!
Entrepreneurs who have launched successful lash businesses may want to expand to other services in a variety of ways.
- Create a webinar for eyelash tutorials and sell them online.
- Develop your own custom eyelash extensions with your own label.
- You could even start an eyelash wholesale company.
Final Say on Starting Eyelash Business
At first, starting your own business may seem frightening, but it’s well worth it. Setting your own schedule can be a life-changing experience.
This guide on how to start an eyelash extensions business should provide you with all the information you need!
Additionally, you will be able to control how much money you earn each month, which you won’t be able to do if you work for someone else.
Still unsure which type of business you want to start, yet looking for greater flexibility?