You’ve always dreamed of owning your own business as a beauty professional. Whether you’re a recently certified technician or you’re ready to move past the chair rental, you have the drive and aspirations for more. Starting a home-based beauty business allows you to be your own boss, all in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re making a career change, we recommend starting by building a side hustle while maintaining the security of your day job. This will allow you to learn the backend of running a business, grow your clientele, and perfect your craft. While you will have more to juggle on your plate, there will be less pressure and financial strain on yourself.
Creating a studio within your home gives you the flexibility of working in the evenings and on weekends without having to pay additional rent elsewhere. You’ll be your own boss, enjoy the convenience of working from home, and lower your expenses. You will also be able to grow your business at your own pace and eventually move into a studio if that is something you hope to do in the future.
Home-based beauty businesses are great for individual artists. Not a lot of space is required and it creates an intimate atmosphere for the client. As long as you have the necessary certification and meet the legal requirements, you’re ready to start a thriving business.
As we cover the aspects of starting a home-based business, start writing down the expenses for each one. Knowing ahead of time how much you’ll need to spend will help you budget and plan your beauty business. Having control of your finances is important as a business owner, even before you start.
The first step to starting your home-based beauty business is getting certified and licensed! Be sure that you have the certification and meet the requirements to be an operating technician where you live. The requirements of becoming a technician and business owner will vary between regions. We recommend doing research before starting.
Next, you will need to ask yourself if you have space to service clients. If you live in a small bachelor apartment, then you will probably need to consider renting a chair. However, if you have a separate room or you’re willing to give up your living room, you should be fine as long as it meets state requirements. Some areas, such as Kansas, require beauty businesses to have a separate, outside entrance. If this applies to you then you will need to hire a contractor to build out a separate entrance within your home.
Other things you will need to consider about your space include:
The most important step of starting a beauty business is ensuring you meet all the legal requirements. This will all depend on where you live as it will vary between the city, state, and country. It’s best to consult with your local government and a lawyer to ensure you have everything in place to operate legally and safely. This includes having your waivers reviewed by a lawyer ahead of time. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Some of the legal aspects to cover include getting a license, registering your business name with the government, and getting a business number to collect taxes. The processing time can take up to several weeks, so plan accordingly.
Since we’re on the topic of taxes, you should also consider what method you will use to keep track of your accounting. While this isn’t a legal requirement, it’s highly suggested. We suggest using a software, such as Intuit Quickbooks, from the very beginning to ensure operationally efficient business. It will make your life much easier day-to-day and especially when tax season rolls around.
You will need insurance, especially since you’re working with people’s physical appearance and health. Beauty professionals carry a lot of responsibility and should be protected by insurance. Mistakes can happen and you should be prepared. Even if it’s not directly related to your services, such as a slip-and-fall incident on your premises, you could be held accountable. Do your research on the various insurance providers and examine the coverage you’ll need.
Other things you will need to consider include health and safety inspections. Your business should meet the requirements and pass any inspections before opening and taking clients. For example, if you are a permanent makeup artist in Toronto, you will need to pass an inspection by Toronto Public Health before obtaining a Personal Services Setting license. This license will then need to be placed in a visible area for clients to see.
Determine what services you want to offer. If you’re starting as a lash artist or permanent makeup artist, you may only offer the basics. In this case, it’d be classic lashes or microblading respectively. This will eventually grow as you get better at your work and get additional training. For now, focus on being great at one thing before you expand your services.
When it comes to pricing yourself, research to see how much your competition is charging. This will give you an approximate baseline for you to work with. The price of your services will vary with the type of service, your level of expertise, the demographic you’re trying to reach, and the area you’re located in. For example, if you’re a new artist, it’s normal to charge a lower price to increase your clientele and get more hours of practice. You can increase your prices as you grow your business.
Remember to know the value of your time and expertise. Do not underprice yourself to get more clients. It will reflect upon your brand and attract like-minded clients. For example, if you’re offering one of the lowest prices in the industry, you may not attract the type of clients you’d want to serve. As your business starts to grow, you will need to find your ideal client. Your ideal client is someone who will receive the perfect solution to their needs through your services. This person will love what you do, continue to book with you, and will refer your services to their friends and family.
Once you’ve figured out your service menu and pricing, use a scheduling software. This will allow clients to easily book with you from the comfort of their own home. They will be able to conveniently see your service menu and pricing ahead of time. Clients will know what to expect and you won’t have to waste time going through inquiries.
Jupiter is perfect for beauty professionals at any stage in their business. It works with your unique schedule so if you’re starting off doing this as a side hustle, you can adjust your booking availability accordingly. This will protect your personal time and prevent overlaps in your schedule.
It’s more than a scheduling software. Jupiter is an all-in-one business software that allows beauty professionals to streamline their business, save time, and increase their income potential. Client notes, image galleries, forms, deposits, and many more features to come.
Figure out what supplies you will need to perform your service. This includes knowing how much in stock you should have and how long it’ll last you. Various lash trays, lash adhesive, tweezers, eye pads, tape, and disposable mascara wands are just some of the supplies a lash artist will need. You will learn what is required during your training. Your educator will probably suggest a few popular brands for you to test out.
Keep a regular inventory count of your supplies and how much you use. This will help you plan how much you would need for each item. It also assures you won’t purchase too much of a product you don’t need, or running out on a popular item. This includes any products you place in your client aftercare bags if you decide to do that.
If you will sell retail products at your home-based beauty business, decide what you’d like to carry. Start with a few selected items that you like and could upsell to your clients. Great options are aftercare and maintenance products. Once you see a demand for the products, then you can start offering more.
Before you can start decorating your space, you will need to determine the furniture you need to perform your services. What are the mandatory furnishings you need to start your home-based beauty business? You will need to think about what your client will sit in or lay on. Then you will need to think about your seat and work station.
We’ve seen many beauty professionals use carts and organizers to hold all their necessities. These are a great option because they can be moved easily around your workspace. They will also help keep all your tools and supplies organized when you need it. Other things to consider include proper lighting and a sanitation station to keep your tools sterilized before each appointment.
Once you have all the basics, you can then start thinking about decorations. Having a comfortable, relaxing environment will help to create a memorable salon experience. It will help your clients feel welcomed and you could say, at home. This can be done by having fun with the interior decoration, music, and refreshments.
For inspiration on decorating your space, see what others are doing on Instagram and Pinterest. Use the colors from your brand to recreate the business you’ve always wanted. To give you an idea of what your home-based beauty business could look like, we spoke with Lash Artist, Educator, and Owner of JKO Luxe Beauty, Jennifer Khema Ouch.
Jennifer, who many call her as Jenny, started her journey as a Lash Artist during her third year of nursing school when she suddenly felt that she could no longer balance her clinical and school hours with her part-time restaurant job. She was always working the closing shifts until midnight and would have clinical shifts at 6:45 am the following morning. It became difficult on her body and grades. That’s when she knew she needed a change.
“My boyfriend’s mom is a beauty business owner herself and shared with me that she and her friends were taking eyelash extension and eyebrow microblading courses to add to their beauty services. I was intrigued by this and decided to do some research on both and found myself obsessing with watching videos of lash artists applying eyelash extensions on people,” Jennifer says. “I decided to go for it and booked a private training course with Lia Lash Pro in October 2016. I honestly kept this a secret from everyone except my family and my boyfriend due to fear of failing and humiliating myself.”
Once Jennifer completed her training, she was surprised by how natural it felt and decided one day she would master this skill and share her knowledge with others. She put her nursing goals aside after graduating and decided to go full into her business because it was what she was passionate about. “ I started receiving inquiries for training before I even officially launched or announced it on Instagram. This motivated me further and led me to write a very detailed manual and curated non-biased training kits for my students to start their journey,” she says. “Once I started teaching, again, it felt all so natural to me and that’s when I knew that I was definitely on the right path of owning a home-based business.”
Jennifer’s biggest priority when it came to building her home-based beauty business was to establish a portfolio and build a stable clientele. She invited many of her friends and family members to get their eyelashes done. At each appointment, she took many photos from various angles. “This was my biggest priority because I felt that this would allow me to book up faster and also allows myself to practice more to perfect my skill before welcoming new clients into my workspace,” she says. The next step for Jennifer was to stock up on every single product she needed, such as lash trays, sensitive skin tape, eye pads, and tweezers.
After that, it was setting up a professional workspace. “I started off lashing in my living room because of the limited space in my house. However after 2-3 months of lashing, our basement tenants moved out and I decided to take the space for my business. The reason behind this was that I could tell new clients felt slightly uncomfortable as there was limited privacy,” Jennifer says. “I would have family walk in and out of the kitchen which is right by the living room and it just felt awkward at times. I had this huge vision of having a cute and friendly lash studio that reflected my personality but is professional at the same time. This is the step that made my home business really feel like a business.”
“Once my vision became a reality, I began having things like a soft blanket, snacks, water, lip masks, etc. all available. I bought speakers to play top 40 and R&B hits, invested in an essential oil diffuser to ensure the studio always smelt fresh, a phone charging station for clients to charge their phones, a separate Wi-Fi network for clients, and made debit and credit card payments available,” Jennifer says. “I want to provide my clients with everything I would personally like to have when getting my lashes, or any beauty service, done.”
Jennifer believes having a comfortable work setting is the most important thing to have when it comes to owning a home-based beauty business. “When clients are comfortable, they naturally become easier to provide a beauty service to. For example, when clients feel awkward or uncomfortable, their eyelids start to shake or can completely tense up and are more likely to squirm around, rather than stay still,” she says. “I can feel the difference when lashing a comfortable client versus an uncomfortable one–believe me, it is so much easier to lash a relaxed client.”
In addition to the work setting, Jennifer believes every home-based beauty business should provide the same high-quality products you would find at high-end salons from reputable companies that can provide documents such as MSDS. You want your clients to feel as safe as possible.
In Jennifer’s words:
My #1 tip for new and upcoming beauty professionals is to be yourself and always give yourself room to grow. Clients respect and appreciate growth when they see it. I still have photos of when I first started providing eyelash extensions on my Instagram profile so that my followers and clients can see my improvements from beginning to now. I have no shame in how I started because it has pushed me to become better every single day. To this very day, I still have clients that were with me from the beginning when I was lashing in the living room and they have expressed with me that they are proud of my growth as a lash artist and home-based beauty business owner.
There’s a quote I love that goes, “the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried” and I want to be able to show that. When you feel like you are stuck and are not where you want to be, understand and acknowledge that this is a phase you need to go through and overcome. Practice makes perfect. If there is an artist you admire and want to learn from, book their course and learn from them. If there is a new product you’ve always wanted to try or want to try a new styling technique, go try it. Do not limit your own growth because if you do, you will limit your business’ growth.
My #2 tip is to be authentic and transparent. Let your clients know what products you use, where you have trained from, what they should expect, etc. As beauty professionals, we do not like being lied to by clients–whether it’s regarding improper aftercare or last-minute cancellations. If we expect honesty from them, we have to be honest with them too. Respect is a two-way street. There’s no shame in saying you took a course from a school that charges 2-3x less than others. There’s no shame in saying you use a certain brand of product over another because it’s more affordable. The importance is to be real and the majority of clients will accept and respect that. Again, this enables us to show growth in our business. It’s like what Drake said, “started from the bottom, now we’re here”!
My #3 tip is to place yourself in your client’s shoes to see if your customer service is up to your standards. When you open the door, do you greet your clients? Ask yourself, how would you like to be greeted at the door? How would you like it to smell and look like? Does the surface, in which the service will be, provided look clean and sterile, or is it still a mess from the previous client? How would you like it to look if you were the client? These are the little things that helped me transform from a basic home-based beauty business to a client-focused one. Maybe this is the nursing side of me, but I highly value what my clients think of me as a person and my service– I want them to feel cared for beyond the product or service. The happier the experience, the more they will share with their friends about my business.
I love being welcomed by a greeting, so I do it for every single client. I love light, citrus scents, so I always have it diffusing. I love good music, who doesn’t? You already know that it’s playing from the moment I turn on the lights in the studio. If you have experienced services such as doing your eyelashes, hair, or eyebrows, then you know that they take a long time. For this very reason, before I even begin providing the beauty service, I always ask if my clients need to use the washroom because I know how uncomfortable and squirmy I get when I need to go, and I don’t want them to go through the same thing. The little things can mean a lot. These acts of kindness and service give your clients an experience to remember. Just try to place yourself in your client’s shoes and do your best to provide them with the service you would like to receive if you were in their place.
Jennifer’s home-based studio and excellent client service set a great example for many new and upcoming lash artists. To learn more about her business, you can check out her Instagram page.
If you are a beauty professional and would like to be featured in future blog posts, let’s connect!
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