Do you have a passion for false eyelashes and eyelash extensions? Have you always wanted to start a business in the beauty industry, but hadn’t yet found the perfect niche? You can become a lash extension entrepreneur and earn good money as a small business owner. All you need is a love of beauty and an interest in marketing lashes.
What is an Eyelash Business?
The beauty business boasts a plethora of niches, but the eyelash business is definitely a lucrative one. According to Grand View Research, Inc., by 2025, the global false eyelashes market is expected to reach $1.6 billion… that represents a lot of potential customers.
In an eyelash business, a trained technician applies eyelash extensions and other lash aesthetics to clients. Of course, as with any other business, the eyelash business also requires marketing, sales, customer service and other operations to be profitable.
How Much Does it Cost to Start Your Own Lash Business?
You’ll need capital to start your own lash business. When establishing an eyelash extensions company, you’ll need to purchase supplies and equipment. You’ll need to set up your salon location, and you might need to hire lash artists. In all, you could spend between $30,000 and $60,000 to start your lash business.
How to Start an Eyelash Business: 20 Crucial Steps
Ready to start your own business selling eyelash extensions services? The following 20 crucial steps will help you start a successful eyelash extensions business:
1. Get the Necessary Training and Qualifications
Unless you plan on hiring a lash artist, you will need to receive the necessary training and qualifications to become an eyelash technician for your lash business. Being licensed helps you convey a sense of professionalism to your clients and keeps your business legally compliant.
Of course, every state and country has its own requirements, so be sure and research the necessary qualifications in your region. You might need to take a series of courses, pass a test or pay certain fees to gain an esthetician license in your area.
2. Name Your Business and Create a Brand
What will you call your lash business? Every company needs a creative and unique business name that makes it stand out in customers’ minds. Be sure and register the brand name to protect it from being used by competitors.
Of course, your business name is only part of your overall lash brand. Design a logo that visually represents your brand, including your products, values and vision.
3. Know Your Target Market
Who is your target customer? As with most businesses, your market won’t include everyone. What type of customer will seek your aesthetic services? Consider the demographics and characteristics of that target audience when determining to who you will market your business.
4. Research the Competition Providing Eyelash Extensions
Who will your competition be in the lash business? What other local businesses will also provide eyelash extensions and other lash services to your target market? Research your competition, paying attention to what services other lash businesses offer and how they promote their companies. What works for them, and what can you improve upon in your own lash business?
5. Create a Business Plan
Before you can acquire funding for your eyelash business, you’ll need to establish a business plan. Even if you plan to launch your company without help from a bank or investor, writing a business plan will help you better define your business, identify your target customer and create effective business strategies.
An effective business plan for your lash company should include an overview of your business, including a general description of your company and the services it will provide, as well as financial projections, a description of your target market and a general marketing plan.
6. Choose a Business Entity
How will you structure your lash extension business? Will you be the sole owner of your small business, or will you own the company with one or more partners? Who is legally responsible for the brand? Who will be responsible for profits and debts?
When establishing the structure of your eyelash company, you can choose from a variety of business entities, including sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or even a corporation. Most lashes companies will be opened as a sole proprietorship or an LLC, depending on who will be personally liable.
7. Set Up a Business Bank Account for Your Eyelash Extension Business
Before your lashes business starts sending or receiving money, be sure and open a business bank account. A business bank account offers a level of professionalism to your small business, and it separates your business and personal finances, which helps protect the business and keep it legally compliant.
You might also consider opening a business credit card account for your eyelash extension business, which can be used to help finance your company during slow periods and purchase inventory until you start turning a profit.
8. Sort Out Licensing, Permits, and Fees
What licenses and permits will you need to operate your eyelash business? There’s no simple answer to that question since requirements will vary by region. Be sure an research any business licenses, as well as aesthetic or healthcare licenses, are required in your area and be prepared to pay any fees associated with obtaining them.
9. Set A Budget
What will be your budget for starting your lashes business? A variety of startup costs are associated with establishing any new small business, and the eyelash extension industry is no exception. Consider everything you need to start your business, including costs for your salon or other location, employees, equipment and supplies. As a new small business owner, you’ll also want to consider your financial resources, so you can save money when it’s necessary.
10. Choose a Location
Where do you plan to conduct business? Will you rent a space to convert into a salon, or do you own a location to house your own eyelash brand? A variety of options are available. You can do business out of the relaxing atmosphere of your own studio at home, or you can select a posh high street location. In many areas, you can even offer mobile eyelash services, operating out of a company van or another commercial vehicle.
11. Purchase Business Insurance
Risks accompany running any business. What if a natural disaster destroys your inventory? What if an employee or a customer gets injured? What if your online business operations become the victim of a hacker?
You’re bound to invest plenty of time and money into the success of your lash business, so you’ll want to obtain business insurance to protect that investment. Consider insurance policies including property insurance, liability insurance and cyber insurance if you are selling or marketing services in the online marketplace.
12. Buy the Necessary Equipment
What equipment will you need to operate your eyelash company? Of course you’ll need basic office equipment, such as a desk, chairs and a computer, as well as decor to create a relaxing atmosphere. But a small business owner launching an eyelash extensions business will also want to invest into the following equipment:
- Lighting – You will need bright, high-quality portable lighting to ensure you and your aesteticians clearly can see every individual lash.
- Reclining chair or lash bed – Where will your customers relax while you attend to their lashes?
- Linens and sanitary covers – Don’t forget covers for your lash bed that keep customers comfortable and clean.
- Comfortable chair – You and your lash artists will be spending hours in your chairs as you apply eyelash extensions. Make sure you are comfortable while doing it.
- Shelves and storage – Keep an organized salon with plenty of shelves and other storage containers.
- Lash cart – A lash cart can be equipped with all of your various extensions and other lash supplies and equipment for convenient access.
- Sink and sterilization area – Be sure to keep a clean and sterile business by equipping your salon with a sink and sterilization area.
13. Set Your Prices and Create a Menu
What services will your lash business offer customers, and how much will you charge for each? When determining your pricing schedule, look at the competition in your area. You might want to match competitors’ pricing, or you might want to launch with promotional pricing and charge even less than another local business when you can. Create a menu of services and pricing that your customers can reference when purchasing lashes services from you.
14. Create a Professional Website and Email ID
Every business needs an online presence for success in the modern marketplace. Even if you won’t be engaging in e-commerce, a well-designed website and official email address will add a sense of professionalism to your new business and offer an important source of promotion for customers searching for lash services. It also can offer a booking tool, giving customers a simple way to reserve their appointments.
If possible, coordinate your website domain with your overall small business brand. Don’t worry if you have no web design experience. Many new business owners hire another professional to design their own website.
15. Choose a Booking System
How will you book your customers’ lash extensions appointments for your business? Gone are the days when a small business owner could rely on pen, paper and a desk calendar to track their engagements. Today’s lash business owner needs a solid booking system to ensure the most professional scheduling.
A variety of booking software is available with features to accommodate practically any type of business. Choose from some of the best online booking software systems such as Boulevard, Fresha or Gloss Genius.
16. Invest in Point of Sale Software
How will your lash business process payments? By investing in point-of-sale software, you can ensure your business can accept a variety of payment forms from your customers both online and in person, as well as accurately track your sales.
Much like with booking system software, a variety of point-of-sale software options are available, each with unique features and tools. Small business owners can choose from some of the best point of sale software options like Square Point of Sale, Shopify POS, Quickbooks Point of Sale or Revel Systems.
17. Market Your Business and Build a Customer Base
It’s a competitive market, and you can’t expect customers to start forming a line just because you opened the doors of your new lash salon. You have to market your eyelash extension business to build a customer base.
Small business owners no longer have to invest in traditional advertising to market their products and services. You can reach prospective clients by engaging with them on a social media platform. Establish social media profiles for your lash business on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
By posting compelling content, you can attract an audience of lash enthusiasts and potential clients. Some lash artists have developed impressive followings on YouTube and TikTok by sharing video of them applying eyelash extensions to willing customers. You can even feature your own lashes to churn up interest in your brand.
18. Launch Your Business
You’ve acquired the skills and certifications, you’ve purchased equipment and supplies, you’ve set up your salon, and you’ve built a customer base. Now it’s time to launch your lash business! Planning and organization are key to successfully launch your own eyelash brand.
19. Expand Your Services
Now that’s you’ve successfully launched your small business, you’ll want to start looking toward future growth. How will you expand your services and maximize your earnings? Remember, more high-quality services can equal more customers… and increased profits.
An entrepreneur who has launched a successful lash business can consider expanding to other services in a variety of ways. Perhaps you will develop a webinar and sell eyelash tutorials online. Maybe you will help to develop your own custom eyelash extensions and start your own lash label. You might even become an eyelash wholesaler. With a creative mind, the opportunities are practically endless. You can also look into how to start a hair salon or how to start a nail salon to add more services.
20. Be a Successful Business Owner
Once your lash business starts earning money, you are on your way to being the successful small business owner you envisioned. You’re now your own boss, but your lash artist journey is just beginning. Your business will need your ongoing support to continue to thrive.
Is a Lash Business Profitable?
Are lash businesses profitable? According to Giovanni Eyelash Factory, U.S. customers now use more than 40 million pairs of false eyelashes every month, and that incredible amount continues to grow. It only makes sense that more entrepreneurs are finding success in the eyelash business.
You can earn money by opening an eyelash salon, and the above 20 steps should help you along the way.
This article, “How to Start a Lash Business” was first published on Small Business Trends