Are you a budding lash artist who is looking for an answer to the million dollar question – How to open a 6 figure lash business?
If yes, then you are at the right place because we will tell you how to do that!
Starting a lash business is intimidating, however, without proper planning and marketing activities, you may end up earning considerably less than your true potential!
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about starting a profitable lash business –
- Selecting a location and store design
- Ways to budget and minimize your costs
- Licensing requirements to get started
- Sourcing eyelash supplies from a trusted wholesale eyelash vendor
- Marketing your business and pricing your services
Our guide will tell you about the best practices followed by top lash artists. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and accomplish your dream of 6 figure earnings faster than you could have imagined!
Keep reading to find out!
1. Budgeting & Finance
The first step to opening a lash business is deciding a budget. Depending upon your location, you can start a lash business from as low as $2,000. You can always spend more if you have the money.
The important thing is to have a budget in mind right at the beginning. Without a specified budget, you may end up spending several hundred or thousand dollars more than what you had originally expected.
The budget should be determined after considering factors like the size of the establishment you want to own, the services you want to offer and the location.
Once you have defined a budget make a list of all the expenses you may likely incur. Ideally, you will be spending on –
- Lease rental
- Studio designing – interiors, constructing a toilet, glass doors and lash station
- Licensing costs
- Supplies – eyelash kits, lash extensions, eyelash sitting unit, etc.
- Computer system and software
- Refrigerator and water cooler
- Any other expenses
In addition to the above costs, you should also make a list of overhead expenses like electricity, refreshments, etc. Preparing a list will give you an exact idea of how much and where you will be spending the money.
Those with a small budget should avoid spending a lot on the interiors. A simple and elegant decor will be enough to make your studio look professional.
After setting the budget you have to think of a way to raise the capital. If you are starting a sole proprietorship business and have saved enough money, you could self-finance your lash business. If you have partner(s), then you could raise capital from them.
Another great way to raise capital is to apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is a government agency that connects borrowers with lenders. You can get full details here.
Irrespective of the business model you have in place and the way you raise capital, make sure to get all the documents checked by your accountant. This will prevent you from unforeseen liabilities in the future.
2. Store Location
You can consider setting up a salon at a storefront location as it gives better visibility to your studio. However, it can be expensive. Another great option is setting up the lash studio at a shopping mall or a strip mall. These places already have a huge footfall of shoppers that could translate into clients for your lash business.
If you already have an existing client base, you may open a lash studio in a commercial office building. This will be more economical than renting a space in a mall.
You can even offer lash services from your home. It will save money as you do not have to pay overheads like rent. However, based on your location there might be restrictions on providing professional services from a home that is not located in a commercial location. Check your local laws to find out the details. Another important thing to keep in mind is that customers tend to pay less for in-home lash studios.
A lash application station can also be set up inside an existing salon that does not offer eyelash extensions. You could work out an arrangement with the salon owner to offer your services. This will benefit the salon owner as they can provide more services to their clients. It will also advantage you as you will get access to the clients of the salon. You also don’t have to spend a lot on setting up your studio.
Regarding the size of the store, you should determine how many lash stations you want. If you will be the only lash artist then you can start with a smaller space but if you have plans to have more lash artists, then you can look for a bigger space.
Some important things to consider when deciding the location-
- Rent – should fit your budget
- Parking space – the location should have a nearby parking space for customers driving to your lash studio.
- Toilet – a mall will have a toilet but for a standalone lash studio, there should be enough space to construct a toilet.
- Environment – applying lash extensions can take hours and requires focus. A calm and quiet environment is necessary to offer the best experience to customers. Avoid locations nearby to a club or busy streets. The loud noise can be a distraction to both you and your clients.
3. Design and Ambiance
Keep your studio design simple and neat. You do not need a very fancy looking decor to attract customers. But if you have the money you can always spend the amount you want to.
For lash businesses located at a shopping mall or strip mall, focus on making your front section appealing. You can do this by installing glass doors/walls and a beautiful signage. The color of the logo, signage, walls and decor inside your studio should be synchronized. All these will help in making your lash studio look professional.
You should also invest in creating a soothing ambiance inside your studio. It can be done by installing dim lighting, a music system and natural decorations. If you go for dim lighting make sure to have beautician lamps to aid you in applying lash extensions on customers.
There should also be a perfumer diffuser inside your studio. These things will help in giving a wonderful experience to your clients. Something that will make them come back to your lash studio!
4. Obtaining Necessary Licenses
To operate a lash studio you generally need the following licenses/policies-
- Cosmetologist/Esthetician Establishment License
- Business License
- Reseller License
The cosmetology/esthetician license is obtained from the state board of cosmetology. It authorizes you to apply lash extensions on customers at your salon or studio.
Depending upon state laws, you may need to have a cosmetologist or esthetician license to apply for an establishment license. It is different from a course completion certificate. The course completion certificate does not authorize you to apply lash extensions and is just a recognition of your participation in the course. You can read our guide on eyelash licensing requirements for each state to know everything.
A business license is issued by your state. It allows you to run a business in the city and pay taxes for the services you offer. The laws relating to business licenses are also different for different states. You should research your local state laws to know the requirements before applying.
If you plan on retailing eyelash extensions and supplies (which we recommend) then you may need another license – reseller license. The cost and criteria for this also vary between states.
Salon insurance is a must for lash businesses. Since you are dealing with a sensitive part of the client’s body, the client can sue you for unprecedented accidents that may occur during lash application. Insurance will help to cover the damages, if any that may arise in the future.
If you still haven’t completed an eyelash training course, check this guide on the 12 best online eyelash training classes for 2021.
5. Sourcing Eyelash Supplies
Now that you have the location, design and license ready it’s time to order your supplies. You will need
- Different types of lashes – Mink, Synthetic lashes, 2D-10D, etc.
- Eyelash Glues and Gel
- Eyelash Cleansers
- Surgical Tape
There are several other things that you will need. We recommend you order a professional eyelash extension kit from a trusted vendor. A kit includes everything that you need to apply lash extensions on customers. It saves you the effort of buying all the supplies individually.
You can order eyelash supplies from Key Lashes. We offer premium quality lash supplies at wholesale prices. This lets you offer better quality products to your clients and also save money.
Key Lashes can also help you with a private label. This will allow you to retail eyelash supplies at your store, using your personalized branding. Private labels are a great way to earn that extra revenue by selling eyelash products to your clients.
6. Determine Eyelash Services You Will Offer
There are many types of eyelash extension services that you can offer-
- Strip lashes
- Flare lashes
- Eyelash extensions
- Eyelash tinting
Strip lashes are the most basic form of lash applications. They are cheaper and easy to install. Flare lashes are another type that lasts longer than strip lashes and gives a more dramatic look. You can make more money by installing flare lashes.
Eyelash extensions are the most trendy and longest-lasting lash application. They are applied one at a time which allows you to offer a more customized and natural look to your customers’ eyelashes. This process also takes longer than strip or flare lashes. You can earn anywhere between $50 to $350 by applying eyelash extensions.
You can also offer eyelash tinting services. It is a process of dyeing the natural eyelashes of your clients.
Based on your experience or preference you can offer some or all of the above services. You may like to start by offering all of these services to see which services have the most demand in your area. Once you have a strong clientele you can focus on offering services that earn you well.
7. Pricing Your Services
Pricing your services can be tricky. While your goal will be to maximize your earnings, you cannot price your services significantly higher than lash salons in your area. The price should be just reasonable and also cover your costs.
The first thing that you should do is determine your costs. Evaluate how much glue, gel and other supplies will be required to apply lash extensions.
For example, if one bottle of glue lasts for 40 lash applications, dividing the cost of one bottle of glue by 40 will give you the average cost of glue for each application. Do the same for other supplies. Next, factor in your overhead expenses like electricity, lease rent, insurance, advertising and others.
The second thing is to survey and identify the prices for similar lash application services in your area. You can do this by researching on Groupon, visiting websites or calling nearby lash salons. This will help you get an idea of the prices in your area. The third thing is to identify your client profile. If your clients comprise of high-class people then you can set higher prices but if they are in the middle-income group the prices should be lower.
The fourth and last thing is to set a monthly income goal. Once you have all these details, you can work out pricing for the different services you will offer.
Whatever price you set, make sure it is not too high or too low. At the same time, be confident of the prices.
8. Marketing Your Services
Marketing is crucial to growing your lash business. Marketing will help make people aware of your business. A specified amount should be set aside every month for promoting your lash business on different mediums – magazines, social media and brochures.
Having a website can also be beneficial as it will increase the chances of customers finding you. You can optimize your website to attract local customers. A website is also live 24×7 which allows customers to make bookings any time of the day.
You can upload blogs or send newsletters to customers to keep them updated about your services or offers. You can take the help of freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer to build a website at a low budget. A website will give a professional touch to your business.
A well-planned marketing strategy will let you generate immediate sales. You can refer to our Eyelash Marketing Guide to know everything on how to promote your lash business.
Note: Keep the promotional content consistent across all the platforms. This will help clients to easily recognize your brand.
9. Opening Your Salon
Once you are through steps 1 to 8, it’s time for the GRAND OPENING. Invite your friends, family and neighbors for the opening of your lash studio. This will help to spread the word about your new business.
You can also run special discounts and offers during the opening weekend to attract customers.
Don’t miss an opportunity to give a warm welcome to walk-in customers. Talk to them about your services and tell them why you are better than others!
Great! Your store is finally opened and customers are pouring in.
So what is the next thing to do?
Give exceptional quality services to your customers!
This is the only thing that can make you stand ahead of your competition. You can do this by ensuring the client’s time is utilized wisely. An appointment booking software can also be put in place to automate the process. Always keep the clients informed about changes in your schedule. These steps will prevent your clients from waiting for their turn.
The premises must also be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Nobody would like to sit for hours at a place that is unhealthy and unhygienic.
Treat your clients like your family and friends. Many stores offer great services but clients also look for the best experience. A friendly attitude towards clients can help you achieve this.
These small steps will surely make a huge contribution in helping you get that 6 figure income from your lash business.
Now you are ready to open your lash business. So get started, right now!