With an interest in cosmetology and an entrepreneurial spirit, few career paths can rival the chance to build your own thriving business as a cosmetologist. However, no amount of passion can dictate the steps you’ll need to get there. Before launching a successful salon, a business owner-to-be needs proper qualifications, plans, and support—and, of course, the enthusiasm to continue even when running your business isn’t very fun.
Get the education you need.
Before you consider building your very own cosmetology business, you need to have the necessary knowledge to be a cosmetologist in the first place. Enrolling in a cosmetology program will give you that information while helping you know for sure whether this is indeed the field for you.
In addition, learning the ins and outs of hairstyling, skin care, make-up, nail care, and other aspects of cosmetology will prepare you for the daily processes within your salon. Beyond cosmetology school, you might decide to take business, marketing, entrepreneurship, or leadership classes to help prepare you for owning your own salon.
Look the Part
When Frenchy mistakenly dyes her hair bright pink in Grease, she realizes that nobody will want to book an appointment with a cosmetologist who can’t even get her own hair dyed correctly. But there’s no reason you have to become a “Beauty School Dropout.”
Instead, while working as a cosmetologist or salon owner, pay attention to your appearance. Make sure your hair, make-up, skin, and nails are well put together, and find the perfect pair of petite pants that fit—that way, you’ll show potential clients that you can capture and flaunt women’s natural beauty.
Make a Plan
You’ve completed cosmetology school and look like someone who will give a proper haircut or manicure. Now what? At this point, you need to focus your attention on business matters. As you build your salon, you’ll need a formal business plan outlining your projected path. What is your mission in running this business? Where will your salon be located? Who will be working under you? How will you reach your ideal clientele? To build and run a successful cosmetology business, you need to know the answers to these questions and more. Simply put, you must be the expert in your new venture.
Comply with legal requirements.
Like any business endeavor, you must understand and respect any local, state, or federal laws concerning your company. In the case of a salon, there are specific licenses and permits you’ll need to obtain before opening your doors. These may vary by location but will typically include your cosmetology or beautician’s license, retail seller permit, federal employer identification number (EIN), and others. The last thing your new business needs is to overlook a technicality and face massive fees or worse before even getting started.
Determine where to go from here.
You have your business plan, of course, but you never know when circumstances may change. As you officially launch your cosmetology business and work to build a thriving salon, you’ll need to bring in and retain clients, train and manage your employees, and keep up with new advances in the beauty industry. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list—as a business owner, there’s always a new surprise just around the corner, for better or worse. So be prepared for your intended next steps, but stay flexible in case your situation changes.
A licensed cosmetologist or make-up artist has a lot to learn before launching their career, and the same is true of a potential salon owner. When crafting your cosmetology business, you’ll need to carefully plan your education, business plan, and even attire because each factor can determine whether or not your new company can succeed in the long run.