How to set up your lash business! (guide)
How to start your venture into lashes in order to build a successful business
When you have made the decision to start your own lash business (no matter if you want to offer lash extensions or lash lifting or any other lash enhancement) you will be very excited and there are so many things to do and consider so we want to help with a few tips and tricks to help you get off to a good start!
Your first step will be to choose and book your training!
This in itself is already exciting, and you will have expectations for your training day, the educator and of course, what you will get out of the training. After all this is your first step towards your own lash business and of course you want the best you can get to turn your dream into a successful business.
Your first decision will have to be WHICH course you are booking!
Are you wanting to start with lash lifting or are you more interested in lash extensions so you can then later advance into volume or lash art? You can always add other treatments at a later stage so at the moment you just need to decide on the FIRST course as this will be your start into the lash world.
We have put together a short overview of the most popular courses which might help you to decide which one will work for you as it depends on various factors and the most important part is that you are passionate about the treatment but some also require an amount of practice and it is crucial that you are aware of this so have a look at this overview
(link to https://www.flirties.co.uk/pages/training-courses)
Your next step is to try and find the right trainer.
As you can imagine, this can be easier said than done with so many different training providers, brand specific training and independent tutors so it is important that you do a bit of research.
Try and put a list of questions together that you want to ask your trainer. No matter if the trainer is independent or associated with a brand there are things you need to check before you book and speaking to the trainer can also put your mind at ease.
Here are just some of the questions you want to ask:
Is the course accredited?
Each country has its own legislation and regulations that are specific to setting up your own business so you might have to do a bit of research to ensure you comply with local rules and regulations.
In the UK you will need to have a certificate in order to get insured for the treatments which means finding an accredited course. Don’t just assume that all courses will automatically be accredited! It is important to check the details to avoid paying twice for the same training and remember “if it looks too good to be true it maybe is?”
Do you want to train with a brand or independent trainer?
Generally speaking, if you train with a brand you will be able to use the products, get marketing materials and ongoing support. If anything happens, the company will be there to help and advise you and in most cases you will also have a brilliant aftersales support as the brand will back you up and some brands (flirties included) also feature your work and offer loyalty schemes and discounts to help you get started. All these little things add up and you will be surprised what a difference it can make to have a full support package in place to help you build your business and become successful.
Individual trainers might have a lot of experience and know-how but you are generally restricted to what they can offer and if they are unavailable to help you are on your own, while networks or training companies generally have a better support system to help you get the most out of your training (please do your research as not all companies offer the same level of support).
What is included?
Is it just the training you are booking or is there more? How difficult could it be!?
You will be surprised how different the training experience can be from one trainer or company to another and you surely want the BEST!
Don’t dismiss this very important part of your journey as it can set you back weeks or months and be very costly if you get this part wrong.
Some therapists think they can just book “any” course to get a certificate and then learn the rest via YouTube or self-taught methods…… BUT why would you?
If you are paying for training, why not make sure that you get the best start? Why waste money and time as it will only delay you getting started…
Imagine you book the right course, learn, improve and pass the requirements with the tutor by your side, you will be up and running in no time, confident and competent in taking paying clients on.
Now, on the other side, imagine you try and cut corners which means that you will have to watch videos, browse groups and ask for help online. Then you start doubting if the products are the reason when things are not working out for you so you change products, ask more questions, doubt yourself and read even more only to find out that you might have picked up bad habits along the way which made it even harder for you.
At the same time, your colleague on the first course is set up and getting paid for the work whilst building a business and name.
Can you afford to get this crucial part wrong when all you want is a successful business?
In actual fact, it is not JUST the training day you should be worried about……the day in itself is of course important and PLEASE look closely at the course details as some trainers might offer class training with 1-4 students and others will allow 20 or more students on the course. Guess which one will offer better training?
How long should the training be?
Don’t book the first available course just because its in your town and it fits in with your schedule. Hey, a 3-hour course to learn Russian lashes from Scratch? Sounds like a steal doesn’t it?
Actually no! Stay away from those courses! You simply cannot learn a high skill like this in 3 hours let alone if there are 19 other students on the course too!
Find out what is included, do you get a kit, or do you have to source and bring your own kit?
Do you have to do case studies afterwards or do you get your certificate straight away?
Does the trainer offer a support group to help you through the first few months (and beyond) or is it just the training day you are paying for?
Can you have a chat with the trainer beforehand?
This might help to get a better feel and you get an idea if the trainer will cover all the aspects you are looking to cover with your training.
Does the trainer offer other courses too or just one course?
Is he /she experienced in the treatment itself? This is a valid question as a lot of therapists think they can pass on their knowledge when they have just qualified themselves and you will find out that there is a lot more to learn than a few tips and tricks! It isn’t important how long the trainer has been working as the time in the industry doesn’t necessarily guarantee knowledge and experience and someone who has just qualified a few years ago might have built up a respectable portfolio in a short space of time through hard work, dedication and skill. Have a look at the feedback for the trainer or the company and see how they support their students and customers.
Is there maybe a full team of trainers who is at hand to help or is it just a single trainer? Do they offer support groups? Loyalty schemes? What about marketing and business advice?
You might think this is not important, but it all adds up and you want the best you can afford in order to get a good start into your new venture. Saving money on training will not earn you brownie points and learning from the internet or YouTube unfortunately is not the same as having a trainer who is by your side to support you all along in your journey to becoming the best lash artist!
Do you have to do case studies?
You might think this is a hassle, after all you just want your certificate in order to take on paying clients, right?
Case studies are actually an essential and crucial part of your training! Just imaging you have done your training and off you go, you book your first client and there she is…..spare lash line, frizzy or criss cross lashes and you are stumped. Where to start?
Case studies help you gain experience with your trainer by your side (even if it is just by chat, mail or phone) as you can safely learn how to deal with difficult situation or awkward clients (god forbid) and if you take the feedback on board you will see improvement with each set.
Those students who take this in their stride and work through the case studies tend to turn out as amazing therapists and they find it much easier to progress ( a lot of students send more case studies in than required, just to gain more experience, take advantage of the learning potential and to get reassurance from their tutor).
It will take a bit of time but if you want to be the best therapist and offer superb treatments then this is the way to do it!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
So, assuming you have booked your course, the next question is which products you are going to use?
Most trainers have a preference and reputable companies or academies will offer you the starter kit along with your training which is the best option as you will learn how to use the products properly to get the best results. Imagine booking a course and the trainer tells you to buy your own kit…..how would you know what to buy and where? Which products are suitable and what do you look out for?
Let’s assume you do go out and buy your own kit, how would the trainer be able to advise on those products? Every product works slightly different and you need to know how to use it for best results.
It makes perfect sense to choose a trainer who will offer you a starter kit with products that he or she has been using and is experienced in. This way you are guaranteed that the trainer will be able to help with any queries regarding application, removal, handling and storage AND you will have the back-up of the brand too.
Actually, you might find that if you do your research into companies and brands first it would be your best option to train with the brand you want to use afterwards as you will get the full package and learn how to use the products to get the desired results.
Just think, why would you want to book with trainer A and learn how to use those products if you then want to use products B, doesn’t really make sense, does it?
It is much better to decide on a brand based on the support, thorough training, aftercare, loyalty schemes etc so that you get the most out of your training AND the products you are using. Most companies have trainers they recommend so you can rest assured that they comply with the guidelines of the brand, that they have a good track record of training and excellent student feedback too. Have a look at this link to see where your nearest flirties would be (and you can also see that flirties lists therapists who trained through the network so there is a marketing opportunity for you and an advantage before you even start!)
Make no mistakes, the products are as important as the training and vice versa!
The most thorough training won’t help you if you are using inferior products. Likewise, if you have a full kit of the best products but don’t know how to use them you won’t achieve the desired results either so both go hand in hand and it is very important for you to understand this.
In Europe you also have something else to consider……Do the products comply with the legislation? In 2008 the Cosmetics regulations came into force and with it the CPNP (Cosmetics Products Notification Panel) where suppliers must register their products in order to comply (this supersedes the need for any salon or therapist to hold MSDS sheets).
Sadly, a lot of therapists don’t know this OR have chosen to ignore it and decide that it might be a good idea to buy an adhesive or any other products from other countries. Unfortunately, this causes a multitude of issues as you become the “responsible person” (this is a term from the cosmetics regulations) which ultimately means you are liable for the products, its safety and cosmetic testing, the assessments and quality.
As you can imagine this is very time intensive and costly so would you do it or just chance it?
Can you risk the consequences or can you afford to lose your business altogether?
Failure to comply can result not only in severe penalties for you and your business BUT your insurance will also not cover you for any treatments as you are in breach with their policy so in effect it becomes void. Now, there are those who even ignore this and think they can get away with it, however if you have a claim from a client and your insurance won’t pay then you still have to find the money to pay for the claim so it could affect your assets including car, home and any other possessions……Do you think it is really worth it?
Now, I am not writing this to scare you but to make you aware so that you can make the informed decision whether you want to put your business and those around you at such a risk.
If you find that the products you got with your initial training are maybe not what you want to use ultimately (for whatever reason) then have a look at different providers. Most brands offer sample packs so that you can try their products but please bear in mind that each product works slightly different, so you need a bit of patience when you are trying new things. It could just be that you might have to adapt your technique, or the products might need a slightly different working environment or anything similar which is easy enough to do so don’t dismiss a product after only trying it once. Even the most experienced therapists will tell you that they had to tweak things until they have found the way it works for them!
Ok so back to your journey….
you have decided on the course you want to book, the company or educator you want to train with and you have also decided which brand you want to use. Those are pretty big decisions, so you are well on your way now.
There are some more thoughts regarding your new set up though and we will have a look at the different options to help you decide what might work best for you:
Have you decided whether you want to be working from home, go mobile or join a salon? Each one of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and we have a blog which you might find useful in order to decide which option is right for you.
https://www.flirties.co.uk/blogs/news (you will find a lot of other blogs and help articles here too)
Have you chosen a name for your business yet?
This is always a tricky one as you want to show your name but also what you do, so for example Emmas Lashes or Nails by Jenny. It is good to be quite specific as you want clients to see straight away what you have to offer, but likewise you want to keep it open for future growth. A lot of therapists start with one treatment and then add more and more until they find that their business name doesn’t work for them anymore which then means changing your business name. Whilst it is possible it isn’t ideal as it takes a long time for people to remember your name, email or social media handles etc
Try not to be too complicated with your name and as silly as it sounds, try and keep it simple. Aishyasbeautiliciousnailsandbeauty is most likely too long for a business name and any client looking for you on social media or the internet is bound to mistype the name!
The same goes for email addresses and websites. You want to ensure that clients and those looking for you can find and more importantly remember your business to rebook.
Some therapists name their business according to their address, for example Beauty at No. 21 but if you ever move or relocate your business you would have to change the name or keep it like that at the new address.
If you want to be set up a business and be seen as such you also need to think about your email address ……By all means, be creative, use something funny but PLEASE make it professional! Vodkafairy @ internet.com or Bunnyhopper@internet.com are hardly professional and / or suitable as a business email and your clients might get the wrong idea and NOT book! Keep the email similar to your business name so it provides consistency and clients will find it easier to remember too!
There is a lot to think about when you start and not all of it is straight forward. Some of the things become more apparent as you get busier or as you stumble across things that you want to change (or wish you had done differently).
Whilst most things can still be amended if anything changes in the future it is worth having a think before you start to determine how you want to set up your business and it can also be very useful to draft a plan or outlay of your long time plan or vision for your business.
POLICIES AND TERMS
Now that you are almost ready to go you also need to think about your policies. Yes it sounds a bit dry and boring but you want to make sure that you get paid for the treatments and more importantly that you are not out of pocket when a client cancels or worse….if they don’t show up!
Here are some things to consider when putting your policy together.
* working hours
(this doesn’t need to be in writing however you do need to be firm with yourself when you will and wont answer mails or messages and how much time you block off for yourself as this is crucial if you want to maintain a healthy working life.
* patch testing and consultation
is a must in my opinion as it allows you to meet the client before the appointment to provide essential information regarding the treatment and expected outcome and it gives you the opportunity to assess your client to check if he/she is suitable. A patch test only takes a couple of minutes so it can easily be done at the same time and these very valuable minutes will also help your client to gain trust in you as a professional.
* booking fee and cancellations
It is very important that you take booking fees to secure any appointment so that you are not out of pocket if your client cancels last minute or worse….doesn’t show up!
Of course you will argue that you won’t get bookings if you ask for money upfront especially if you are just qualified BUT this is the point….can you afford no shows and sit at home with no money? Can you afford to travel to someone’s house and your client is not in so it leaves you without the treatment fee AND having paid fuel and expenses to get there?
The answer is simple, NO!
PS you might also want to include late arrivals in this section, for example if a client is late at what point do you class the appointment as a no show or do you still take your client and only offer whatever is available in the remaining time slot?
* do you allow children?
You will get clients asking if they can bring their children. Supposedly the children are well behaved and happy to sit quietly but what If not?
Their mother will have her eyes closed so she can’t intercept or do anything, and it literally means that childcare is passed onto you! With tweezers in your hands, trying to focus on your client you also have to have eyes on the back of your head to watch and control your client’s children.
Ultimately it is your decision (also check with your insurance as they might have restrictions in place) but for me it’s a NO! It’s too dangerous and it will distract you from your treatment.
All in all I would recommend a booking system so that your clients can book at any time (most remember at night when you are not available to mail or message) and it also has the advantage that you can take a booking fee before the appointment is confirmed. The booking system will also allow clients to view and accept your policies so that everyone knows where they stand and what to expect.
Another thing to consider is whether you have any brand you would like to work with. Some people have done their research and know very well which brand they want to be associated with and its definitely worth checking what the brand offers to their customers as you might want to take advantage of any loyalty programs, first order discounts or marketing materials that some brands offer.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Last but not least, here are some housekeeping rules to help you stay on top of things.
Order in plenty time
It is easy to forget but if you run out of products it causes unnecessary stress and pressure for you and losses for your business so keep enough stock to see you through even if your delivery is a day late or two.
Keep some gaps in your diary for yourself!
We all need to eat and drink during the day and you will also need some time with family or friends at night or on the weekends. Working 24/7 is not healthy and eventually you will hate it and you will grudge your clients for messaging at night or on weekends so get it right from the beginning and keep some “me” time to recharge.
Try and stay on top of marketing and social media in order to promote and grow your business. A few well planned minutes here and there can work wonders and it means you don’t have to catch up with a heap of enquiries or posts all at once.