How to start your own Beauty Business
The beauty industry earns billions of dollars in sales each year here in Canada, and it is growing faster than the U.S., proving itself an extremely low risk venture in the best or worst of times.
In fact, Toronto's NPD Group, a market research leader, showed that one-in-ten Canadian's are willing to reduce other spending to purchase in the beauty industry!
So, you're thinking of starting your own Medi-Spa, perhaps because your current customers have been asking for additional treatments like hair removal or skin rejuvenation, or perhaps you are currently employed in the beauty industry and want to take ownership of your future - no matter the reason - this journey can be very rewarding both in terms of earnings as well as personal satisfaction.
Plan, plan plan Before you begin you need to create a Business Plan. The most common mistake for new business owners is to jump in head first without doing proper research and planning. By planning beyond your initial costs and first year, you will be prepared for the ups and downs of business ownership.
Consider your finances carefully when developing your business plan and be sure to allow for unforeseen costs after your initial start up. When starting a laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation business, your plan should include the cost of the laser purchase, costs for your office, including waiting room, reception, consultation and treatment rooms. Be sure to also include the cost of employees, ongoing marketing and advertising costs and supplies. A budget will allow you to understand your ongoing costs and together with your estimated revenue, you can compile a cash flow forecast allowing you to see at a glance how your business will be doing in the coming months.
A sound business plan will keep you from 'shooting from the hip' and making decisions that could negatively effect your company.
Type of Business, licenses and approvals Will you be a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership? Are you going to work from home or rent commercial premises? Depending on where your business is based you will encounter different considerations. For example, if you are home based you need to ensure that you inform your mortgage provider and your home insurance company to ensure you are allowed to set up a business from home and you will also need to research municipal zoning regulations to see if this is feasible in your area. Whether working from home or in a commercial premises, you will need a business license and this can be also arranged through your local municipality.
For more detailed information, please go to www.canadabusiness.ca
Anyone who operates a personal service facility, such as hair salon, aesthetics, body piercing or tattooing, requires an 'Application for Health Approval'. You local municipality business license department can also give you the health inspection contact information. Generally speaking this involves having both safety procedures and sanitation regulations in place and followed.
TIP: Displaying both your Business License, Health Inspection Approval as well as your Laser Training Certification increases confidence and credibility with your clients
Finance Every business requires a bank account. This can be done through any local bank and remember, your account manager is your business partner and your advocate. They are your connection to banking specialists and provide the gateway to flexible and innovative products and services to meet your business needs today and help you plan for success in the future.
It is definitely also worth getting a good accountant or bookkeeper – they are an additional cost but invaluable - as they can set up a cash book and cash flow forecast, so as you know exactly how your business is doing and can make adjustments as necessary.
It is advised when opening a business, you discuss your business and your requirements with a qualified insurance broker. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you have the necessary insurance in order for you to work, it is there for your protection as much as the clients and is essential. You must obtain public and product liability insurance and professional indemnity.
Treatments and Pricing What treatments are you going to offer? I realize you can only offer what you are trained in, but are you going to try and specialize in something to make yourself more unique or will you offer everything? How are you going to price your services? Check out your competitors to see what services they are offering, and collect price lists from all local beauty salons and home based spas who work in the area. You will probably find these prices are similar so price yourself similarly to your competitors. But always you make sure you work out your costs first, and that you are not cutting your margins too fine – you must know what it is costing you to do business before you even consider pricing yourself the same as everyone else.
Marketing your Business and Services Lets face it, this is the fun part, the time when we get to be our most creative in coming up with our business name and ideas of how to reach out to our audience!
Define your audience. Who will your customers be? Are you aiming for a certain market or age group? Are you aiming for just local clients or further a field? Do you want a younger client base? A more mature client base? A wealthy client base from prominent neighbourhoods?
The key to successful marketing is to know who you need to reach with your message and how to reach them.
Locate your audience. Call a marketing and mail list provider such as Info Canada. Tell them about your targeted audience and purchase a mailing list, call list or email list. Research the media outlets, which your targeted audience is most likely to use. For this type of business you should consider advertising on the society or fashion pages of your local paper, website, social media, magazine and radio stations which have a strong demographic of female listeners such as top 40 or family friendly stations.
Publish materials. There are various forms of marketing tools that can be used, but be sure you brand your business to your intended audience. Make it accessible, affordable and easy. Publish material that has pictures (before and after shots). Include information about your specific procedures and don't forget your contact information!
Place ads and deliver materials. Put your materials in as many places as possible such as spas, store, malls, salons, coffee shops or doctors’ offices. Create and monitor your Social Media pages, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Add yourself to industry groups on Linkedin to keep up with the latest trends and technology as well as grow your professional circle. Also, place your ads in newspapers, magazines and website which are targeted to your demographic. Keep your logo and font consistent on all ads and materials so your ads and brand become recognizable. This is the first part of your brand building – the second part is creating the experience once the client comes through the door.
User testimonials. If a customer is very happy with the service, ask them to write a short testimonial and make that testimonial a part of your promotional efforts - this is a great way to build credibility as well as increase referrals
Hopefully these business tips will give you the inspiration to get started on the right foot with your medi-spa - and for more in-depth articles - sign up for our newsletter.
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