One of the burning questions from the beauty community today is how to start an eyelash business. And if you are wondering the same thing, you’ve come to the right place. Starting an eyelash business from scratch not only takes the knowledge in eyelash extensions but also the business side of things. In this step-by-step guide, I am going to give you the exact processes and strategies I used to start my own eyelash business from the ground up.
1. Research the market and demographics :
The very first step in any business is research and understanding your target demographics. And the same applies to starting an eyelash business. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that defines your target customer (age, sex, location, marital status, education, etc). Once you set a clear picture of your target demographic, try to research the market and find out if you can find enough of your target customers in the locality where you’d want to operate your eyelash business.
One of the best ways to conduct market research is by looking at your competitors. When I started my eyelash business, I used to look at the negative reviews of my competitors in google reviews and ask myself If I can do the task, the customer is complaining about, in a better way.
Even better if you can pose as a client and visit your competitor’s saloon to understand the type of experience they offer and even note down the price of the services. Follow your competitor’s social media pages to gauge how they presented themselves in their earlier days and what they are up to currently. As a rule of thumb, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
2. Prepare a business plan :
If you want to start a successful eyelash business, you will need an actionable strategy in place. A well-written eyelash business plan should explain the core objectives of your eyelash business and how you plan to achieve them. One of the other purposes of an eyelash business plan is that it makes your eyelash business look professional and appealing to prospective lenders.
All in all, a well-written actionable business plan is a crucial document while starting an eyelash business. Without it, you’d be running around like a headless chicken. An actionable eyelash business plan has many sections, some of the must-includes are:
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Market Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Products to Offer
- Competitive Pricing Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Projections
You can use business plan software like BizPlan and Enloop to compose a professional-looking business plan for your eyelash business.
Location is Key :
If you are not financially stable, you can always rent a salon space to kickstart your eyelash business. Later on, when you are stable financially, you can always change to a permanent place of your own. The rental route does not need a lot of start-up costs.
If you want to start a home-based saloon, the rental charges can be really low but you need to invest some capital into lashes and salon equipment. You also need to consider security and insurance costs to start a home-based eyelash salon.
Getting your own saloon space can be quite expensive. However, if you can afford it, it can definitely pay off in a small amount of time.
Also, you can start a mobile lash saloon where you go to the client’s house for the lash session. This is how I started my first eyelash business from scratch. But keep in mind, setting up lighting and comfort level in someone else’s home is going to be a bit tough.
Sourcing your Lashes and Adhesives :
Trying to make a cost-effective business model is understandable. However, you should never cut your costs into something that puts the relationship between your client and you at risk.
Always go for certified quality glue for your lashes. A good glue will decide how the eyelash extension will look as well as the longevity of the lashes. Keep in mind, good glue companies will always send sample glue you can try, before you finalize your order.
After you finalize the glue, now is the time for finalizing the lash itself. You can get them customized with your brand logo at Giovanni Lashes. They cater to custom eyelash extensions so you can create a unique business around your talent and skill set.
3. Register your Business :
In order to register your business, you need to familiarize yourself with the different business structures available. The business structure that you’ll choose will determine the tax and debt obligations. Therefore, getting professional help is recommended before choosing your preferred business structure.
Below is the brief outlines of the most popular business structures in the United States :
Most home-based business owners choose to go with a sole proprietorship business structure. This is one of the simplest business structures you can choose because operating an eyelash business with a sole proprietorship doesn’t require any filings with the state. However, the biggest drawback of this structure is no barrier between the business owners and businesses themselves. That is, the business owner is fully responsible for any debt or lawsuit against the business.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) :
The majority of eyelash businesses find forming an LLC advantageous. With LLC, you get all the advantages of a sole proprietorship, while also a blanket of safety between the business owner and the business itself.
C-corporation (C-corp) :
A C-corp acts as a separate legal entity altogether, from its owners. Business owners are referred to as ‘shareholders’ in C-corps. This structure has the highest level of asset protection for its shareholders.
S-corporation (S-corp) :
S-corp is not even a business entity type. This is an extension of LLC, and corporations may choose this form if they meet IRS eligibility. The main reason for opting to register for an S-corp is to lower the self-employment tax burden from its owners.
4. Open a Business Bank Account :
Getting a dedicated bank account for your business will help you to differentiate between your personal and business expenses. For an LLC and others, it is imperative to have this barrier.
Most banks require an Employer Identification Number(EIN) to open a business bank account. EIN is a number the government uses to identify the business as a tax-paying entity. Fortunately, obtaining an EIN for your eyelash business is simple and completely online through the IRS website.
When all your registration process is complete, just visit the nearest bank and ask them to open a business bank account. They will ask you for some documents and if provided, your account will be ready within 24 hours.
5. Create A Menu:
Once you have registered your eyelash business and set up your bank account, you’re ready to set the menu for your eyelash business. The best way to price your services is by looking at your competitor’s price range. You can beat the competition by charging fair.
Think about all the things, you can offer on your menu. My lash saloon has the items and services such as initial set, fillings, removal, tinting, shaping, and even gift cards. If you know some other aesthetician services, you can add them to your menu too.
You can add new services and fillings by lash type, volume, and curl too. A great way to diversify your menu is by offering packages for individuals and groups of friends and families.
6. Create your Marketing Strategy:
The most important step of setting up your lash business is exposure. If you don’t get credibility, fame, and exposure, your business is going nowhere. You will need three things to get exposure and fame quickly.
Strong Social Media Presence :
I can’t stress this point enough. In order to run any beauty business in the 21st century, your social media game has to be the best. Make sure you have Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram accounts for your business.
Professional Website :
A lot of people underestimate the power of a professional-looking website on their business. A website used to be a luxury for the business but nowadays it is more of a necessity. A search engine optimized professional-looking website can double the revenue of your eyelash business.
Designing an online store has become really easy. The days when you needed to pay thousands of dollars for a website developer for a small website are gone. Thanks to Shopify, you can now create a brand new online store for your business starting just from $29. The cherry on top is that Shopify offers a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) for you to try the platform. This is more than enough time to set up an online store, upload your products, and set up the payment systems.
If you’d like any professional help for designing and maintaining an online store for your eyelash business, please fill up the form let us know here. Our plans for the eyelash business start from only $199.
Custom Email Account :
You can create a custom email account using the domain name that you used for your website. For example: if your domain name is myeyelashbusiness.com, then create an email account email@example.com. This will make your brand look more professional and give credibility to your business.
Make sure to print this email along with the website and social media on your business cards and flyers, so your potential customers can find you both online and offline.
Contact us, if you’d like the website and email setup for your business for as low as $199.
7. Sell an Experience :
This step not only applies to this particular business but all the businesses around the world. Instead of just selling eyelash extension fillings, sell the whole experience. Always give your clients more than they expect not what they expect. This will help you retain the clients and make them loyal to your business.
Is Lash Business Profitable?
Yes, the lash business is an incredibly profitable business. According to the reports from Grand View Research Inc., the false eyelash business is predicted to reach a whopping 1.6 billion US dollars by 2025
How much does it cost to start a eyelash business?
The starting cost highly depends on the type of lash business you want to start. You could start an eyelash extension business or launch your own lash line from scratch.
It costs $40-$100 for 20 pairs of lashes. So if your order 100 packs in bulk, the total cost for your lashes will be around $4000-$10,000. Add $500 for marketing plus $400 for shipping and customizing the packages. Therefore, it costs anywhere from $4900 to $10,900 to start an eyelash business.
How to start an eyelash business with no money?
If you have little or no money to start your eyelash business, I would highly suggest you work on a dropshipping business model. In this model, you don’t need to maintain the inventory, so the charges are minimal. Talk to an eyelash wholesaler or supplier and ask them if you could resell their item. Head over to How to start dropshipping from scratch, to know more about the dropshipping business model.