Beauty Therapist vs Business Owner

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Katie Godfrey is the entrepreneur behind the KG brand, and single-handedly built her empire from a single salon bought aged 19 as a school leaver with no qualifications, to a chain of salons, a UK-wide beauty training academy, an eyelash product range and a salon coaching business.

In addition to maintaining the salon and pro businesses, Katie is a dedicated business mentor and looks after over 35 salons. Here she unpicks the common issues faced when making the move from beauty therapist to business owner.  

An extremely common occurrence in our industry is beauty therapists becoming business owners. That’s fabulous, but sometimes we don’t realise what responsibilities come with it and we need a helping hand to guide us. What happens is we become so good at the treatments that we then decide to open a business or work for ourselves. What we don’t see is that opening a business is a completely different ball game. It’s a totally different job role. Let’s compare:

Self Employed Beauty Therapist:

Whether you’re mobile or renting space in a salon, you now have a column to run, and a business. Sometimes this can feel really overwhelming and also means beauty therapists often don’t set up their new venture correctly because they don’t fully realise they are actually running a business now. Are you doing your taxes right? Are you keeping up with marketing? Are you keeping up with bookkeeping? Are you pricing in line with your overheads? This is one of the most common mistakes I see.

It’s essential to build in admin time. It’s tempting to skip this and cram in all of those extra money-making treatments for your clients instead, because that’s what’s important, right? Don’t succumb – this is a false economy! Make sure you set aside at least one day a week to work on your business and catch up with all the things that are required. Leaving these to build up will cause problems down the line so it’s always good to make sure you start off correctly while building your business.

I’ve just created an online course called The Business Builder. It could apply to any sector but it’s predominantly for the hair and beauty space. This course will help you whether you are just starting a business or whether you are already running a business and need a helping hand. The course costs £999 but Salon Gold readers can access a launch offer for £498 – just mention Salon Gold when booking.

Salon Owners:

Again, there are a lot of salon owners who started as therapists, built up their column, and then opened their own salons. Most salon owners are working on clients as well as running teams, keeping up with the overheads, marketing, payroll and all things that come with running a business. Which then means they generally are giving 80% to clients and only 20% to working on their business which will eventually cause burnout. I personally coach salon owners to support their business and have freedom within their company while being able to work on the actual business side full time. In return, they gain more financial rewards, more freedom and growth in their salon plus being able to give their team better attention. For more information on my coaching or membership programs please get in touch.

Tips for starting in business:

– Educate yourself – whether through a training course, podcasts, reading or research. Study what you need to know more of and keep this development going in order to stay motivated.

– You are who you hang around with. Generally, the top five people you spend the most time with dictate your success, so surround yourself with those who will raise you up, push you when times are hard and be your cheerleaders.

– Get yourself a mentor. You cannot go on this journey called “business” alone.

– Find your target audience. Who do you want to serve? You need to make sure you are marketing to the correct clientele that you want within your business.

– Identify the most effective social media platforms you want to focus on – you don’t have to be on all of them.

– Put time management in place. Remember you are running a business, not working in a job.

Katie Godfrey, KG Business Mentor  / KG Professional


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