How to start an eyelash extension business

By Salon Gold on January 22nd, 2024

Are you a qualified eyelash extension artist looking to make it on your own? We don’t blame you. More and more dedicated eyelash extension businesses are popping up as the demand for luscious lashes skyrockets, and you can certainly stand to prosper by launching one of your own.

So, if you’re ready to embark on this journey, we’ve gone through the most important stages of how to start an eyelash extension business to set you on the right path.

1. Find your niche

Just like any new business, identifying your niche is paramount. To do so, you should research your target market to work out things like what kind of eyelash extension business to launch (for instance, a standalone eyelash extension business or a hybrid beauty company), the best location, and how to outdo the competition.

It’s advisable that you gather information on both the eyelash industry as a whole and your direct competitors in an attempt to answer questions like the following:

  • What are the eyelash industry’s main trends?
  • How much do people generally pay for eyelash extensions, and how often do they get their lashes done?
  • Which demographics should you be targeting? 
  • How many eyelash extension businesses are there in your area?
  • What services do they offer and how much do they cost?
  • How are your potential competitors marketing themselves?

2. Consider costs

Next, think about how much setting up and running your business will cost, as well as how you’ll fund things. 

Eyelash extension business costs

The main costs involved in an eyelash extension business include:

  • Rent for commercial premises: How much this will cost depends on factors like the type and size of property, and where it’s situated. That said, you may want to consider running the business from your home in order to cut costs and enjoy extra flexibility. For more guidance on how to start eyelash extension business at home, read our guide to making a home salon work
  • Staff: Your staffing costs are impacted by aspects like the number of and type of employees you hire. For instance, a professional eyelash extension stylist generally pays more than a receptionist.
  • Equipment: From beauty beds and other types of furniture, to lash remover and the lashes themselves, there’s a lot of equipment to budget for.
  • Marketing: Generally speaking, businesses dedicate around 6% to 14% of their revenue towards marketing costs. That said, this figure is likely to be higher for a new venture.

Other expenditures to bear in mind include taxes, training costs, and insurance — more on what covers you should be looking at soon. 

How to fund your business 

Some of the main ways to finance your eyelash extension business include:

  • Traditional bank loans: Opting for a traditional bank loan is a viable method for securing funds with relatively low interest rates. However, it’s important to note that this may not be the most straightforward means of obtaining financing for your eyelash extension business.
  • Angel investors: Another avenue for funding is through business angels who invest in businesses in exchange for a stake in the venture. While this can provide significant financial support, it comes at the cost of relinquishing some control over your eyelash extension business.
  • Incubators and accelerators: Aimed at startups specifically, incubators and accelerators offer specialised programmes to nurture and propel businesses forward. Again, however, they often require entrepreneurs to exchange equity in their business.

In addition to these options, there are alternative avenues for securing funds for your eyelash extension business, including crowdfunding and small business grants.

3. Deal with the legalities

Once your financial matters are in order, the next step is to formally register your eyelash extension business and ensure its legal compliance. 

Your business structure

Choosing the right business structure is pivotal, with each type coming with distinct reporting, management, and accounting responsibilities:

  • Sole trader: As a sole trader, you bear full responsibility for your business. While enjoying the benefits of personally taking home all profits after tax, you are also personally liable for all financial obligations, including debt repayment.
  • Limited company: Establishing a limited company grants you the ability to trade as if self-employed without being personally liable for your eyelash extension business’s finances. However, note that setting up a limited company involves some expenses.
  • General partnership: In a general partnership, multiple parties share responsibility for the business, with profits distributed equally. Each partner is individually responsible for their tax liabilities, but joint liability is shared for any debts.
  • Limited partnership: Similar to a general partnership, a limited partnership requires only one partner to have personal liability, while the other contributes purely on a financial basis, with liability limited to their investment.

As well as determining your business structure, you must register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover is expected to surpass £85,000.

Legal considerations

Various legal aspects demand your attention, including:

  • Licences: Ensure your eyelash extension business has the necessary licences, ranging from a general business licence to permits for activities like playing music.
  • Trainer qualifications: While formal qualifications are not mandatory in order to work as an eyelash extension technician, it is advisable for you and your staff to undergo some sort of recognised training course in the field.
  • Employment legislation: Be sure to comply with employment laws when hiring employees, which cover aspects such as illness, employment contracts, holidays, and discrimination.

You should also bear in mind things like health and safety laws, data protection regulations, tax obligations, and the necessity for insurance coverage. This brings us nicely on to our next point. 

4. Obtain the right insurance

Protecting your business’s financial well-being is paramount, especially when it comes to unforeseen incidents like client accidents, theft, or property damage. The unique risks of owning an eyelash extension business may not be adequately covered by standard insurance packages, so the importance of having a dedicated insurance policy cannot be overstated.

Here at Salon Gold, our specialised insurance for eyelash extension businesses automatically includes a range of essential covers tailored to fortify your venture against potential setbacks.

  • Public liability insurance: Public liability insurance is a crucial safeguard in case your business inadvertently causes injury or property damage to a third party, whether it’s a client or a member of the public. Beyond the financial benefits, this cover helps to showcase your business’s trustworthiness, potentially attracting more clients to your salon.
  • Products liability insurance: As part of our comprehensive package, we provide products liability insurance, offering protection if a product — such as eyelash adhesives or tools — sold or supplied by your business causes harm to a customer. This insurance ensures that Salon Gold, as the insurance provider, will cover any legal or compensation costs, alleviating the burden on your business.
  • Treatment risk insurance: Our coverage extends to treatment risk insurance, shielding eyelash extension business owners from claims related to injuries or property damage not covered by public liability insurance. This specifically addresses harm caused by professional services — be sure to explore our treatment risk insurance page for detailed information.
  • Financial loss insurance: The final automatic cover in our insurance package is financial loss insurance, safeguarding your eyelash extension business in the event of claims for financial losses unrelated to injury or property damage. For more details, refer to our financial loss insurance page.

In addition to the aforementioned insurances, Salon Gold offers a range of optional covers, including everything from employer’s liability insurance (which is legally required if you hire staff) and buildings insurance, to contents insurance and business interruption insurance. Browse our full range of covers here.

For over 35 years, Salon Gold has been a trusted provider of comprehensive and affordable insurance policies in the health and beauty sector. Join professionals across the UK that rely on us by requesting a quote and securing the future of your eyelash extension business.

5. Market your eyelash extension business

In the competitive realm of eyelash extensions, a robust marketing strategy is crucial for creating awareness and attracting customers. Here are some key steps to elevate your marketing efforts:

  • Launch an engaging website: In today’s digital age, a compelling online presence is non-negotiable. Launching a well-crafted website provides a central hub where potential clients can discover your eyelash extension business, explore services, and easily book appointments. Make sure the website is user-friendly, informative, and visually appealing to leave a lasting impression.
  • Optimise for search engines (SEO): Harness the power of search engine optimisation (SEO) to enhance the visibility of your website on search engine results pages. An effective SEO strategy involves creating a website that is not only search engine-friendly but also user-friendly. Incorporate high-quality content, utilise relevant keywords, and optimise the website structure to improve its visibility in search results.
  • Leverage social media platforms: Given the widespread use of social media, tapping into these platforms is instrumental in maximising your marketing success. Engage with your audience, showcase your eyelash extension expertise, and leverage advertising on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. All of this enables you to connect with both existing and potential clients, and build a loyal customer base.
  • Blend online and offline marketing: While online marketing is essential, don’t overlook the value of offline tactics. For example, by distributing business cards, offering coupons, and participating in local events, you can create an even bigger buzz about your eyelash extension services. A multifaceted marketing strategy ensures that you reach a diverse audience and leave a lasting impression.

And that rounds off our guide! We hope you now feel confident in how to start an eyelash extension business. Best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance with insurance packages for your venture.

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