Running your very own eyelash salon - Risks and rewards

Are you thinking about entering an exciting, rewarding, yet highly competitive industry? Eyelash extension in Australia is booming and becoming increasingly popular for both eyelash salon owners and clients. Running your own business is becoming a fashionable goal for a lot of artistic (and business) minded people but do you know the risks and rewards?

For you, running your own eyelash salon means that you’ll experience independence in business and financial decisions. Having more freedom and flexibility means that you decide everything based on preference from when you work, what services you offer, the products you stock, how long your appointments run and of course – You also have the opportunity to create opportunities for others!

Take my own example, working in an industry that is both creative and personal allows me to create a community and market i-Lashes the way that I see fit. For me it’s about transformation, a journey, a personal service. The first and last impression and every other touch point in between are all managed by… ME!

Being such a personal adventure, it really comes down to weighing up what’s most important to you but of course, I would recommend being well aware and educated on all aspects of doing so – the things you will gain and also some of the things you may have to sacrifice and what you’re willing to endure for the final pay-off which for me has been greatly rewarding. Not only have I thoroughly enjoy my work everyday, I made a lot of friends! While these are only a few points of the many to consider when embarking on the journey of opening your own eyelash salon, they would have been helpful for me to know in the beginning of my journey. So if you are thinking of running an eyelash salon, you need to read on please.

Eyelash extensions is quite a delicate art. You’re working with people’s eyes. So the potential damage you can cause if you make a mistake can be detrimental.

Some of the nasty things that can happen to you include ;

  • Unexpected incidents resulting in customers taking you to court – or threatening to do so
  • Customers having an allergic reaction to a product
  • When a dissatisfied customer refuses to pay yet you have spent 2 hours of your time serving them.

I always say to people that, as a new eyelash artist, you are going to experience all three situations before you reach the 200th customer milestone. Yes all 3. None of these situations are pleasant but you MUST be prepared for them because they’ll hit you sooner than you think.

Details of strategies to manage these scenarios are covered in our training courses under the ‘surviving the first 3 months as an eyelash artist’ topic however the short answer really is – Prevent them and leave nothing to chance.

Reflecting on my journey to date, I think top-notch eyelash extension technique is only one aspect of running your business. You must pay attention to the very subtle need of your customers. More often than not your customers visit your salon looking for more than the perfect set of lashes. Here is a piece of my best advice for those of you who aspire to own an eyelash extension business.

Listen attentively, observe your customers and pay attention to their emotional needs and fulfil that need. The devil is always in the detail. This is very important so I’ll say it again -> Pay attention to your customers’ emotional needs!

Often I don’t see myself as running an eyelash extension business. Seriously, sometimes I think I run a counselling business where fabulous lashes are a bonus rather than the main prize. Why do I say that? So many ladies walk in and they are seriously in need to talk to somebody, sometimes a release from every day life. I am not saying I am qualified in any way to give people advice but I just listen, help analyse problems whether it is work related or family related and voice my opinion the best I can. I do this as an independent citizen whose opinion is not biased, and I promise not to utter a word to anyone (Because I don’t know any of my customers’ friends or family. They trust me that no word would ever get out). This is one of the core reasons why i-Lashes treatment rooms are individual partitions to ensure customer privacy and allow our customers to release.

OK enough digressing. So, Risk and Rewards. Let’s go through them.

Risks of running an eyelash salon

Inconsistent income – this is one many struggle with, particularly initially when negative cash flow can be a serious burden. You need to spend money to make money however your income may not be as steady as you hoped and certainly won’t be as steady as being employed by someone else.

Insurance – You absolutely need every bit of insurance you can get. Using myself as an example, I have professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance and work cover. What levels are adequate for me? You asked. I would say as much as you can afford because when things go wrong and quite possibly it will some point along the way, you have it to fall back on.

Little job security – you are only as strong as your client base. You need to hustle to ensure that your work is top-notch or nobody else would visit you. As long as you have loyal and growing customer bases you will be employed.

No show and therefore No pay – you may want to establish a formal terms and conditions policy where you charge a fee, even 50% of appointment costs for now shows. Some salons do that and I fully accept why they do that, but I don’t. I agree that time is money. If you clients don’t turn up, then you don’t get paid. At i-Lashes, that’s a risk we all take. In i-Lashes’ own example, we guarantee our artists minimum 2 hours pay even for no shows. That’s a risk we take to do the right thing by everybody.

Disgruntled clients –

They come in all shapes and forms. Some days I really get beaten down by them. But I hope you are stronger than me and able to push along even when things didn’t go your way.

Isolation –

if you’re a one-woman band – initially you may only have yourself to rely on. Before you can afford to have staff you need to ensure you can pay yourself. With this comes emotional stresses and financial pressures. It can be quite lonely – make sure you talk to your family and friends.

 

Rewards of running an eyelash salon

Being your own boss + independence – ever wanted to be able to finish work at 3pm on a Thursday? – well now you can. Being your own boss comes with lots of perks of a flexible work life balance. You can choose the times you work, the services you offer and the clients you service. Obviously the more restricting you are the less likely you are to grow you client base and service options – more clients and services = more money.

Satisfaction both professionally and personally – there is enormous satisfaction that comes with being your own boss and owning your own eyelash salon. You will have a sense of pride that no other role will have fulfilled before. Enjoy this. It really is one of the major perks. You can grow personally and professional, build on your education and experiences and test and trial new product or service offerings.

Financial rewards including independence if your venture pans out successfully  – once you get through the hard times and the financial risks you will start to see the rewards. These may come in thick and fast if you have put into place a solid marketing and operational plan. You may start to pay yourself a little more, hire staff to grow the pie bigger.

Other perks include:

  1. Zero office politics – Some of you really hate it. I 100% get that. Sometimes it’s not just about the money.
  2. Plenty of growth each year in a booming industry

Final remarks

Running my own eyelash salon gives me great satisfaction in seeing our clients enjoy their beauty experience with us and walking out doors feeling much more confident and happy in their own body. Knowing that this is because of me and my willingness and trust in running a business of my own is beyond any other success I’ve felt working for another person and not for any other reason than I’m allowing myself to grow professionally and personally in an environment I’ve created that offers services to the kind of people I want to work with. I really can afford to be flexible in the way that I plan to achieve financial success and charting the course my own way is really what it’s all about for me. I have enjoyed the successes and rewards of I-Lashes however I have also taken the risk. I wish you well as you embark on your next chapter and hope this blog has helped you consider some of the risks associated with opening your own eyelash salon.

Recommended Further Readings

If you are contemplating signing up to ANY eyelash extension training course (it doesn’t have to be i-Lashes training course), we’d really recommend you to spare 20 minutes or so to read ALL of the previous articles below about this trade.

It is an important commitment hence wise for you to be 100% comfortable with it.

Read up on how to keep your lashes looking perfect always – Irene’s Beauty Diary

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ABOUT I-LASHES

We are the eyelash extension specialist of choice servicing the Brisbane/Logan area. Follow us on these social media platforms

i-Lashes
Address: Level 7/117 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia

Phone Number: 0431 791 458
Email Address: irene@i-lashes.com.au

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