Starting an eyelash business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful eyelash business.
Importantly, a critical step in starting an eyelash business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start an Eyelash Business:
- Choose the Name for Your Eyelash Business
- Develop Your Eyelash Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Eyelash Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Eyelash Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Eyelash Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Eyelash Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Eyelash Business Equipment
- Develop Your Eyelash Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Eyelash Business
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Eyelash Business
The first step to starting an eyelash business is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your eyelash business:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your own eyelash brand.
2. Develop Your Eyelash Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting an eyelash business is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your lash business.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your eyelash business and what type of eyelash business you operate. For example, are you an eyelash business that offers individual, bulk, or custom eyelashes.
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the beauty industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or prospective clients are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing products or services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract more customers to your eyelash business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your new lash business make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Eyelash Business
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your eyelash business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the business owner and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start an eyelash business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for an eyelash business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for an eyelash business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your eyelash business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Eyelash Business (If Needed)
In developing your eyelash business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for an eyelash business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in an eyelash business that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
To find a location for your eyelash business, you will need to look for an area that has a high population density. This will ensure that you have a large client base to draw from. Additionally, you will need to look for an area that is centrally located. This way your customers are able to travel conveniently to your location.
Be sure to look at multiple locations before choosing one. Make sure the location you choose is economical, safe and hospitable. The perfect place for your business will depend on your personal preferences, but it is important to make sure the location has enough space for growth.
6. Register Your Eyelash Business with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your eyelash business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your eyelash business to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
The licenses and permits you will need to start a lash extension business depend on your location. You will likely need a business license and an esthetician or cosmetology license, if you plan on offering lash application services. You may also need a health permit. Check with your local government to find out what is required in your area.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Eyelash Business
The type of insurance you need to operate an eyelash business depends on the products and services you offer.
Business insurance policies that you should consider for your eyelash business include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Eyelash Business Equipment
The equipment you will need to run your own eyelash business will depend on the type of business you are starting. If you are starting a home-based business, you will likely need a computer, phone, and internet access. If you are starting a salon or studio, you will need additional equipment such as styling stations. You also need equipment for your lash artists, INCLUDING tweezers, false eyelashes, and eyelash extensions brushes.
12. Develop Your Eyelash Business Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your business.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your eyelash business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your lash brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional website provides potential customers with information about the products and/or services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your own website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media platform will help customers and others find and interact with your eyelash business.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Eyelash Business
To start an eyelash business, you will need software to keep track of your customers, inventory, and finances. There are a few different software options that you can choose from, depending on your needs and budget.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your eyelash business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start an Eyelash Business FAQs
Is it hard to start an eyelash business?
The difficulty of starting an eyelash business will vary depending on your location, experience, and marketing strategy. However, if you're willing to put in the hard work and are passionate about your business idea, then it is definitely possible to start a successful eyelash business. Some key things to keep in mind include choosing the right supplier, creating a strong branding strategy, and building a network of customers and advocates.
How can I start an eyelash business with no experience?
To start an eyelash business with no experience, you'll need to do some research and figure out what products and lash services you want to offer. You'll also need to create a business plan and find a location for your business. Finally, you'll need to market your business and find customers.
How much does it cost to start an eyelash business?
The cost of starting an eyelash business can range widely, depending on the type of business and the extent of services offered. Eyelash extension and individual lash application salons typically require a cosmetology license and state inspections, which increase the initial investment.
Some key startup costs of launching an eyelash business include:
- Salon Rent/Lease or Franchise Fee- In some states, you will need to open a state-licensed facility to get your license and get up and running. In other states, you can work from home or do mobile services with a valid cosmetology license. Consult a professional in your area to find out what the local regulations are.
- Eyelash Extension Equipment and Supplies- You will need a lash extension table, cosmetic eyelash adhesive, application and removal tools, liners and tweezers. The cost of equipment can range from hundreds to thousands depending on the type, quality and brand.
- Eyelash Extension Licensing/Certifications- Depending on your state, you may be required to obtain a cosmetology license before starting up. Some companies will train their own technicians for lash application so that they do not need lash technicians or stylists with formal training or experience in the field of eyelashes. If you do need certification, there are several organizations and schools you can pursue this opportunity through. The cost of the course and test is typically $200 – $400.
- Eyelash Extension Supplies- Eyelash extensions require adhesive, eyelashes (human, synthetic or mink) and tools for lash application. You will also need to replenish liners, tools and supplies like tweezers throughout the life of your business. The cost of eyelash extension supplies can vary greatly depending on your clientele.
- Business Insurance- To run your own studio, you will need proper liability coverage as well as general equipment coverages for your lash tools.
What are the ongoing expenses for an eyelash business?
The ongoing expenses for an eyelash business can include advertising and marketing, the cost of the products themselves, and employee salaries. Other operating costs can include utilities, credit card processing fees, shipping costs, repairs and maintenance costs.
How does an eyelash business make money?
One way an eyelash business can earn money is by selling products to their customers. This can include eyelashes, mascara, eyeliner, and other products that help enhance someone's appearance. Another way they can make money is by providing eyelash extensions services such as eyelash extension applications, trims or lash lifts. Another way an eyelash business can make money is by selling online courses and ebooks. They do this in order to generate interest and engage with their customers and potential customers so that they can begin to build a relationship with them.
Is owning an eyelash business profitable?
Yes, owning an eyelash business can be profitable. First, eyelashes are a popular beauty trend and there is a growing demand for them. This makes it a lucrative industry to be in. Additionally, eyelashes are relatively easy to sell and require little overhead costs, making them a profitable business venture.
Why do eyelash businesses fail?
One of the main reasons that eyelash businesses fail is a lack of planning. This can include not having a detailed business plan, not doing research on the industry, and not targeting the right customers.
Another reason is a lack of marketing and sales skills. This can include not creating a sales process and not have a clear and strong value proposition.
The last main reason is a lack of financial management skills. This can include not having a realistic budget, not tracking expenses, and not investing in the business.