Thinking about setting up an eyelash extension business?
Not only are eyelash extensions all the rage these days but this business also has a relatively low upfront cost. You can even run your business from home!
Of course, despite this, we still understand that going into business can be overwhelming. You want it to be successful. That’s why this blog post will cover ten tips to help you set up your business the right way from the very beginning.
1. Consider Renting a Chair in an Existing Lash Bar (Or Starting Out of Your Home)
One of the first decisions you will make when going into the lash business is deciding where you will run your business.
The great thing about the beauty industry, and especially the lash extension business, is that you can run your business from home. Naturally, this is a much more cost-effective option for someone without existing clientele.
However, if you already have an existing clientele base but don’t yet want to make the plunge into leasing your own space, another option is to rent a chair in an existing lash bar.
2. Invest in Quality Glue and Lashes
While you might be tempted to cut costs as much as possible as you build your business, it’s important to invest in quality glue and lashes. Not only will this affect the quality of your work and the final look but you will set yourself up for a potential lawsuit if a client has a bad reaction along the way.
The bottom line here is to do your research.
It’s a better idea to start small with a quality lash starter kit from Amazon or another eyelash supplier than to offer a lot of different options that are lower in quality.
3. Still Create a Professional-Looking Salon (Even at Home)
If you have decided to deliver your services from home, it’s still important to put some thought into creating a professional space. Just because you’re operating out of your guest bedroom doesn’t mean that it needs to look like one!
This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money. Second-hand shops, thrift shops and so on are great places to get furniture that will make your bedroom look more like an actual salon.
Keep in mind that this should hold true for your living room as well, which many at-home lash techs use as their waiting room.
Little touches like paintings and flowers can really complete the look here. Consider offering complimentary tea/cookies to your clients as they wait as well.
Above all, one of the most important considerations is comfort.
Remember: your clients want a relaxing and enjoyable experience. After all, they will be with you for at least an hour and usually much more than this.
Not only should comfort be reflected in the space itself but also consider the spa bed/massage table that your clients will be laying on. This is one piece of furniture that you should invest in.
4. Practice On Friends/Family & NETWORK
In the beginning, your clients will be your friends and family. Don’t rule them out. This is a great way to gain experience and perfect your skill while also building up your confidence.
In the same vein is the importance of making an effort to expand your own social network. Relationships are fundamental to business success. After all, people are much more likely to support the businesses of people they know (these people will then go on to refer your business to others as well).
There are a lot of apps out there today like MeetUp where you can attend group meetups for whatever happens to interest you. A great option here would be to consider joining a group for solo business owners.
5. Effective Social Media Marketing Is Key
Mostly everyone is familiar with social media marketing, but it’s important to know how to use these platforms effectively.
Lash techs have the most success with Instagram (Facebook is also a good option).
However, the key to success is to leverage the power of social proof: post pictures of your work. Before and after photos can be particularly compelling.
Consider also offering free services to people you may know in real life who like to post on social media (and have somewhat of a following) in exchange for posting about their experience.
When it comes to making the most out of Instagram, you also can also put up Instagram ads for cost-effective rates as well.
When it comes to Facebook, a powerful option is to post in local groups, that is, Facebook groups designed for people in your particular city.
6. Reviews are Critical
While most people are familiar with social media marketing, not as many people know about local search. In a nutshell, the idea here is that when people search “lash salon near me” into their search engine, you want your business to come up at the top of the search results.
In order to do this, you need a Google My Business listing (you will also want to read our checklist for optimizing your listing).
However, one of the most important things you can do is get online reviews. Research has found that online reviews can increase sales by as much as 270%.
Whenever your customer tells you how much they love their lashes, ask him or her to write a review!
7. Consider a Scheduling Software For Marketing
When you think “scheduling software,” you likely think of software that will schedule appointments for you – i.e. an online eyelash appointment book (this is correct; scheduling software will become increasingly important as you build your clientele base).
However, we would also like to point out that scheduling software can also be a great tool for getting more clients as you build your business. For example, many scheduling software options will connect you with their own marketplace, which is a base of consumers who are specifically searching for services like yours.
Some scheduling software, like us here at Yocale, offer Reserve with Google. This is the equivalent of putting your business on the front page of Google.
When people enter ‘lash extensions near me,’ your business shows up at the top of the page along with the ability for clients to book your services online right then and there. The ease of being able to make an appointment right then and there gives your business a competitive edge.
8. Be Proactive: Ask Clients to Schedule Their Next Appointment
When it comes to setting up an eyelash extension business, getting clients to visit is only step one. You also want that customer to return again. The problem is that you can’t just expect the customer to do so on their own. In other words, you have to be proactive.
At the end of each appointment, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of asking clients if they’d like to schedule their next appointment with you right then and there (whether a refill appointment or not).
It may seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s imperative for the success of your future business.
An alternative to this is to follow-up with your clients after their appointment to see how their lashes are doing. This not only shows you care but is also a great opportunity to ask if they’d like to schedule a refill.
9. Referral Marketing Is Key
A powerful method for building your clientele in a short period of time is to invest in referral marketing (i.e. word-of-mouth marketing). In a nutshell, referral marketing is all about incentivizing your current customers to recommend you to their friends and family.
As we’ve said lots of times on the blog before, referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referred customers. They are also 18% less likely to churn (i.e. leave your business). This comes straight from the Wharton School of Business.
The reason why referral marketing is so effective is because people trust their friends and family. It’s also very targeted; the referred customer is likely to be very interested in your services because they were personally recommended.
This blog post offers some great tips for starting an effective referral program.
10. Get Business Cards Made
Business cards are standard in the marketing world, but they aren’t always necessary. However, when it comes to setting up your eyelash extension business, they are a smart investment (and they aren’t even that expensive).
A great way to utilize your business cards is to give them to your current clients. If someone asks that person where she/he got their lashes done, the client can simply pull out your business card! Again, this taps into the power of referral marketing.
Wrapping It Up
Going into business – and especially the lash extension business – is an exciting time. However, it’s important not to forget that building up your clientele will take time and effort. Don’t get discouraged along the way.
Continue to work at it and you will see returns from your efforts.
Need help setting up your eyelash extension business? Want more clients? Yocale is home to the leading scheduling software on the market. Our easy-to-use calendar gives you the extra hand to both run and grow your business at once. Click here to sign up for FREE or learn more