There’s no question that starting a new business is an exciting adventure. From dreaming up the perfect name for the storefront to mentally mapping out every inch of your entire office, there’s a lot to be excited about. But how exactly do you open your business? What legal items are you going to have to go through? What options do you have going in?
Well if you’re a makeup artist looking for a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three ways to open your dream business and how you do it:
Several makeup artist schools across the country will add to your reputability as an expert in the field. To become a makeup artist, the first you’ll need to do is look into local trade schools in the area like Blanche McDonald in Vancouver or CMU College in Toronto.
On top of that, to be able to provide hairstyling services in Canada you need a “Red Seal” certification. This requires both a written and practical examination, which can get slightly complicated in Canada. Currently, neither BC nor Ontario holds the practical exam, so you can get your certification without a Red Seal approval or travel to another province to get your full license.
The full document on the certification can be found here.
Draw In Business
Essential marketing will come pretty immediately to most. Build some fliers, post them on local community boards, maybe start some social media, etc. The new world, however, is shifting towards much more targeted marketing in all directions. The first thing you need to do is to really attack the online network you have available to you. Create a Google+ account, start building out your Yelp page, and look into an online booking system.
1. Opening A Salon
The most obvious way to start your makeup business is to open your own salon. While the most popular, this option can also be the most taxing in preparation.
Apply For A Loan
There’re several ways to go about getting a loan towards your salon. All banks have some sort of small business loan that isn’t entirely too complicated to apply for. CIBC has several options for small businesses, including overdrafts, lines of credits, bundled home and business loans, and of course standard business loans. You’ll want to know what option works the best for you, but the best road is schedule a meeting with a business advisor today to start planning your finances.
Uneasy with the bank? Futurpreneur Canada can also help you get a loan of up to $45,000 specifically for salons. This program also pairs you with a mentor and provides resources for planning and tracking your business. This is a great option for newcomers to entrepreneurship and small business.
Apply For A Permit
There’s a long list of permits that you’ll need to start your business, so to start, make sure you look at all the Canadian requirements for starting a business. Generally, there are a few essential items you’ll need:
A Business License – this is pretty much to register yourself as a business in Canada.
An electrical permit – this is especially important for salons that need outlets at every station.
A plumbing permit – again, a necessity for salons that need multiple sinks and wash stations.
A sign permit – if you plan on installing any signage, you’ll need this in most Canadian cities.
A Federal Business License – this will be important if you plan on hiring employees as you’ll need it for income tax but conditions apply here.
Talking with a business consultant or lawyer is always a good idea here to ensure you have all the requirements for your municipality.
Get A Booking System Set
Systems like Yocale’s online booking service can start to really build out your client base and get the reviews flooding in. The key here is to use your service platform as a way to bring in more talk around your business and therefore more clients. Having a booking system like Yocale also makes your life that much easier as the system does most of the work and can be managed from your mobile and your home computer.
As a manager of a real building, an online booking system will be ideal to get your address out there and get real-time referrals for new clients.
2. Being A Freelancer
Today, tons of professional makeup artists are opting to work for themselves as freelancers. This also gives you some variety in your work as you can choose to work gigs across industries from movie sets to weddings to birthday parties all in a week’s work. There’s not nearly as much paperwork involved in this option, but a healthy amount of self-motivation and organization is key to making this work.
Have A Clear Calendar
What’s the key to being a good freelancer? Organization, organization, organization. If you don’t keep a clear schedule and meticulously lay out every hour of every day you won’t be getting as much business as you can fit in your day.
Time blocking is a phenomenon that’s caught on quick for a world that has more and more people working for themselves or virtually. Especially easy with applications like Google Calendar and iCal, use this method every day to make sure your week is strategically packed with new business and recurring clients. Time out your travel and prep time to make sure you are the most efficient you can be and customers leave the experience feeling great about you and your service.
Always Ask For Referrals
Any smart salesman will tell you that the biggest mistake anyone makes after ending an experience with a client is not asking for a referral. But worse yet, if you don’t book a client and don’t ask them if they have any friends that might be interested instead, then you probably aren’t cut out for this business.
Today we have the wonderful world of LinkedIn where meaningful referrals are easy to find and ask for. The trick? Know that the question itself is never a scary or awkward one, as so many people say, it is only awkward if you want it to be. As a freelancer it is seriously important to use every conversation you have, whether at a client meeting or the grocery store, as a potential moment for a sale. Keep looking through your network and build your connections to ensure you will never have a month without work.
Embrace Social Media
It’s 2016, and it’s pretty clear that you can’t do business nowadays without at least 3 different social media channels. As a professional makeup artist, you’re going to need to be particularly present on Instagram and Pinterest, mediums that allow for an almost online portfolio of pictures that also play to your target market.
The key to these types of platforms is to know how to tag and use the right keywords. Use hashtags that would be compelling to your target market and provide consistent content for your followers. This will help immensely in getting people in your community to find your work easily and quickly. Tie this in with a Yocale page and customers will now be able to both find your page and book you instantly.
3. Open A Mobile Salon
Last but not least, creating a mobile salon may seem like all the right ingredients meshed into one. While you don’t need as many permits as a real salon, you still get all the same flexibility of working for yourself and yourself alone. However, there are still a few things to consider.
Apply For Your License
The licensing requirements are slightly different as you may not need some of the amenities you needed before. However, you will still need to register your business and communicate with lawyers on parking permits and getting access to plumbing if need be.
The best way is to also talk to a mobile contractor that can create a custom mobile office just for you. Several contractors focus specifically on mobile units and, the key is to find the right person that understands your needs and the legalities in your city. This way you may not need to freak out when you realize later that your trailer doesn’t meet standards and, you can go into your new business with peace of mind.
Find Storage Space
As opposed to a real business site, you won’t have enough space to in your trailer to store all your tools and products. Make sure to block off space in your house or garage to hold your bulk orders of products that are readily available to you at any time.
Or be creative with how you create storage! People are living now in houses smaller than your living room with all the storage they could ever need. Think about everything from tables to chairs to shoe racks that could be integrated into storage. Look at everything as dual purpose and you’ll discover quickly that space is really just a mindset to overcome.
Create A Client Base
The primary marketing is very similar in all to a salon. You’ll want to brand yourself and your trailer so that people can associate your logo with your services, but that’s not always enough. Just like a freelancer, you’ll need to pay particular attention to your online brand and presence. Focus on filling out your online portfolio and creating easy access for people to see your work.
However, as you will frequently move or come to the customer, it’s even more important that you have a powerful booking tool for you. This solves a lot of the need of having a million different calendars and stressing about how you’re moving your trailer from one side of the city to the other. Yocale helps customers see directly into your calendar and customize their experience. You’ll be able to set up experiences with old and new clients quicker and easier with a system designed to be flexible with businesses like mobile providers.
In all, starting your dream job as a makeup artist is exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. But if you make sure to check off all your needs, we promise you’ll be on the road to makeup artistry soon enough.