One important key to success? Preparation.
In addition to hard work, launching your own esthetician business requires homework, serious thought and commitment.
1. Envision Success Your Way
Defining your idea of a successful business might sound simple, but it’s a step that many people skip, according to Kenneth Golding, a fitness business advisor and health and wellness consultant. “Many go into a business with delusions of grandeur, but nothing real, subsequently leading to days ending with ‘not enough’,” he said.
2. Learn the Rules
Budding esthetician business owners should be aware of local restrictions and rules regarding business operations. Golding emphasized that new owners must know what regulations, licenses, permits, insurance and other legal documentation is necessary prior to opening a business and comply with the requirements.
3. Define Your Role
Launching an esthetician business is a commitment not to be taken lightly, Golding said.
“In a service business particularly, the owner needs to decide what role he or she is going to have. Owner/operator? Owner with a manager? Owner with independent contractors—which calls for payroll or 1099s, different taxes, interviewing, hiring, firing, training and development?” he says. “If you hire a manager to handle all of this, then you become a quality control advocate [who] ensures your manager is doing the job hired to do.”
4. Get a Handle on Finances
The financial end of your business is critical and should be subject to routine scrutiny.
“Have a good accountant or tax preparer prior to finalizing any concrete steps,” Golding said. “This person will be able to assist in making educated decisions about location leases, equipment leasing versus buying, type of business to create and associated tax ramifications, as well as being a resource for other professional services should they be required.”
In addition to these basic elements, Golding cited the importance of determining the amount of startup funds necessary to launch the business. “How the business is set up and how many people rely on the success of the business will have an influence on how much capital is needed before hanging a shingle on the door,” he pointed out.
“If the business is starting as a single entity, then that owner needs to assess three to six months of having all costs covered, including personal—rent, phone, utilities, cost of living, emergencies—plus business, which includes rent, overhead, promotional materials, etc.,” said Golding. He explained that a single-entity format means the owner works as much as he or she can to cover the initial investment and begin to make money.
A business that involves others adds “another dimension or layer of investment and responsibility that will be based, in part, on how representatives for the business will be compensated, that is, hourly, per diem, on commission or some other way,” Golding added.
5. Seek Moral Support
While the financial aspects of launching a business are crucial, new owners will do better when they have tremendous moral support.
“This support system can be as simple as a consultant, a mentor, an association of peers of independent estheticians, a silent partner who has some skin in the game or an employee that is hired and given some part of the business so the owner has someone to lean on and bounce ideas off of,” Golding explained.