As one of the UK’s most lucrative markets, it’s no surprise that many consider a career within the exciting world of beauty. From nail technicians to waxologists, 57% of those working within the beauty industry are self-employed, suggesting there’s great opportunity for those seeking to take the reins and become their own boss. Becoming a self-employed beauty therapist has many positives. Not only can you choose your own working hours but you can also decide whether you’d like to be based in a salon or become mobile and travel to your clients. However, with control comes responsibility and there are also many factors you should consider before you take the plunge and go it alone.
What financial factors should I consider?
From supplies and equipment, to business cards and transport, you’ll find that becoming a self-employed beauty therapist will bring a lot of initial expense. You should consider saving for these costs prior to starting your business venture or you could also consider a taking out a loan or lending from family and friends. With two thirds of hairdressing, barbering and beauty businesses making an annual turnover of £99,000, the industry itself is a prosperous one and, despite the initial expense, there is a lot of potential.
You should also consider who is going to deal with your accountancy. Managing your taxes, expenses and allowances may seem daunting but it is an essential part of running your own business. You may wish to employ a specialist beauty therapist accountant to take care of this or you could do this yourself. If so, ensure to set aside a day each month to manage your expenses to make sure you are prepared at the end of every tax year and safely file away all receipts and invoices.
Are you insured?
Before becoming self-employed, it is vital that you research insurance policies and find the right policy to cover the treatments you plan on offering. Whether you wish to become a mobile therapist or rent a chair in a salon, it is important you have valid insurance to ensure you are covered against any accidents or injuries that may unfortunately happen during your service. Many insurance policies will also cover your kit and equipment against theft and damage, ensuring you don’t lose out in these circumstances.
Where will I work?
Becoming a freelance beauty therapist gives you the freedom to decide your working hours, as well as where you will be based. Many self-employed therapists choose to rent a chair in a salon, which is a great way to start as you’ll be able to pick up a lot of passing trade and you’ll find that customers of the salon may take an interest in the treatments you’re offering which is an easy way to quickly build your client base. One factor to consider when renting a chair in a salon is the fact that you will pay for your space for a contracted amount of time, whether you are using the space or not. For example, if you only wanted to work three days a week, you may still have to pay for the full week.
Another option is becoming a mobile therapist. This would require you to have a mode of transport that will enable you to travel to your client’s homes to perform treatments. Whether you are a qualified nail technician or a tanning specialist, the majority of treatments can be carried out in the comfort of your client’s homes thanks to a selection of mobile equipment and supplies on offer. To ensure you don’t over work yourself, you must consider the location you wish to cover and the hours you would like to work. Remember to take your travelling time into consideration and ensure you have good time keeping skills as you will need to be very organised to ensure you make it to each appointment on time.
What services and treatments can I offer?
If you are planning on becoming a mobile therapist, you will be able to offer a variety of treatments with ease thanks to the fabulous selection of mobile equipment and supplies now available. From massage to spray tanning, you are guaranteed to find a host of mobile tanning tents and portable treatment beds available to ensure you can offer these treatments with ultimate professionalism from your client’s home. In regards to renting a chair in a salon, you will need to research available spaces in your area and see what treatments these spaces can cater to. Many salons tend to offer spaces for nail technicians, while you’ll find spas and larger salons are a great place for self-employed masseurs and waxologists to seek a space.
How can I advertise my business?
Advertising can be expensive but is essential, especially for new businesses. You should make the most of social media as this is a great, free way to spread the word about your new services. You could create a Facebook business page, as well as an Instagram account to show off your services. You may also wish to get business cards and flyers printed off. These can then be handed out to clients to pass on to friends. When it comes to self-employed beauty therapists, a lot of their business comes from word of mouth. Offer the best standard of service possible and your clients are guaranteed to recommend you to their family and friends.
What advice would you offer to those planning on becoming self-employed? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter.