7.2 Business basics

If you are planning to work for yourself now or in the future, this lesson is for you! Learning about running a small business is a whole course in itself, so in this lesson, we will look at some basic factors that you need to consider when setting up your business. The information in the lesson is general in nature and will provide you with some ideas that you may like to incorporate into your own business.

How to price your services and calculate the time

Pricing your services when you are starting out can be a bit tricky. You need to think about all of the costs involved, such as all the materials and your time, but also fixed costs like your rent, electricity, phone bill and website costs. If you undersell your sets, you will more than likely experience financial loss, whereas you want to return a profit.

Profit is the amount of money left once you add up all the money you have received and take away all the money you have paid on expenses. Setting your prices too high may prevent you from building your client base, especially if you do not have lots of experience and you are still refining your craft. Setting your prices too low can also have a similar effect because clients will likely assume that cheap lash appointments equate to inexperience. Never be tempted to lower your prices really low to attract clients because this also makes it harder for all the other lash artists in the industry as it devalues our work.

When you are training, it can be useful to advertise the full price of services but then offer a launch discount or a training discount. This way, your clients will see what the usual pricing is and will feel like they are getting something cheaper. Then, once you have built your experience, it won’t be such a shock when your prices increase. Another pricing process you might consider could be a staged approach where you do some sets for free. To begin with, you then charge for materials only, offer a discount on the full price and then start charging the full price.

A good place to start when determining your prices is to research the prices other lash artists in your area are charging. This should give you a decent price range to work within, and it is also a great opportunity to see what they are doing well – How does their website look? What is their social media like? What information do they give to clients online? As a general rule, eyelash services range from as little as $25 for a tint (around 10 minutes) and some salons charge as little as $100 for a lash lift and tint. Let’s say you do one lash lift and tint each hour; that would be $100 for the hour. Say your material costs were no more than $30, which leaves you with $70 left to pay yourself and put money towards other bills. You also want to try and work on your profit margin.

The majority of beauty salons in Australia operate on a 30-50% profit margin. This means that 30% to 50% of their sales equates to profit. When you are starting out, your profit margin will likely be a lot lower as you will have a lot of upfront expenses for tools, equipment, and stock. However, once you have been in business for a while, you will see your profits increase. Salons offering 30-minute lash lift and tint services either have really skilled lash artists and top-notch lash lift kits, or there are some corners being cut. Of course, if a client just wants a lash tint, then the service will, of course, be much quicker. It is much better to allow yourself the time to create gorgeous lashes and price accordingly, rather than cutting corners and rushing in super tight timeframes.

Below are some price comparisons for services for different lash artists:

ServiceExample 1Example 2Example 3
Lash tint$30$25$18
Lash lift$110$70$70
Lash lift and tint$130$80$95

Based on the prices above, you can gauge that standard pricing is around $50/half hour, so $100/hour. As an example, let’s look at what you could earn if you work for 8 hours. Let’s say that is made up of 6 hours of lash services and two hours for cleaning, setup, breaks and chatting to clients before and after the service. If you did this 5 days per week for 12 months straight, that would equal:

Price# of hours billableDay totalWeek totalOver 12 months

Lash artistry can be a super lucrative beauty area to be involved with, and it is a lot of fun! In addition to targeting your marketing efforts, having strategies in place to encourage repeat business will help you to increase your revenue (sales) and will also help you to build a strong client base. Of course, the example revenue breakdown shows the gross revenue, meaning no expenses have been deducted. The example also doesn’t take into account the fluctuation of clients over the year and if different months. However, crunching the numbers using different scenarios and pricing in a similar way can really help you to accurately determine how you want to price your services.

Knowing how long various tasks actually take you will help you with planning your day, scheduling your clients, designing your service offerings, and calculating costs. So, during your training, a stopwatch will be your best friend. Time yourself to determine how long it takes you to:

  • Conduct a client consultation
  • Prepare the client’s skin
  • Complete lash lift (without the tint)
  • Complete lash lift and tint
  • Complete lash tint
  • Clean and sanitise your work area
  • Process payment and end the appointment

Knowing how long various tasks actually take you will help you with planning your day, scheduling your clients, designing your service offerings and calculating costs.

Marketing your services

Gone are the days of having to do letter box drops around your local neighbourhood to spread the word that you are in business! These days with the advancements in social media, people all over the world can find you. In this day and age, content is king, so be sure to take lots of videos and photos while you are at work to be able to share what you do. Depending on your target audience, a good place to start is to set up accounts on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

In addition to the above social media platforms, you may also want to start a YouTube channel and/or a Pinterest page. While you are a lash artist and not a content creator, the best way to get your clients excited about your services and to increase the likelihood of them choosing you over your competitors is to share the beautiful looks you create – allowing others to comment, like and share!

Managing your inventory, equipment and appointments

To manage your inventory (disposables and consumables) and your equipment, accurate record keeping is a must! You don’t need a formal inventory control system in place, but you do need to know at any given time the inventory you have on hand and the inventory you need. If there is a variance between these two numbers, then you need to order some more inventory. You also need to ensure you keep track of inventory you have on the way so that you do not over order. When you receive your products, it might also be useful to create a list of their expiry dates. This will help to ensure you are using the oldest products first and will prevent you from accidentally using expired inventory.

If you would like to learn more about inventory management tips and tricks, access the resources linked:

Client retention tips

Of course, your clients are coming to you because they want to live their best lash life, but they are also coming for an experience. Have you ever had a massage treatment that was just so wonderful you left feeling beautiful and like you were walking on air? As a lash artist, you want to try and create the best experience possible for your clients.

Especially when you are working for yourself, you are your brand. Everything you do and say is a representation of your business. Lash artists who are bubbly, confident and passionate about their craft will always be more successful. You need to create a warm and welcoming environment for your clients.

To create an experience your clients will remember, think of ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition while still being true to yourself. There are loads of things you can do; maybe you have a range of yummy treats at your check-in desk, or perhaps you have really soothing music playing during all of your appointments. When thinking about how to keep clients coming back, objectively evaluate the service from the following perspectives:

  • Technical – how do the lashes look, and how long did the lift last?
  • Time – did you perform the service in the agreed timeframe?
  • Emotional – how was the overall experience for the client end to end?
  • Financial – have you charged a fair price?

In addition to the criteria above, when evaluating your services, you need to consider your own fulfilment in the work you do – are you doing work that you are passionate about and excited about? Many beauty therapists start their careers thinking they will be doing a whole heap of services, but in reality, they might be waxing backs and cracks all day long! As a lash artist, if you are only doing lash lifts and tints day in and day out for years on end, you will soon lose your passion. When we are not excited about what we do, it is really obvious to clients, even if you have good acting skills.

As you progress through your career, ensure that you have a lot of variety in the sorts of clients and appointments you book, as this will keep the momentum going. Equally important is to continue your education and always be on the lookout for new skills to practice or new products to try. You should seriously consider extending your skills into the following areas so that you can widen your service range:

  • Lash extensions
  • Brow waxing and shaping
  • Brow colouring (tint and henna)
  • Brow lamination

We have courses for all of the above services, so get in touch if you would like to enrol! The best way to keep clients coming back is to be your awesome self and provide quality lash services at reasonable prices. If you can include little extras like aftercare gifts, yummy treats or any other extra that can show your clients you care, you will see it returned to you in repeat business.

Before the final module of this course, let’s revisit the very first activity you completed. Now that you have developed your skills and knowledge, go through the list of key terms and concepts again and see how many you now understand:

  • Anagen phase
  • B curl
  • C curl
  • Catagen phase
  • CC curl
  • Close-set eyes
  • Contra-actions
  • Contraindications
  • Cortex
  • Cuticle
  • D curl
  • Deep-set eyes
  • Dermis
  • Disinfecting
  • Disposable glue well
  • Downturned eyes
  • Dry heat steriliser
  • Epidermis
  • Ergonomics
  • Hooded eyes
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Hypodermis
  • I shaped tweezers
  • Isolation
  • J curl
  • Jade stone
  • L and/or L+ curl
  • L shaped tweezers
  • Lash Line
  • Lifting solution
  • Medulla
  • Melanin
  • Micropore tape
  • Moist heat steriliser
  • Monolid eyes
  • Neutraliser
  • Orbicularis occuli
  • Patch tests
  • Protruding eyes
  • Round shaped tweezers
  • S shaped tweezers
  • Safety data sheet
  • Sanitising
  • Saturation
  • Sterilisation, sanitisation and sanitation
  • Telogen phase
  • U curl
  • Upturned eyes
  • UV light steriliser
  • Water Line
  • Wide-set eyes
  • Work life balance
  • Y-comb

We will revisit this list at the end of the course to see how many you have mastered!

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