Are you a make-up maven and love the satisfaction of helping people with their beauty needs?
Then starting an eyelash extension business (which you can do from the comfort of your home) may be the perfect business for you. The best part of this is that starting costs can be low (especially if you don't open up your own salon), while the profits can be really attractive.
This article will provide a step-by step guide to start you own eyelash extension business, which consists of the following six steps (you can skip ahead to any one of them by clicking on the desired link below).
- Step 1: Get Proper Eyelash Extension Training
- Step 2: Establish Your Eyelash Extension Business
- Step 3: Create a Business Plan
- Step 4: Get Equipment For Your Eyelash Extension Business
- Step 5: Market Your Eyelash Extension Business
- Step 6: Obtain Appropriate Licenses and Insurance
But before we dive into the guide, we'll cover some key questions around the eyelash extension business, such as how much money you can make and the pros and cons of owning such a business. Knowing the answers to these questions is critical if you want to have a complete picture of what you are getting into.
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The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
How Much Money Can You Make With An Eyelash Extension Business?
In general, you can expect to earn between $75,000 to $150,000 per year from your eyelash extension business assuming you work five days a week and are able to manage around 3 clients per day. Source
Of course, as a business owner, you will be setting the prices, how much you work, and a whole host of other decisions that can affect how much you earn.
You will also be responsible for all of the marketing, materials, and other expenses associated with operating the business, which can impact your bottom line too.
Potential for Consistent and Reliable Income
One of the best financial advantages with an eyelash extension business is that it has a “built-in” repeat business feature.
Here's what I mean.
Lash extensions are attached to your natural eyelashes so they only last about as long as the natural growth cycle, which is around 6 weeks. This means that after around six weeks (often sooner), they will come back to you to refill their lashes (assuming you did a good job in the first place).
If you continue to perform top-notch work, you will have a large and loyal customer base that needs to keep coming back, which will translate into a consistent and reliable income for you each month.
As you can imagine, how much you charge will be a key factor in how much money you can make. Of course, how much you can charge will depend on your local market, but it's easy to figure out what market rates are.
Just do a google search for “eyelash extension services near me” and it will pull up a bunch of local eyelash extension businesses. All you need to do is go on their websites and check out their pricing. It's an easy and super-accurate way to figure out what you should be charging (or at least what average prices are in your area).
When I did this for my area, prices were a bit all over the place, but on average, a basic “classic” initial treatment cost around $160, with subsequent refills ranging between $60 – $100. As you can imagine, higher-end services, like “volume” and “mega volume” treatments cost substantially more.
What Are the Pros and Cons of an Eyelash Extension Business?
Lashing can be a terrific business, but you need to go into this with your eyes open. The only way to do that is by weighing the pros and cons and deciding if the business is right for you.
Pros of a Eyelash Extension Business:
- You can help make people feel beautiful
- People come to you to enhance their attractiveness (and their life). If you do a great job, they will leave feeling on top of the world. That can be immensely gratifying.
- You can make great money doing this
- We talked about this earlier, but eyelash extensions can be a very profitable business
- The start-up costs are relatively low
- Although the cost of training courses and equipment is not negligible, it can be far cheaper than opening other types of businesses (which can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to start).
- You can start this business without a brick and mortar salon
- For example, you can provide your services from home or at clients' homes, for example. Or you can simply rent out a chair at an existing salon for a fairly modest amount of money.
- You are your own boss and can set your own hours
- This type of freedom is awesome (especially if you are currently stuck in a job you don't like)
Cons of an Eyelash Extension Business:
- Training costs some money and there is no guarantee that your business will be successful
- Before you can start your business and be a pro, you need to be trained in eyelash extension techniques. The cost of training courses vary but they can be well over a thousand dollars (although online options can be much cheaper).
- After spending that money and time, you may find that no one wants to use your services. It's hard as a beginner because most people want someone experienced working on their lashes. Of course, everyone started as a beginner and many have turned this into a successful business, so it's doable. Still, it may be challenging, especially at the outset.
- High Competition
- This is a very popular business and the barriers to entry are low, which means there is going to be high competition. You just need to be prepared for that – offer great service at a fair price and be a master marketer. This simple advice can take you far.
- Interaction with Customers
- Even if you offer top notch services at a great price, there are always going to be customers who are not satisfied. You will need to deal with the headaches that come with a service like this.
Step 1: Get Proper Eyelash Extension Training
If you want to get started in this business, you need to make sure you are appropriately trained and certified.
Luckily, you have a lot of options available to you. I am not affiliated with any course and am not going to lead you one way or another. I would google “eyelash extension courses” and start doing your research. Look at customer reviews. Compare what each course offers and try to find the best bang for your buck.
There are all sorts of courses and different price points, but you are likely looking at between $1,000 to $2,000 for a quality course that offers in-depth coverage of the tools, techniques, health and safety procedures, and other skills needed to successfully run the business. You also want a course that offers adequate practice opportunities on a live model if possible.
If you want a less expensive option, you can opt for an online course, which is often much cheaper, but even they can run well into the hundreds of dollars.
Step 2: Establish Your Eyelash Extension Business
If you want your eyelash extension business to be more than just a glorified hobby, you need to actually set up the business. This includes selecting your name and logo, establishing your website, and setting up your business entity.
Name and Logo
The first thing you want to do is select a name and logo that you like.
Having trouble figuring out a name? Try Shopify’s business name generator. It’s free.
As for a logo, you can go on canva and check out some of their logo templates and start from there. It's a free option, but you will need to customize the logo templates to your liking. I prefer a more ready-made solution though.
One solid option is to go on Fiverr and hire someone to create your logo. There are tons of people who do this, and I have seen pricing as low as $5. For that price, you can probably try a bunch of folks and pick the logo that suits you best.
Or you can go with Looka. They are an AI-powered platform that will provide you a professional looking logo at reasonable prices. You can choose from hundreds of logo designs (based on parameters and preferences you select) before settling on one you like. You can also customize to your heart’s content. Check them out here.
Note: You want to make sure your name and logo are original to you and are not going to infringe someone else's intellectual property. If you are unsure, you can check the USPTO's trademark search tool as a starting point.
Set Up Your Eyelash Extension Website
If you want an online presence for your business (and you should), you should set up a website. The website does not have to be incredibly fancy or cost a lot of money to set up. There are a lot of resources available to help you with this.
In fact, Google allows you to build your first business website for free. Just follow the instructions and you will be on your way.
List Your Business Online
It is also important to get your eyelash extension business on Google. You can do this by listing it on Google My Business. This way, people who are searching for eyelash extension services in your area can find you.
If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out this tutorial from Google.
Set Up Your Business Entity
If your business is going to be a corporation, LLC, or some other business entity, you should establish that as well. Setting up a business entity can give you a range of benefits, including liability protection.
You can hire a lawyer to help you, or you can use many of the online resources that can help you set up your business entity.
I like Incorporate because they can get you up and running quickly and easily. They also have some great resources to educate you on what type of entity to choose and which may be the right state to choose for your new entity. If you want to learn more, check them out below.
You should consult with your accountant and lawyer before taking this step, so you understand the tax and legal consequences of setting up a particular type of organization for your business.
Step 3: Create a Business Plan
A business plan is essentially a roadmap for your business.
It organizes your thoughts relating to your business into an actionable plan. Some things to include in your business plan are budgeting, identifying your target market (are you going high-end, low-end, mid-range), competition, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, and growth projections.
One of the key things you will want to figure out is where you are going to offer your services. Is it going to be at your home, at your customer's home, in a salon, etc.? This will drive many of your later decisions around how to structure your business (and how much you will need as starting capital).
Don’t stress too much about getting your business plan perfect. I would use it more as an organizational tool at this point.
Don’t know how to get started? The Small Business Administration has a great free tool to help you write your business plan.
Step 4: Get Equipment For Your Eyelash Extension Business
As you can imagine, getting the right supplies for your eyelash extension business is essential. Most of the quality courses will give you a starter kit, but in case they do not, you will need to get at least some basic equipment and supplies. They are as follows:
- High Quality Lashes
- Eyelash Glue
- Lash Tweezers
- Eyelash Extension Tape
- Eyelash Brushes
- Primer and Microbrushes
- Eye Pads (to keep bottom lashes tucked)
Step 5: Market Your Eyelash Extension Services
When you are just starting your eyelash extension business, you may want to practice your skills with family and friends.
If you do an excellent job, they will often be willing to give you word of mouth advertising. Continue to do a great job for people and the word will continue to spread. In an area like this, word of mouth advertising can be a powerful way to grow your business.
You can also become a bit more organized around your marketing to grow your business. Some of these options cost a bit of money, so you may want to hold off until you have turned a profit and saved some funds from your business.
For online marketing, you can do the following:
- As mentioned previously, set up a Google My Business, so that people looking for eyelash extension services can find you. You want to encourage people to leave good reviews there for you if they like your work. Research has found a strong relationship between the number of online reviews a business and the revenue that it generates.
- Get a great website that draws traffic to your business (if you don't know how to do this, hire an SEO expert to help you)
- Get on Yelp for business and let your customers find you. They are an extremely well-known brand, and many people look there when searching for local businesses. Want to learn more? Check them out below:
- In addition to advertising on Yelp, you can buy online ads from other online and social media outlets (Facebook, etc.)
If you want to go old school, you can also advertise in your local newspapers, circulars, or through direct mail, etc.
Finally, you may want to do some “boots on the ground” marketing. Walk around your neighborhood and leave flyers.
Ultimately, you want to experiment with various marketing strategies – you may be surprised at what works best.
Step 6: Obtain Appropriate Licenses and Insurance
As with most business licensing matters, your state will likely govern what types of licenses or certifications will be needed for your eyelash extension business.
In many cases, you will need a cosmetologist or esthetician license. But different states will have different requirements, so you will need to check with your state's business licensing board. This site offers a state by state overview of licensing requirements. Of course, you should always check with your state to confirm the information.
You should be able to get an answer from your state fairly easily, but if you are having trouble, try to get a quick consultation with a qualified lawyer to help you navigate through this.
Eyes are obviously very delicate and can easily be injured.
Even if you are highly trained and careful, on any given day, you can make a mistake that may harm your client. In Utah, the Department of Occupational & Professional Licensing reported that people go to the hospital with injuries stemming from eyelash extensions, including glue under the retina, eye infections, broken ingrown lashes and even blindness. Source
Fortunately, there is insurance for your eyelash extension business.
If you conduct a google search of “eyelash extension insurance” you will find plenty of insurance options. Just pick one that offers adequate coverage for a good price.
The key is making sure you get good liability insurance with reasonably high limits that clearly covers customer claims for injury and other damages arising from your lashing activities.
These folks offer coverage for under $100 per year, but again, I would encourage you to shop around.
Once you've take care of all of these steps, you are ready to launch your eyelash extension business!
So, there you have it: 6 simple steps to start your eyelash extension business.