Once upon a time, there was a naive and overly confident little girl who decided to find her fortune and work her own hours from home providing eyelash extensions. Over the first 5 years, she slowly built her skills and clientele, she was able to quit her job, and lash full time. Harrah! The end.
As demand for eyelash extensions grew in Australia and better training became available, she was able to grow and develop a successful career! The world was her lash tile, ready for whatever creation she wanted to embark upon. Then the tweezers hit the fan… Real-life intervened and the safe bubble was burst by the cold spike of fiscal responsibility.
Things I wish I’d known BEFORE I embarked upon a home-based salon:
Check your local council, in Australia, multiple states require permitting for home-based beauty businesses. I cannot emphasize this enough: THE COUNCIL ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND HERE TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GIVE ANYONE EYE INFECTIONS. They are not out to get you, small home-based business is encouraged by most councils.
Contact them today for an info pack as each council can be slightly different. If you are found running illegally the fines are massive.
You will never experience privacy again.
You have a home-based salon which means you share your personal space with strangers. Block off your home, have your salon at the front or in the garage, you don’t need strangers walking through your home- this will soon become a privacy invasion and you will no longer see your home as a safe place to hide. Trust me…
Policies and procedures
Don’t be available 24/7. You are not just waiting at home for clients, even though they may think that. Remember it’s a BUSINESS so treat it as such-have opening hours, late/cancellation policies(that you are entice with EVERYONE), and turn your phone off/or have a separate business phone so you are not so accessible. I am home at 7 am on a Sunday, doesn’t mean I want to do your lashes, Karen, because you forgot to book in advance for your cousin’s wedding and are now looking like a potato.
If you don’t have insurance please stop reading and make it happen today. This isn’t negotiable.
When I finally installed an Epftos machine in my home-based salon my clientele cried happy tears. All of a sudden, my business flourished- I didn’t realize how much the “cash only” factor was turning people off. The convenience of cards cannot be overemphasized. It’s so easy to tap and go, no money to secure or count, the funds just magically appears in your account, and clients LOVE it. You must make buying from you as free of obstacles as possible.
Unfortunately, my last point is a double-edged sword; Epftos is visible, so its time to get yourself an accountant. In Australia there is a massive crackdown on beauty salons and home-based business; since you are both you are in the auditing firing line. No ‘cashies’ girls, you are digging a grave for yourself. I put aside money every week into a separate account, I put more away than what I need. Accountants will help you work out how much you will need to put aside based on your circumstances.
Neighbors and basic respect.
When my home-based business was booming I decided to bring on a staff member to train while I was building my commercial location. However, this brings a problem; the salon could have up to 7 cars on the street and pretty soon my neighbors had something to say about that. I was affecting the amenities of my street and making no friends. It all ended uneventfully as we were in the process of building the new location so the council were happy to wait but it was massive stress on top of the build. Remember you are making a living, but your neighbors just want some quiet time. Some of my clients parked like morons- if I had my time again, I would have been firmer from the get-go and probably feathers wouldn’t have been so ruffled.
I would have asked for help sooner.
If I had my time again, I would have employed an accountant/bookkeeper sooner, I now have both and they make my life so much easier) I would have sort training earlier for running a business. I would have taken it more seriously sooner. Has this hurt my career? No, it was the learning curve I needed and made me the leader of my team and salon that I am today.
But the shift from a hobby into career happens so subtly when you are in the weeds that it can be hard to see from the inside. I recommend monthly business meetings with yourself, go to a cafe and look at your figures-keep on-top of knowing where you are in business. I just kind of floated along for a few years, and I know many lash sisters who are in the same position.
Be kind to yourself and learn from the mistakes of others. We are all learning. You simply need to take a few necessary steps to make sure you are covered so you don’t end up breaking down crying one night because you have been lashing for 14hrs a day 3 days in a row and hate your life choices, the council are after you as you are uninsured. Talk about a disaster!
Lashes On Point Pty Ltd