Do you want to start an eyelash extension company? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting an eyelash extension business with NO money and no experience plus a sample eyelash extension business plan template. It would surprise anyone who isn’t into the fashion and beauty industry to see just how impactful something as simple as eyelash extension can be.
People actually pay between $6 and $118 USD for eyelash extension and contrary to what you may think, those who are eyelash extension fixers make as much as $20,000 – $50,000 USD a year. In addition to that, more than 60% of those who are in this profession are very satisfied with their jobs. It goes without saying that this is a very lucrative business to invest in once you know exactly what you want and how you want to go about it. You rarely find men fixing eye lashes except for creative purposes.
Fashion shows are usually one of the major places where false eyelashes are used not just to enhance the beauty of the models, but sometimes to communicate the message of the designer in question. In whatever case, false eyelashes are here to stay, and will continue to bring such great business opportunities for fashion and beauty professionals out there.
19 Steps to Starting an Eyelash Extension Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- 19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The lash extension section of the fashion industry has really come a long way from its early days, where the eyelash extension options were limited. Today, industry manufactures have developed lashes beyond the usual J,C and D curls, they now offer quite a number of options for clients. The trend that seems to be prevalent in the market at this time is companies now manufacturing lighter, slimmer lashes.
The new trend now is volume lashing with the true brown hue, but violets, purple and blue have been known to have popular acceptance amongst clients. Apart from colors, one of the major challenges for this industry is people that suffer from allergies.
Thus, manufacturers are looking into developing new lashes that have zero irritation. In addition to that, the industry can look forward to lighter lashes with softer fibers. This satisfies both the lash artist and the clients as well. There are different lash types in the industry and they include Cluster Lashes, Strip lashes and so on, made from raw materials like animal, human or synthetic hair to mention a few.
These lash extensions have increased in demand in the last number of years with projections going as high as $1680 million USD at an approximate CAGR of 7%. Innovations in the product lines of cosmetics coupled with the demand for luxurious eye makeup has caused the demand for lash extension to continue rising over the years.
The constant rise of working professionals who are very conscious about their white-collar appearance, improved technology which causes for great amounts of eyelashes to be manufactured at a shorter time are part of the reason for high demand.
Strip lashes are taking a major portion of the market with about 57% market share as at 2017. On the other hand, individual lashes are anticipated to rise at a faster rate of about 6% within the forecast period. The raw material used also impacts the way lash extensions are purchased.
Synthetic hair for instance dominated the market in 2017 with around 60% of the total market share, and this percentage is expected to increase within the forecast period. There are hand made false eyelashes and machine made as well, with the machine made segment having more of the market share domination, hand made false eyelashes are expected to rise between 2017 and 2022.
False eyelashes are separated in to store-based distribution channel and non-store distribution channels, and store-based are segmented into supermarkets, drug stores, cosmetic shops and so on. In all of these channels of distribution, store based channels take the highest market share.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who usually use eyelash extensions is mostly be made up of women between the ages of 18-34. Eyelash extension is seen as part of a long range of beauty products that women love to use in enhancing their appearances.
Much like lipstick or other cosmetic products, the false eyelash seems to sit at the peak of the general look a woman may be going for. Some prefer to use eyelash extension to enhance their looks while others who lack a generous amount naturally may use this as a way to compensate.
The cosmetics industry is a very broad industry as looking beautiful is one of the major interests of majority of ladies around the world. So setting up your eyelash extension kiosk in a beauty shop, if they do not already have one would go a long way in helping you kick start your career.
In as much as the focal age demographic for this kind of business is pegged at 34, but ladies that are well above 34 still use eye lash extensions. One other place apart from beauty salons where you can offer your eyelash extension services is at spas, where people come to have a full body pampering experience.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
You can choose to sell a particular brand of lashes. Many women prefer very specific brands and will go the extra mile to get them. You can decide to work exclusively for the fashion industry, frequenting fashion shows, and assisting in beautifying female models with your exclusive brand of lash extension.
You could focus on home service options were you get clients who would prefer you coming to fix their lashes at home, rather than them coming to a salon. Another way to create a niche for yourself is to focus on making these lash extensions available for both stores and non-store facilities that need them. You could be a distributor of a particular brand or you could distribute multiple brands.
Due to the fact that certain ladies are allergic to the glue used in fixing the lashes, many brands have been designed to address this issue. What you can do is specialize on making these custom lash extensions available for those who are allergic to the regular ones.
Another way to create a niche for yourself may be to train lash artists or cosmeticians across the country in this beautiful craft. In addition to that, if you have the means, you can actually create your own brand of lash extension, invade and dominate the market.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
It is difficult to find any industry without competition. One of the major areas where eyelash extensions are prevalent is in beauty shops. Usually you will find that people who go in to do their pedicures and such, will most likely get their eyelashes done.
So sometimes the success of the eyelash extension business is in direct relationship with the success of the general cosmetic environment the eyelash extension business finds itself in. What this means is that if the beauty salon where the eyelash extension business is thrives, then the eyelash extension business will also thrive.
On the other hand, if the reverse is the case, then there would be a decline in eyelash extension sales. There are cases where the eyelash extension section of a beauty shop is outsourced, so that you can have your eyelash extension booth in multiple shops across the nation.
Needless to say, the industry is very competitive even without an attachment to a beauty shop. Due to the fact that training for this type of service can be fairly easy to come by, it creates room for quite a number of lash artists to flood the market. One who intends to make a success out of this profession would have to make up their minds to fight for their own fair share of the market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Some of these brands are;
- Bella Lash Extension
- Sugarlash Pro
- Buzz Lashes
- JB Lashes
If you do want to be taken seriously in this type of trade, you should get some form of formal training. This may cost you a little money, because learning to fix false lashes may not be as extensive as learning to become a beautician. After you get trained in fixing these lashes, the next thing would be either looking for a beauty shop to work for or setting up your own shop exclusively dedicated to lash extensions.
Looking for an already establish beauty shop or spa to work for may be difficult, but this aspect of the trade is a lot cheaper that setting up your own shop. Setting up your own shop will entail hiring or leasing a space, hiring some personnel, getting your Business Name registered, getting licensed and so on; not to mention marketing and advertising.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Being known as the place to go for eye lash extension within your direct location can be a thing of pride. However taking a service that operates as a singular component within a broader segment of the fashion and cosmetic industry and making it your major line of business can be very tasking.
However, if you overcome most of the challenges that will most definitely come from starting a business from scratch; you can stand out as a formidable force in the industry. However in order to achieve this, you have lot of battles to fight in order to develop your entrepreneurial spirit and be able to turn a profit for your business.
The positives of operating a franchise could be sited as the ease with which you penetrate the market seeing as the brand is already known and already has its own customer base. In dealing with a franchise, you have access to mentors and people who will guide you as you go long, they can tell you what they’ve done in times past that have worked, and you can implement it in your own geographical location to achieve major profit margins.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
The major threat of going into this business is that of beauty shops, spa’s and such, that already offer false lash extension services may become a major contender. Convenience is a major selling point for lots of people, so your eyelash extension business would have to be a strong contender in the industry for people to frequent your shop for this singular service.
Since much of your products would be manufactured from raw materials that may come from countries like india and Brazil, international economic constraints may make it difficult for these raw materials to be obtained and processed to give the final product.
This may affect the cost of the lashes, which may in turn affect the way you do business. Since the price of fixing a false eyelash can be a bit expensive, a crash in the economic landscape may in turn affect the way people generate income, which as a result can make clients desire to pay less for your service.
Again, local and international policies on labor can affect this kind of business seeing that quite a number of product lines in this sector are handmade.
In addition, environmentally sensitive organizations may throw concerns as to whether the process of manufacturing these lashes are eco-friendly or not. These are very real threats to the eye lash extension business. But preparing yourself for all of these threats can make you further maintain you competitive advantage in spite of the looming threats.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Depending on how big you want your business to go, deciding to register as a sole proprietorship, a private company or a Limited Liability Company may seem appropriate for different reasons. Assuming you wanted to run your eye lash extension business from home, or you wanted to fix for various residents around your neighborhood, and want to have business name to start with, a sole proprietorship would be excellent for such a business.
On the other hand, if you want to be a major player in the industry, if you were looking to have a proper beauty shop that specializes in eyelash extension services, or if you would want to extend your services to the fashion industry, then you may need something more professional to effectively carry your vision forward.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
- Flamingo Lash
- Swan Beauty
- Orange Flower Cosmetics
- Pure Look Lashes
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
A list of possible insurance policies for this type of business is listed below;
- General Insurance
- Business Insurance
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Professional indemnity Insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
This type of business does not attract any type of intellectual property protection or trademark. Except of course you are part of those that developed some special type of eye lash extension or some type of glue that makes it possible for those who are allergic to still be able to wear eye lash extension, then you may need to trademark the invention.
If you are a manufacturer of a particular eye lash extension brand, then protecting your brand from illegal duplication may be necessary. Apart from this, the industry enjoys a free service that does not leave room for much copyright infringement.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Proper training would assist your ability to succeed in this business, so certification is not required. One who needs to get into a business like this can simply learn how to attach these eyelashes and once they are good at it can start operating.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
Some of these documents at listed below;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Trademark Registrations
- Business License
- Business Personal Property tax (If Necessary)
- Insurance Policy
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Company Bylaws
- Business Plan
- Employer Identification Number
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Below are a few points or ideas you can use to raise money for your Eye Lash Extension business;
- Since this type of business may not be capital intensive you can actually save up over time and use the money saved.
- Selling property is always a great option.
- Borrow from family and friends
- Bank Loans
- Business Angels, Investors and grant agencies are also great ways to raise money.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Like we have already discussed above, you can simply look for beauty shops and propose to the owner to outsource their eye lash extension services to your company. In this case, the location of the beauty shop would be the location of your business. On the other hand, if you want to establish your own shop, then there are quite a number of factors to look into.
Setting up your shop close to a campus or a female hostel would be one of the best areas for a business like this. For one thing, you would be directly accessible to those within your specific demographic. There are usually a lot of those young ladies who want to look beautiful for some event, meeting, date and the likes.
Also, locating your shop in a residential area is another excellent choice. Mothers and daughters that live there can constantly come to your shop to get their lashes done. Once again, convenience is the unique selling point for this particular location.
The thought of going all the way to a beauty shop far away may give them strong reasons to come to you, who is just around the corner. However, what will make this a very strong selling point is if you are very good at what you do, because the moment you express any level of incompetence, they would not hesitate to go elsewhere with their business.
Setting up your shop at a business district, a place where there are lots of passersby and various companies with female workers is also a great idea. Having the shop at a residential area or around a campus seems to have more potential for attracting business from your niche market.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
To keep a business like this running, you need certain types of people;
- Eye Lash Artists
- Chief Executive Officer
- Sales and Marketing Personnel
- Front Desk Officer
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery process of an eyelash extension business is very simple. The client simply describes the kind of eye lash they desire, or express how they want to look. The lash artist can suggest to them the best type of lashes to suite the look they are going for.
Then after the appropriate lashes are picked, the process of applying the lashes to the client’s eyelids begins. After application, the client is advised not to put water on the eyes until the glue is dried for a long lasting effect.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- Attend beauty workshops and seminars to network with industry players and win customers.
- Advertise on Tv, Radio and Fashion or Lifestyle Magazines
- Set up booths in Supermarkets for customers to quickly get their lashes done at a discounted price
- Use Marketers for strategic marketing approaches
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
One way to gain competitive advantage over your competitors is to offer cheaper prices for your services while making the money back on the volumes of outlets you have across the city. These outlets can be in the form of providing services at beauty shops, spas and supermarkets across your location.
Furthermore, beauty shops that offer their own eyelash extension services are part of your major competitors, offering them a deal that makes them agree to let you operate this service from their shop kills the competition directly, because you are the one now selling your business in their shops, so they no longer stand as a threat to you.
18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
Nothing keeps a client more than an excellent job done. What you want to do is to create first of all an effective service for your clients. When customers are satisfied, they come back for more. Another way to retain customers is to make promotional offers from time to time, organize give away competitions and so on. This will inspire consumer participation and eventually make for customer retention.
19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Below are a few ways to boost your brand awareness;
- Your employees should wear branded clothes to the shop on certain days.
- Word of Mouth
- Advertise on your own website
- Content Marketing
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