Do you want to start a lice removal service? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a lice removal business with NO money and no experience.
Some businesses may sound weird, but they are businesses that hold plenty of prospects. This is the case of the lice removal business. If you are looking to start a business with low start-up cost and join a recession proof industry, then the lice removal business is the ideal business to venture into.
With millions of kids getting head lice every year and parents seeking for professional treatments to help take care of this ailment, this business has a lot of future prospects. Over the years, head lice have cleverly adapted to fit perfectly into our lives.
Lice like to feed on human blood and they do so from the human scalp, and the human hair shaft is the perfect place for them to lay eggs.
This is why this business is one you need to venture into to save lives and to make profit. The lice removal business is a profitable business because you will have many clients needing your services. Find below a comprehensive guide on how to start your own lice removal business.
Steps to Starting a Lice Removal Business
1. Understand the Industry
Lice are found everywhere with its infestations having no seasonal or geographic preference. The infestations of head lice in the united states are most common among school-age children.
A report from the American Academy of Paediatrics shows that the lice treatment industry is estimated annually at $1 billion. It is also estimated that there are about 6 to 12 million head lice infestations in the United States yearly among children aged 3 to 11.
It is also important to note that about 12 to 24 million school days are lost each year in the United States due to head lice according to a report by the National Association of School Nurses.
These statistics and the continuous infestation of lice, has led to the creation of a new industry. This is the lice removal business with professional delousing consultants helping you to remove lice from your hair and homes.
The lice removal market is huge and since lice never takes a vacation from feeding off human blood, demand of the business promises to be much greater. The total market for lice-removal services is estimated at an excess of $4 billion a year and the number is growing fast.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The people who need lice removal services is not restricted to any particular geographical location or age group as lice infection is most prevalent among school-age children around the world.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Experts would always advice that you spread your tentacles when it comes to business. One of the ways to spread your tentacles is to cover more than one niche. In the lice removal business, here are some niche areas;
- Natural lice treatment
- Head lice nits
- Nit treatment
- Lice removal salon
- Head lice prevention
- Pimples on scalp
The Level of Competition in the Industry
There is no doubt that the lice removal business is a business with huge growth potential because of the increase in demand for lice removal professionals as against the traditional way of lice removal. This also makes the industry more competitive.
There are also no known entry barriers and anyone can go into this business. It is also worthy to note that distance is never a barrier in this business when competing for customers as you can also offer home lice removal service. All you need to do to ensure a steady customer base is to offer your customers an effective and long-lasting lice removal treatment.
Trying hard to ensure that your price is reduced to your competitors’ is definitely a plus for your business. Once your customers are satisfied with your quality of service, you would enjoy more patronage which would guarantee more profit.
There are several other lice removal businesses scattered all over the United States of America and throughout the globe. So, if you want to start your lice removal business in the United States, you will meet stiffer competitions not only amongst lice removal businesses in the United States but all over the globe.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
There are usually top brands in every industry offering excellent service to their customers and they are well-known by the customers and the general public than other brands in the same industry.
Some of these brands have stayed long in the industry so they have made a name for themselves in their excellent and result-oriented service. Here are some of the leading lice removal brands in the United States of America and also across the world:
- Larada Sciences
- Head Hunters Lice Removal Specialist
- Hair fairies
- Lice happens
- Just Nitpicking LLC
- North Carolina Lice removal service
- Miss Lady lice removal service
- Nit-picky lice removal service
Before starting you lice removal business, you need to do a feasibility study of this business. You will need to consider various factors necessary for the success of this business. One of the most important factors you need to consider is how to ensure that your business stands out from other industry competitors.
You would also need to discover ways to get a market share in the industry by showcasing your unique strength and making it attractive for your potential customers to notice you. Another thing to consider is how to source for start-up capital.
This is important as most major financial institutions will be unwilling to lend to a starter in the business. They would prefer to lend to already established and successful lice removal businesses. Therefore, you should make your business plan more enticing and convincing enough to the lending institutions.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Starting a business is a major life decision you must make by yourself. There are two major choices you could choose from and these are starting your business from the scratch or buying an existing one. Another option is to choose a franchise in the business you intend to venture into and buy into a proven system with a well-known brand name. Each path has its own merits and demerits.
Your lice removal business will benefit more from buying a successful franchise with a well-known brand than to starting from the scratch.
Franchise saves business owners some money by taking advantage of special deals with equipment vendors. It also saves money on advertising because most of these franchises are well-known so less marketing will be required. When taking into account these advantages, you could find yourself operating with a good 15% to 25% more profit than when you start from the scratch.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you plan to start your lice removal business, you would definitely face challenges. One of the challenges is the possibility of you not being able to afford professional and certified lice treatment staff. You should ensure you budget adequate funds for staff recruitment, incentives and training.
After getting certified professionals to manage your business, you might still receive complaints from your customers about dissatisfaction with the service received and discomfort during a treatment. Another threat you might face is that of possible lawsuits from customers who might have allergic reactions to the lice removal treatment given to them.
There is little you can do to eradicate these threats other than to be optimistic that you would be able to stay on top of whatever challenges that would arise during the process of carrying out the business.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
The legal entity one chooses influences how big the business can grow. In starting a lice removal business, most lice removal services structure their business and services for regional/community market, some for the national market, while others for the international market.
One can start out by choosing the sole proprietorship legal entity for a lice removal business, but the general partnership would have been the preferred Business model for a small – scale lice removal business when one is having a moderate start – up capital.
But vastly, the Limited Liability Company is preferred for known reasons. If you are thinking of growing your business and also attracting clients from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then practicing a general partnership is not ideal in achieving this, rather Limited Liability Companies, LLC should be practiced.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are more manageable to operate without the need for a board of directors, shareholder meetings, and other managerial formalities.
Things to look for before choosing from a legal entity for your lice removal services are; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and taxes.
After evaluating the various legal entities to use for your lice removal business, one will see that Limited Liability Company is unarguably the best to explore. One can start this business as limited liability company (LLC) and later convert it to a ‘C’ corporation in the near future or an ‘S’ corporation if your plan is to make it public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
If you want to choose a business name, you need to be creative because the names you choose for your business go a long way to create a perception about your business to your potential customers. It is usually the norm for business owners to follow the industry trend when naming their business.
If you want to start your lice removal business, here are some catchy names you can choose from:
- Hair sparkles
- Perfect de-lice service
- Kleen hair lice removal
- Spot free lice removal service
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In most countries of the world and also the United States, you would not be allowed to operate your business if you don’t acquire all the necessary insurance policy covers needed.
The insurance requirement may vary for each industry you want to operate in, and you would be required to create a budget to cover for insurance. You should also consult an insurance broker to help you choose the best insurance policies for your lice removal business.
Here are some basic insurance policies you should have before starting your own lice removal business in the United States of America;
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Payment protection insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
This business does not really need an intellectual property protection, though you might want to protect some of your important documents like your logo, banners, etc. To do these, go ahead and file for intellectual property protection with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
There are no formal training programs or professional certification needed to start a lice removal business. However, one can learn more about lice removal by going for training as a Lice Treatment Centre technician.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
One cannot run a business successfully in the United State of America without having the necessary documents. Here are some of the legal documents that are needed to run your lice removal business legally in the United States of America;
- Business License and Certification
- Business Plan
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Apostille (For those taking their business beyond the United States of America)
- Federal tax identification number
- VAT Registration
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
This business can be started from the scratch with little capital or more depending on how big you want it to grow and also how fast you want the business to grow.
Whichever way you choose, you would still need finance to kick start this business. Also, you need to write a business plan that will enable you to know the amount of money you would need to start this business. Here are some of the ways you can get startup capital for your lice removal business:
- Raising money from personal savings
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Raising money from the sale of properties and personal stocks
- Selling of shares
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Applying for business grants and funding from donor organizations and angel investors
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
This business can be started from home as you can start by rendering home service to your customers, while you make use of your apartment as a contact location. But this won’t be possible if you want to start-up your lice removal salon and you want to boost your brand awareness.
The lice removal service needs to be established close to where your target customers are. This is essentially not a kind of business that you can operate from home except you are planning to start up a home service lice removal business. This is because there is a lot of equipment you would need and also your facility needs to be spacious enough to make your customers feel comfortable.
A good lice removal salon should have a good road network and parking space because of the kind of customers it will attract as most of your customers might want to come with their cars when visiting.
When choosing a location for this business, ensure you identify areas with a good flow of traffic and a sufficient residential and commercial population. If you locate your lice removal facility in a partially visible location simply because it is cheap, then you should be ready to spend more in promoting the business and giving directions to your potential customers.
You also need to note that renting/leasing a business facility in a good location does not come cheap. Therefore, you should allocate enough funds for renting/leasing in your budget.
If you are not really good at choosing the right location for a lice removal business, then you should meet with a business consultant or a realtor who has sufficient knowledge about the city you intend to start your lice removal business in to help you make the right decision.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
The lice removal business is a highly sophisticated industry that encourages the use of modern technology to combat lice. To thrive in this business, one would need to acquire some latest technological equipment which would be useful for lice removal.
This should be included in your business plan so that you can allocate sufficient capital to cover the cost of this equipment. Apart from the technical aspect, the manpower is equally important. You would need to hire competent and qualified lice removal personnel.
The success of the business depends on the quality of employees at your disposal. You need a minimum of 5-7 competent staff depending on your finances to start this business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
To give your customers an excellent lice removal service, you need to start with getting all the necessary equipment and get the right product to effectively remove lice and its eggs so as to prevent re-occurrence. You would then need to hire competent and highly professional hands in lice removal to ensure a good customer service and lice removal experience.
You also need to ensure that you offer home delivery service for those that don’t have the chance to come to your salon. You should also offer a comprehensive package for your customers at a relatively low price compared to your competitors.
To ensure an excellent service delivery, you must put your customers at the heart of what you do. With that, you can render effective service to them.
16. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
Because of the increase in demand for effective lice removal services, there is a competition in the lice removal industry. Based on this, you will need to be creative and unique in bringing up new strategies to make your business stand out.
You need this to enable you to outsmart your competitors in the industry. One of the strategies you need to the device to stay competitive in the industry is to ensure that you provide your customers with excellent service while you also give them a 30 days guarantee of lice free hair.
After the 30 days offer, they can come and do a routine check on their hair to ascertain that the lice did not grow again. Also, make your prices relatively cheaper and affordable compared to your competitors. You would also have a competitive advantage when you make your lice treatment safe and non-toxic as most of your competitors use pesticides.
You should also look to offer your customers the best value for their money. People will always choose your lice removal salon or service when they are sure that you can offer them a better alternative as regards to quality and at an affordable price.
Another important strategy is to ensure that you have qualified and competent professionals in your lice removal team. This helps you to win the confidence of your customers in your lice removal service.
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
One thing that should be paramount in your mind when starting a business venture is how best to boost your brand awareness and communicate your corporate identity.
One of the secrets of success of larger corporations is their willingness to spend a huge sum of money yearly to boost their brand awareness. They ensure that their corporate identity is well communicated exactly the way they want the clients to perceive them to be.
If you intend to grow your lice removal business beyond your state/region to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to invest on advertisement and promotion of your business.
To promote your brand and corporate identity effectively, you should leverage on the print, electronic media and the social media. As a matter of fact, it is more efficient and cost effective to promote your business using the internet and social media. Below are some of the ways you could boost your brand awareness and promote your business;
- Place health related adverts on magazines and related newspapers
- Sponsor health or lice removal programs and advertisement on radio and TV stations
- Encourage the use of mouth to mouth publicity, most especially from satisfied clients
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and other platforms
- Place your banners and billboards in strategic positions all around your city
- Distribute fliers and handbills in the neighbourhood around your business location
- Advertise your business on your website and employ strategies to help you pull traffic to your site