Are you passionate about the hair and beauty industry and considering starting your own business? The UK market offers a multitude of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in this thriving sector. Hair and beauty businesses are unlike other industries, as there is no overarching monopoly hair and beauty businesses are largely independent. Showing that you can start your own hair and beauty business and thrive!
To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the top 10 things you need to establish a successful hair and beauty business in the UK. Whether you plan to offer hair services, beauty treatments, or both, these essentials will set you on the right path to success.
Our top tips for starting a Hair and Beauty Business
1. A Solid Business Plan
Before diving into any business venture, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive business plan. This plan should outline your goals, target market, competitive analysis, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
A well-structured business plan will guide you throughout your journey and attract potential investors and lenders. As your business progresses it will also be a nice document to look back on and see how far you’ve come!
2. Proper Licensing and Permits
Operating a hair and beauty business in the UK requires obtaining the necessary licences and permits. Familiarise yourself with the regulations set by the local council and ensure you comply with health and safety guidelines. This will help you maintain a professional and legally compliant operation.
If you haven’t already, you may want to do a hair and beauty course, which will teach you about all the regulations and safe practices. You do not have to have any qualifications to become a hairdresser or beauty technician but it can help keep your insurance costs down and look better for clients if you are qualified.
If you want to do treatments like hair colouring and eyelash extensions you will have to be tied to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations. Allergy tests must also be carried out on clients before proceeding with these kinds of treatments.
3. Type of Business
When starting a hair and beauty business, choosing the right legal structure is crucial. Setting up as a sole trader is more straightforward but you will be personally responsible for any debts.
Opting to set up as a limited company provides several advantages that can positively impact your entrepreneurial journey. By registering as a limited company, you and your business become separate legal entities, meaning in the worst-case scenario, if your business goes under, your personal assets are protected.
Other benefits of becoming a limited company are; enhanced professional image and credibility, tax efficiency, easier access to funding and investment opportunities and you’ll be built for growth.
To understand more about forming a limited company versus becoming a sole trader read our blog here.
4. A Suitable Location
Choosing the right location is vital for a hair and beauty business. Consider factors such as parking spaces, or access to public transport. Is there room for growth, is it close to your target audience or can they access it and is it visible?
You can research the local competition and identify areas with high footfall to maximise your chances of attracting customers. Or conduct some customer research, how far will your clients be willing to travel, do they prefer in the centre of your town/city or outside?
5. Skilled and Qualified Staff
Your staff is the backbone of your hair and beauty business. Hire skilled professionals who are passionate about their craft and have the necessary qualifications. A talented and friendly team will enhance your brand reputation and create a positive customer experience.
Before hiring staff you’ll need to get to grips with PAYE and have your recruitment process locked down.
6. Well-Defined Branding and Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Differentiate your hair and beauty business by establishing a strong brand identity and a unique selling proposition (USP). Choose a name which captures your brand identity well, are you an organic salon? Go for nature-themed names, are you more fashion focused? Find inspiration in Vogue, Cosmo or designer brands.
Clearly define what sets your business apart from the competition and highlight these strengths in your marketing campaigns. I.e. If you go down the organic route, maybe you can advertise that all your products are palm oil free or you choose to use sustainable materials over disposable ones.
A strong brand identity, name and USP will help you attract your target audience and build a loyal customer base.
7. A Strong Marketing Plan.
In today’s digital age, having a solid online presence is essential for any small business. Create a user-friendly website that showcases your services, pricing, and contact information.
Utilise social media platforms to engage with your audience, share before-and-after transformations and promote special offers. Hair and beauty is a visual field so really make sure you’re sharing all of your incredible work.
Develop effective marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and attract customers. Consider online advertising, local partnerships, referral programs, and loyalty rewards to entice new clients and retain existing ones.
Remember to optimise your marketing efforts for local searches by incorporating relevant keywords and location-specific content. Geotag all of your social media posts and make sure you have your location in an accessible place on your digital platforms and printed marketing.
8. Get digital with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Point of Sale (POS) system
Implement a client relationship management (CRM) system to streamline your customer interactions and enhance the overall experience. A CRM system allows you to maintain detailed client profiles, track appointments, send automated reminders, and offer personalised recommendations, ultimately fostering customer loyalty.
You’re almost all set. But before you begin, it is vital that you get insured. Insurance is there to protect you, your client and your staff so make sure you’re taking the best. Secondly, the law says you must have Employers’ Liability insurance as soon as you employ anyone.
Many insurers are set up to help hair and beauty businesses and can provide excellent cover so why not set up with one specialised such as Superscript?
10. Continuous Learning and Adaptability
The hair and beauty industry is constantly evolving, with new trends, techniques, and technologies emerging regularly. Stay ahead of the curve by investing in continuous learning opportunities for yourself and your staff. Attend industry conferences, workshops, and training sessions to enhance your skills and offer innovative services to your clients.
Starting a hair and beauty business in the UK can be a fulfilling and profitable venture. By following these top 10 essentials, you can establish a strong foundation for your business and increase your chances of success.
Remember to adapt to changing trends and customer preferences, and always prioritise delivering excellent service to your clients. With dedication, passion, and attention to detail, your hair and beauty business can thrive in the competitive UK market.