How to Start a Waxing Business
Every esthetician prefers certain aspects of their job over others. Some prefer doing facials or chemical peels, but you enjoy waxing the most. You could start a waxing business.
So why not start your own waxing business?
You already know not everyone has these skills. Even some fully licensed estheticians lack the precision and focus it takes to tackle the micro-level labor of waxing.
Clients are understandably nervous about letting someone handle such delicate work. If you have the talent and a little business savvy, starting your own waxing salon is your next career step.
This guide will walk you through the process of starting and growing a freelance waxing business. Follow these steps, and a lucrative, freelance waxing career is in your future!
1. Map Out Your Plan in Detail
It all starts with a dream, but it only becomes a reality when you combine your vision with a plan.
Before you invest any resources into your waxing business, take some time to develop a clear business plan. This is essential if you plan on taking out a small business loan, and it will be the roadmap you follow as you build your dream.
Building Your Business Plan
A business plan outlines important information about your business, such as:
- Business model
- Marketing plan
- Projected revenue
Don’t be surprised if you don’t know all the answers right away. Most of them will reveal themselves as you think about your business strategy.
Mobile or Brick-and-Mortar?
The first question to ask is whether you want a mobile waxing business, a brick-and-mortar operation, or a hybrid of both.
Wherever you operate, you’ll need a few basics:
- Equipment for the types of services you offer
- Waxing products and body hair removal supplies (spatulas, waxing strips, soft wax, hard wax, lotions, and other skincare items)
- Table and chairs
A mobile business doesn’t leave you with a lot of room to expand, so planning the layout is easy. A brick-and-mortar design, on the other hand, should be designed with the idea of growth in mind.
If you’re planning on expanding your business, consider how you can design the setup to bring in independent contractors in the future.
Once you plan your layout, you can start budgeting for overhead and expenses.
Account for all the costs involved in running your business, like:
Identify Your Target Market
The importance of understanding your target market can’t be overstated. This knowledge will guide you as you make important decisions about your business.
Waxing services are typically marketed to adults in their 20s and 30s. The market is predominantly female, although hair removal services are becoming more popular with males.
Let your market research guide your business, and aim to provide services to all genders. You’ll have a more profitable business if you can widen your customer pool without making major changes.
Planning Your Services
Using your target market to guide you, you can decide which services you’ll offer.
Do your target customers want basic facial waxing services, or are they also interested in the chest, back, and Brazilian wax options?
What do your competitors offer? How can you make your business stand out?
Most importantly, can you, as a new business owner, afford the overhead that comes with adding additional services to your menu?
In the hair removal industry, a company’s overhead reflects the services they offer. High-quality products aren’t cheap, but salon owners don’t skimp on their products.
Related: How to Start a Freelance Business
2. Handle the Legal Stuff
The fun part was in step one, but now it’s time to tackle the less-exciting side of the business: meeting your legal requirements.
First, you’ll need to register with the Internal Revenue Service to prove you’re a legitimate business.
Without an official designation, you won’t be able to get business insurance, permits, or licenses.
Choosing a Business Structure
As an independent contractor, you’ll likely register your business as a sole proprietorship or LLC.
Sole proprietors are individual business owners. The designation means you don’t and won’t have a partner, and your personal and business bank accounts are not connected. If you decide to leave the business or you die, the salon is no longer legally operable.
An LLC is a limited liability corporation. This gives you the opportunity to bring in partners and stakeholders but keeps everyone’s personal assets separate from the waxing salon business. If one person leaves, the company can stay in operation.
To complete the forms for your business entity, head to the self-employed section of the IRS website.
Obtaining an EIN
While you’re on the IRS website, go ahead and apply for an employee identification number (EIN). Make sure your business name matches the name you registered with the IRS.
An EIN allows you to hire employees and pay taxes. It also allows you to obtain business licenses.
(Your state and municipality determine which permits and business licenses you need, but you’ll likely need an EIN to obtain them.)
You can use your social security number in place of an EIN, but having this number gives you the option of hiring employees in the future.
3. Focus on Your Finances
You have the legal authority to start your own waxing business. Now it’s time to get real with your finances.
Starting with your budget, make a list of the expenses you’ll need to cover to get your business up and running. Then, make another list of all the monthly expenses you’ll have moving forward.
For instance, you’ll need software to manage your appointments and billing schedule. The right software will streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and boost profitability.
Check out some of the programs designed for beauty salons and body waxing services and add this cost to your budget.
How will you pay for those costs?
Taking out a loan or finding a grant is one option, and the Small Business Administration has plenty of advice for new entrepreneurs.
Grants for new business owners don’t have to be paid back, but there are stipulations on how you must spend the money. Even with restrictions, grants can save you from borrowing thousands of dollars.
The application process is time-consuming, but if you win any of them, it’s time well spent.
Whether you take out a loan or apply for grants, you will need a business plan. The application process can take months for both loans and grants, so start early.
As you’re starting out, it makes financial sense to stick with a few popular offerings so you don’t have to pay for a lot of products. Think about the multiple services you can do with the same waxing supplies, and offer all of them at different rates.
Speaking of rates, this part is vital:
Don’t pick a random price for services and go with it.
Instead, come up with strategic prices based on your desired profit and the going rate in your area.
You might be tempted to undersell your competitors, yet this is a quick way to go out of business.
4. Begin Marketing
Marketing is the part where you take your amazing business ideas and share them with your potential clients. Done right, it’s worth every penny you invest in advertising your body waxing biz.
Advertising can seem overwhelming if this is your first time advertising. Start with one method that you’re comfortable with, such as a specific social media platform.
Evaluate your competitors, and design the branding for your company.
What do you want your business’s logo and image to look like?
What colors do you want to be associated with your waxing salon?
Do you know what your competitors are using, and is it working for them?
Start building your online presence slowly. It’s better to stick with one platform and do it well than to spread yourself so thin you lose consistency.
You might want to consider hiring a marketing agency. Professional marketers use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to increase the visibility of your website and social media profiles.
Marketing agencies aren’t cheap, but their services pay for themselves over time.
5. Fill in the Gaps Before Opening
Things may start to get a little hectic once you start taking appointments. Before you open your salon doors, make sure you tie up any loose ends.
Here are some questions to ask as you prepare for opening day:
- Do you have all the essential insurance policies for your business (at least general liability and equipment coverage)?
- Does your CRM have all your templates, updated services, and an accurate pricing structure?
- Is your business checking account funded and ready to accept payments?
- Have you updated your personal and work schedules to prevent overbooking yourself?
- Do you have a release of liability template to give to customers before their service? (Liability waivers, or informed consent agreements, protect your salon from liability if there are any issues during the waxing. These can be created using the legal forms on Selfgood’s platform.)
- Have you shopped around to make sure you’re getting the best rates from your suppliers? (Use your Alliance of Gig Workers membership to access discounted prices on hundreds of products.)
Take a visual tour around your booth or room, acting like you’re a client.
Is everything conveniently placed for the client’s ease of access?
If you’re renting space, is there someone that greets them, or a sign that tells them what to do when they arrive?
What do they see when they’re laying on the table? Do you need a heater to keep them warm? What’s the checkout process?
Then, do this one more time, acting like the waxer instead of the customer. Is everything stored where you can easily find and reach it?
How do you greet the client? What are your procedures during the service? How do you end your session?
Your business plan is on point. Your marketing strategies are solid. You’ve joined Selfgood to get access to benefits designed for freelancers.
The field of esthetics is ready for your new business, and now you’re ready to join in and start a profitable career as a waxing entrepreneur.
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