Starting your own business can appear daunting, especially in such a competitive market as the beauty sector. But the laser hair removal industry is rapidly expanding, with the European market worth USD 171.21 million in 2022, rising to an estimated 457 million in 2027, giving every budding business owner plenty of opportunities to make it big.
If you have great people skills, are motivated and want a rewarding career, then this exciting high-tech industry could be perfect. But there are several things to think about before you start filling up your appointment book.
What qualifications do you need?
In order to practice any beauty treatment, a minimum of an NVQ level 3 (or equivalent) is required by law, as is an up-to-date listing on the Healthcare Register. You should also have training in using your laser machine, and it’s advised that you take a first aid and CPR course.
Do you need insurance?
Therapists who wish to carry out laser hair removal need insurance – public liability and professional indemnity, and if you plan to employ staff, you’ll also need employer liability insurance. Although at first glance, the insurance market looks like a minefield, specialist companies, such as Browne Jacobson, deliver reliable, first-class advice, allowing you to plan your business with confidence.
Local council licence
It’s necessary to check with your local council regarding their particular licencing laws. If you are required to be licenced, they will need to check your premises for any health and safety rule violations, before granting a certificate. As you plan to carry out laser treatments, you should also register with the Care Quality Commission.
Having the perfect location for your salon can make or break the business. But it’s more than just picking the part of town that looks nice, or has trendy boutiques.
Of course, those things matter, but it’s important to consider:
- Affordable rent – as commercial rent can vary from town to town and even at differing ends of the same street, it pays to shop around
- Accessibility – can clients reach your salon on foot, and by public transport, but more importantly is there parking, preferably free, nearby
- Visibility – is your salon easily noticed by passing trade
- Street lighting – if the area’s well lit, it makes clients feel safer, especially with winter afternoon appointments
- Competitors – how many other salons are nearby, and what can you offer that they don’t. Book an appointment and go undercover
- Clientele – understand the type of clients you wish to appeal to. If you’re after the cool fashion set, the seek out the coffee culture part of town, but if you want your regular footfall to consist of the older sector, a quieter area might be better
Bigger isn’t always better
Think about some of the salons you’ve visited. As a client which do you prefer – small and cosy, or large and airy? The latter is obviously more expensive to rent, and in the winter, will cost more to heat, while a smaller space limits the number of clients you can treat at once, and the treatments you can offer.
Consider if you plan to employ other people from the start, as they will require more space to accomodate extra workbenches, chairs and equipment. A larger space will also allow you to rent out rooms or chairs to freelance therapists, increasing your income without adding to your workload.
Think, too, about the types of laser machines you want. The Nu TriLaze Plus, for example, takes up very little floor space and is readily mobile. Although the initial cost may appear high, finance is available, and it will pay for itself in around eight weeks based on four average priced treatments a day. Plus you’ll receive free training, which ticks one of the qualification boxes.
Choosing your business name and brand identity
Here’s where it gets fun – picking the name for your new business, and details such as the colour scheme and uniform designs.
Think very carefully about a name. It should be:
- Easy to read and pronounce
- Work well as a website name
When decorating and choosing the furnishings for your salon, pick a colour scheme that works. Colours can enhance certain moods or feelings within us, and a lot of research has been carried out on this effect. Colours such as blues and violets can encourage feelings of relaxation, whereas yellows are said to make people feel happy and greens offer vitality and health.
So it pays to choose your colours wisely, extending your scheme to include business cards, website design and even bags for people who wish to buy beauty products from your salon. If you want a professional look, consider staff uniforms following the same scheme.
It may seem like there’s a lot to think about before you bring your grand plan to fruition, and it’s true – there is. But there’s also lots of help from organisations designed to think of everything for you. They allow you to present your vision and work with your own dedicated advisor, who provides a personalised support programme. They concentrate on their area of expertise, while you focus on yours, coming together to build a successful salon.