Your Lash Artist Business Checklist

Close up view of professional busy African American business woman manager executive working on laptop computer writing notes in notebook

From the American Lash Association Magazine – First Edition

Look, we’re always gonna keep things real with you lash bestie. We can’t possibly put every single thing you need to do to run your business into a short checklist. However, transforming your passion into a thriving business is an adventure that begins with a solid foundation. The following checklist is going to help you begin building that foundation. 

If you want to dive deeper into the world of a lashpreneur, sign-into your ALA web portal and get access to all of your business perks and resources, including complimentary business webinars from marketing and tax pros!

Step 1: Confirm Your Certs

Certification highlights professionalism and legal compliance. Research region-specific requirements and fees to establish your lash career. (Don’t forget you’ve got a search tool for this in your ALA online portal!) 

Step 2: Define Your Brand & Trademark It

Choosing a striking business name is your opening move. Safeguard it with a trademark, ensuring your distinct identity. Check name availability through your state’s authority, and  elevate your brand with a meaningful logo reflecting your values and vision.

ALA Tip: Use Canva.com for graphic design. You can pay for a logo to be designed, but jumping onto the Canva bandwagon will help keep costs lean when you’re first starting out. 

Step 3: Structure Your Business

Determine your business’s legal framework, a crucial choice affecting ownership, liability, and governance. Opt from options like sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, each with unique benefits. For lash entrepreneurs, sole proprietorship or LLC often proves most fitting due to liability and tax considerations.

Starting the process of trademarking a brand on a laptop with a notepad

Step 4: Open Your Business Banking Account

Establishing a distinct business bank account is wise for organizational and legal reasons. Separating personal and business finances maintains financial clarity. Additionally, explore the benefits of a business credit card. Most banks have deals on new business credit! 

Step 5: Conduct Target Audience Analysis

Understanding your potential clientele is pivotal. Dig into the demographics and traits of your ideal client so you can customize your marketing directly to them! This approach ensures your offerings align with customer preferences and needs, fostering engagement. 

Step 6: Do a Competitor Review

For eyelash extensions, understanding the competition is key, and Google search, Yelp, and local Facebook groups are your friend. Thoroughly explore local businesses in your realm to grasp services, tactics, and strengths. If you see other successful artists doing something in your area, reverse engineer what they did for yourself!

Phone open to show apps including Yelp, Google, and Facebook to perform competitor analysis

Step 7: Make a Budget & Set Up Your Taxes

Creating a budget is key when starting your lash business (and will help you build a kickass business plan). Start by factoring in salon space, retail, equipment, and supplies. The numbers might be scary at first, but once you know your numbers you’ll be empowered to THRIVE. 

Then make sure you include something like QuickBooks (we’ve got a discount on that for you too) so you can keep track of your expenses like A BOSS! And when tax season comes around, make sure you seek a professional CPA to get things done right. 

Step 8: Decide on Your Optimal Location

Choosing the right location for your lash business is crucial. Decide between a rented space, a home studio, or a storefront. Mobile services are also viable in certain areas. Don’t do what the online guru says, focus on what’s best for YOUR local area. 

Step 9: Protect Yourself with Business Insurance

Ensure the security of your lash business investments by acquiring comprehensive business insurance. We’ve got a resource for liability insurance in your member’s portal, but you can also insure property. 

Step 10: Invest in the Physical Essentials

Launching your lash business necessitates strategic equipment selection. Beyond basic office supplies, focus on these essentials for effective operation: optimal lighting, comfortable seating (like a reclining chair or lash bed), hygienic linens or sanitary covers, organizational shelves or storage containers, a mobile lash cart for easy access, sterilization tools, and an ergonomic lash chair so you don’t kill your back!

Eyelash extension procedure in lash salon with client

Step 11: Define Your Services & Choose Your Pricing

Define your lash business’s offerings and prices thoughtfully. Analyze local competitors to set your pricing strategy—match or promote. Create a clear service menu for easy client reference during lash service selection.

Step 12: Create a Cohesive Digital Footprint

In the modern business world, an online presence is vital for credibility and trust. Build out a simple website, choose a professional email, and show up consistently on social media to boost your brand visibility. Attend one of our free marketing webinars to learn how to improve your digital footprint and get clients flowing to you! 

Step 13: Streamline Your Operations

Efficiently managing appointments and payments is essential. Embrace modern booking systems to replace manual methods and ensure you get paid even when your clients cancel. Utilize point-of-sale software for versatile payment options and accurate sales tracking.

ALA Tip: Use your ALA Membership Discount for Beauty Books, the only business management software built specifically for lash artists, by a lash artist. 

Finally, always keep learning! Listen to those business podcasts, and do a course every year to keep your skills on point. If you feel lost on where to start, join us in the ALA Community Forum to get feedback.