August 18, 2015
How to Make Money in the Beauty Industry
by Danielle Markley, Co-Owner of Hays Academy of Hair Design
I always aspired to one day be a hairdresser. As a young child I remember daydreaming about the fun and excitement that a career in the beauty industry would provide me. As I got older and closer to my chance at my dream career, I slowly started to become tainted with other people’s views on what my career should be. The first one came as I remember sitting in my high school counselor’s office and expressing my desire to attend cosmetology school. It was quickly met with, “You need to attend college, you are too smart for beauty school.” Soon after, my career path was met with comments such as “There is no money to be made in it”, “You have to live in a big city to make any money”, “Its so hard on your body”, and on and on.
Therefore I gave up, and chose the safe route….I enrolled at a university. However after two years I still found myself daydreaming of beauty school. One day while visiting with my mom on the phone she asked me, “Did you buy your Powerball lottery ticket…the winnings were over 80 million dollars.” I quickly responded with “Absolutely!” She then asked, “So what would you do with the money if you won?” And without a second thought I said, “I would go to beauty school!” And, just as quickly, she stated, “Why aren’t you doing that now? Why would you have to win the lottery to make this dream possible?” I pondered that question for a while and finally came to the conclusion that my happiness didn’t depend on how much money I made, however, my happiness came from doing what I LOVE!! Therefore, the next day I went and enrolled in beauty school!
Since that day I have never worked a day in my life! It hasn’t been easy but its been fun and rewarding. As a teacher and owner of a cosmetology school now, I often see and hear many stylists leaving our industry because they can’t make it financially. It makes me sad to know that someone can’t do what they love because they can’t make money. So I came up with a list of things I believe are some of the reasons people aren’t making money in this industry:
In this industry it takes TIME to build a clientele. So many stylists give up too quick! I tell students that although our school is only a year long it will take another 1-3 years to build a clientele to be able to make money! (same time as a 4 year degree) So plan for that and don’t think you will be the “exception” to this rule because you are a rock star in beauty school.
2. BE THERE
In order to make money in this industry you have to be AVAILABLE! Some stylists get in to this industry because of the flexibility in hours. However in the first 3-5 years you have to be willing to work the hours that are prime hours for your guests….this is evenings and weekends! If you get in to this industry and want to start off with 10 am-5 pm work hours, Monday through Friday, and you want to make money….this may NOT be the right industry for you.
3. LOOK THE PART
This is the FASHION INDUSTRY! This means you have to look the part….EVERYDAY! You are selling a service which is amazing haircuts, colors, makeup, waxing, nails, etc. therefore you have to advertise what you are selling. If you showcase an unkept look/style you aren’t going to have guests knocking down your door to come visit with you! I’ll use this analogy: Would you want to invest your money with a financial advisor if they are bankrupt? Would you want to go to a dentist that had rotten teeth? The same holds true for potential guests of yours, so represent this industry in the way you do your hair, makeup, and clothing attire!
4. BE A SPONGE/NOT A KIA (know it all)
It doesn’t matter if you attend the greatest cosmetology school in the world (of course I think Hays Academy of Hair Design is the best) or have been in the industry for 45 years, you don’t know everything! Therefore when going in to a new salon for employment, be a sponge. The worse thing you can say at a new job when someone is trying to help you out is, “I know!” or “I didn’t learn it that way”. Every salon has their own culture and ways of doing things, so have an open mind and a great attitude to learn new ways and techniques! There will always be someone out there who is better than you, so continue to hone your skills and keep getting educated because this industry is changing everyday.
5. FIND THE RIGHT SALON FOR YOU and STAY
This is the tricky one. Once you pick a salon you want to work at and you are hired; STAY THERE! Nothing can hinder your success more than salon jumping. This is why it’s so important to do your research before you choose your place of employment. Research has proven every time you change your place of employment, no matter how good you are, you will lose on average of 50-75% of your clientele. Remember the old adage, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.”
There are many more ways you can increase your revenue in the salon however if you start implementing all five I guarantee you will see a pay raise! Best of luck!