You’ve always been interested in starting a wedding hair and makeup business. Maybe you’ve dabbled in doing your friend’s makeup for her wedding, or maybe you’re a hairstylist who is ready to work freelance. Either way, starting a wedding hair and makeup business can be complicated — there are so many steps! But if you take the right steps and prepare for all the potential pitfalls along the way, it’ll be worth it in the end. Here’s what I recommend:
Plan your finances.
You’re about to work hard, so you need to be smart about your finances. It’s time to do some math.
First, calculate your startup costs. This includes all the materials and tools needed for your business—including brushes, makeup kits, blow dryers and curling irons—as well as the additional expenses such as creating a website or paying for marketing materials like business cards. Then add in any other costs that may not be covered by the cost of materials (e.g., travel expenses for attending bridal shows).
Next, figure out how much it will cost per month to run your business. Like rent/mortgage payments if you’re working from home; utilities if running off an electrical source; other basic living expenses like groceries and gas money. Make sure these numbers are realistic. Don’t overcommit yourself financially by overestimating how much money is coming in each month. Leave room for growth when it comes time for expansion later on down the road!
Finally, make sure there’s enough left over after paying taxes on income generated through providing services—this tax should be calculated at 7% accordingly based on what percentage was earned annually during those 12 months!
Choose a business structure.
Having a business structure is an important part of starting your hair and makeup business. The most common structures are:
- Sole proprietorship
- Partnership (including general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships)
- Corporation (including C corporations and S corporations)
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
You may also choose to form an LLP or a combination of the above business structures if you so desire. Each structure has its own set of tax advantages and disadvantages that can be explored with the help of an accountant or lawyer.
Build your portfolio.
There are a few ways you can build your portfolio:
- Use social media. Post images on Instagram and your website, and write posts about how you did the hairstyle or makeup look.
- Use a professional photographer. Find someone who shoots in a fashion style that’s similar to what you’d like to do for clients. Ask them if they’d be willing to shoot some photos for you so you can use them in your portfolio. This is also an excellent way of networking with other creative types in the industry!
- Take part in styled sessions at local vendors or studios. This will give both parties ample opportunities to learn from one another while collaborating on projects together and expanding portfolios.
Define your brand
If you’re going to be successful, you need to know your yourself and your brand. You should find out what’s driving your passion and then figure out how that can be applied in the wedding world. The best way to do this is by asking yourself some hard questions.
If you’ve answered these questions correctly, then congratulations! You now understand your strengths, weaknesses and marketable skills better than most people ever will (and probably even better than many entrepreneurs). Use this to stand out!
Build a website.
- A website is a must-have for any hair and makeup business. It’s a place where you can feature your portfolio and highlight your work, but it also serves as a great platform to market yourself online.
- Think of your website as an online resume that showcases why you should be hired for a particular job. Use it to showcase your skills, experience, awards or recommendations from clients or influencers in the industry. You want prospective clients to feel confident hiring you based on what they see on your site—so make sure the content is current, attractive and authentic!
- Don’t go all out on a custom site at first. Instead, look into using templates from easy-to-use website platforms (like Showit).
Start networking to find clients and vendors.
- Network, network, network. You must network to get any kind of business or recognition as an artist. It’s important to build relationships with people and make them feel comfortable so they’ll want to hire you for their events.
- Be helpful—don’t just take from the community, give something back too!
- Listen first; don’t just talk about your services and prices. Be interested in what others have to say, ask questions that show you’re really listening. This will help you find out more about their needs and preferences so that when it comes time for them to hire a hair stylist/makeup artist they’ll think of yours!
Create contracts for your clients, vendors, and employees.
- Create contracts for your clients, vendors, and employees.
- Contracts are vital to building a successful business because they help to define the relationship between you and your clients, vendors, and employees.
- It’s always important to protect yourself AND your clients.
Getting insured is critical to the success of your business. Your insurance will protect you, your business, and your clients from accidents that could damage or destroy everything you have worked so hard for. If someone slips up at a wedding and breaks their wrist, the last thing you want is for that person to be unable to work for weeks after the wedding date—not only does this mean they won’t be able to pay rent during that time, but it also means they’ll miss out on opportunities while they recuperate.
By purchasing professional liability insurance coverage (PLI), which covers any accidents that might happen during services or events such as “bump into” injuries (think: if a bridesmaid’s dress gets caught on something) or even injuries like burns from a curling iron falling off its stand during an updo session.”
Starting a wedding hair & makeup business is doable!
I hope that this post has helped you get a better understanding of how to start a hair and makeup business. It’s not hard, but it does take some work and planning! As we discussed earlier, one of the most important things is finding your brand & niche so you can stand out in an industry full of competition. Once you do that, though—and start building up your portfolio—you’ll be on your way to running a successful business.
The most important part is staying committed to what makes your company unique. I believe in you and am rooting for you!