David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on April 24, 2021 Updated on November 28, 2023
$16,550 - $26,100
$100,000 - $310,000 p.a.
Time to build
1 - 3 months
$50,000 - $90,000 p.a.
The beauty industry is big business, and it’s only getting bigger. A good way to ride the wave is by launching a niche company, and an eyelash extension business is one of the most promising options. You can provide many services in the beauty industry, but lash extensions, in particular, are growing in popularity.
If you like helping people look more appealing and feel more confident, and don’t mind getting up close and personal, then starting a lash bar might be a great fit!
Do you have what it takes to be a part of the lash industry? This step-by-step guide will walk you through all the steps of getting your lash business off the ground.
Let’s get started!
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
How much does it cost to start an eyelash extension business?
Starting a lash extension salon is likely to cost between $30,000 and $60,000, with an average of around $40,000.
Let’s look at an example on the lower end, excluding the cost of your salon:
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$5,000 - $7,000
Tools and furniture
$2,000 - $3,000
Lash artists per month
$8,000 - $12,000
$1,000 - $3,000
$16,550 - $26,100
How much can you earn from an eyelash extension business?
Industry advisor Lash Affair estimates that the average eyelash extension costs $80 to $120, depending on experience and products involved. So, if you run your own shop and are able to do four two-hour lash extensions at $100 each for five days a week in your first year or two, you’ll make more than $100,000 in annual revenue. Assuming you’re able to achieve a 50% profit margin, that would leave you with about $50,000 in profit.
Keep in mind, this is with you working by yourself, operating the whole salon. As your brand gains recognition, you could hire two lash artists, do a total of 10 lash extensions per day, and extend operating hours to six days a week. But your profit margin is reduced to around 30%. With annual revenue of more than $310,000, you’d make a tidy profit of more than $90,000.
What barriers to entry are there?
Knowing the potential barriers can help you avoid or overcome them when they show up.
Here are some barriers in the eyelash extension industry:
Professional training required
Likely competition in your area
You may need a cosmetology or esthetician’s license
Finding a good location can be tough
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you’ve seen what the lash industry involves, it’s time to start thinking about your business.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Checking out your competition is an integral part of starting a business. It’s important to examine your competitors’ prices, most popular services and possible weaknesses. Once you know what your competitors have to offer, you can start building a plan to be better than them.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as natural eyelash extensions. This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products and services
The most common materials used for eyelash extensions are silk, mink, and synthetic. Besides providing silk or mink lash extensions and synthetic lash extensions, you could also offer volume lash extensions.
How much should you charge for eyelash extensions?
Your first option is to base it on your competitions’ prices. If you do it this way, you’ll be on the right path. Another way is to consider the average price of $80-$120 above and choose a price point that gives you a decent profit.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Having a target market will help you connect with and gain new clients. For example, if you want to open a luxury lash bar, your target market should include people with higher disposable incomes. To identify your target market, you’ll need to think about who you want to regularly book appointments with you.
Here are some questions to help:
In what age range will your target customers be?
Where does your target market live, work and visit?
Do your target clients prefer value or luxury?
Where? Choose the location for your eyelash business
Be sure to choose your target market before you decide on a business location. If you open your store in the wrong spot for your target market, you’ll have difficulty reaching success—even if your services are excellent.
For example, say you’re targeting high-end customers. You’ll need to open your store in a wealthy suburb, urban business district, or a high-end shopping center. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Lash Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “lash” or “beauty”, boosts SEO
Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Emma’s Lash Studio” over “Emma’s Color Lash Studio” or “Emma’s Brow Tints Studio”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create an Eyelash Extension Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: Outline your eyelash extension business’s aim to provide high-quality, customized eyelash extension services, emphasizing style, safety, and customer satisfaction.
Business Overview: Describe your business’s focus on offering professional eyelash extension services, including various styles, lengths, and materials to suit individual client needs.
Product and Services: Detail the range of eyelash extension options offered, such as classic, volume, and hybrid lashes, along with maintenance and refill services.
Market Analysis: Assess the demand for eyelash extensions, identifying target demographics such as beauty enthusiasts, bridal clients, or those seeking everyday lash enhancements.
Competitive Analysis: Compare your services to other local beauty salons or eyelash specialists, focusing on your unique selling points like technique quality, lash variety, or customer experience.
Sales and Marketing: Outline your strategy for attracting clients, using tactics like social media promotion, partnerships with local beauty businesses, or offering introductory specials.
Management Team: Highlight the experience and qualifications of your team, especially in areas like cosmetology, aesthetic services, and business management.
Operations Plan: Describe the operational process, including client consultations, application procedures, and follow-up care.
Financial Plan: Provide an overview of financial aspects, covering startup costs, pricing strategy, and expected revenue.
Appendix: Include supplementary documents such as certifications, client testimonials, or detailed service descriptions to support your business plan.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to eyelash extensions.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your eyelash extension business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)– Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just needs to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your eyelash extension business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of any of the above insurance types.
Step 11: Prepare to Launch
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You may want to use software specifically for salon businesses such as SalonBiz, Rosy, or schedul, to manage your online bookings, appointment calendar, inventory of products, and payments.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
Starting an eyelash extension business is an exciting venture, and to ensure your success in this competitive industry, it’s essential to implement effective marketing strategies. Here are some practical tips to boost your business.
Social Media Engagement: Leverage platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest to showcase your eyelash extension work, share client testimonials, and engage with your audience through contests or challenges to increase visibility and attract potential clients.
Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with local beauty influencers or bloggers to promote your eyelash extension services, allowing you to tap into their established audience and gain credibility within your target market.
Referral Programs: Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by implementing a referral program, offering discounts or free services to existing clients who refer new customers to your eyelash extension business.
Holiday and Special Occasion Promotions: Create seasonal promotions or packages tied to holidays, weddings, or other special occasions to entice clients looking for unique and timely beauty treatments.
Educational Workshops: Host workshops or online tutorials to educate potential clients about the benefits and maintenance of eyelash extensions, positioning yourself as an expert in the field and building trust among your audience.
Localized Advertising: Invest in targeted advertising within your local community through flyers, posters, and partnerships with nearby businesses, maximizing exposure to potential clients in your immediate area.
Client Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs that reward clients for repeat business, encouraging them to stick with your eyelash extension services over time.
Professional Photography: Invest in high-quality photography of your eyelash extension work to create a visually appealing portfolio for your marketing materials, including business cards, brochures, and social media posts.
Online Booking and Scheduling: Facilitate easy appointment scheduling through online platforms, ensuring convenience for clients and reducing barriers to accessing your eyelash extension services.
Community Engagement: Participate in local events, sponsor community activities, or collaborate with other small businesses to foster a strong community presence and build relationships that can lead to client referrals.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your eyelash extension business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your eyelash extension salon could be:
Additional services like eyebrow trimming
The fastest lash extensions in the area
Top-of-the-line products and materials
The most advanced lash artists
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running an eyelash extension salon, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in lash extensions for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in eyelash extensions. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. Online businesses might also consider affiliate marketing as a way to build relationships with potential partners and boost business.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out on your own, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an eyelash salon would include:
Lash Artists — creating and applying designs and styles
General Manager — scheduling, staffing, maintenance, accounting
Marketing Lead — social media, SEO optimization
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Run an Eyelash Extension Business – Start Making Money!
Having eyelash extensions may seem frivolous. But for some, it’s a way to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. So, you would be helping a lot of people feel good with themselves with your lash extension business. It’s a fast-growing market and there’s still time to get in on the action.
You can also provide related services to add to your income. With proper research and adequate preparation, you could well be on your way to success. Now that you know the steps to start a business, you’re ready to launch your eyelash salon and achieve your vision!
Eyelash Extension Business FAQs
Can you make good money doing eyelash extensions?
Based on the average price per set of $81 – $120.
If you work 48 weeks per year, 5 days per week, and see 4 clients per day, you’ll see 960 clients per year. If you multiply this by the prices above, you’ll end up with potential revenue between $77,760 – $115,200.
How long does it take to become a certified lash tech?
Eyelash extension training courses generally last between 1 – 3 days. You’ll be taught about sanitation and the application of the lashes themselves.
If your course doesn’t grant you an Esthetician or Cosmetology license you’ll need to apply for one or complete further education.
Is being a lash tech hard?
Being a lash artist certainly isn’t the easiest job in the world. You’ll need a steady hand, good eyesight, patience, and be able to focus for long stretches. But like any rewarding job, the effort is worth it in the long run. Once you’ve mastered the craft, you’ll forget all about your difficulties in the beginning!
How profitable are eyelash extensions?
Eyelash extensions can be a profitable service due to high demand, but profitability can vary depending on factors like location, pricing, and operating costs.
How do I market my eyelash extension business?
Market your eyelash extension business by establishing an online presence through a professional website and social media accounts. Offer promotions, referral incentives, and collaborate with complementary businesses. Showcase your expertise through educational content and tutorials.
Is eyelash extension a good side hustle?
Eyelash extensions can be a good side hustle, providing flexibility and additional income. Consider training, investment in quality products, and ensuring you have the necessary skills and time to deliver a high-quality service.
Can I do lash extensions at home?
It is possible to do lash extensions at home, but compliance with local regulations and obtaining necessary licenses or permits is crucial. Invest in proper training, maintain a professional and sanitized environment, and prioritize hygiene for client safety and satisfaction.
How to Start an Eyelash Extension Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Lash Business Name
Create an Eyelash Extension Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Licenses/Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Run an Eyelash Extension Business - Start Making Money!
Eyelash Extension Business FAQs
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