How to Start Your Home Business in Aesthetics

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Study successful skin care professionals before branching out on your own.
Study successful skin care professionals before branching out on your own. (Image: skin care image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

Estheticians are trained beauty and skincare specialists licensed to perform a variety of cosmetic treatments such as manicures, pedicures, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, facials and waxing. If you are passionate about skin care, starting a home business in aesthetics may prove lucrative. First, gain experience working in the industry and then establish a clientele. When you are ready to break out on your own, you’ll have a solid client base.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Training
  • License
  • Business license
  • Insurance
  • Furniture
  • Supplies
  • Beauty products
  • Marketing materials

Gain Training and Experience

Evaluate the local competition to determine how you can compete. Look for any services that aren’t being provided, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, manicures, pedicures, aromatherapy, speed waxing, brow shaping, brow tinting and make up application. Determine if these services are worth your time and money in acquiring the training and certifications needed to perform them. Also ensure that these procedures can be done from your home.

Learn the local zoning regulations on operating your business from home. You’ll also need to contact your homeowner’s association to ensure that you won’t be in violation of any homeowner rules. For example, your business's yard signage may be limited to a particular size. If you are restricted from having clients in your home, you’ll need to rent a room in a medical office or salon.

Contact your state’s cosmetology board to learn the licensing requirements, training requirements and the scope of the procedures that you can offer with each license. For example, in the state of Texas, holding a facialist specialty license allows you to perform facials, masks and general skin care, but does not include body wraps. Find reputable, state-approved schools in which to obtain your training.

Obtain the required training for the services you intend to provide. At a minimum, you’ll need at least 600 hours of training to become an esthetician. Laser treatments and microdermabrasion may require additional training. While in school, focus on getting a leg up on the competition and establishing your name among professionals in the area. Contact local plastic surgeons and dermatologists to inquire about internships or volunteer opportunities.

Gain employment working at a salon, clinic or day spa, once you graduate. Take note of operations, customer service, prices, services offered, repeat business, frequency of treatments and marketing avenues, such as where your employer advertises. Observe the sales team; self-employed professionals must also be salespeople. If you lack the skills or confidence needed for selling, find someone who doesn’t and study her methods.

Start Your Business

Establish your business. Create a name for your business. Then obtain a business permit and sales tax permit from your county clerk. Purchase a liability insurance policy.

Organize your home to convey professionalism. Establish your office and treatment room, preferably separate from the rest of the home. Consider implementing partitions to establish privacy and separate your business. Don’t overlook the rest of your home. Keep your entire home and front yard clean and orderly.

Purchase a table, linens, towels, pillows, furniture, beauty supplies, sterilizing equipment, accounting software, an answering service, business cards and fliers. Purchase skin care products for resale.

Advertise your business. Create eye-catching postcards and mail them to mid-scale or high-end neighborhoods. Purchase a website that details your services, hours of operation, rates and training. Attend local expos, church events, music events and art shows.

Visit the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center to learn what business expenses are tax deductible, your tax liability and your reporting schedule.

Tips & Warnings

  • Send customers regular reminders for follow-up treatments. Send birthday reminders as a way to garner repeat business.
  • Make sure all members of the household understand the importance of operating a professional business and know that they will need to avoid interrupting you while you are working.
  • Consider accepting PayPal, which allows your clients to make payments via a credit card, without you having to set up a merchant account.
  • Join your local chamber of commerce.

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