How to start a beauty business

Have you always wanted to spend your days rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous or working alongside celebrities and appearing on television.

The chances are that with a young family your dream is starting to fade.  But fear not there are ways for a girl to have her fifteen minutes of fame and also earn a living whilst running a home based business.

You may have dreamt of helping a bride look ravishing on her big day or even work with photographers to design ‘looks’ for their models, in the world of the beautician all is possible. You just need to decide what works for you and your business.


For any person who has an interest in looking good it is possible to follow your dream and stake a claim in the beauty world. What sector of the beauty world you decide to enter is up to you, there are so many choices.

Let’s take a look at the options and how they would work for your business:



Yes, I’m afraid that for many of the occupations in the beauty business you will need to train. Sorry, I can hear you sighing and worrying about childcare but not all courses are full time or expensive. I looked into Adult Education courses in the county where I live (Kent) and found some interesting possibilities.

There are even more in other areas of the UK. Courses work in levels with level one being an introduction to the skills required in beauty therapy such as manicure, facials, pedicure, waxing and make up. The qualifications are with City and Guilds and would put you in good stead for either setting up your own business or working in a salon. With September fast approaching look at what courses are available in local education centres and colleges. There is also the possibility of crèche facilities and part time study to fit around family commitments but you need to ask about this before booking.

Private academies offer more detailed courses that can be completed in a short time. I found that it is possible to learn about body wrapping in half and day and the course costs just £125.00 at one academy. Training in complementary therapies is also popular and can be completed in ten weeks at the Elite Beauty Academy

Depending on your interest in beauty, within a short while you will have learned the knowledge to be able to set up your own business and need to think of the practicalities of offering beauty procedures to your customers. You would need a room to work in if you are offering treatments such as relaxation or reflexology. Alternatively, why not visit your customers instead?



Your interest may be in manicure and with the popularity of the elaborate nail designs your skills could be used by organising nail parties, or indeed make up parties where you either give treatments and make-overs or demonstrate techniques followed by booking more parties with the guests and selling products. The parties could be arranged around your family commitments – perhaps even booked during the day at women’s’ clubs whilst the children are at school?


Booking Space

It used to be the norm in the hairdressing business for a freelance stylist to be able to book a chair within a salon and pay a rental fee. Why not approach a local beauty business and offer your services or get together with other beauticians and hire a unit within a shopping centre to share the costs?



Weddings are really big business and don’t seem to have been affected by the recession. Every bride, as well as her mother and attendants wants to look good on the big day but how do you find them? Advertising in national wedding publications is not only costly but may not attract customers from the area you cover. Instead get to know wedding dress shops, hairdressers, florists and any other business in the wedding trade and leave your business cards. Hire a table at a wedding fair and display your wares. If you are a nail artist why not have a few friends come along so you can work on their nails and show off your skill? Similarly offer samples and discounts if customers book at the fair.


The Boring stuff

As a business woman you have to keep records of your earnings. Also make a habit of asking for receipts for any money you spend on your business – even if it is a book of stamps or a magazine to read up on the latest styles. The information is needed to complete your tax return at the end of the financial year in April. You will also need to register as self employed with HM Revenue and Customs and pay a self employed national insurance contributions.

If accounts and tax is a big mystery to you ask around for an accountant who will take on your accounting. It’s not a big job but needs to be done properly and shouldn’t cost more than £350 per year if your accounts are simple. Why sit sweating over your books when you could be earning more money with your business?


Promoting your business

Its fine to know how to apply make-up beautifully, be a whiz at fixing nails or producing the perfect tanned body but it won’t earn you money if no one knows about you!

Business cards and postcards advertising your business is a good way to start. Leave them with friends and talk to the mums at the school gates. The printed postcards look good in shop windows and cost just a few pence per week to place and are ideal if you offer parties and group events. There are some great suppliers online, such as Vistaprint at

A website is vital nowadays, but it needn’t cost the earth. You can easily build one yourself, with a domain name. Mr Site at  is idiot proof!  Take a look at what they can supply for less than fifty pounds a year.

Working within the beauty industry is not only enjoyable but satisfying, as you are able to expand the business not only to suit your family commitments but to stay abreast of the latest demands of the fashionistas and your customers.



I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

One thought on “How to start a beauty business

  1. Hi Isabel, thanks for your comment.

    Yes, I’ve heard of Forever Living. I’ve heard they’re one of the better network marketing companies, as I understand they have regular training and events for their network marketers.

    Wishing you all the very best.

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