How to Start Your Esthetics Business

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Business opportunities abound with the increased focus on skin care. Once you've found your business niche in the esthetics field, a solid business plan is your first step to success. You may find yourself more equipped to proceed on this path after gaining some experience working in a salon that provides a number of services for different skin types. When you are finally ready to launch your own business, follow some basic steps.

Check cosmetology board rules in your state to ensure that you have the proper licensing to practice esthetics and to operate an esthetics business.

Determine the focus of your esthetics business. Determine whether you'll specialize only in facial, waxing or body treatments or if you want to provide a variety of services.

Establish where you'll get clients. Consider establishing a referral system with surrounding salons or partner with another type of salon professional. If you decide to work with a partner, choose one who offers complementary instead of competing services.

Find a location. The website Salon Builder says “choosing a location will be one of the most important elements that will lead you down the path toward building a successful business.” Consider a single room inside of a hair salon if you plan to work alone. If you plan to hire other skin care professionals, rent a space that has several rooms. Look for a location that gets a lot of foot traffic and that has adequate parking so that you will catch the attention of potential clients.

Purchase equipment, such as a treatment table, waxing equipment, a towel warmer and vaporizer. If you plan to do mobile services, purchase portable equipment. Attend trades shows to see demonstrations of the latest equipment and products on the market before making your purchases. If manufacturers or consultants offer lectures or classes at the trade show, attend those you find relevant to your business.

Purchase skincare products that you will use during services or that you'll promote for your clients' use. Esthetics business owner Fauzia Morgan recommends that you purchase a professional line of products that clients can’t find in retail stores.

Write a price list for services and salon policies such as how much notice clients should give when canceling appointments and whether you take returns on certain retail products.

Let people know who and where you are by marketing your services using a website, brochures and business cards. Include a copy of your business policies in your marketing materials.


  • Subscribe to publications for skincare and spa professionals, such as Dermascope, Skin Inc and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques. In their pages you will find lots of marketing and business development tips. You can also read experience of other professionals who have opened esthetics business.

    When deciding what prices to charge, price your services competitively, based on what other estheticians around you charge and settle on a fair price.


  • Carefully consider the cost and the time involved in starting a skincare business. It may take several months to establish yourself, so you may run through your savings supporting yourself while building a clientele.



About the Author

Nicole Whitney started freelance writing in 2008, with articles published on various websites. She has worked as a spa therapist and consultant. She participates in a volunteer program and writes on subjects related to the beauty industry. She graduated from the International School of Skin, Nails and Massage in Atlanta.

Photo Credits

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