How To Be Your Own Boss

Congratulations! You’ve decided to be your own boss. Let’s take a closer look at the industry, what it takes to be a solo entrepreneur, and how you’ll know when you’re ready.

Progression of the Salon MarketASCP member performs a treatment

The salon and spa industry has seen steady growth over the last decade. However, that growth is largely due to the gains in businesses with no paid employees, also known as the non-employer sector. In fact, this sector of the industry has increased more than 40%. This is huge growth and an indicator that many people in the beauty industry are going into business for themselves.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Census Bureau

Number of Solo Entrepreneurs

More than 1.4 million professionals work in what is referred to as “personal appearance occupations” in the United States, a.k.a. the beauty and skin care industry. Individuals in these occupations have a much higher rate of self-employment at 31% compared to the overall workforce at just 6%. This means 3 out of every 10 beauty professionals are self-employed.

Source: Professional Beauty Association analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Path to Ownership

The beauty industry is represented by more women and is more diverse than the overall workforce. The beauty industry paves the way for individuals of all backgrounds to own and operate a business, and there are amazing resources like grants, scholarships, and loan programs for women and Black, indigenous, and people of color who wish to start their own business.

  • 74% of all salon and spa businesses are owned by women, compared to just 36% of businesses in the overall private sector.
  • 33% of businesses in the salon and spa industry are Black- or African American-owned, versus just 10% of total private sector businesses.
  • 19% of salon and spa businesses are Asian-owned, compared to 7% of businesses in the overall private sector.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,  2012 Survey of Business Owners

*Figures represent all salon industry businesses: employment-based businesses and non-payroll businesses

How Will I Know I’m Ready?

You're passionate about your craft and you know the ins and outs of skin care—including the best tools, techniques, supplies, and products. By the time you consider opening your own business, skin care procedures and treatments should be the easy part.

  • You’re ready to learn—who isn’t in this ever-changing beauty industry! Challenges will always arise when running a business.
  • You can see the big picture—you keep your eyes on the goal even when you have yet to break even.
  • You want to be your own boss—you’re capable of managing your own time, setting your scheduling, creating structure.

Do I Need a Business Plan?ASCP member works in her spa

The short answer is, yes! For every salon entrepreneur, a business plan is the foundation on which to build your operation. Like a road map, a business plan defines your path to success and illustrates the route you will take to get there. Don’t allow the idea of creating such a document intimidate you. You likely have identified many of your business goals already, how you are going to achieve them, and what it will take for you to do so. Consider engaging the services of an accountant if you need assistance—especially if you are preparing a plan to submit to a financial institution, venture capitalist, or other lender to secure financing for your skin care business. 

Importance of Professional Partners

The next step in being your own boss is to network with experts in your area such as accountants, lawyers, and business consultants. Don’t go it alone—building these business relationships is a direct correlation to your success as a business owner. These individuals may give you a competitive advantage and help your business achieve its objectives. 

ASCP is all about you! You are our priority. Everything we do is designed to support you and your successful career.

ASCP provides the best liability insurance in our industry, education on the latest and greatest in skin care, and we connect you with all the tools and resources you need to become a successful business owner.

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