Five Secrets for a Successful Lash Business
London Lash, as you may know, is one of the most well-known lash brands expanding internationally after its success in the United Kingdom. Our founder, Hanna Putjato started her journey in the lash industry as a therapist, she was self-employed as a Lash Artist and became renowned and popular for her quality of work. Clients and colleagues began asking Hanna if she would teach them her techniques and tricks, however, Hanna’s business wasn’t a government approved training academy, she couldn’t issue certificates so her first step was to approach a few big eyelash brands in England and ask if she could become an Eyelash Trainer for their brand. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) all of them refused her application. After this upset, Hanna became more determined and her amazing idea and journey to open up her own academy and business began…
Now Let’s Hear From Hanna
It sounds controversial, doesn’t it? Everyone else always says ‘Dream Big!’ And to a certain extent, I can agree, but I also disagree. But this is only because sometimes our dreams can be TOO big and they can scare us and we become so ambitious that we have no idea where to start.
Just consider this:
You are working as a Beauty Therapist in a salon and one day, you dream to open your own professional lash extension salon in a busy location. Your client base is growing, business is booming and you now have twenty Lash Technicians working for you. You only have to do eyelashes occasionally, and only when you want to. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But there are so many things to consider before this happens. ‘Where do I start? Do I start looking for investors? Can I go to the bank to borrow money? Where do I look for lash technicians? How will I teach them? Where do I even get customers?’
There are so many questions and fears in your head that you don’t know where to start from, so it’s more likely that you won’t do anything at all due to fear and anxiety. You’ll just keep dreaming: ‘I’ll do it one day when I have my plan ready.’
So my advice is, forget about your dream for now and really concentrate on your short term goals. Instead, focus on smaller steps, because after all over-planning is just long term procrastinating. Here are some of my tips:
- If you are working for somebody else, think: ‘How do I rent a beauty room and start working for myself?’
- If you already work for yourself, think: ‘How can I get more clients? Which marketing channels should I use to advertise myself and my new business?’ Take a look at our advice on how to grow your business on Instagram here.
- Once you are getting consistently booked, think: ‘How can I raise my prices and improve my profitability?’
And slowly but surely, you’ll begin to realise how these little steps will naturally grow to the point where you’ll finally open that dream salon of yours. Sometimes we really don’t need to think big to go far. My advice – take it one small step at a time.
Learn From Any Mistakes Along The Way
Starting your own business is a daunting task and more often than not, nobody has taught you how to do things, from finances to hiring staff or keeping tabs on stock and your social media. Everything you do may be for the first time. So, naturally, you’ll make lots of mistakes. There’ll be issues from recruiting wrong people to overpaying for salon rent, you may even be doing taxes incorrectly, but an entrepreneur’s life really is the chain of mistakes and failures that have led to their success. So don’t beat yourself up over these things, after all, they’re all lessons.
One year, burglars broke into the London Lash salon in London. Understandably, all of my staff got really upset, but I was actually happy. The first reason for my happiness - they didn’t break the windows and they didn’t steal much. But the second reason – it was such a wonderful lesson! At the time, we were moving our products into a new big warehouse and, to be honest, we didn’t even think much about security. And only after somebody broke into the salon, we were able to consider the potential for loss if this happened in our warehouse. We could potentially lose all our stock and of course, we didn’t want this problem to happen. As a result, our new warehouse is now fully secure and protected.
My advice to you: Always be positive and just accept the fact that you’ll always be making mistakes on your business journey. You can’t stop yourself from making mistakes but what you can do is change your mindset about them. Change your relationship with mistakes. Think about them, analyse them, and they will give you lots of new knowledge.
‘YOU CAN’T RUN A SUCCESSFUL BAKERY AND BE A BAKER AT THE SAME TIME.’
Once I’d heard this sentence my whole life changed. This simple sentence triggered so many thoughts in my head and really changed the way I run my business completely. Think about it: you can’t imagine an owner of a multi-million pound pancake factory who spends five days a week making those pancakes. They just wouldn’t do it. They need to run the business instead.
So, a few years ago I stopped doing lashes, I stopped teaching, I stopped replying to messages on Facebook and Instagram, I stopped doing everything. That’s not my job. That’s the job of my employees. My role in the company – to move it forward, to develop it. My job is to think about how to grow.
And I’d like to give the same advice to you. It might be financially difficult at first but trust me – as soon as you start employing staff and step away from the actual salon work, the faster your business will grow. By delegating day to day tasks, you’ll release an enormous amount of time to spend on your business growth and development by coming up with new ideas.
Keep Educating Yourself
Over the past few years, I’ve read thousands of articles, hundreds of books and watched an enormous amount of educational YouTube videos. All business-related. First, I learned about lash applications, then I learned about salon customer service, then I learned about social media marketing and so on. Every single day of my life I learn something new and this is something which I feel is extremely important for my business. I always aim to learn something I can implement in myself and my business in the future.
When I was living in London, on my own, I even got rid of my TV as I always thought that watching TV was a useless thing and a waste of my life. Education was the only thing I wanted to spend my free time on. I won’t recommend you to get rid of your TV, but I’ll advise you to start scheduling educational time into your calendar. Spend just 20-30 minutes a day learning something new. Concentrate on practical knowledge that you can implement straight away. And soon as you do, you’ll see a massive improvement in your business.
Think Outside The Box
I’ve noticed that a lot of business owners are mentioning competitors when I ask them about their business. They watch their competitors, they think about their competitors, they try to be better than their competitors, but I have always found it a bit strange. Yes, it’s good to have an idea of what your competition in the lash world is doing but thinking about them and competing with them on a daily basis is a total waste of time.
When you are running the business – it’s all about the quality of your product and services, it’s all about the satisfaction of your customers and employees. All you need to do is concentrate on your own business and think of how to develop and grow it. Forget about competitors. It really doesn’t matter what they are doing. What’s really important is what you are doing and if you’re doing a good job.
One of the reasons why London Lash is so successful is because we really try to be unique. We don’t copy anyone – we come up with fresh new ideas. For example, I was the first one who came up with the idea of eco-friendly paper boxes for our Eyelash Extension lash trays. I really wanted to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic boxes and it was a massive success – we gained lots of new loyal customers. Because we were unique, we came up with better ideas. Now every second lash brand is coming up with the same paper packaging as us. We try to set trends, not follow them. That's why you'll always see new and innovative products being released by London Lash which will make your lashing easier but also keep up with the ever improving and innovative industry standards.
So, my advice to you: don’t let competitors steal your time and energy! It’s better to spend your time and energy on your products, on your services, and on your clients. And I guarantee that your business will always be incredibly successful.