Everyone can look back and think of things they would have done differently in their careers. This isn’t a bad thing - a lot of times, you need to make mistakes in order to learn from them and improve. But as an esthetician, there are some mistakes you just don't need to make for yourself. After working in the industry for over 15 years, I can share some of the things I wish I had done differently when I was getting my business off the ground. Save yourself the stress and follow these simple tips to start your business off on the right foot.
1. Invest in Your Education
Ongoing education is so important to keep you well-versed in the newest techniques and trends in the industry. Make a point of taking at least two specialized courses each year to become the best esthetician possible. And be sure to promote your various certifications so that potential customers know you’re an expert.
But that’s not the only type of education you need. You can be the best esthetician in the world, but without a solid understanding of business, you’ll never have a thriving career. Invest early in programs or courses that will help you set a solid foundation and give your business the best possible chance to grow.
2. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor can be one of the most impactful things you can do for your business. When I was young, I thought I knew everything (or that I could figure it out on my own). Connecting with a successful salon owner who agreed to be my mentor truly turned my business around. She helped me navigate challenges that I didn’t expect to ever encounter, acted as a sounding board for new ideas, and helped me to avoid a lot of the mistakes she had made early on in her career.
It’s also incredibly helpful to find successful people in the industry you admire and follow them on social media to learn from them. Liz Lugo, celebrity esthetician and the founder of Nova Wax, is a great example. She shares great content on her Instagram, @browsby_liz, as well as the Nova Wax blog.
3. Focus on Customer Experience
A trip to the salon should be a luxury, so focusing on customer experience seems like a no-brainer. But there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Every detail of your space has an impact on your customer’s visit. Is the lighting flattering? Are the colors calming? Do you offer them water after their treatment? Think through every touchpoint that the customer has, from the moment they set foot in the salon to the moment they leave. Make sure that it’s worthy of a 5 star review.
4. Use the Best Products
This point is closely tied to customer experience. While your customers may not see the packaging of the products you use, it quickly becomes apparent if you’re using top quality stuff or if you’ve decided to scrimp. While it can be tempting as a young esthetician to save money wherever possible and buy less expensive products, I’m begging you, don’t do it. A perfect example here is Nova Wax, a brand I’ve been using for 3 years. Created by an esthetician, it is a bit pricier than other options on the market, but it’s also much more effective and easy to use. No need to go over the same spot multiple times and waste wax. That means that customers have less irritation and redness (which they love) and that they are in and out more quickly (which you love). Plus, they make one formula for full-body use, so you don’t need to keep different formulas on hand for different services. While Nova Wax costs more than the competition, customers love it and it allows me to see more clients each day than if I was using a cheaper product. You’ve got to spend money to make money, as they say.
5. Find Brands That Support You
Work to develop good relationships with the brands you use, and make sure you’re choosing brands that want you to succeed. Whether they offer in-person trainings or online resources, be sure to use all the tools at your disposal to improve your skills and your offerings. This is another reason I love Nova Wax. Not only is their customer service top-notch, they also offer tons of educational materials on their website and social media, perfect for new estheticians.
Starting your career as an esthetician can be scary, exciting, and a bit overwhelming at times, but it’s worth it! Following these tips will save you tons of time and stress, and will allow you to focus on building a successful business doing what you love!