The Simple Way to Start a Personal Stylist Business
One of the biggest things I see holding people back from starting their dream career as a personal stylist is a fear of running a business. It makes sense, after all, your dream is to be a personal stylist and work with people to find their style and build a level of confidence that will help them change their lives. Your expertise lies in body shape analysis, color analysis, and curating the perfect outfit, it probably doesn't lie in the fundamentals of starting and running a business. And while it's perfectly normal to feel nervous about embarking on something that may be outside of your current skill set and knowledge it shouldn't be the reason you don't pursue your dream of becoming a personal stylist. The truth is that starting a personal stylist business is not as complicated as it may seem, and if you follow the steps below you'll be able to overcome your fear and get your business up and running quickly and easily.
Step 1 - Become a sole proprietor
When you're first starting your business there's no need to go down the LLC route! Licensed Limited Companies have a lot of red tape that goes along with them and also have higher costs. As a personal stylist, you can simply run your business as a sole proprietor. You may need to register your business in your local town or city (check out the regulations where you live), but you'll use your personal TIN (tax identification number) and file any income and expenses as part of your own tax return. You can trade under your own name or even create a unique business name, the choice is yours! It's a simple way to run your personal stylist business!
Step 2 - Plan to see clients in their own homes
You don't need an office or business location to start your personal styling business. You can run the business side of things from a home office with a laptop and cell phone and see your clients in their own homes. It's much more convenient for your clients and gives you the opportunity to delve deep into their closets, and you'll save yourself money on unnecessary overheads.
Step 3 - Create a basic website or landing page
You don't need a fancy website to start your business, in fact, you could just use a simple landing page for now. There are many different hosting companies such as Wix or WordPress that actually provide pre-designed templates that you can easily edit with your information, images, and brand colors without any programming or design skills. You can even create websites in Canva if it's a program you already use. The most important thing is that you have a site or page where potential clients can find out the details about your services, learn about you, see examples of your work, and find out how to contact you. Keep it simple! As your business grows you can spend the time and money developing your website but to get started it just needs to be simple.
Step 4 - Make it easy to get paid
The easiest way to get paid is by setting up a PayPal or Stripe account. Clients can send you payment by using your email, you can create and send digital invoices, or you can add payment buttons to your website. Using a payment service makes it easier for clients to pay you but it also makes it easier to keep track of your income than if you have them pay into your bank account. You'll have a clear record of all your income which will make it easier at tax time. Create a basic income and expense spreadsheet in Excel and that's all you need for your business accounting.
Step 5 - Keep your services simple
While creating a signature program is definitely the way to go if you want to become a 6-figure stylist, when you're just starting your business it's perfectly fine to offer a la carte services and charge an hourly or set service rate. Keep it simple! Don't feel that you have to offer every service you've been trained in, pick one of two core services to start offering your clients. You can always build and expand later once your business and your confidence start to grow.
Step 6 - Figure out who you want to work with
Finding a niche is a crucial part of growing a successful business, but it can also be one of the hardest things to do. When you're just starting out you'll want to narrow down who your ideal clients are but don't feel you have to find a laser-focused niche from day one. Narrow things down gradually as you find out where your passion really lies. Start by focusing on certain demographics such as gender, age, or employment, so you can target your clients more easily with your marketing. As with everything in business, your niche will evolve over time and you can change direction any time your choose.
Step 7 - Use the power of one
The power of one is an important strategy in business. One audience, one service or program, and one platform. Choose one type of client you want to work with, offer them one core service or program, and connect with them and promote your business on one social media platform. Don't spread yourself too thin by posting everywhere and trying to reach everyone. Pick the platform where your ideal clients spend their time and focus your time and energy on building your presence there.
Step 8 - Start talking
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for personal stylists so make sure you use it! Start talking about your business to anyone that will listen! Your friends, your family, your hairdresser, and your neighbors, they're all great resources for spreading the word about your business so don't be shy!
And that, my friends, is the simple way to start a personal stylist business! It doesn't have to be complicated and you definitely don't need an MBA, so, all that's left for you to do is to start!
P.S Looking for training and resources to help you start your career as a personal stylist or grow your business? We've got you covered at The Style Academy International!