Ask the Experts |

9 mins

Ask the Experts

Our beauty experts answer your questions about every aspect of running a salon or spa business

How do I safeguard my financial future as a self-employed beauty pro?

As a self-employed beauty professional, your income is the lifeblood of your business and livelihood. Ensuring that you have adequate income protection in place is essential to safeguarding your financial future and maintaining financial stability.

One of the primary reasons why income protection is vital for self-employed beauty professionals is the lack of traditional employment benefits such as sick pay. Income protection can help bridge the gap and provide financial support during times you are unable to work.

What is income protection?

Income protection is a type of insurance designed to help fill income gaps when a person is unable to work due to illness or injury, helping individuals meet their financial obligations, such as mortgage or rent payments, utility bills and other living expenses. Some insurance providers also include additional support services to help you back into work, such as 24/7 access to virtual GP services.

Income protection can usually be claimed as many times as you need while the policy lasts. There’s often a pre-agreed waiting period before payments start, the most common being four, eight, 13, 26 or 52 weeks.

Income protection statistics

According to insurance trade body ABI:

• Over 15,900 people claimed against their individual income protection policies in 2022.

• Claims for musculoskeletal issues such as neck and back pain were the main cause for an individual income protection claim, accounting for 34%

• 84.4% of new claims were paid, paying an average of £21,913 (figures for both new income protection claims and claims in payment).

Insurance can be complex so it is advisable to speak to an insurance specialist to ensure you are purchasing the right product to suit your individual needs.

In addition to income protection insurance, creating a financial safety net through savings and emergency funds is essential. Setting aside a portion of your earnings regularly can help you build a financial cushion to cover periods of reduced income or unexpected emergencies. It is recommended to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses to ensure you have a buffer in place for unforeseen circumstances.

Diversifying your income streams can also enhance your financial resilience as a self-employed beauty professional. Consider offering a range of services, products or online courses to expand your revenue sources. By diversifying your income streams, you can create a more stable and resilient financial foundation for your business.

Staying informed about financial planning and tax implications as a self-employed beauty professional is also essential for protecting your income. Consulting with a financial adviser or accountant is recommended to optimise your business structure, maximise tax deductions and develop a long-term financial strategy that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Tina Renshaw is a financial adviser, who was previously an award-winning nail technician and nail educator.

How can deep exfoliation and cleansing treatments attract more clients to my business?

Deep exfoliation and cleansing treatments form the cornerstone of any comprehensive skincare regimen, as they effectively remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and stimulate cell turnover. By eliminating impurities and promoting skin renewal, these treatments contribute to a brighter, smoother complexion and more youthful appearance. They also enhance skincare products’ efficacy by allowing better penetration of active ingredients, maximising their benefits for the skin.

Clients dealing with various skin conditions can significantly benefit from deep exfoliation and cleansing treatments, particularly those offered through hydrodermabrasion treatment. For clients struggling with acne or congestion, hydrodermabrasion is effective in unclogging pores without irritation. It helps remove dead skin cells and excess oil, preventing future breakouts and improving overall skin texture.

Additionally, clients with uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation can benefit from the ability of exfoliation treatments to reveal fresher, more evenly toned skin. For those concerned about signs of ageing, exfoliation stimulates skin cell turnover and active skincare product penetration, which results in improved collagen production and smoother, firmer skin with reduced fine lines and wrinkles.

At my clinic, The Natural Skinn Company, our primary focus is achieving results for our clients and fostering healthy skin. Incorporating deep exfoliation and cleansing treatments into our services has significantly elevated client satisfaction and retention rates. Clients experience visible skin texture and clarity improvements after just one session, compelling them to return for regular treatments to maintain and enhance their results.

We emphasise the role of these treatments in preventing breakouts, reducing signs of ageing and maintaining overall skin health. By empowering clients with knowledge and understanding, we instil confidence in the efficacy of our treatments and the value they bring to their skincare journey.

Integrating advanced technologies such as Hydrodiamond into our treatment offerings has been a game-changer for our business. This technology combines diamond-tipped exfoliation with the topical application of potent peeling solutions, delivering results with minimal downtime. The Hydrodiamond facial offers benefits for the skin including improved texture, tone and hydration but it also enhances the efficiency of our treatments, allowing us to serve more clients and maximise revenue.

From a business perspective, investing in hydrodermabrasion technology is cost-effective. Its versatility and efficacy attract a broader client base, driving increased demand for services and enhancing overall profitability. The results-driven nature of this technology ensures client satisfaction, leading to positive word-of-mouth referrals and sustainable business growth.

Deep exfoliation and cleansing treatments are game changers in attracting new clientele and elevating salon revenue. By prioritising client satisfaction, offering personalised solutions, and educating clients on skincare essentials, beauty professionals can position themselves as trusted partners in their clients’ skincare journey while achieving success in their business endeavours.

Valeria Somal is the director of The Natural Skinn Company – a clinic based in Birmingham, and an aesthetic practitioner with over a decade of experience. She is also an ambassador for device brand Zemits.

How can I remain authentic when collaborating with brands?

When working with brands it is important to make sure you remain true to yourself. At the end of the day, collaborations with brands are viewed by your audience on social media platforms, so it is important that to select the ones that align with your values and subsequently your audience’s. Here are my four key pieces of advice on how to remain authentic while collaborating with brands:

Align with your personal values

When selecting brands to collaborate with, it’s crucial to ensure alignment with personal values; for me those are diversity and inclusion. As a makeup artist championing the idea that beauty is for everyone, regardless of background, I partner with brands that share this ethos. Too Faced and Elf Cosmetics, for instance, embrace the power of makeup to empower individuals of all backgrounds. Their inclusive campaigns resonate with a diverse audience, reflecting the belief that beauty is for all. By collaborating with brands that echo these values, you can authentically represent and empower your wide-ranging followership.

Cater to your audience’s needs

Look for brands that tackle the beauty issues your audience cares about. For my following, this includes pigmentation, dark circles, ageing skin and textured skin. Make sure brands’ products cater to diverse skin tones and types, so everyone feels included. By selecting solutions that align with your audience’s needs, you’re not just promoting products, you are genuinely helping people feel confident in their skin. This approach ensures your collaborations are authentic and resonate with your followers, making a real difference in their routines.

Believe in the products

To stay authentic while collaborating with brands, prioritise genuine product use. Partner with brands whose products you already use in your kit. Avoid collaborations solely for likes and followers, focusing instead on your passion for the products and their effectiveness. When you authentically endorse a brand, your audience will trust your recommendations. Encourage organic brand awareness by sharing your favourite products with your followers, whether through masterclasses, client work or social media. By showcasing real-life use and positive experiences, you maintain authenticity in your brand collaborations.

Reflect and learn

Embrace reflection and continuous learning. Evaluate past experiences honestly – even if certain collaborations boost your following and give you positive engagement, you are trying to build something real, which will be better in the long term. Recognise that authenticity comes from being true to yourself, even if it means deviating from prescribed scripts or formats. As you grow in credibility and influence, use your platform to advocate for genuine partnerships that reflect your authentic voice. By consistently reflecting on your journey and learning from past collaborations, you can ensure your brand partnerships are authentic and meaningful.

Aarti Pal is an award-winning makeup artist, educator and founder of the South Asian Beauty Collective.

How can I ensure my business stands out in a flooded market?

With new businesses opening around you, how can you ensure your business is the one that stands out to clients? There are many ways to set your business apart. Here are a few ideas to think about…

Set your prices based on the level of service you provide. Don’t aim to be the cheapest; there’s always going to be someone willing to work for less than you are. Are you prepared to compromise on quality and your reputation to compete? Always charge what you’re worth to stay in business.

Identify who your customers are and devise your treatment menu to suit. If your clients are mature women, make sure you’re offering the treatments they need. If you are in a university town, your offering may be different. Don’t be tempted to introduce the latest trend if it doesn’t align with your business.

Select brands that complement your values and salon ethos. Choosing brands that are exclusive to professionals immediately sets you apart and gives you an advantage when retailing to your clients. It’s hard to compete with online retailers but working with a professionalonly range helps to reduce this impact and reinforces your position as an expert.

Create signature treatments that are only available at your salon. Find innovative ways to use your professional products by creating a whole-body experience for your clients. Many facial and body products can be used in multiple ways to maximise their return for your business, and to create treatments that your competitors don’t offer. Think about the upcoming season and create something unique to offer your clients, then switch it up the following season – offer something completely new that they can’t get anywhere else.

Under-promise and over-deliver every time. Add value and always give your clients more than they expect, and always treat every client like a VIP. They might not remember exactly what you did or said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Make sure every visit is an experience they want to repeat and not just another treatment.

Educate your clients. Explain why you do things in a certain way or why you have chosen to work with a particular brand. Explaining the benefits of your products and treatments helps to set you apart as an expert and someone they can trust. Teaching your clients how to maintain results at home and following up with them after their appointment adds another dimension of care that will help to set you apart.

There are other requirements too, such as always being reliable, working with integrity, and looking after the client with a view to having them long term. Always think about what will be best for the client, and don’t be tempted to succumb to a quick sale. Always think long term and your business will be around for many years to come.

Katrina Sutherland is the owner of The Country Spa in Scotland and has over 30 years of experience in running a beauty business. She has trained many successful beauty therapists and is also an ambassador for skincare brand Repêchage.


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This article appears in June 20024

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June 20024
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