You want to be your own boss. You’ve got the drive and the passion. But what about marketing, funding, and a business plan—or an actual plan, for that matter? You’ll need a business
plan eventually, no doubt. But a pre-plan might be a great place to start to help answer questions like: “How do I know I’m ready?” “How do I fund my business?” “How do I market
my business?” To answer these and other questions, let’s take a closer look at the industry, what it takes to go solo, and the steps to make your solopreneur dream a reality.
FIRST . . . WILL IT BE WORTH IT?
Absolutely! The salon and spa industry has seen steady growth over the last decade, and most of that growth is largely due to the gains in businesses that have no paid employees—solopreneurships. In fact, the nonemployer sector of the industry has increased 36 percent in the past decade, which is huge growth and an indicator that many people in the beauty industry are going solo.
Beauty professionals—all 1.3 million of them—have a much higher self-employment rate of 29 percent, compared to just 6 percent in the overall US workforce. And 74 percent of all salon and spa businesses are owned by women, compared to just 36 percent of businesses in the overall private sector. As far as minority salon and spa industry practitioners go, 33 percent of businesses
are Black owned (versus 10 percent of total private sector businesses); 19 percent are Asian owned (versus 7 percent in the overall private sector); and 11 percent are Hispanic owned (versus 12 percent in the overall private sector). This means three of every 10 beauty professionals are self-employed, women, and more diverse than owners in the overall private sector. So, yes, becoming a solopreneur in the beauty industry is worth it! And it’s the perfect pathway for individuals of all backgrounds. Plus, there are amazing resources like grants, scholarships, and loan programs for women and people of color.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE READY?
You’re passionate about your craft; you know the ins and outs of hair care—including the best tools, techniques, supplies, and products. But, as you consider opening your own business, cutting, coloring, and styling hair are the easy part. You could probably do hair in your sleep. The big question is: Are you up for a challenge?
If you’re comfy in your routine, and you don’t like change, solopreneurship is not for you at the moment. On the other hand, if you answered a resounding “yes” (or even a tentative “we’ll see”), you’re an ideal candidate to explore going solo.
Article by Lisa Bakewell
This article appears in Volume 3 | Issue 2 issue of AHP Indie Stylist magazine
AHP Indie Stylist is a bimonthly, digital publication, created to speak directly to you, the independent hair stylist and barber. In this issue:
• Empower Your Clients: From bald to buzzed
• Planning to Go Solo?: What you Need to know before you go
• Increase Your Pay the Easy Way: Enhance your career with hair extensions
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