Tax for Self Employed Eyelash Technicians

The demand for eyelash extensions is growing everyday and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ‘can’t live without’ beauty treatments around the world.  So if you are considering branching out on your own and becoming a self employed eyelash technician, then we created this guide just for you so you can take your next steps armed with as much knowledge as possible.  We help you to understand:

  • How to get your eyelash business started and build your client base;
  • How to get paid by your clients and how much you should charge;
  • Your HMRC self employment responsibilities and the taxes your need to pay.

How to Get Started as a Self Employed Eyelash Technician

If you are in a job at the moment, no matter how unhappy you are, rushing to hand in your notice may not be the right thing to do.  So before you make the leap from employment to self employment here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Where is your first client going to come from?

Being in a regular job means you receive a salary at the end of each month.  However when you move to be being self employed it is down to you to find your own clients, deliver the agreed work and then get paid, possibly on completion of work.  Have you found your first client or what is your plan to find your first client once you quit your job and how long will it take to find them?  Once you have found your first clients will you earn sufficient money to cover your living costs and what is your plan to find more work?

2. How much money do you need to live?

We suggest working out how much money you need to live each month (mortgage, bills, food etc).  Start by listing out all your costs on a simple spreadsheet, maybe add a little contingency in case there are some unexpected costs.  Bills such as rent, car payments or telephone bills will need to be paid each month on a fixed day, so make sure you have sufficient cash reserves to cover these until you receive your first client payment or regular payments.

3. Do you have all the equipment you need?

Make sure you are properly set up with everything you need to deliver your new work such as a computer or insurance.  Your clients will expect you to hit the ground running, so make sure you are fully set up with everything you need to avoid disappointment! Client recommendations is one of the best ways to win new business, so always provide the best service you can.

It is entirely possible to hold onto your job while you build up your client base to a point where you have sufficient income to live and then live your job because you are able to be employed and self employed at the same time.

4. Do you have the right training?

Eyelash technicians have the right training to give them the skills they need.  There are lots of courses available – NVQs, Brand Accreditations or Beauty Academies.  Having the right qualifications will mean you can present yourself as a credible and professional individual, with the right skills to do the job and help you get ahead of the competition.

5. Additional Services

There are many complimentary treatments that an eyelash technician can offer such as lash lifts or tinting.  By being able to offer your clients a full service you can win their loyalty, ensuring that they don’t begin to use another eyelash technician.

6. Where do you plan to offer your services?

Many eyelash technicians are opting to offer a mobile service as well as having a treatment room at a beauty shop or even in their own homes.  Have you considered where you would like to work and also how your competitors in the area you plan to work in offer their services?

7. How will you build a client base?

Once you have got up and running, finding clients and making sales is what will make your eyelash business a success.  Whether you plan to stay in your job until you have enough steady income to go self employed full time, or are starting out without a job finding clients is key.  Setting up social media and/or a website to showcase your work will demonstrate your skills to potential clients.  Networking online, such as in facebook groups, is another way as well as asking all your existing clients to provide testimonials which you can add onto google or facebook.

Targeted Facebook and Instagram ads are another way to reach out to the right market in the right area to let them know you are in business and taking bookings as well as more traditional methods such as flyer drops and always walk around with business cards.

Signing up to third party apps like Treatwell is another way to get your name out there, just be warned they do take a percentage of all your sales. But the ability to reach out to potential clients may make this worthwhile.

8. How Do you Plan to Manage your Bookings?

The diary on your phone may be sufficient, but make sure it is backed up and is reliable – there is nothing worse than ending up with a double booking. If you are mobile, always make you leave enough time to travel between your clients.

If you plan to use a third party appointment app like treatwell, you will need to manage the bookings that come in online, so they automatically schedule out in your own central diary. Treatwell connect is one option, others are salonlite or shedul.

9. Branding

Depending on how much you wish to grow your eyelash business, branding may or may not be a key part of your startup plan. It is always possible to just get started and rebrand at a later date, when you have earned sufficient cash to do it properly.

Regardless you probably want to give you business a name and have a logo so you can set up your social media. Websites like people per hour have people waiting to create logos at reasonable prices, as well as simple websites to help promote your business.  Again these services will attract a cost which you need to cover so you may want to get a list of your start up costs together so you know how much you need to invest up front in your business.

10. Insurance

Running a business usually involves the need for insurance cover against loss, equipment damage and public liability so make sure you get this in place.  And don’t be afraid to showcase that you have insurance cover to demonstrate your professionalism.

If you are planning on being a mobile eyelash technician and use your car to get around, then you should contact your car insurance policy and contact your insurer to make sure you are covered for business travel.

11. Licences

If you are planning to work from home you must be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding this.  We detail them in our blog Can Your Run a Business From Home and set out the 5 things you should consider:

  1. Your rent or mortgage agreement
  2. Insurance
  3. Licences
  4. Business Rates
  5. Tax

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Anita is a Chartered Accountant, turned blogger and creator of the ever popular free Go Self Employed Email Mini Course, which has been completed by hundreds of attendees all over the UK. Using her 10 years experience in accounting, tax and operations for Small Businesses, Anita is on a mission to make finance simple for the self employed, so they can stop stressing about tax & finances and focus on building profitable businesses which will give them the lifestyle they dream of.