How to become a self-employed beautician

The in’s and out’s of becoming a self-employed beautician

There are a large number of reasons why people might decide to go it alone and become a self-employed beautician. Increased flexibility and the opportunity to earn a larger amount of money are just a couple attractions.

As a self-employed beautician you’ll have a wide range of daily activities to undertake, including:

  • Cleaning the salon
  • Waxing
  • Facials
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Tanning
  • Threading

Setting up on your own can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t sure what you need to consider before making a final decision. Its ok, as experts in payroll solutions, we have a wealth of experience in helping people just like you to navigate through the world of self-employment. To find out more information about our payroll solutions, call us on 01923 277 900 and we’ll be happy to help.

Qualifications to become a beautician

In order to start working as a beautician you will need to have the necessary qualifications, the most common approach being to undertake NVQs. If you haven’t yet obtained any beauty qualifications, it would be useful to contact your local colleges and do some research into what full-time and part-time courses are available – part-time courses are particularly useful if you currently have employment commitments to fulfil.

Courses will vary in cost as some are more technical and in-depth than others. However, the more skills you are able to obtain the greater the number of services you will be able to provide, which will help when you are searching for work. As a result, if you are able to undertake a number of different courses to expand your skill set, it is definitely worth it.

Deciding where to work

Most self-employed beauticians choose to either operate out of a salon or go mobile and travel to where the work is. As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it is important to be fully aware of these before making a final decision on where you would like to work.

Working out of a salon

By opening your own salon and having physical premises you’ll be able to take advantage of footfall in the local area and potentially drastically increase the number of people that your services are visible. However, on the other hand, you’ll be responsible for overheads such as rent and utility bills so it is imperative that you are in a position to cover these costs and still turn a profit.

Working as a mobile beautician

In contrast, working as a mobile beautician will drastically decrease your overheads, you won’t have to worry about things like rent and utility bills. All you need is a method of transportation so that you can easily get to your clients. On the downside, you miss out on all that footfall trade and will need to make sure that you put that extra effort into sales and marketing to make up for it.

Finding work as a self-employed beautician

In the early stages, you are going to need to actively seek work in order to get your name out there. Hopefully once you have established yourself in the area, a lot of business will be generated through word of mouth recommendations from your existing clients.

We have outlined below some key activities that will help you to drum up more business.

Leaflet drop

Traditional methods like leaflet drops can still be an effective way of attracting new customers. Even just by dropping a leaflet through somebody’s door can help you to reach potential clients who might not have necessarily considered using a beautician before seeing your advertisement.

There are two things to remember when doing a leaflet drop:

  1. Do your drop in the afternoon or the evening once the post has been delivered. The last thing you want is people discarding your leaflet as junk mail when they are more concerned with opening any important items that they received in the post.
  2. Design and language are key. Your leaflet needs to be visually appealing and also clearly promote the services that you offer.

Social media

Social media is at the forefront of many people’s lives, in fact, the average person spends over 15 hours per month on Facebook alone. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the majority of your target audience should be active on social media.

You can start social media advertising campaigns on a relatively small budget; even £30 can drive a lot of extra traffic to your pages or website, just make sure that you set the location parameters correctly so that you aren’t spending money on clicks form locations that you will never serve.

In terms of the activity on your pages you could run competitions where people have to share a post from your page with their friends and the winner will be selected at random and offered a complimentary treatment. This can not only increase engagement amongst your current followers but also generate more followers that you can potentially turn into customers down the line.


One of the first places people go to find out more information about a service is the internet. As a result, if you don’t have an online presence, you are largely limiting your potential reach and could miss out on quite a large amount of business.

A good website that gets found for local beauty related search terms is imperative. Its ok, a professional website doesn’t have to leave a huge hole in your pocket, in fact, there are a number of agencies and freelancers that will be able to build you a site at an extremely affordable rate.

It is important to remember that your website needs the following:

  • To be fully optimised for local searches
  • An about page
  • A services page
  • A contact page

The above are what is suggested as a minimum requirement but you might have some ideas of other content and features that might further enhance your website and the user experience.

Building relationships with hairdressing salons

Another method that is worth considering is building relationships with hairdressers in your local area and creating an agreement where you both refer each other for work. It could be that the salon has a bride who has booked them in to do her hair on the big day but she hasn’t yet found a beautician to do things like their makeup and nails. In this instance the salon could recommend your services or potentially build some form of hair and beauty package to sell to clients and they’ll take a small fee.

Our experts are always on hand to answer any questions that you may have and we will always offer impartial advice to ensure that you are assigned to the right product, call 01923 277 900.

Now that you have a better idea about the process of becoming a self-employed beautician, you might also find the following pages useful:

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