Beginners guide to starting a business in beauty

Beauty 101

My beauty career really took off after my love for makeup started when I was fresh out of high school. Craving to let my inner creative geek come out, makeup was definitely a great outlet for me.

At a young age, I played around with my mum’s makeup, as any other little girl does while growing up – and I just loved it, the red lips, blue and green eyeshadow and not forgetting those shocking pink cheeks! I enrolled in a prestigious makeup academy and immediately let my creative juices run free.

Although makeup was my focus, I wanted to be an all-rounder, so I started learning aesthetics like the application of acrylic and gel nail products, waxing and dabbled in hairstyling, too.

With makeup still being my primary forte and passion, I realised quickly how saturated the beauty industry was becoming with pop culture taking over, new beauty secrets on makeup applications, and YouTube tutorial videos on how to apply makeup becoming a trend. Before I knew it, what I studied for was becoming a trend and nearly everyone I came across was a “makeup” artist.

I realised quickly that the only way to stand out from the rest and own my authenticity and talent is to do something unique and that clients would be attracted to. I began practising my talent at home; applying makeup and doing nails. I practised for a few months on myself and other people before I perfected my art and was confident enough to put myself out there in the beauty industry and make a name for myself.

I knew that if I took on this venture, I would be taking on a huge responsibility. But my passion and good support system pushed me to be brave enough to take this on.

I wanted to have a place of my own to do my business. Doing it from home sometimes becomes too personal and an invasion of privacy, especially when you are working with new people every day.

I opened up my own beauty store with all the gadgets and products I needed, including branding, business cards and even flyers. I was ready to go!

Business started off slowly as any new business does, but I kept an optimistic approach and didn’t let anything get me down. When you are in a situation like this, running a business on your own with no shareholders, you must develop a thick skin and a willing nature to push through the bad months.

If you don’t, you run at a loss both financially and personally. Keep going! Things look up pretty soon with a mindset like this.

I worked with clients every day for a few years and became more experienced with not only the services I was providing, but also the way to conduct yourself in front of clients, the way to run your own business, and the way to handle your finances.

Fast forward to a couple of years. Living in Gauteng, the city of gold, this is where the real magic happens, this is where your talent can exceed all bounds and where your client base can grow substantially with the help of hard work and dedication.

I’ve perfected my craft and I enjoy working with all the different types of people I come across. One thing to keep in mind is there will always be someone better than you in any situation or industry. It’s up to you to put in the hard work and for you to be passionate about the product and service you offer. The main thing is to be authentic to yourself.

Don’t try to be the best. Do what you know and what you are good at, and the fruits of your labour will follow when your clients become attracted and close to your brand. They end up building such a good relationship with you that they remain loyal to your brand.

Here are a few tips on how to be a small business owner and to stay afloat in the beauty industry:

  1. Make sure you have a true passion for what you are going to be doing. If you don’t have this then you will never enjoy what you are doing.
  2. Advertise, advertise, advertise. This is crucial for a new business owner. Develop a cool logo, interesting branding and a unique name for your business. This is usually what the public sees first before your actual work; this will keep them wanting to know more about your business for longer.
  3. Have fun, engage with your clients and make sure they feel comfortable. Give them a great lasting experience with you so they keep coming back This is how you make clients loyal.

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I’m Sainita Padayachy, I’m 24 years of age and I reside in Lonehill, Johannesburg. I’m currently working as an administrator and studying towards a Degree in Industrial Psychology. My passion lies in dance and I’ve been performing since primary school. As if that wasn’t enough on my plate I decided to study beauty and follow my love of art and all things creative and I received my City and Guilds International Diploma in Makeup Artistry as well as Aesthetics. To check out my work you can go to my beauty page on Instagram and Facebook.