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How to Start a Microblading Business

How to Start a Microblading Business

Are you a cosmetologist and thinking of starting your own business?  Microblading as a cosmetic procedure has become very popular and could be a great opportunity for you to learn new skills, make some money, and be your own boss.

Business Overview

Microblading is a type of cosmetic tattooing used to permanently fill in eyebrows to make them look thicker and fuller.  A microblading artist creates marks by putting organic pigments into the skin that look like real hairs using a tool that has tiny needles.

Microblading Industry Summary

According to Business Wire, the medical aesthetics market, which includes permanent makeup services, was $10.12 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $26.53 billion by 2024, growing at 12.8% per year.  According to the Art of Beauty Academy, from 2009 to 2015, the number of people utilizing eyebrow microblading tripled.

 

The medical aesthetics industry growth has been fueled by a larger aging population, as well as advancements in technology.  Microblading has become popular as permanent makeup trends grow, as well as due to celebrities such as Madonna using microblading.

Target Market

Your target market will generally be women who are interested in beauty trends and non-invasive cosmetic procedures.

Skills, Experience, and Education Useful in Running a Microblading Business

There are several specific skills that you will need to open a microblading business.

  • Training and Licensing.  You will need specific training to learn how to microblade and become licensed.
  • Experience.  If you are already licensed and have experience, you will have more credibility with customers.
  • Business knowledge and experience.  You will need to have at least some basic knowledge of marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.
  • People skills. You’ll need to be able to build rapport with your customers so that you retain them as customers and keep them coming back.

Checklist for Starting a Microblading business

If you’re thinking about starting a microblading business, it’s important to do your research first. Here is a checklist to help you get started.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

After coming up with the idea, the next step in starting your own microblading business should be to write a business plan.  The business plan will make you focus on some important aspects of the business, such as who your customers are, how you plan to reach them, projecting sales and expenses, your value proposition to use for marketing, and more. You’ll also need to do some research to calculate exactly what your startup expenses will be and what your ongoing expenses will be.

Not only will a bank require you to have a business plan if you need financing, but multiple studies have shown that having a good business plan increases the odds of starting a successful business. Writing the plan helps you think through all the aspects of the business and then serves as a guide as you begin.

Related: How to write a business plan

Step 2: Name the Business

Finding the perfect microblading business name can be challenging. Not only does the name have to reflect what you do and be appealing to customers, but it also has to be available to use. You can check your state’s website to see if the name is available and register your name.  

Step 3: Form a Business Entity

A business entity refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business entities to choose from, which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.

When deciding on which business entity is best for a microblading business, it normally comes down to the sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company.

A partnership opens the owners up to unnecessary personal liability because if a partner does something to get the business sued, or runs off with cash from the business, the other partners are personally liable to repay. The corporation can be a good choice because it separates the business assets from the owner’s assets. If the corporation is sued or certain business debts can’t be paid back, the owners aren’t personally responsible to repay them. The downside to the corporation is that it is more complicated than all the other entities and requires more administration than the LLC. If you plan on raising a lot of investment though, the corporation is usually the better choice.

That leaves the sole proprietorship and LLC.

The sole proprietorship is the least expensive and easiest entity to start which is appealing. The downside is the owner is personally liable should anything happen to the business, which is an important consideration. The LLC offers the ability to operate as a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500, which is pretty inexpensive for protecting the owners from business-related lawsuits and certain debts.

Related: Guide to forming your LLC
 

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.


Some popular LLC formation services include:


IncFile - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

IncAuthority - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent the first year!

ZenBusiness - $49 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Step 4: Select your Location

Your studio should be in a convenient location with parking, preferably with visibility to foot and road traffic.

Related: Choosing a business location

Step 5: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Most states do not require an esthetician or cosmologist license to start microblading, however many states require a professional license through the state’s Department of Health for tattooing. While not a business license, this licensing is required for any individual to provide microblading services. To become licensed in this craft, a complete blood-borne pathogens course and a certification of accomplished training hours will be necessary.

In addition to licensing requirements specifically for this business, general business licenses and registrations are needed, such as a sales tax permit and an Employer Identification Number.  

Related: Common business licenses, permits, and registrations by state

Step 6: Find Financing

Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start a microblading salon is another.  In order to get a loan, the borrower(s) will need to have good credit and be able to invest 15-25% of their money towards the total start-up costs.

Related: Finding the money to start a business

Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your small business and personal finances in separate bank accounts is important to track the income and expenses of your business and identify trends.
 
Many banks offer free business checking accounts, so be sure to find a cost-effective option for your business.

Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place

Getting the word out about your service is critical to start getting customers in the door, so you will need to dedicate funds to marketing, especially in the beginning, until you start getting referrals.

Common marketing techniques for a microblading business include social media marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, in addition to online advertising, as well as brochures and flyers.  Developing a website can be a significant expense, but it can also give your microblading business greater visibility online.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

Every business is going to need a logo. Make a professional logo in no time with the free logo makers from BrandCrowd and Canva.

Step 9: Get Business Insurance

There are several types of insurance to consider when starting a microblading business. A few of these include:
General liability insurance can help protect you from third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage.
Professional liability insurance protects you from claims of professional errors or negligence that result in a financial loss.
Worker’s compensation insurance covers expenses like medical bills and legal fees that a business might face if an employee were ever hurt while working.

The cost to insure a microblading business will vary depending on several factors. To get the most accurate idea of what to budget for insurance, request quotes from multiple providers. When comparing the quotes, consider not only the premiums but also how the plan exclusions, coverage limitations, and deductibles compare.

Related: Common types of insurance a business may need

Step 10: Hire Employees

You can easily start off without any employees, but in order to grow the business,(or be able to take a vacation), employees can run your microblading business.  Make sure that you select people with appropriate experience, good customer service skills, and licensing.

In addition to salary costs, your budget will also need to include other employee-related expenses. Workman’s comp insurance, unemployment insurance, and paid time off are common expenses that a business will need to cover when hiring staff.

Related: Hiring your first employee

Step 11: Set up an Accounting System

Setting up an accounting system for your microblading business is critical to the long-term success of your business.

Staying on top of taxes not only keeps the business out of trouble with the government but the numbers can be used to track and monitor trends and cash flow in the business and maximize profits.

Related: Setting up the accounting for your business

The thought of accounting can be intimidating for a lot of new entrepreneurs. There are a number of ways of handling bookkeeping, from DIY to hiring a bookkeeper. These include:

- Pen and paper - Low expense, but difficult to track.
- Spreadsheet - Low expense, but easy to make errors.
- Accounting software - Medium expense, but owner typically inputs expenses. Some great accounting software programs include Freshbooks or Wave Accounting.
- Hire a bookkeeper - Higher expense, though very affordable at $100-$200 per month in most cases. A dedicated bookkeeper will probably save money because, in addition to handling all of the bookkeeping (so you can focus on the business), they also provide personalized tax advice and ensure the business is in compliance.

Find bookkeepers in your local area or use a service like 800Accountant.

How much does it cost to start a microblading business?

Here are the typical costs you will face when you open a microblading business.
– Training and equipment $5,000-$10,000
– Space rental $1,500-$3,000 per month
– Space preparation including chairs $5,000 +
– Initial inventory of inks, pigments, disposable needles, and blades $500
– Chair, bed, waiting room furniture, good lighting, etc. – $2,000 +
– Insurance $200-$600

How much money can you make with a microblading business?

Microblading prices range from $400-$1,000 per session.   If you do 10 sessions per week at $600 per session, you would make $312,000 in revenue per year before expenses.

Are there grants to start a microblading business?

It’s extremely rare to find a grant to start a microblading business. If you search for business grants, you will come across a lot of scams and misinformation. Occasionally an organization will offer grants to start a business, however, be skeptical and don’t provide any sensitive personal information or pay money to get more information.

Legitimate federal grants can be found at Grants.gov and you can check on your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants available.

What is the NAICS code for a microblading business?

The NAICS code for a microblading business is 812199, which is classified under Other Personal Care Services.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code and how to find yours

 Resources:
American Academy of Micropigmentation
Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals

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