How to Start a Microblading Business

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Quick Reference

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 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.

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.

 

Industry Trends

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.

Costs 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 $1500 – $3000 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
  • Initial marketing such as Facebook ads or search engine optimization for your website $500 -$1000

Steps to Starting a Microblading Business

Step 1: Write your 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
Free sample business plans

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.  Your name should make you stand out, reflect your brand, and tell potential customers exactly what you do.

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 a 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.

RelatedComparison of Business Entities

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

Many states require a professional license through the state’s Department of Health to perform 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 business 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 business and personal finances in separate business bank and credit card accounts makes it easier to track the income and expenses of the business.

Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place

A microblading business will need to set aside a budget to cover marketing costs on a continuous basis. 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

Step 9: Get Insurance

A microblading business needs several types of insurance for full coverage:

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.

Insurance policies will vary. 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: Hiring Employees

You will need employees to help you run your microblading business.  Make sure that you select people with appropriate experience 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 accounting for your business

How Much Can You Potentially Make Owning a Microblading Business?

Microblading prices range from $400 – $1000 per session.   If you do 10 sessions per week at $600 per session, you would make $312,000 in revenue per year before expenses.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Microblading Business

Running a microblading business or any business will have its challenges.  You need to be prepared and make sure that you know what you’re getting into.

Marketing and acquiring customers will be your biggest challenge and an ongoing expense.  You will face competition, so your marketing will need to make you stand out, and your prices will need to be competitive.  Getting the word out about your service is critical, so you will need a large marketing budget for a while until you start getting referrals.

Talk to other business owners for tips on starting a business and do your homework to determine costs.  Research other microblading businesses to see what they offer and what prices they charge.

 

 Resources:

American Academy of Micropigmentation
Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals

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