5 Insider Tips for Self-Employed Salon Professionals 

Have you ever dreamed of becoming your own boss, setting your own schedule, and partnering with clients you actually want to work with? You’re not alone. In fact, 70% of stylists have taken the plunge into self-employment in the last 15 years. And with numerous salons closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is on the rise. If you’re ready to build your brand and business and succeed as a beauty industry entrepreneur now and in the post-pandemic world, follow these insider tips for self-employed salon professionals.

1. Develop economic autonomy

With thousands of salon professionals getting laid off due to the pandemic, now is an opportune time to consider how you’re going to set the foundation for your beauty business. Whether you’re already an independent contractor or thinking about going at it alone, you’ll need to come up with create ways to maintain self sufficiency while boosting your income potential. 

One of the very first things to consider is finding a flexible work space. You’re no longer shackled to a long-term chair rental thanks to apps like ShearShare. This innovative app enables you to rent private suites and open stations in your area by occasion or date and time. By having a flexible space to work, you can work when and where you want to.

2. Understand what you can write off

One of the toughest times for any self-employed professional is tax season. Whenever April rolls around, it’s critical to thoroughly understand tax deductions in order to vastly reduce your taxable income and save money.

Some common things that you can write off as a beauty professional include:

  • Your equipment and supplies, such as scissors, mirrors, shampoo, hair dye, and blow dryers
  • Travel expenses and gas
  • State-required stylist licensing fees
  • Ongoing education
  • Stylist insurance

Basically, you can write off any business essential you use to build your brand.

Learn more with the following courses: You… A Salon Owner and The Power of Social Media and Salon Marketing.

3. Enroll in portable benefits

It’s important to have health benefits. And while benefits used to only be available to salon employees, critical benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and disability are now also available to the self-employed.

Portable benefits are work benefits that are associated with you, not your place of employment. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need professional liability insurance that is tied to you wherever you go, in addition to full coverage on dental, medical, and vision. 

For more information, visit the Professional Beauty Association’s insurance marketplace for portable benefits that cater to your needs and budget.

4. Market yourself like a pro

In order to maintain a profitable cosmetology business, you’re going to need clients. That’s why marketing your services is so important.

Self-promotion doesn’t have to be expensive or dull. It can actually be fun and free! Social media is the easiest (and most affordable) way to sell yourself to new clients. 

Build an online portfolio of your work on Instagram. After you’ve created your business page, you can also add a book/call button on your profile, making it effortless for clients to get in touch with you.

5. Open a separate business bank account

In order to enjoy financial freedom as a self-employed beauty professional, you need to be super disciplined about your money. This is why it’s a smart idea to have a few business bank accounts, including a Solo 401(k), to save for your own retirement, and an account that you allocate to just tax money.

If you’re ready to fulfill your dreams and build your empire, now is the perfect time to launch your beauty business. Despite the world being shook by a pandemic, more people are choosing to visit a solo stylist instead of putting themselves at risk by visiting a busy salon.

With these tips for self-employed salon professionals, you can successfully launch a profitable beauty business today!

Want to learn more? We recommend the following cosmetology CE courses: You… A Salon Owner and The Power of Social Media and Salon Marketing. Plus, check out our growing library of cosmetology CE courses, or enjoy an unlimited pass to all courses with Elite Passport Membership.

This post was originally published on December 2, 2020 and updated on May 26, 2021.

About The Author