How to Start a Microblading Business
Starting a microblading business offers an opportunity to tap into the ever-growing beauty industry. As a semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing technique, microblading has seen a surge in popularity. But how does one turn this skill into a thriving business?
In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of the business, outline the steps to get started, and answer common questions to equip you with the knowledge needed to kickstart your microblading venture.
A microblading business provides semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos using a handheld tool made up of several tiny needles to deposit pigment under the surface of the skin. The microblading technique allows the technician to create realistic hair-like strokes that mimic the appearance of real eyebrow hairs. Services are typically offered out of salons, spas, or private studio spaces.
As the business owner, your time will be spent on client consultations, performing procedures, managing the microblading studio space and operations, handling finances, marketing services, and maintaining industry credentials.
Related Business Ideas
Microblading Industry Summary
The microblading industry sits within the growing semi-permanent makeup segment which also includes other cosmetic tattooing services like eyeliner, lip blushing, and areola restoration. Industry growth is driven by the popularity of microblading for its ability to create natural-looking brows with minimal daily upkeep. Social media has also helped fuel interest in the microblading look.
One of the key trends in the microblading industry is the increasing demand for natural-looking eyebrows, which microblading excellently caters to. In addition, there’s a growing trend of offering microblading services from home, which reduces the overhead costs associated with renting a commercial space. Digital marketing, particularly through social media platforms, is another trend that businesses are leveraging to reach a wider audience.
The target demographic is primarily women ages 30-50 seeking cosmetic enhancements. However, microblading appeals to a wide audience, including:
- Those with overplucked brows seeking fuller shaping
- People with natural thin brows looking to add density
- Any individual seeking convenient, low-maintenance brows
- Cancer patients and those with hair loss conditions
- Time-strapped professionals
- Brides/events clients wanting special occasion brows
Checklist To Start A Microblading Business
Starting a microblading business is an exciting journey that requires more than technical skills. This checklist is designed to help get your business off the ground!
Step 1: Assess the Market
Before you invest your hard-earned money and valuable time into a microblading business, you need to be sure that there’s a demand for this service in your desired location. Understanding the market helps in making informed decisions rather than relying on guesswork.
There are a few key reasons why demand validation is so important:
- It provides objective data to assess your business idea’s viability and profitability. Starting a business based solely on assumptions is risky. Market research helps minimize risks by giving insights into your potential customer base and overall demand.
- It can reveal potential problems or barriers you may not have considered. For example, research could show saturation in your local area, limitations due to regulations, or obstacles to attracting your target demographics.
- It influences important business decisions on location selection, pricing, marketing channels, etc. Solid data leads to more informed choices.
- It tests assumptions about who your customers will be. Research may reveal opportunities with demographics you didn’t initially consider.
- It provides benchmark data to help set realistic revenue goals and projections.
There are several cost-effective ways aspiring microblading entrepreneurs can research the market demand:
- Review industry statistics on projections for growth and trends. Trade organizations like the American Academy of Micropigmentation provide market overviews.
- Conduct surveys or interviews with your target demographics to gauge interest and what pricing or services they’d be looking for.
- Search for active discussions in places like Facebook groups or Reddit threads related to beauty, cosmetics, microblading, etc., and observe what people are saying.
- Visit competitors’ websites, social media pages, and even their physical locations if possible. Take note of their services, prices, and customer reviews.
- Attend beauty, tattoo, or esthetics trade shows to network and get a sense of industry enthusiasm from both professionals and attendees.
- Google Trends is a free tool that can help you analyze the popularity of microblading in your region.
Step 2: Write a Business Plan
After validating the potential interest for a new microblading business, the next critical step is creating a business plan. There are some key reasons why having a detailed plan is so important:
- It forces you to thoroughly think through every aspect of the business. A plan transforms a vague concept into an actionable strategy.
- It identifies potential pitfalls and risks so you can prepare solutions. A plan helps anticipate challenges before you launch.
- It outlines financial needs and creates budgets/projections. This is key for funding requests.
- It establishes concrete goals and metrics to track ongoing progress. A plan keeps you focused and accountable.
For a microblading business, some sections that require extra attention when seeking funding. These include:
Market analysis: This section should highlight your understanding of the market, competition, and customer needs. Be sure to detail why your business will succeed, pinpointing what sets you apart and how you’ve tailored your services to meet local demands.
Management team: The success of a business often hinges on the people behind it. Detail your and your team members’ qualifications, experience, and skills.
Competitive analysis: With growing competition, explain why you can stand out. Focus on factors like quality of work, customer service, amenities like complimentary beverages, and geographic advantages.
Marketing plan: Detail specific channels to connect with potential clients. Digital and social strategies tailored for your target demographics are key. Investors want to see how you’ll spread awareness and build a loyal client base.
Financial plan: Provide a clear picture of your financial expectations, including projected revenue, expenses, and profitability. This information is particularly important for potential investors or lenders, as it gives them an idea of the feasibility of the business making a profit.
Related: How to write a business plan
Step 3: Secure Funding
After solidifying your market understanding and business plan, securing funding is the next major hurdle in starting your microblading business. When it comes to starting a microblading business, securing the necessary funding can be a significant hurdle.
The first and most straightforward source of funding is personal savings. The advantage of using personal savings is that you maintain full control over your funds and have no loan payments to worry about.
If personal savings aren’t enough to start the business, there are a few other common sources of funding to look at.
Traditional lenders: Banks and credit unions often offer loans to small businesses. However, they typically require borrowers to invest between 15% and 25% of their personal funds into the business, have a good credit score, and provide sufficient collateral. If a bank feels the loan is too risky, they might use an SBA loan guarantee to secure the loan.
Friends and family: Another source of funding for many small businesses includes friends and family. They may be willing to invest in your business or lend you money at a lower interest rate than banks. It’s important to put these agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
Microloans: If your funding needs are low or if you don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan, microloans can be a good alternative. These are small, short-term loans offered by different organizations, including nonprofit and economic development organizations. Some even provide business training in addition to funding, offering further support for your new venture.
Angel investors: Angel investors are individuals with a high net worth who provide startup capital in exchange for ownership equity. These are often local people interested in seeing you succeed or your type of business. However, bear in mind that securing investment from angel investors can be challenging. Most are looking for businesses with high growth potential and scalability, and they’ll want a say in how the business is run.
Step 4: Register the Business
Starting a microblading business is an exciting venture, but it’s important to make sure everything is done legally and according to your specific state regulations. Here are some essential steps and considerations for registering your microblading business:
Choose a business structure: There are four main types of business structures: Sole Proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). The choice depends on factors like the size of your business, the number of owners, and how you want to be taxed.
- Sole proprietorship: Most common for small-scale businesses due to its ease of startup and lower costs. Ideal if you plan to run the business alone.
- Partnership: Similar to a sole proprietorship and suitable if you’re starting the business with one or more partners.
- Corporation: Offers liability protection but is the most complex and often costly to set up.
- LLC: Offers a balance between liability protection and ease of management.
For small businesses like a microblading salon, sole proprietorship and LLC are the most common options.
Related: Comparison of business structures
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!
ZenBusiness - Best for beginners. $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!
Northwest - Best privacy protection. $39 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!
Business name registration: After registering the business structure, you may need to register your business name. This process will vary depending on what business structure you pick. Sole proprietors and partnerships will often be required to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA), while corporations and LLCs register with the state during the formation process.
During this time, it’s also a good idea to check if the name you want is available as a web domain, even if you’re not ready to set up a website yet.
Microblading certification: Most states do not require an esthetician or cosmetologist license to start microblading. However, many states require a professional license through the state’s Department of Health for tattooing, while others may require a body art permit or permanent makeup certification. A tattooing license often requires a complete blood-borne pathogens course and a certification of accomplished training hours.
Be sure to research if you need a general business license, cosmetology license, body art permit, or permanent makeup certification. Some states have specific microblading licenses. There are a variety of microblading courses through Udemy and others.
Obtain business licenses and permits: Depending on your location, there will likely be a variety of general licenses or permits needed before opening. This could include a business license, seller’s permit, and Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Related: State guides for general business licensing
Step 5: Select your Location
The physical location of your business is a critical aspect that can greatly influence its success.
It’s best to start your search early, as finding the ideal space can take time. Thoroughly explore all options in your area, including storefronts, salon suites, vacant offices, or commercial buildings. Securing your funding before signing contracts is key, as funding may be delayed or denied.
The space should allow for a welcoming reception area, comfortable client chair, proper ventilation, sterilization equipment, and secure storage for supplies. Also, be sure to consider factors such as visibility, accessibility, and proximity to other businesses that attract a similar clientele.
Last, don’t overlook checking on building signage regulations and zoning laws to be sure your business is legal to operate out of that location.
Step 6: Purchase Equipment & Supplies
Purchasing the right equipment is a critical part of starting your microblading business. The tools you choose will be an essential part of your service delivery, impacting both the quality of your work and the satisfaction of your clients.
Start by identifying the necessary tools for your microblading practice. Some essential equipment includes an adjustable reclining technician chair, ring light magnifier, autoclave steam sterilizer, needle cartridge/pen grips, and workstation/trolley. Also, budget for disposable supplies – gloves, aprons, gauze, numbing cream/spray, aftercare ointment, etc. Stock up on pigments in an array of natural shades.
When it comes to choosing suppliers, opt for reputable companies that offer quality products. PhiBrows, Art Of Beauty Academy, and M SHOP are some of the leading suppliers in the industry known for their range and quality of microblading products.
As you shop around, compare prices across different vendors, but remember not to compromise on the quality and durability of the products – these are essential for delivering professional services to your clients.
Some suppliers offer comprehensive microblading kits that bundle all the essential tools you need, which can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing items individually.
Finally, ensure that all your equipment is purchased and set up well before your opening day. This will give you ample time to familiarize yourself with the tools and be fully prepared to serve your first clients.
Step 7: Create a Marketing Strategy
Getting the word out about your new microblading 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. Implementing a marketing plan for your microblading business involves embracing several effective strategies to connect with potential clients and build your brand.
One popular method is utilizing social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, showcasing before-and-after photos of your work and sharing client testimonials. This visual approach resonates well with customers seeking beauty enhancements. Additionally, running targeted online ads in local areas can increase visibility among those specifically looking for microblading services.
A user-friendly website with self-booking capabilities can be an effective way to attract and retain clients. Make sure your site is professional in appearance, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines (SEO) to improve its visibility on search engine results pages.
After getting your company online, claiming your business on free online business directories is worth doing. Platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places allow you to claim your business and provide essential details like your location, hours, and services. This enhances your online presence and encourages client reviews, which can be a powerful tool in attracting new customers.
Another approach is building partnerships with local salons, spas, and beauty schools, offering mutual referrals or cross-promotions. Collaborating with these establishments can place your business in front of a relevant audience already interested in beauty services.
Networking through local business groups and joining the Chamber of Commerce can also contribute to your growth. Engaging in community events and Chamber activities offers opportunities to network with other business owners and potential clients, fostering valuable relationships.
Step 8: Prepare to Open!
We have touched on a lot of common areas to address as you approach your launch. Every business will have different needs, and there are likely a number of loose ends to tie up before opening your doors. While the specific needs may vary, here are some universal aspects to consider:
Business insurance: Protect your business from potential liabilities with appropriate insurance. This may include general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, or property insurance to safeguard your tools and space.
Setting up bookkeeping: Proper bookkeeping ensures accurate financial records and helps with tax compliance. Consider hiring a professional or using software like Wave Accounting (FREE) or Quickbooks to maintain your financial records.
Contracts: Drafting clear contracts is essential. These may include client consent forms, release of liability agreements, and service agreements.
RocketLawyer and Law Depot have free and inexpensive templates that may be helpful, though you may want to consult with a lawyer to ensure all your contracts are legally sound and protect your business.
Opening a bank account: Separate your personal and business finances by opening a dedicated business bank account. This aids in tracking expenses and revenue.
Utilizing management software: Utilizing industry-specific management software can streamline your operations. Some popular options for salons and spas include Rosy, Simple Spa, MindBody, and many others offer features like online booking, inventory management, and more.
Setting pricing: Determine your service pricing by evaluating costs, competitor pricing, and your target market’s expectations.
Hiring employees: If you plan to hire employees, start the hiring process. This includes creating job descriptions, interviewing candidates, and setting up payroll.
Preparing for the grand opening: lan for your grand opening. This might involve organizing a special promotional event, sending out invitations, or offering opening-day discounts to attract clients.
This material is property of StartingYourBusiness.com
Common Questions When Starting A Microblading Business
How much does it cost to start a microblading business?
Starting a microblading business requires an initial investment of approximately $7,000 to $15,000 to cover the key startup costs and get your business off the ground:
Equipment like chairs, lamps, autoclaves, and microblading tools will likely run $2,000 to $5,000. Quality tools are worth the investment.
Initial inventory like pigments, needles, numbing cream, disposables, and post-care averages around $2,000 to start.
Training courses to get certified in microblading techniques can range from $2,000 to $4,000. Be sure to choose an accredited training program to get the best training.
Licensing and permits vary but plan for about $1,000 in fees to legally comply in your state.
Securing and building out a studio space will cost $2,000 to $5,000+, depending on the location and renovations needed.
Insure your business with general liability coverage at a minimum to cover legal costs if a client or visitor sues for bodily injury or property damage that occurs on your premises. Expect $800 to $1,000 per year.
Marketing like a website, printing cards/flyers, and digital ads will run $1,500 to start.
Other costs like a business license, merchant fees, furniture, and decor will likely add an additional $1,000 or so.
I’d also recommend having at least 3-6 months of operating capital on hand for rent, payroll, and other expenses so you can withstand any unforeseen slow periods when starting out.
How profitable is a microblading business?
Profits in the microblading industry can vary significantly based on factors such as location, expertise, marketing effectiveness, and client base.
The average cost of a microblading session varies on a number of factors, with a low of $250 up to $2,000, but the average is around $600. With 10 clients per week (500 per year, based on a 50-week year) at $600 per client, you would generate $6,000 per week or $300,000 annually based on a 50-week year.
Then, we have to subtract expenses. These can include:
– Supplies ($50 per client, or $2,100 per month)
– Rent and utilities ($2,000 per month)
– Insurance ($100 per month)
– Marketing ($500 per month)
– Miscellaneous ($400 per month)
Total expenses in this scenario are $5,100 per month or $61,200 per year.
Subtracting revenues from expenses, we have $300,000 (revenue) – $61,200 (expenses), giving us a profit of $238,800 annually.
Keep in mind that this is a simplified example, and individual experiences may vary. The skill and reputation of the microblading artist, the competitive landscape, and ongoing efforts to attract and retain clients all play a part in determining profit.
Offering additional services or products, optimizing costs, and maximizing client satisfaction are strategies that can further increase profitability in the microblading business. It’s also worth considering that as the business grows and gains reputation, there may be opportunities to charge higher prices, thereby increasing revenue and profit.
What skills are needed to start a microblading business?
Running a successful microblading business involves a blend of artistic skills, technical expertise, and business acumen. Here are some key abilities needed to operate a successful microblading business:
Patience: Microblading is a meticulous process that requires a great deal of precision and care. Patience is crucial, both in performing the procedure and in dealing with the administrative tasks related to running a business.
Attention to detail: A successful microblading artist needs a keen eye for detail. This helps ensure the brows are symmetrical and the individual strokes are precise.
Grace under pressure: Microblading can be stressful, especially when starting out. You’ll need to be able to stay calm and focused under pressure.
Love for beauty: A passion for beauty and aesthetics can help drive your success in this field.
Business knowledge and experience: Understanding how to manage a business is key. This includes areas like marketing, finance, customer service, and regulatory compliance.
It’s important to note that these skills can be developed over time, and many successful microblading artists continue to learn and grow throughout their careers.
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.