How to Get Your Cosmetology License

Daniel A., January 2, 2022

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In a world where we seem to be moving to a completely digital and Internet-based society, there are still services that have not been changed from their origin. Amongst those services that have survived this worldwide transition is cosmetology. If you’re wondering how to get your cosmetology license, read on.

As defined, cosmetology is the professional care and beautification of hair, skin, and nails. Thus it is a trade skill that has to be performed face to face, which is why it has lasted as one of the last aspects of society that isn’t completely Internet-based.

Starting a business in this industry like any other has its challenges but what makes cosmetology different is that a certain skill is required. An example of this is the fact that if you are a nail technician and a client asks for a specific design you are expected to accomplish the task. If you cannot accomplish what was asked of you then you may just lose a customer because it would appear that you lack the skill. Other industries are not as skill-based.

For your cosmetology license – planning is Everything

The saying goes “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and there is a lot of truth to it. The very basis of starting a cosmetology business of any kind is planning. There are so many different factors and anomalies to plan for and even with that, the most detailed person will still not be prepared for everything. The following are some tips and suggestions to help with the potential launch of your future cosmetology business.

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Your Cosmetology License

An important aspect for the beginning of your cosmetology journey is the cosmetology license itself. Unfortunately, there is not one specific way to become a licensed cosmetologist due to different states having different requirements. Obviously, you first need to get a proper cosmetology education from an accredited cosmetology school or cosmetology program (and then pass the cosmetology license exam).

However, in a city such as Houston, more than schooling is required. This particular city would have you pay for the licensing fee and go through a background check that verifies you haven’t committed any act that can disqualify you from having a cosmetology business license. Also in each state, there are varying hours to be completed for each depending on the discipline. 

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First, get your cosmetology license.
First, get your cosmetology license.

Your Business Optics

After achieving the aforementioned step, which is attaining the proper credentials, it is then time to think about what your business will look like. Within these decisions is deciding the location, employees needed, amount of stylists, etc.

Location is important because you definitely want to be easily reachable but you have to factor in the demographic you are trying to service as well. Also to be considered is your local competition within the area. Something as simple as location can make or break your business from the start. Make sure you are able to be free with space for your location so you can decorate and give the business “the look” you desire.

Hiring the team you will be working with is equally as important. It doesn’t make for a very profitable business if your employees are not up to standard for the service they’re being asked to provide. Additionally, beyond their skill set, personalities have to mesh within the workplace and be welcoming to future customers. 

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cosmetology license exam
Pass your cosmetology license exam.

Plan Your Spending

Once you’ve obtained your cosmetology license, it’s time for the financial phase. Unexpected expenses are a part of the game when it comes to starting a new business venture. Before thinking of that, start planning for the cost of the location, necessities (equipment, seating, booths), and recurring expenses. 

Once you have calculated all those numbers you must not forget to include a piece of the budget for unexpected expenses. These kinds of expenses can include but are not limited to any maintenance the location needs, raising at bills prices, replacing equipment, etc. Anything can happen on any given day and you have to be able to budget your finances to withstand the situation. It is very common for budding businesses to fall apart due to mismanagement of funds due to unexpected scenarios that they could not overcome. 

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Financing Your Business

Most people do not have the ability to start their business with one hundred percent of their own money. Nevertheless, you can make use of another option to fulfill your dreams. A good option that most businesses go for is a Small Business Loan (keep in mind, they probably wouldn’t finance your cosmetology school or cosmetology program).

These loans are given by the US Small Business Administration to help entrepreneurs grow their beauty business endeavors. There are various types of this small business loan and it is important to research each one so that you see which will best benefit yourself in your startup.

Though the loan is available for you to apply for, it is also best that you try to save as much as you can in order to lessen the amount you will have to pay back later. It is recommended that you should save up to about $50,000 for a down payment. This number is an estimate and can change based on the type of equipment and inventory needed for the services you will be providing. 

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Choosing Stylists and Technicians

Whether your business revolves around hairstyling, eyelashes, makeup, or nails you are going to have to seek out workers to carry out the services in your shop. Before seeking out the talent you must decide how you will handle finances with them. Most places operate in one of two ways: paying them a commission or having them rent a chair/booth. It is to be noted that in order to retain the stylists/technicians you should make sure you stick with whatever option you chose from the beginning. 

A standard should be set for them as far proof of their qualifications for representing your business. If you feel they should all reside within ten miles of the shop then it has to be strictly enforced. If they need to have 2 years or more of experience then it also has to be the same enforcement. All the cosmetic talent should be of the same ilk thus they must be held to the same standards that you set from the onset. 

Along with the personal standards you set it is necessary to mention that all who provide a service in your business no matter how small the task must be part of a cosmetology license. In the past young businesses have been shut down due to the lack of proper credentials.

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Get Insurance

Insurance is a key factor in the business world. You will want to look into getting liability insurance, employee liability insurance, and equipment/stock insurance. Part of planning is staying ahead of the game and insure your business. This allows you to be prepared and protected for if the absolute worst occurs such as a fire or flood. Research rates from various insurance companies to see which option fits you best.

cosmetology program
Get into the right cosmetology program.

Marketing Your Business  

It was mentioned earlier in the article that the cosmetology industry is still a face-to-face service industry. However, once the pre-planning is completed and finalized, you can start to market and promote your business. 

You can begin with creating social media for the business. This allows for the business to be able to have consistent visibility and an online presence that can show off all aspects necessary. Potential clients/customers can see the location, the quality of the services, and even see reviews in the comments from those that have experienced the services first hand. Social media such as Instagram and TikTok are best utilized for displaying the type of content necessary. 

Though we live in a world where social media has been taking the crown for a large majority’s knowledge, do not forsake creating a general website. Keeping a website whilst using SEO techniques can give extra attention that can garner more interest.

The surrounding community of the business is a great place to do promotion as well. Of course, a more broad and diverse reach would come online, but the community will be some of your most loyal clients/customers. Using flyers and business cards employees should go into local restaurants, gyms, recreation centers, and stores to allow the neighborhood to become aware of their presence.  

Lastly, nothing beats great customer service. Word of mouth is still the most valuable way to market and if you provide great service the news will spread.

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Take Advantage of Persona

Any new business is set to become a step ahead in the game by using the Persona app. Per the Persona app website, they are the number one business and financial management platform for wellness professionals. Persona understands that you are already providing services to others so they want to step in to assist with the financial tasks that you may not be an expert with. They provide everything a regular bank provides and more. This includes help with payment collection and tracking, keeping track of how the business is doing financially, helping you pay less in taxes, and saving money overall. All this assistance is provided to assure that you can be dedicated one hundred percent to delivering the best services to your clients or customers. The best part of it all is that the app is free. 

Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. it's 100% free, download it now.


Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. Download it now, it's 100% free.

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