Start-Up Costs for Going Solo

Expenses to expect and how to properly budget


Running your own business as an esthetician is doubly rewarding. It’s a chance to run the show while bringing out your clients’ best and brightest. While it sounds like a dream, the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work and comes with initial costs.

When going solo, getting off the ground is the hardest part. However, if you know what to prepare for, your chances of success are through the roof. Keep reading for pro tips on budgeting and a look at expenses you can expect when going solo.

When going solo, you’re your own boss. How you run your business determines how much money you make every month.

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Esthetician Budgeting 101:

When going solo, you’re your own boss. How you run your business determines how much money you make every month. You have to budget and keep track of profits and losses along the way. Check out our list of pro tips to keep more of your earnings in your pocket.

#1. Be Realistic

If there is one piece of advice that all new solo estheticians should abide by, it’s this one. Being realistic means taking a good look at your profits and expenses and determining what you can afford. Some of the biggest things to be realistic about include:

  • Your rent (of course, we all want prime locations!)
  • Your treatment offerings
  • Your equipment

Don’t go as cheap as possible but consider cutting back when starting out. Remember, you can always upgrade over time, working your way up to your dream salon in no time.

#2. Cut Down on Expenses

If you’re not doing it already, you need to start using spreadsheets stat. They will help you keep track of what you’re spending and earning, helping you make wise decisions about how to allocate your money. If you can find ways to save, do it, saving up some funds for whatever challenges may come your way.

#3. Sell Unused Stuff

Whether it’s products, equipment, or even furniture, you could be making a profit off of things sitting around collecting dust. Only keep the things you need and do away with everything else, turning it into cold, hard cash.

Costs For Going Solo

One factor in breaking ground on your esthetician business is start-up costs. A lot goes into setting things up and keeping your business running, a few of which you might not consider. To start up your solo salon, here are some costs to consider.

Equipment and Supplies – $100+

To get things done, you have to have the things to do them. These can include machines, products, and equipment, which can cost much more than you bargained for.

Money Saver Tip: Start off by offering one service only. Go for your specialty and set up your salon for that one thing. It will save you a ton when first starting out, as purchasing equipment for a wide range of services can add up.

Rent – $2,000+

You can choose to provide services out of the home or travel to others’ homes, though it may take longer to establish yourself. If you’re looking for your own business with a physical location, you’ll need to find it, which could require a down payment and your first month’s rent.

It’s not just the place you have to consider, but also the utilities, including electricity, internet, and water.

Décor – $50+

The decor is extra but makes all the difference. Your salon should have personality, which you can achieve with décor. On top of that, this makes a comfortable environment for clients, one that they will want to come back to.

Business Formation –  $50+

Becoming an official business requires paperwork and fees. These include things like registering your business name and getting trademarks or copyrights. On top of the cost of registering yourself as a business, you may also want to take out insurance, which can save you in several cases.

Automation – Mostly Free!

Once you have all the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to fine-tune your setup. One way you can do that is to automate everything, including marketing, email, and appointments.

Money Saver Tip: There are so many free versions out there that are totally worth it if you’re a newcomer. Take advantage of them and use them when you can.

Stock – $100+

When you have products clients feel they can’t live without, they usually buy them. If you have it in stock, you can sell it and make a small profit on top. All the products that you know will be a big hit should be part of your inventory, helping you earn money when first starting out.

Advertising – $100+

You can get pretty crafty in the ways you choose to advertise, which is why you should brainstorm before spending any money. On top of getting crafty, spending a little is necessary to get your name out there, helping you attract clients and keep them coming back for more.

Money Save Tip: Pass out flyers or cards. It’s a cheaper way to advertise and means that you could have new clients coming to you in no time. Remember to add referral specials, as word of mouth is still the best way to spread the word.

Budgeting your money and setting realistic goals are essential to your success as a solo esthetician. Keep track of your finances and find ways to save, using the extra cash you have to create the solo business of your dreams.