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Industry • Best Practice

How Much Revenue Can Your Eyelash Extension Business Make?

Location, scale, accumulated expertise, and the total salon experience can all affect how much revenue an eyelash extension business generates

It doesn’t take an expert analyst to see the eyelash extensions industry has expanded immensely in recent years. The sector was worth around $1.36 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to a value of $2.31 billion by 2028 — a huge jump. With so much to be gained, it’s no wonder self-care business workers are not only pursuing eyelash extension experience but are ultimately aiming to open their own salons for total control of the business. 

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions to be asked. Is the lash business profitable? What can I expect from eyelash extension business revenue? And how do I identify and best serve the target market for eyelash extensions in my community? Reading this guide will help you answer these questions and decide for yourself how to approach opening an eyelash extension business of your own.

Are eyelash extensions a profitable business?

They certainly can be, but a lot of that depends on how well founders set themselves up for success when they first open their business. Most eyelash extension experts start off in a salon owned by someone else. Eyelash extension industry statistics show lash technicians earn an average yearly salary of $43,424 — possibly enough to start putting aside seed money for their own business. Once they’ve accumulated sufficient experience and secured the necessary capital, those with an entrepreneurial spirit open their own salons see their average income rocket to $90,480 per year.

Of course, that’s not all pure profit. Becoming an eyelash expert in itself demands an upfront investment of time and money, as most states require practitioners to earn a license before they can begin working. Owning one’s own studio also brings a slew of new costs to consider. You’ll need to pay for the space in which your business operates, furnish that space with necessary infrastructure and eye-catching decor, purchase the tools of the trade, manage the resupplying of single-use or limited-use tools such as gloves, and payroll any lash artists you hire beyond yourself.

That’s a lot to pay for, but with considered strategy and a clear-eyed view of market conditions, your eyelash business can bring in attractive profits.

Maximizing eyelash extension business revenue

The first step in ensuring your eyelash extension business revenue hits the marks you set for it is research. You’ll need to consider which demographics in your area correlate with the target audience you’re hoping to reach. Is your salon going to be an all-day, upscale, pampering experience, or will it have a more accessible, drop-in vibe? Making these determinations can help you decide where to open, as you’ll want to be near the neighborhoods in which your target audience lives, shops, or works. It can also feed into more decisions down the line, such as…

Optimizing price

The formula for setting the perfect prices takes in a lot of variables. How experienced are you or your lash artists? What are the cost of living and average salary in your area? How many other eyelash extension businesses are providing similar services, and what are they charging?

When it comes to experience, a wealth of knowledge and practice will always help you justify higher prices. People are willing to pay for quality service, especially if their salaries outpace the cost of living. That becomes even more true if there are relatively few beauty businesses competing for lash service, as constricted supply will make clients willing to pay more. Conversely, if your staff is green, your clients have lower average salaries, or there are plenty of competitors in the area, you may need to adjust your prices downward.

Let’s take Milwaukee as an example. The city has a cost of living around the national average, and there are dozens of eyelash extension businesses in the area. Prices for classic lash extensions range from $110-$300 based on the salon. If you were opening your business there, you might choose a price within that range but weighted toward one or the other end of the spectrum based on your experience and the quality of your work. In a smaller city, such as Lafayette, Louisiana, you’ll find fewer competitors, but a lower average salary, so you’ll likely need to compromise by lowering prices somewhat.

As you accrue working hours or upgrade the salon experience, don’t be afraid to adjust prices after opening. As long as the changes and their reasoning are communicated to clients well ahead of time, you’ll be able to contain the fallout of a price hike

Marketing strategies

Think marketing is just for attracting new clients? Not true. Marketing strategies drive both client acquisition and retention, which is why they’re an indispensable tool for raising your eyelash extension business revenue. Consider advertising in local media or around town, with deals for first-time clients, to kickstart business. Working with other local businesses can create a virtuous circle of referrals and repeat clients, with bundled offerings or simple in-shop advertising encouraging clients of one business to patronize another.

It may feel hopelessly old school, but email is still one of the most cost-effective marketing channels there is. Your online booking solution means you already have a ready-made mailing list, so leverage that with a thoughtful (and fabulous) email outreach. Each email you send is a chance to build a lasting relationship, as email marketing can let you send personalized messages to clients. 

Social media platforms provide another exciting avenue for marketing. Facebook ads are a cost-efficient way to get your business in front of a huge number of potential clients, as are TikTok and Instagram ads for a slightly younger audience. These ads can lead users directly to your booking site, or to an owned-and-operated page on those platforms where you can start building an engaged online community.

Upselling, cross-selling, and retail

But maybe you’ve already got all the business you can handle so getting new clients isn’t on your mind. In that case, it’s time to maximize revenue from your existing client base. One way to do it is to offer upgrades to more expensive services such as volume or mega-volume lashes. Clients regularly pay more for the bold looks they get through additional volume, allowing you to elevate your services and revenue simultaneously. You can even encourage clients who begin the booking process with classic extensions to upgrade to volume or mega-volume lashes — a classic upsell that helps optimize revenue. 

Other supplemental services such as hydrating under-eye gel pads go hand-in-hand with lash work. Suggesting these services during booking can encourage clients to pay for an even more luxurious experience, making sure they have the best time possible at your business while earning you max revenue.

Finally, remember that your services need not end when the client leaves the business. If you incorporate retail sales of popular beauty products into your business, you can support your clients’ at-home needs and invigorate your bottom line simultaneously.

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