12 Tips for Starting a Flourishing Cosmetology School

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Are you looking into opening a cosmetology school? There are numerous guides and step-by-step instructions, but you need more? Cosmetology and education are both very interesting and promising businesses, but they also require dedication and attention to details.


A cosmetology school is designed to educate professionals in different branches of beauty treatments. The courses at such schools may include:


  • General cosmetology;
  • Hair care;
  • Hair coloring;
  • Nail care;
  • Skincare;
  • Salon management.


Here, we have gathered the tips for starting a cosmetology school that help the most.


1. Learn everything you can about the beauty business



Want to create a promising cosmetology school? First, you need to become a student yourself. Research the schools in your area and enroll in the one that is deemed the best. Here you get two advantages:


  • you know a good school looks like from the inside and from the perspective of a student;
  • you get inspiration and ideas for your own school.


What you should know before starting a cosmetology school? Everything that is directly or indirectly related to cosmetology. There are standards and basics that every school should offer its students, but giving them outdated information is a no-go. For example, beauty injections (e.g., vitamin cocktails, hyaluronic acid, botox) and laser technologies are popular right now, so learning about them is important for your future students to build a good.


Additionally, research beauty salons in your area. What do they look for in a future employed professional? — That’s the kind of professional that should graduate from your school.


2. Study your target audience



Next, you should study your target audience. Find out who these people are, their interests, likes, and dislikes, how they solve their problems, what they like to read, and so on. Information like that will help you identify your course of actions in opening a cosmetology school.


And also: Where do they search for information? What kind of criteria do they follow when choosing a cosmetology school? It defines how you are going to market your school, what channels of advertising you are going to use.


For example, if your target audience is fresh out of college, still trying to decide on the career path, it’s one way of advertising. On the other hand, if they have worked in the beauty business, but, for some reason, had a big gap in practice and want to refresh their knowledge, it’s a completely different kind of advertising.


3. Develop the concept of your school



Any guide on how to start a cosmetology school will tell you that concept is important. Defining the concept provides a meaningful direction to your business, forms its foundation, so to speak. What are your goals with this school, what are you trying to achieve? Making money is just the surface, but if you are preparing beauty professionals, your aims are more idealistic. Like for example, making people feel beautiful (e.g., new hairstyle) or help people relax (e.g., a SPA program or massage).


Maybe sustainability is important to you and you want to popularize it in the cosmetology business: use biodegradable materials in your school, sulfate-free or organic products, fill the schools’ space with flower pots. It’s a great concept for a school, just make sure that you have the audience for that or you know how to advertise it efficiently — find the right leverage.


4. Develop a business plan



Now that you have all the above-mentioned information, you can write a business plan. It is one of the key elements in opening a cosmetology school that includes, but is not limited to:


  • Licenses you need to obtain or already have;
  • Courses your school will offer;
  • How many students you can teach in one session;
  • Your estimated expenses;
  • Where you intend to get the money;
  • How many teachers you will have.


And the list goes on. A business plan is not the easiest thing to write and you might be sifting through the numerous template. It’s a good idea, but be careful to use them only as references of structure and required contents.


5. Research good locations for your school



Search for a location that is easy to find, so you don’t run into a problem of students being late because of that. On the other hand, some students won’t even consider enrolling if your school is in an inconvenient location for them. Also, watch out for the room capacity: you can have a space with two or three rooms or even an open space, but the most important bit here is it should comfortably fit all students of a course.


How to start a beauty school business in a good location? Ask yourself these questions when viewing the offers:


  • Does this space need renovation before opening the school? -That requires extra money from your budget, so see if you can find a place that satisfies all your criteria.


  • Does it have enough room for your classes, practice, materials, equipment, etc.? — You don’t need a room per each group of students, but if you are going to have a several classes happening at the same time, the space should be divided, so they don’t interfere on each other. Additionally, there should be a storage room and a bathroom.


6. Analyze and compare the enrollment process in different cosmetology schools



The enrollment process in most schools is pretty much the same, whether it’s an interview or an exam (in case you offer advanced courses), but comparing different schools you might find some irregularities that shouldn’t have a place in your school. Comparing will also help you answer certain questions, such as:


  • What criteria to use in evaluating students?
  • What documents do they need to sign?
  • Who should interview or evaluate the students?


7. Create a positive learning environment



Something that not many guides on how to start a beauty school will touch base on is the psychological aspect of creating a learning environment. A big part of successful learning for students is how comfortable they feel during classes. Here are some tips on how you can improve their experience:


  • Hire good teachers. Remember, a good teacher is no the pro who knows everything, but one who can share their knowledge in an understandable manner, connect with students, be open-minded and supportive.


  • Provide all necessary study materials. Students should have all the necessary textbooks, products, materials, and equipment to facilitate learning.


  • Hire a good administrator. Someone who will make all students feel welcomed, but who can also organize the working process in a school.


8.Think of how you are going to set up practice for students



The biggest part of learning in a cosmetology school is practice. Theoretical knowledge is also important, but only hands-on experience can truly help you understand the material.


You already have the necessary products and equipment for practice. Now think of how you are going to alternate between theory and practice hours. It’s part of designing the curriculum before opening a cosmetology school. For example, it can be ongoing practice after each theoretical class or the course might be divided strictly into theory first — practice after. Also, students might be practicing on their fellow students or invited models.


9. Explore career options after completing a cosmetology school course



What professionals are most in demand in your town or city and which are not? For example, if there are numerous hair salons in your area then graduating hair stylists will be able to easily find job offerings.


Also, look at all the open vacancies and see if your school satisfies the list. In addition to that, it will give you an insight into how big or small your study groups should be.


10. Read tips for cosmetology students online



Your students are also consumers. Learning who they are, their concerns and struggles can give you an insight into what you can offer them that no other school could. If you need more tips for starting a cosmetology school, you can watch YouTube videos where people share their experience with other cosmetology schools. These videos are the best source of information about the pros and cons they’ve experienced — make sure your school will offer only the pros.


Many former students also offer tips on how to choose a good school, blog posts titled “What you should know before starting a cosmetology school”. Read several articles and find common tips. This will help you create a product that satisfies the most important criteria for your future students as consumers and also give you ideas for advertising.


11. Offer moral support to all your students from the very beginning to the end of a course



The goal of every student is to pass the exams successfully and find a good job. Any course also helps you understand if you are aiming for the right career path (how much you like what you’ll be doing). As a result, students become more stressed leading up to the examination.


On the other hand, it’s your job to provide them with everything they might need to pass the examination, such as knowledge and practice. What they might lack is confidence, so it is important to morally support each student — give them the confidence that they can succeed.


12. Don’t stop learning



Continue attending lectures, conferences, and seminars even after opening a cosmetology school. Here, you can find teachers and mentors, make connections, maybe even find sponsors, and stay up-to-date with the beauty industry.




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