Beauty Industry Careers:
Understanding the Beauty Industry Options Out There
It’s no secret that the beauty industry is full of unique, exciting career opportunities.
Once you find your own preferred way to wade through some of the remaining stigmas that surrounds the beauty industry (which, BTW, if you didn’t already know, is totally bogus), you open yourself up to a world of possibility, options, and endless potential for growth.
No matter what niche of the beauty industry you’ve invested yourself in (hairstylist, esthetician, cosmetologist, MUA, or a unique combination of those jobs and others), there’s limitless potential just waiting for you to step up and take it. And if you’re reading this article, we can already tell your game for doing just that.
But before you start truly kicking butt in your beauty career, it’s important to actually understand just how much potential is out there waiting for you. There are tons of beauty industry jobs out there for you.
Yeah, in a way, we’re talking about the literally limitless career niches you can specialize in, like becoming the ultimate lash and brow export, a color specialist, a nail tech pro, etc. (PS. check out this list here and to give yourself some brief insight into just a few of the career branches we’re talking about).
But we’re also talking about where and how you work, too.
The beauty industry affords us all the opportunity to create the careers that fit our lifestyles the best—whether that means running an independent salon on your own, renting out a suit, becoming a mobile stylist, or going for a traditional gig in a franchise salon.
Ultimately, we want you to read this post with an open mind. No matter what you decide is the right fit for you, the most important message we want you to glean from this info is that you’ve got options!
Our industry is uniquely wonderful—we’re creative, we’re badass business moguls, we’re a million things wrapped into one. Why should our careers ever have to mimic each other?
What works for one beauty pro might not work for another, and there’s no shame in that game. The most important thing to realize is that there are endless possibilities out there, and as beauty pros, we can set ourselves to snatch up the opportunities and make them our own.
Now, get to reading! You’ve got prospects to learn about and ceilings to shatter!
Understanding Your Options: The Beauty Industry Jobs You Should Know About
A franchise salon is a type of salon that runs under the authority of a franchisee who is legally allowed to use a brand’s name, their proprietary knowledge, processes, and trademarks to sell a product or a service. Examples of franchises include big companies like Great Clips, Supercuts, Cost Cutters, Amazing Lash studios, etc.
Working at a franchised salon—or alternatively, deciding to own a franchise and be a franchisee—offers a lot of benefits, but like with any career, can also throw a few less-than-appealing curve balls your way.
Pros of working for or owning a franchise:
- You get first-hand experience and valuable knowledge by working with an established brand that’s forged success in a challenging industry.
- You’ll often get to work with professional, talented colleagues and mentors who can help train you (this is especially helpful if you’re just starting out).
- Protocol, regulations, capital, staff, and increased profitability are all sort of in place for you. A franchise isn’t an independent salon—there are several other franchises out there that have seen success. So, the recipe is already there for you.
- There’s a reduced risk for working at a franchise or being a franchisee—everything is already spelled out for you, so you can mitigate a lot of start-up risk.
Cons of working for or owning a franchise:
- Often, you’ll have to abide by specific codes and protocols, so, creative freedom might not be as readily available.
- The recipe for success already exists—often, you’re not permitted to deviate from this recipe.
- You’re likely required to offer certain services, you might not be able to raise your prices at your preferred rate, and you’re probably stuck selling products that your franchise approves—AKA, you won’t always get a say in what goes on.
- If you’re working at the franchise or you’re the franchisee, there’s always someone higher up the chain you need to report to.
Working for or owning a traditional, stand-alone salon can be an exciting and rewarding opportunity. Oftentimes, there’s plenty of room for creative freedom, you typically can foster a better relationship with your boss or your employees, and you can (most likely) do things the way you want to do things.
Traditional salons are typically independent businesses run by an owner or two and are comprised of stylists who either work on commission or rent a chair inside a salon.
Pros of working at or owning a traditional salon:
- You don’t have to run procedures or protocol up the chain of command—there’s typically just one boss (unless you’re the boss) and they work at the salon with you
- You’re allowed more creative freedom than working at a franchise that has specific, regulated rules
- You’ll have more of a say in the stylists and professionals who work alongside you and you can develop friendships in a safe space
- You’ll likely be able to update your rates and services at a faster pace (and the process will probably be easier, too)
- You’ll likely have the opportunity to learn from your peers and colleagues—as well as teach them plenty, too
- On the tough, busy days, you have a team backing you up
- You’ll have a say in the marketing, how you’re represented at that salon, and in what type of clients you work with
Cons of working at or owning a traditional salon:
- If you work at the salon and don’t own it, you’re still working for someone else
- If you own the salon, you’ll still need to manage and enforce rules for your employees, which can often cause drama and negativity
- You don’t have total creative freedom if you’re working a traditional salon—more than you would at a franchise, but a lot less than if you’re working independently
- You’re in charge of your station and your services, but because it’s a team environment, you might need to pick up someone else’s slack—even if you don’t want to
Salon Suite or Chair Renter
Choosing to rent a salon suite or a chair in a salon can help you run a more autonomous, creative business—especially if you’re not into a boss telling you what to do (we can relate, okay). Renting a salon suite is a lot like running your own business, but there are a few caveats to be aware of.
Pros of renting a chair or salon suite:
- Typically, creative freedom is up to you!
- You’re not obligated to follow anyone’s procedures or processes
- You’re autonomous despite not owning a space
- You likely don’t need to worry about upkeep or maintenance—that’s typically something the owner of the salon or salon suite company has to worry about
- You can add in whatever services you want, charge what you want, and make all of your own decisions
- You’re your own boss—that means every facet of your business is up to you
- There’s very little overhead (compared to owning your own salon space), so you can allocate the money you save to something else
Cons of renting a chair or salon suite:
- Though the space is yours to decorate and work out of, if you’re renting, it does not belong to you
- You don’t get total creative freedom of your space and you’ll need to be mindful of the owner’s rules
- You get to be your own boss—that means every facet of your business is up to you (including the stuff you might not like, running the books, marketing, customer service, etc.)
- There are no guidelines or rules to follow—you’re responsible for creating and enforcing these
100% Independent Mobile Stylist
Being an independent, mobile stylist is a hot trend right now and we can totally understand why. As a mobile stylist, you’re not bound by the walls of a salon or spa—you work wherever you want to work doing whatever you want to do. This means you can work out of a van, at your clients’ homes, in rental spaces, etc.—the location is totally up to you!
Pros of being an independent mobile stylist:
- You get to bond with your clients in a unique, tight-knit way
- You can make a ton of money this way—typically your overhead is minimal, and your profits are killer
- You get the chance to create your own work environment—it’s all within your control
- You can be as flexible as you want with your hours, your services, and your time
- You’re your own boss—there’s no one else to answer to
- You get 100% creative freedom
- You don’t have to deal with things you don’t want to—how you work and when you work is up to you
Cons of being an independent mobile stylist:
- You’ll need to invest in all your equipment, tools, and the space you’re working with
- You’ll need to (in most cases) drive to your clients and deal with factors that are out of your control (like traffic, etc.)
- You’ll probably have to deal with people you don’t always like, and you’ll need to learn how to avoid situations that make you uncomfortable
- You’ll likely be working long hours alone without anyone’s help, so it takes some mental toughness
- Understanding your license and what you’re able to do or not do is entirely on your shoulders
- Every facet of the job is up to you—marketing, finances, insurance, etc. All of that is your job
At the end of the day, what matters is that you choose a beauty career path that speaks to you. It doesn’t matter what works for someone else—you’ve got to do you! If you’re destined to run your own salon or suite singlehandedly, more power to you. If you are absolutely obsessed with working for your fave franchise, do it! If you’re more invested in the brand ambassador side of things then honey, get to work!
No matter what, all that matters is that you’re happy, you’re working on creating your version of success, and that you’re loving your job day in and day out (even when a bad day is thrown your way).
If that means you’re still on the fence about what to do—don’t sweat it. These decisions take time. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a few different options before you settle on what works best for you.
Have some advice for your fellow beauty community members to help steer them in the right direction? Great! Drop your advice in our comment section below—we can bet the beauty pro community is dying to hear your feedback and will appreciate anything you throw their way!
Remember, no matter what type of beauty career you choose, you’ve got to make sure you’re protecting it, yourself, and your reputation. The easiest, most effective way to do that? Professional beauty liability insurance.
Sure, sure—we get that you’re probably not surprised that the insurance company is slinging’ a sales pitch at you. But we’re here to tell you that—while we’d love your business—all we care about is that you’re partnering with a company worth their salt—one that provides you with the guaranteed protection and peace of mind you need!
Want to chat about your options? Reach out to Beauty Insurance Plus TODAY (like, right now!) to discuss policies, payment plans, and how liability insurance can cover you when you need it most!