Ever thought of starting A BEAUTY BUSINESS IN AUSTRALIA?

By Rebecca Foreman, Navitas x Welcome Merchant Blog Series #5

If you love all things relating to beauty and are thinking about making it your career in Australia, the beauty industry is a good source of employment for refugees wanting to start their own business.

Students learning practical skills in the Navitas Skilled Futures PTW Beauty Course

Let’s start at the beginning…

When we talk about starting your own beauty business in Australia, there’s a few things you should know.

The beauty industry is experiencing massive growth, making it an exciting prospect for people with a passion for beauty services. Whether you envision a shop, a salon, or a mobile service, the beauty business offers many possibilities. With the right qualifications and planning, starting out in the beauty industry can be straightforward, especially for migrants and refugees who take the right steps to achieve their goal.

One such step is enrolling in the Navitas Skilled Futures Pathways to Work Beauty Course, which is a wonderful introduction to learning basic communication and makeup skills related to the beauty business in Australia.

Mary Ann Blando, a Trainer at Navitas Skilled Futures, shares that it’s a wonderful option both for individuals who worked in this field in their original country, and for those who are looking for secure and interesting work in Australia. “Some students who have undertaken the course continue with higher level studies related to the field, as part of their career pathway plan, with the aim of starting their own business long term.”

In this guide, we will explore the various types of beauty businesses and services, the steps required to start one, and the importance of acquiring the right qualifications for success.

Students learning practical skills in the Navitas Skilled Futures PTW Beauty Course

Step 1: Choose your location

One of the best aspects of starting a beauty business is the flexibility it offers in your working environment. You can choose to operate your business from your home, or start a mobile set-up, or even lease/buy a salon space, but each option has its own considerations:

Starting a beauty business from home

Launching a beauty business from the comfort of your home requires the following:

  1. A commitment to providing a clean, comfortable, and well-equipped workspace which is comparable to professional salon standards.
  2. The necessary equipment and products for conducting services professionally.
  3. A commitment to maintaining health and safety standards, and providing a hygienic environment for clients.
  4. Software and electronics (e.g. POS machines, booking systems). 
  5. A marketing plan to promote your services and location.

Starting a mobile beauty business

A mobile beauty business, while cost-effective, needs to be carefully planned. Mary Ann Blando from Navitas shares,”Our students gain awareness of the workplace culture in Australia. They develop some understanding around work rights and responsibilities, as well as how to deal with customers and resolve workplace issues.” Some considerations include:

  1. Suitable transport (car) for reaching clients and transporting equipment.
  2. Consideration of additional costs and equipment for delivering services on the go (e.g. fuel, car insurance and maintenance service costs).
  3. Ensuring all beauty equipment and products are readily available in your vehicle.
  4. Flexible payment options, including portable POS systems, direct deposits, or cash.
  5. A marketing strategy that highlights your business and the areas you serve (e.g. Social media, such as Instagram and Facebook).

Leasing or buying a salon space

If you want to own your own salon, there are many important factors to consider:

  1. Finding a suitable rental property that aligns with your beauty business’s services.
  2. Showing a stable income to secure the property lease.
  3. Ensuring the salon lease’s agreement aligns with your business’s sustainability and available funding or savings.
  4. Shop fit-out costs, and purchasing furnishings, equipment, and products to provide professional services.

Selecting your beauty business service

Once you’ve determined your business location, it’s time to decide the services you will offer. Some salons offer a full range of beauty and hair services, while others specialise in specific treatments. 

Check out these popular beauty business ideas:

  1. Barbering and Hairdressing: Offer hair cutting, styling, colouring, and more, with further qualifications such as a Diploma of Salon Management and Certificate III in Barbering.
  2. Eyelash Extensions: The booming trend of eyelash extensions, focusing solely on this niche service.
  3. Nail Salon: Provide services like manicures, pedicures, gel polish, and foot massages, as a skilled nail technician.
  4. Skincare: Offer a variety of skincare treatments such as masks, peels, facials, and other related services.
  5. Makeup Artistry: Specialise in professional makeup services for weddings or special events.
  6. Hair Removal: Offer various hair removal options, including waxing, IPL, electrolysis, and brow shaping.

For all of the above, Navitas Skilled Futures’ free Pathways to Work Beauty Course is an excellent start, and can set you on the right path to getting your Certificate in Beauty Services from TAFE or equip you to start getting work experience immediately through an assistant role in a beauty salon. 

The students at Navitas Skilled Futures PTW Beauty Course gain awareness of the workplace culture in Australia,” Mary Ann Blando. 

Starting on a budget

Starting a salon-based beauty business with little money is possible but there are some up-front costs. While opening your business at home to reduce set-up costs is an option, expect some basic expenses regardless of location. The specific services you intend to offer will also affect the up-front costs..

Before launching your own salon-based beauty business, take these important factors into account:

  1. Legal Requirements: Ensure you acquire the necessary permits, licences, and registrations, which vary by state and business type. Visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service’s website for information on your specific  beauty business requirements, and keep your knowledge of these legal requirements up to date as your business grows.
  2. Insurance: Protect your business and clients by obtaining insurance covering theft, damage, professional liability, and public liability.
  3. Business Plan: Develop a business plan outlining your salon’s growth strategy, target market, financial projections, marketing initiatives, and business goals.
  4. Qualifications: Formal qualifications are important in the beauty industry. Higher-level certifications like a Diploma of Salon Management and Certificate III in Hairdressing enhance your chances of success. Additionally, Navitas Skilled Futures offers the Pathways to Work Beauty Course as part of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)*, which is the perfect place for refugees to start.

Here’s the insider tips from a Navitas Skilled Futures expert trainer on everything refugee entrepreneurs need to know if thinking of starting a beauty services business in Australia. 

Navitas Skilled Futures Expert, Mary Ann Blando, shares her opinion about the best ‘first’ steps for refugees to take towards starting your own beauty business. 

Students at Navitas Skilled Futures Fairfield College successfully completing the PTW Beauty Course

Can you please tell me your role title? 

Hi, I am a Pathways To Work (PTW) Trainer in Beauty, based at Navitas Skilled Futures Fairfield College in Sydney.

Can you please tell me a little about the PTW Beauty Course outline, e.g. content, location, length etc.?

Absolutely. The Pathways to Work Beauty Course is a 10-week course, mainly held at Navitas Skilled Futures Fairfield, as well as offsite. The course covers a wide range of topics, including goal setting, employability skills, work-life balance, reading job advertisements, resume writing, interview skills, working in Australia, customer service and beauty preparation. 

The students also study two units, to provide lash and brow services, and design and apply makeup, from the Certificate III in Beauty Services with Reach for Training. Successful completion of these units requires theory and practical training and assessment. 

The course also provides students with an opportunity to do 40 hours of work experience in beauty salons or cosmetics retail shops. 

This term, the students also worked on a makeup tutorial class project, captured on video by the marketing team. 

The course also includes a section on applying for jobs, covering resume writing, interviews and looking and applying for jobs. My job is to teach the students the skills to apply for these beauty jobs and the employability skills relating to vocabulary, for example, skin types, equipment and tools.

How does the PTW Beauty Course help refugee entrepreneurs start their own business?

The students gain awareness of the workplace culture in Australia. They develop some understanding around work rights and responsibilities, as well as how to deal with customers and resolve workplace issues. 

Although these can help them when they decide to start their own business in the future, they might still need to do further studies related to entrepreneurship to gain the necessary skills to launch their own business. 

What kinds of beauty businesses are we looking at in particular?

Mainly home-based salons, for example, makeup services or mobile makeup providers and also waxing services and hair removal in the home. On completion of our course, our students can advertise themselves as a ‘Mobile Makeup Artist’ for lash and brow services. However, we recommend further studies in the field of beauty training if they want to be an entrepreneur.

What are some of the challenges people face when doing this course & how can the course best help them overcome these?

Usually we find that an initial lack of language skills results in a lack of confidence, then, it’s a lack of work experience, which we address through their daily attendance. I find a lack of confidence can easily be rectified through the work experience component of our course, which really helps students to break through this.

Family responsibilities also tend to be a challenge, as usually our students are women and mothers, so parental duties do take priority over study. As such we offer help to access childcare services and can help them to arrange childcare, located close to where students do their work experience, so it’s easy for them to gain more hands-on experience without worrying about their children. We always make sure it’s convenient for them. Work placement is always located near a station incase students don’t drive, or in shopping centres, where there’s parking.

Can you tell me about any recent success stories of note?

There have been some amazing success stories from our PTW Beauty students. In 2022, at our Navitas Fairfield college, some of our students were offered jobs by the company that took them for work placement. One student also found a job in a shop that sells beauty products, which is amazing. I love seeing a significant improvement in our students, not only in language and learning about makeup, but in confidence.

We recently visited Mary Ann’s class at Fairfield, and spoke to some of her students. Here’s a short video as to what they learned, and how the Pathways to Work Beauty Course can be the first step to starting your own business in the beauty industry.

Watch our video here Pathways to Work – Beauty

*The Adult Migrant English Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

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