What to spend money on…

When you set up a Colour Analysis business…

August 2020

Setting up your own Colour Analysis business is both exciting, and scary.

There are often difficult decisions to be made, especially if you don’t have previous experience.

Where do you start?

Before you do anything else, you will need a Business Plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated. (There’s a 1-page template in our course notes.) And the first thing you will have to decide is how much you can or are willing to invest in the business before it starts to generate sufficient income for your needs. (I’m assuming that you aren’t going to the bank for a loan!)

This is an element that many new students completely overlook. The great thing about the image industry, is that it is relatively cheap to enter. And that in itself causes a problem. It’s very easy to think that you can start a business on the cheap, with only your passion and skills and possibly a quick training course – and you’ll be OK.

Over the years I have seen many students not appreciate the importance of a budget. The excitement and challenge makes them forget the basics. How long may they need to cover their costs, before they actually start to make a good income. They will need to covers costs, but earn enough to pay themselves a salary.

What to consider next

Training is probably the biggest, and probably first outlay, that you may need to decide upon. Companies offering a franchise opportunity will be more expensive initially. And they may set sales goals and business expectations. But they will also offer support. They may be less keen for you to do “your own thing” and be quite prescriptive in their business terms. So read the small print carefully before you sign up.

Independent courses may be more realistic in their pricing initially. But do make sure you know what it is you are going to learn. An online training course may give you the facts, but will it provide you with the practical experience that you will need in your work? How can you be sure that you are working to the standard required to offer a professional service?  Look for training with assessments and a personal tutor who’s worked in the industry.

Where will you work?

After training, this is the next thing to consider. Most colour analysis sessions take place in private rooms, in consultant homes. Some consultants may be lucky enough to have a garden room or other dedicated space. Rarely, people have the opportunity to work in other beauty premises.

Styling and wardrobe work, as well as personal shopping, take place out of the home and so paying for office space or studio space in the early days is totally unnecessary. You won’t be using it for half of the time. Although we’d all like a plush studio/office, the expenses involved in creating a business oasis can add up quickly. Focus on your business’s success first…

Do you need a posh website?

The answer is not at the outset – start with a simple 5-page site. Just to get some visibility and develop it as you become certain of the services you are offering. (Take a look at our Website starter package here)

Should you pay for professional headshots?

You should also include your personal branding in your budgeting. You will need to look professional, and dress to attract your target group. But you can do so fairly cheaply if you’re smart about how you shop. The sales can be your best friend for obtaining quality coats and leather goods, at a fraction of the original price.

I’m on the fence though, when it comes to spending money on professional headshots. A lot of companies say you can get away without one. I’ve used selfies and had headshots professionally taken in the past. It hasn’t appeared to make any difference to my business and you don’t have to pay a lot for these now, anyway. If you do use a selfie – just make sure you’re not cuddling the cat or on the beach!

What about the tech…

When it comes to business operations, there are many online and free subscription software services that you can use. Use them until you’re sure of the features you’ll need, before you pay for anything.

In our line of work, most companies are sole traders who never employ staff. While it’s fun to see your new business grow, there are many ways of getting extra resources without committing to taking on employees.

Build a business first

If money is tight, start by focusing your spending on things you know will build your business. Make sure you have a budget for these in your business plan – and of course have a very clear idea at the outset of what you are trying to achieve with the audience you want to attract. This will help you make a decision about whether to go with a marketing promotion idea or not.

What about promotional items?

It makes sense to have a logo and some inexpensive business cards printed, but there’s no reason to spend any more initially – until you really have got your business strategy and services honed.

So in conclusion…

As we’ve already mentioned – set a budget for your business and stick within it, and make sure that if you do need to spend a large sum, your business can cover it. There is a lot that you don’t need to spend money on when you set up a busieness. When you get your priorities right – you can still succeed.

Here’s to your success…

For information on our Colour Analysis Diploma Course

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