A quick start guide For Estheticians, Nail Techs, Lash Techs, Brow Artists, Massage Therapists and more.
*note* This post has a lot of Saskatchewan and Canada based links because that is where I’m located. You should be able to get a good idea of what to look for when starting a business in your region.
It can be really scary to start your own home-based business. It also can be very confusing.
I’ve been self-employed for 11 years and have worked from home for 8 years. Along that time I had to learn through trial and error everything you need to know to run your own home-based business. I have created this little list for Saskatchewan service industry professionals.
Create a business plan
A business plan is a written description of a business’s future. It conveys the business goals, the strategies used to meet them, potential problems and their solutions, the organizational structure, and finally, the amount of money and resources required to finance the venture and keep it going until it begins to make profits.
Check home-based business regulations and requirements in your city
You can usually find this information by googling: Home-based business + the name of your town or city. If the guidelines are unclear. Call your city hall and ask them to explain the regulations.
Register your business name with the government for tax purposes (ISC or federal government for tax)
After a business name is chosen, search the name and register it. Business name registration is a legal requirement for almost all businesses in Canada. After the name is approved and all appropriate documents are received by the various levels of government, a Certificate of Registration containing a registration number is often issued.
Apply for city and or health permits
While a license is not necessary for all businesses in Canada, many municipalities require one for operating within their boundaries. In many provinces, each business requires a municipal or city business license for each municipality in which it operates. Information can be found on the city or town’s website, or in the blue pages of the phone book.
Apply for GST#
This can be confusing. Revenue Canada has a chart of who needs to apply for a gest number and who does not. But the gist of it is If your business has revenue in excess of $30,000 in four consecutive calendar quarters, you have to register for a GST/HST number
Purchase supplies and products.
Keep all receipts for your supplies and products. It might be smart to keep only a small supply of materials on hand to keep your costs low. While I encourage you to shop local I also know that it is important to keep your costs low. Often you can find products at a discounted price direct from the manufacturer.
Manufacturers that sell direct via AMAZON!
Business and liability insurance for home-based business
All businesses have liabilities; in order to protect themselves against liabilities, businesses purchase insurance. The esthetician industry has liabilities, and therefore, insurance is important. We recommend Hiscox Insurance (They specialize in salon and service-based insurance)or you can contact your home insurance supplier and they can suggest where to go. If you are room renting or chair renting you may be covered under the business.
Open a business bank account
Keep all of your business banking separate from your personal banking. You do not necessarily need to open a “business bank account” You could just open another checking account and operate all of your expenses out of it.
Purchase marketing materials
Business cards and price lists are an absolute necessity. To keep your costs low, order a small amount at a time.
Start social media accounts
Facebook and Twitter are great places to start with social media. Share your page with all of your friends and ask them to do the same.
Sign up for online booking
Online booking is becoming huge in our industry. More clients are relying on convenience and it frees up your time as well.
Set up an accounting system.
A basic accounting system can be easy to start up. Ensure that you save all of your receipts.
Create client consultation form/waiver
All self-employed workers pay both the employer and employee portions of CPP contributions when they file their T1 income tax and benefit return using Schedule 8, CPP Contributions on Self-Employment and Other Earnings.
Self-employed workers do not pay EI premiums unless they opt into the EI program for access to employment insurance special benefits, which include maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and parents of critically ill children benefits. If they want to opt-in, they have to register with the CEIC.
When self-employed workers opt into the EI program to access EI special benefits, they pay the same EI premium rate as employees pay. These EI premiums are paid when the self-employed worker files his or her T1 income tax and benefit return using Schedule 13, Employment Insurance Premiums on Self-Employment and Other Eligible Earnings. Unlike the regular EI program, self-employed workers do not have to pay the employer’s portion of EI premiums.
Promote! Promote! Promote!
If you are starting an esthetics business you might want to check out the supplies that you might need to start your business.