Top 5 Tips For A Successful Business
Firstly, a quick introduction. London Lash, as you may already know, is one of the most well-known lash brands. But the most exciting part of it all, is that I only started this business in 2014. I started my journey in the lash industry as a therapist, I was a self-employed Lash Technician and honestly, I did very good lashes. A lot of my clients and friends then started asking me if I can teach them how to apply eyelash extensions and I thought – why not? Of course, I can teach you! However, as I wasn’t a government approved training academy, I couldn’t issue certificates. So my first step was to approach a few big lash brands in England and ask if I could become a Lash Trainer for their brand. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) all of them refused my application. Of course, at first, I was upset but as my determination grew, this is where my proper business journey began...
Don’t Dream Big
It sounds controversial, doesn’t it? Everyone else always says ‘Dream big!’ And to a certain extent, I can agree, but I also disagree. But only because sometimes our dreams can be TOO big and they can scare us and become so ambitious that we have no idea where to start!
Just consider this:
You are working as a beauty therapist in a salon and one day, you dream to open your own beautiful lash salon in a busy city centre location. Your client base is growing, business is booming, celebrities are visiting your salon and you now have 20 Lash Technicians working for you. You only have to do eyelashes occasionally, and only when you want to.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But there are so many things to consider before this can happen. Where do I start? Do I start looking for investors? Can I go to the bank to borrow money? Where do I look for Lash Technicians? How will I teach them? Where do I even get customers?!
There are so many questions and fears in your head that you don’t know where to start, so it’s more likely, that you won’t do anything at all. You’ll just keep dreaming: ‘I’ll do it one day.’
So my advice is, forget about your 'big dream' for now and really concentrate on your short term goals. Instead, focus on smaller steps:
If you are working for somebody else, think: how do I rent a beauty room and start working for myself?
If you already work for yourself, think: how I can get fully booked? Which marketing channels should I use to advertise myself?
Once you are getting fully booked, think: how can I raise my prices and improve my profitability?
And slowly but surely, you’ll begin to realise how these little steps will naturally grow to the point where you’ll finally open that dream salon of yours. Sometimes we really don’t need to think big to go far. My advice – take it one step at the time.
Change Your Relationship With Your Mistakes
Starting your own business is a daunting task and more often than not, nobody has taught you how to do things. Everything you do, you do for the first time. So, naturally, you’ll make lots of mistakes. There’ll be issues from recruiting the wrong people to overpaying for salon rent, you’ll be counting taxes incorrectly, but an entrepreneur’s life really is the chain of mistakes and failures that have led to their success.
Normally a person’s response to a mistake is to get upset and sometimes even give up on the project thinking that they are useless, but this shouldn’t be the case.
You might not know this, but in 2019 burglars broke into the London Lash salon in London. Understandably, all of my staff were really upset, but I was actually really happy. The first reason for my happiness - they didn’t break the windows and they didn’t steal much! But the second reason – it was such a wonderful lesson! At that time, we were moving our lash products into a new big warehouse and, to be honest with you, we didn’t even think much about security. And after somebody broke into the salon, we were able to consider the potential for loss if this happened in our warehouse. We could lose all our stock, which of course, we didn’t want to happen. So as a result, our new warehouse is now as protected as a government treasure fund!
My advice to you: Always try to be positive and just accept the fact that you’ll make mistakes on your business journey. You can’t stop yourself from making mistakes but what you can do, is change your mindset about them. Change your relationships with mistakes by thinking about them, analysing them, and they will give you lots of new knowledge!
‘You can’t run a successful bakery and be a baker at the same time.’
Once I’d heard this phrase, my whole life changed: ‘You can’t run a successful bakery and be a baker at the same time!’
This simple sentence triggered so many thoughts in my head and really changed the way I do business completely. Think about it: you can’t imagine the owner of a multi-million pound pancake factory spending 5 days a week making those pancakes too. They just wouldn’t do it because they need to run the business!
So I stopped doing lashes, I stopped teaching, I stopped replying to messages on Facebook and Instagram, I stopped doing everything. That’s not my job anymore. That’s the job of my employees. My role in the company – is to move it forward, to develop it. My job is to think about the next steps.
And I’d like to give the same advice to you. It might be financially difficult at first, but trust me – as soon as you start employing staff and step away from the actual salon work, the faster your business will grow. By delegating the day to day tasks, you’ll release an enormous amount of time for you to spend on your business' growth and development.
Never Stop Learning
Over the past few years, I’ve read thousands of articles, hundreds of books and watched an enormous amount of YouTube videos. All business-related.
First, I learnt about lash application, then I learnt about salon customer service, then about social media marketing, and so on. Every single day of my life I learn something new and this is something which I feel is extremely important for my business. I always aim to learn something I can implement straight away.
When I was living in London, on my own, I even threw my TV away as I always thought that watching TV is a useless thing and a total waste of my life. Education was the only thing I wanted to spend my free time on.
I won’t recommend you throw your TV away, but I will advise you to start scheduling some learning time into your calendar. Spend just 20-30 minutes a day learning something new. Concentrate on practical knowledge that you can implement straight away. And soon as you do, you’ll see a massive improvement in your business.
I’ve noticed that a lot of business owners are mentioning competitors when I ask them about their business. They watch their competitors, they think about their competitors, and they try to be better than their competitors. But I've always found this to be a bit strange. Yes, it’s good to have an idea of what your competitors are doing, but thinking about them constantly and trying to compete with them – it’s a total waste of time.
When you are running a business – it’s all about the quality of your products and services, and the satisfaction of your customers and employees. All you need to do is concentrate on your business and think of how you can improve. Forget about your competitors. It really doesn’t matter what they are doing. What’s really important, is what you are doing.
One of the reasons why London Lash is so successful, is because we really try to be unique. We don’t copy anyone or try to compete – we come up with fresh new ideas. For example, I was the first one who came up with the idea of paper boxes for lash trays. I really wanted to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic boxes and it was a massive success – we gained lots of new loyal customers! Because we were unique, we came up with better ideas. Now every second lash brand is coming up with the same paper packaging as us. We are the ones being copied now. But it’s fine, because we were the first, and we’re the ones who gained the most as a result of this.
So, my final piece of advice for you: don’t let your competitors steal your time and energy! It’s better to spend that time and energy on your products, your services, and on your clients. By doing so, I guarantee that your business will always be incredibly successful!