Upmarket lash and brow parlour, Lash Noir has carved out a leading position in the competitive New Zealand beauty landscape. Based in the stylish City Works Depot, this industrial style concrete and glass salon is furnished with contemporary, bold interiors and boasts waitlists of up to 14 months.
And, behind it all is Rebecca Hutchinson—a vibrant entrepreneur who has lead the growth and success of Lash Noir. Rebecca is supported by business partner Britney Ackland and business advisor Toss Grumley of Wolf and Fox.
Over the last three years Lash Noir has become a well-rounded beauty business which includes Lash Noir Ink for beauty tattooing, Lash Noir Pro for trainings and wholesale, plus an online store where you can find international cult favourite products. From 2015 to date, the business has expanded from three staff to 16, from one premise to three, and undergone growth in turnover of whopping 340 per cent. Say what?!
And now Rebecca, on of Auckland’s most successful young entrepreneurs, generously shares her top ten business tips for start-ups with The Urban List Readers! Go forth and start that dream!
1. Don't Be Afraid Of A Side Hustle
There is no time to start like now. Don't make excuses, just get going on whatever it is that you want to achieve. It can take time for things to pick up their pace, which is why sometimes it’s perfect to start your business with something else as a backup to eliminate the stress of financial pressure. The freedom to make changes and refine things slowly is really valuable.
2. Start Small: Build Your Business Alongside Your Skills
Start off with the most simple version of your end goal. There is an art to perfecting your offering and it takes time to refine the way you work for the best possible outcome. Minimising your overheads reduces the distance you have to go to make a profit. Once you are confident and your offering is being well received, you might like to take a few more risks for bigger payoffs.
3. Do Something You Are An Expert In Or Passionate About
When the tough times come, you want to make sure you are really good at what you do, or really care about it. Continuing your own education is key to remaining the best at what you do. I have gained some of the most valuable insights from the most simple of trainings. At the very minimum, you'll learn what not to do during a training. Keep notes—it’s all in the detail.
4. Make A Business Plan
This gives you a clear strategy and goals to work to and back that up with detailed figures. Having the ability to gauge the value of small changes is how you turn something into a well-oiled machine. Having someone hold you accountable is key to moving forward. Starting a business can be lonely, so having someone to bounce ideas off and discuss problems with, can help clear uncertainty and help you refocus.
5. Get Help: Seek Advisors Or Mentors
Get professional help, like a business coach, to fast track your growth, as outsourcing your weaknesses is the best thing you can do for your business. Use other people’s knowledge to fill in your gaps and strengthen your business.
6. Block Out Days To Work On The Business
The biggest trap is getting stuck running around like mad, so make sure to leave time to improve your business. Having time away from the daily running of things is the only way you'll grow. It’s easy to be a ‘yes’ man when it comes to bailing out on that planning day in favour of urgent requests. Remind yourself of the importance of it and stick to it regardless of the circumstances. With time, you'll be able to employ the right support staff to alleviate the pressure.
7. Marketing Is Key: No Customers, No Business
Make sure you have a clear marketing strategy. You need to know who your people are and where you can find them. What you have to offer needs to be clearly communicated.
Stay on it—you must keep at marketing, it’s your lifeblood. Visual consistency and tone help tell a story. This story often needs to be delivered in multiple formats.
8. Be Consistent But Dynamic
Be consistent in your work and service. Be dynamic in your thinking and approach. Find new ways to do things, that's where the magic and growth happens. There is no right or wrong way, the most creative and inspiring minds create their own rule book. Base your rule book on trial and error. Don't be afraid to admit your personal failures.
9. Build Good Relationships
Celebrate success and thank people. Many people say there are no friends in business, I disagree. I believe you can have friends in business with open lines of communication and mutual respect.
10. Don't Forget To Have Fun
Ensure your business works for you — you don't work for it. Keep things fresh and inspired. Paying attention to what your competitors are doing is a negative use of energy, instead focus your intentions on being a refined version of those who inspire you. Take the time to experience businesses like yours overseas — there’s nothing like travel to create headspace for new ideas.
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Image Credit: Supplied