· By Carlee Workman
How to Determine Your Prices as a Lash Artist
The business side of lashing is something I’m extremely passionate about. As much as I love artistry, if it’s not coupled with good business, you won’t build a clientele!
A successful lash business requires technical skill and great business practices, among a myriad of other things. One of the first steps after getting your license to do lash extensions is deciding on how much you’ll charge clients. How to determine your prices as a lash artist can seem daunting, but I’m here to help make it easy!
Scope pricing in your area
To start, get a baseline of the average lash prices in your area. This will vary vastly depending on where you live. Take San Francisco for example; a full volume set starts at around $270. Yet in Phoenix, this same set would cost you an average of $195.
Scoping the prices in your area will help you understand what people are willing to pay. It might also give you inspiration on deals to incentivize clients, and help you understand the local competition. Market saturation can play a large part in how well your business does, so be sure to check out our post on How to Make Your Lash Business Stand Out for more tips.
Assess your skill level
Your skill level is an important factor in deciding how much to charge your clients. As your expertise grows, so should your prices. Think about it: you wouldn’t pay the same amount for a freshly-graduated hairstylist compared to one that’s been a professional for over a decade. New lash artists are still getting the hang of applying lashes, and they are much more likely to make mistakes.
Another reason why you need to consider your skill level is because your knowledge is an investment. Certifications and continued education can be costly, and your clients are paying for a certain level of expertise when they come to you.
Now, of course, don’t undersell yourself. You need to charge enough that it will fairly compensate you for your time, as well as cover the cost of supplies – which we’ll delve into next.
Factor in the cost of supplies
You need to make sure your business is creating a net positive in order to be sustainable. If you are spending more on your costs and supplies than you are earning, your lash business won’t last very long. That’s why it’s incredibly important to determine how much it costs you to do each service.
To calculate this, you’ll want to consider:
- How much product are you using per set?
- How much are you spending on your supplies?
- What are the costs to run your lash studio? (Be sure to factor in rent, additional supplies like your lash bed, lights, etc.)
It might be difficult to pinpoint an exact number on these questions, but you can create an average for it to still be effective. As I always say, lashing is much more than artistry! You need to be a businesswoman, effective marketer, customer service representative…. The list goes on.
Lastly, you need to consider how much you want to take home. After all, you still want to make sure you are being fairly compensated for your time.
Decide on your clientele
Pricing and the type of clients you’ll attract go hand-in-hand. Some artists choose to specialize in certain styles, which require a higher price tag, like Mega Russian Volume sets for example.
Your prices will also determine your client’s first perception of you. It seems paradoxical, but if your prices are too low, you’re unlikely to build a loyal client base. There is a psychological connection between price and perceived value. If you set your prices too low, potential clients will assume your work reflects that. And let’s be real, not many people would feel comfortable with a $30 full set. A price that low signals to your client that the supplies you are using might be cheap or the service and skill you provide are not up-to-par.
Another aspect to consider when determining your prices as a lash artist is your long-term plan. If your goal is to build a clientele first, and then continuously raise your prices, it can be a bit uncomfortable for your loyal clients. Some may expect you to charge the same prices, which can cost you a few lost clients and awkward conversations. Don’t let this stop you (because you are worth more than a few uncomfortable moments), but it is important to think about it.
Consider charging by time
It might be worthwhile to charge by time versus supplies. This is becoming more of a common practice for established artists, and it’s due to the time differences between sets. A volume set can take double the amount of time as a classic set. Even between clients, there can be an hour or more difference depending on how full their lash line is. To make up for this, some artists may choose to charge by time instead.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is transparency. Always explain your pricing to clients and why it’s set that way. Underselling yourself is one of the many mistakes new lash artists make, but it’s an easy fix. Most clients just want to know they are getting the value they paid for!Need more help with your lash business? We’re happy to help! Contact us here, or reach out on Facebook or Instagram. You can also check out our blog for more posts on all things lash extension related.