esthetician business challenges

4 Business Challenges Faced By Estheticians and Spa Owners (and how to overcome them)

esthetician business challenges

Most estheticians and spa owners fulfill their passion by seeing clients in their treatment rooms. 

They also schedule additional time to manage business tasks and handle any challenges that may arise. 

That means the majority of esthetician owners are working in, as well as on, their businesses.

If this is you, you know how crazy things get when trying your best to deliver fantastic service and also worry about the business and marketing side of things.

It’s heartbreaking for me to see people giving up because of business challenges that could be easily solved with the right guidance.

Here are four of the common business hurdles. You can overcome each one if you take action:

Problem #1: Overwhelmed by Information Overload

There’s no lack of business and marketing advice. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably done your share of Google searches. You may have even subscribed to a few newsletters, only to get mixed information to add to the confusion.

The good intention of growing your business soon turns into a collection of ideas and how-to information that pulls you in a dozen different directions.

Oftentimes on coaching calls owners will break down and admit, “I don’t know where to start.”

Most estheticians and spa owners, especially those who’re just starting out, have trouble parsing through this sea of information to identify strategies and tactics applicable to the beauty industry as well as their unique circumstances.

As a result, they are stuck in analysis paralysis, or frantically trying out different tactics – and overwhelm quickly sets in.

Needless to say, neither one of those would yield predictable results with a high return on investment (ROI.)

Solution #1: Get Help And Training Specific To The Beauty Industry  

There is a lot of general business and marketing information on the internet. We waste a lot of time reading through everything the internet has to offer.

While that’s helpful, many beauty business owners that we work with want more specific and detailed training to help build their practice. 

Work with an expert or esthetician career coach to help you get organized and clear on your business objectives. 

This is a critical step that will save you time and money. A good esthetician career coach will help you uncover your greatest talents and turn those into strengths. By focusing on your strengths, it’s easier to overcome business challenges.

Network with High-Level Beauty Industry Professionals

Join a mastermind or small community of like-minded beauty business owners or professional estheticians to learn from. Be intentional with these connections! Ideally, network with people who have a positive and success-driven mindset.

Invest in Coaching for your Beauty Business

Whether you need feedback on the services you offer, advice on esthetician marketing ideas, or you are looking for a business roadmap to follow, a coaching program is a great resource.

When you invest in specialized coaching for beauty professionals, you’ll see a return on your investment almost immediately. Imagine having someone in your corner to offer objective advice and hold you accountable. 

Continue Your Esthetics Education

Seek out experts in your niche to stay on top of your esthetics education. There are many hands-on esthetician trainers in just about every aspect of esthetics. From Brazilian waxing, and skin physiology, to lash extensions.

Displaying certifications on your spa business wall helps to build trust and credibility within your community.

Problem #2: Building Your Beauty Business On Quicksand

I hear the same thing over and over again from estheticians, “I want more clients. I need more business.”

If you feel like you’re sinking, you may be trying to accomplish too many things at once before creating a solid foundation.

It’s like building a house on quicksand. It doesn’t matter how many different expensive software services you buy, or how much you pay a designer for a fancy website. 

If you don’t have a good grasp of business and marketing fundamentals, it will be more difficult for those tools and resources to work for you.

Solution #2: Get Solid On Your Business Fundamentals

Business fundamentals are the basic skills and behavior needed to run a profitable business. Here are six fundamentals to explore to help get you back on track: 

  1. Purpose – Know exactly what you want to build and be known for in your community. Find out what’s driving you to do what you do in the field of beauty.
  2. Finance – Understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going. We recommend the “Profit First” approach. Mike Michalowicz is a regular guest speaker within our coaching membership and has helped many estheticians improve their money habits
  3. Leadership – Knowing clearly how you show up for others. What is your leadership style? Making sure that how you show up publicly is in alignment with your values. This could include how you show up on social channels,  your clients as well as your employees. You also have an understanding and awareness as to how you accomplish things.
  4. Strategy – Once you know what you want for your business, you need a game plan to help you bring life to your vision. Have a business map that will help you execute your biggest goals.
  5. Marketing – Marketing is more than having a pretty website. Making sure that you have a marketing plan to execute your overall business strategy is key to success.
  6. Tools and esthetician business software – which tools and software will help you maximize your time and efforts?

Additional considerations to help you:

Invest in Esthetician Business Software and Applications

When it comes to your business, the software you use has a big impact on your day-to-day satisfaction. While free tools like Google Sheets for managing gift certificates and Canva for graphic design are great, you’ll find that investing in a few tech tools can make a huge impact.

Email management software like Active Campaign or Convert Kit

Appointment booking and spa management software such as Vagaro

Accounting software like Quickbooks Online

Hire a Virtual Team

Invariably, there will be some aspects of running your esthetician business that are not in your wheelhouse – and that’s ok! 

You may find that your time, energy, and effort is better spent improving the experiences of your existing clients or onboarding a new hire in your spa. Perhaps you can free up time for sales calls or invest in your professional development instead of getting in the weeds with various marketing tasks or accounting.

There are agencies and freelancers who specialize in the various software you need in your esthetic business – including some who specialize in the beauty business industry!

Problem #3: Unwilling To Invest

If you learn these TWO lessons you will be ahead of the game….

  • You can’t build your business alone.
  • You can’t build your business for free.

It doesn’t work that way. It’s important to seek help in the areas that have the potential to produce the most revenue.

So many estheticians and spa owners try to “do it all” only to end up getting burned out and losing the passion for their businesses. Not to mention, they’re not spending their time and energy on what they do best, which gives estheticians the ability to earn more income.

Meanwhile, others are unwilling to invest in their own growth and development so they can become a better business owner who has developed the mindset, confidence, and knowledge to build a profitable practice.

Solution #3: Get Help And Support 

Try to let go and stop trying to “do it all.” Look at the amount of time you spend on each business and personal activity. What kind of help can you invest in (e.g. a VA, a bookkeeper, even a dog-walker) so you can have more time and energy to spend on the highest income-producing tasks?

You’d also benefit from associating and connecting with peers who are willing to hold the space for each other to grow, learn, and be empowered in the process; as well as getting support from a mentor who has the industry experience and understands the “ins and outs” of the spa business so you can get advice specific to your circumstances.

With the help of the Internet, you can build relationships with peers from all over the world – not only expand your horizon but also get a wide variety of insights and input that may be lacking from your local network connections.

You’ve heard that your success is the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with. So don’t just settle with a motley group of local practitioners just because it’s convenient. Make sure the people you align yourself with share the same success mindset as you and they want to discover ways to move through business challenges.

Problem #4: “Scared” Of Digital Marketing and Social Media

The line between “online” and “offline” marketing is blurred. Even if you work with your current clients locally and in person and have no intention of offering online services, you can no longer ignore the digital world.

If technology scares you and you are throwing up your hand to say, “no way… that’s not for me,” then your business is going to suffer

Estheticians love being in the treatment room, connecting one-on-one with their clients – I get it. Your genius lies in that human touch and doing what you love most.

Yet, you still need to grow your client list. Even if your client retention is phenomenal, you will always need an influx of new clients. Sure, referrals can be effective… but what about everyone else in your community? 

How do you reach more local clients? Fancy business cards don’t cut it anymore.

How do you get in front of the “potential clients” who don’t even know who you are?

That’s where digital marketing and social media come into play for your beauty business.

Solution #4: Implement Integrated Marketing

More and more local businesses are taking advantage of digital marketing and leveraging the power of social media to bring in local clients by seamlessly integrating online and offline marketing.

With the advances in technology and targeted segmentation capability, you can implement just a few simple, yet highly effective marketing strategies to attract new clients to your business. No more pulling your hair out over complicated digital marketing tactics and social media strategies…

… and I’ll show you how…

Introducing the Esthetician Inner Circle Membership

After working with many estheticians and spa owners to help build their businesses, I’ve condensed my 30+ years of industry knowledge and experience into bite-sized and practical training and advice so more beauty business owners like you can benefit.

The Esthetician Inner Circle Membership ™ 

This unique membership program has been created exclusively for beauty business owners, spa owners, and med-spas who want to take their career in esthetics to 6 figures and beyond. I invite you to take this opportunity to join an elite group of estheticians dedicated to business and personal growth:

  • Access the Training Vault Library full of videos, resources, templates, workbooks, ebooks, worksheets, and checklists specifically designed and curated for estheticians and spa owners to help you grow your business. Videos and worksheets are added monthly to keep you up-to-date with the latest marketing trends,  advances in technology and fresh business ideas to attract your ideal client and earn more revenue.
  • Join a monthly live masterclass during which we focus on a specific aspect of your business, and roll up our sleeves together so that you walk away with clear action steps necessary for the growth of your practice.
  • Get 24/7 support from Maxine and peers all over the world to brainstorm and mastermind in our private Esthetician Inner Circle Facebook group. It is vital to surround yourself with like-minded estheticians during the process of growing and learning.

In the Esthetician Inner Circle, you’ll build your solid business foundation, then layer on the latest marketing strategies to get more clients and grow your business. I’ll show you how to integrate online and offline marketing to create a seamless client experience that helps you stand out from the rest.

Click here to learn more.


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