Overview Of Business Model
This business is ideal for someone with knowledge of the importance of first impressions and how to present yourself in various settings, primarily the corporate or professional world and in the media. The way this business works is that you provide one-on-one image consulting to clients and possibly group seminars about image-related issues such as wardrobe, appropriate colors, cosmetic application, posture, and self-confidence. Clients can pay by the hour for your services, or you may choose to have a contract at a set amount for specific services—it’s up to you. The Web site is the perfect place to showcase your services and your clients’ success stories, and to market your business.
To successfully operate this business, you will need experience in beauty, cosmetics, and fashion consulting. The Web site maintenance will require basic Web publishing skills, and you will need clear communication skills via e-mail, phone, and in person. To inspire confidence and style in your clients, you need to walk the walk as well.
Cost To Start This Business
The cost to start this business will include the design, development, and hosting of your Web site, as well as a computer, appropriate software, a printer, a scanner, and a digital camera. You can start this venture from home and on a part-time basis. The approximate start-up cost ranges between $3,000 and $4,000.
Number Of Employees Needed
One experienced and competent individual can start this business single-handedly.
The international potential for this business depends on the way you choose to communicate with your clients. If you would like to have customers send in images of themselves and communicate via e-mail to conduct consulting, then the global potential will be restricted only by language. Most image consultants operate face to face with clients, however, and this is preferred throughout the industry.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
The image consulting business is highly personalized and ever changing due to today’s rapid and progressive styles. Your advice should be tailored to the particular careers of your clients. Make sure your prices are competitive and your Web site clearly defines your capabilities and clientele.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Develop a comprehensive link strategy. You want to generate as many links as possible from appropriate Web sites, directories, Web rings, and meta-indexes related to your target market. There are many sites related to business services that would be appropriate link sites. Ensure that you get listed in sites that target your local area as well as your area of expertise.
- Participate in local newsgroups, mail lists, chat rooms, and discussion forums related to style, beauty, and image issues such as weight loss and makeup application in efforts to create awareness of your services and to attract new clients.
- Organize a reciprocal linking arrangement with regional beauty salons, fashion boutiques, stores, and publications in order to make your business apparent to the professional women who frequent them.
- Get testimonials from clients whom you’ve helped already and post them on your Web site—maybe even include before and after pictures.
- Develop and send articles about the benefits of using an image consultant to e-zines that focus on related topics.
- Develop a viral marketing strategy where people can “Tell a colleague about this service” via your site. This will spread the word about your site.
- Ensure that you submit your site to the search engines and directories.
- Promotion through related mail lists and newsletters is important. You could even develop your own newsletter or mail list to stay close with your target market.
- Participation in cybermalls related to business services in your geographic area would be very appropriate.
Extra income can come from reselling and advertising beauty products and fashions for preferred distributors. You can generate additional revenue from banner advertising and sponsorship by companies that are interested in reaching your target market.