Join cosmetic tattoo expert Rebecca Cody each week as she explores how to build your business from the start by positioning yourself as a specialist in cosmetic tattooing.


Rebecca has over 12 years of experience in starting, building, selling, and beauty. She’s a makeup artist, beauty therapist, trainer & assessor, cosmetic tattooist, laser tattoo removalist, and business coach.

Cosmetic Tattoo Talk Podcast

Key Points

  • Pro's and Con's of a home vs commercial space
  • Why you shouldn't over-commit yourself too much when starting out
  • What to consider when taking out a commercial lease
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Show Transcription 

 Hey, and welcome to today's podcast where I am going to be talking about a home salon versus a commercial salon.

In this podcast, I want to talk about the feasibility of having a home salon or a commercial salon. Now, when you're starting out, obviously the home salons are the way to go. Because it is less expensive, and you're not locked into a lease contract.

If you have the money, you can sign up for commercial premises, but you have to be careful of the lease timeframe. So whether it's you know, three plus three plus three, or if you can get it on a one yearly basis, or there are other factors involved, which I'll dive in a little bit.

So I want to start out by saying, as a new business owner, and all of the benefits that COVID gave us, I think a lot of our clientele have more, what's the word they're more accepting to come to a home salon on now because they know that everyone kind of works from home, and it's a little bit more acceptable.

So when you're starting out, my advice would be to go to a home salon, and it allows you to grow at a pace that suits you. Now, the reason that I probably wouldn't say go to a commercial salon, if it's a stretch for you financially, is because you'll always feel like you're on that rat race that on that hamster wheel, you know, it just feels like such a constant battle to try and get ahead. And it can often put a lot more pressure on you if you haven't tested your market first.

So with a commercial and a home salon, there are obviously benefits for both.

If you were to go the commercial salon your benefits are that you can charge more and then your clients expect a higher quality of service for the home salon is obviously a little bit more relaxed, and you don't have to drive to work. I will say though, with a home salon, it is best for you to obviously get dressed for work and disassociate your home life and your work life rather than having them you know mixed together and the lines kind of blurred.

So when you are setting up whichever space that you're thinking of getting set up, if you're in your tattooing training, and say you'll say you're a little bit through your training and you think that you need your diploma of tattoo or whatever certificate that you're getting to get your council certificate.

In Queensland, the only certificate that you need is your HLTINF005. So this is your maintain infection control certificate.

So this is the only qualification or you know, unit of competency to be correct is that the only certificate that you need to apply for your council PCs license. Now for your particular Council, you'll need to contact your own counsel and see if they allow home salons and what type of documents that you'll need, whether they can send them to you or whether you'll have to sign up for their portal. See what their regulations are.

Now some regulations such as you know, what type of flooring do you need? What type of ceiling do you need? What type of walls do you need? Are your walls you know, halfway up is that acceptable? Or do they need to be full-height walls? Do you need hot and cold running water? Some councils allow you to have cold only as hot is not a requirement. But it is advised. You know there's a whole bunch of things that you might need to discuss are pets allowed in the house if you have a home salon. I went to a salon last week we did one on one coaching and they allowed a dog in the house which surprised me but I guess Council is allowing these things because there are so many more businesses that are doing home services.

I encourage you to, ask the questions. Don't just disqualify yourself because you think it may not be acceptable.

My advice if you're getting someone out like Council out to have a look at your premises, is to do up the plan. So do your dirty-to-clean zone plan that you would have done in your infection control assignments, if that was part of your assignment, and get them out to assess your property. If it's a home salon, see what you need rather than just assuming what you think they're going to ask if you You, because you might not, you might save yourself quite a bit of money. If you just get them out and get them to, you know, set you a list of yes, you need floorings that cover the skirting, you need hot and cold running water, you need the walls to floor to the ceiling, you need a tap, you know, five meters away from the treatment bed or in the treatment room, all these little things.

So just make sure you do research because it pays. Now for a commercial property if you are looking at signing a lease,  do your due diligence on if your rates are included.

What is the percentage increase per year? How much do you have to put down? Will you get the first month free to do the fit-out? What is your end lease like? Are they expecting you to put the room back to how it was? Was it carpeted before and you've put hard flooring in? What are the extra costs involved in leaving, as well as entering?

So making sure that you understand all of this when you're signing a lease. And of course the terms and if you can sublease with your lease, can you hire out one of the rooms? And is that okay? With your real estate or you know, all these little things. If you have someone that's experienced in this as well reach out to them, and ask them the more people you know, the better. just do your research.

But at the end of the day, you want to choose something that's feasible for you. So by feasible I mean: know your money, know your profit and loss, know what you're expected to pay, and plan it so that you can grow.

And don't think that there is any shame in having a home salon, we all started somewhere. And it's actually nice, looking back on where you started. And thinking,  I did it from the beginning, the way that it was feasible for me, or the way that I could afford and I built on it from there.

And I think it's really important to that when you're starting out, you don't pretend to be something that you're not. So if you are just a one-man band, don't pretend that you have 10 staff, because that's not building trust with your clients. You know, be honest with your clients where home salon, you know, these are our prices. And you know, those early, early clients that you get on where you're as honest, they will probably stick with you from the beginning to the end, rather than you trying to you know, fake your way through having a huge organization with 10 staff. And really, it's just you.

So, yeah, that's my advice. I hope you enjoyed this video. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. I have been doing my podcasts a little bit differently as of today. So surprise. All my podcast recordings will be uploaded on my YouTube channel, which is @cosmetictattootalk. I'll put all of the information on our blog post and our podcast posts that can be found on our website. 

I hope you have a fantastic day. And if you have any questions about starting your home salon, or starting your commercial salon or even just starting out in the cosmetic tattooing industry, I would love to hear from you.

Please send me an email at [email protected] I always love to meet new people and always love to chat about the cosmetic tattooing industry.

Well, that is it for me and I will see you in next week's episode. Have a fantastic day.