The image consulting business is all about providing advice to your clients about beauty makeovers, clothing fitness, color basics, and instructions for enhancing self-confidence that helps them to look and act their best professionally.
An individual having true passion and interest in helping others can initiate this business part-time from home. Image consulting is definitely a self-rewarding and exciting career to start with. You will need to have an inner sense of style, fashion, and knowledge about the current trend.
Your client may be an individual or a corporation. The business of image consulting is highly paid. As per Glassdoor, the average salary of an image consultant in the United States is more than $45,000 per year.
Image Consulting Business Plan Guide for Beginners
Here are the 8 steps to follow to start a profitable image consulting business:
1. Skills Required For Image Consulting
You must have a passion for fashion and a keen eye for detail, as well as be up to date with the latest fashion trends and color schemes and be familiar with a huge range of fashion labels. An understanding of body and face shapes will also be a necessity.
You will need to have patience and not let your ego rule and be creative and able to think outside the box. One must be highly organized, self-motivated, honest, trustworthy, and presentable. Furthermore, you also need to have the ability to work to a schedule and have a sense of humor.
Before initiating an image consulting business you may avail of some training programs. These programs may cover certain aspects of fashion, such as colors and business wear, as well as areas such as nutrition and communication.
There are many associations that provide certifications and training to image consultants. Following are some of the trade associations:
- The Image Consultants’ Society International (ICSI)
- International Federation of Image Consultants (IFIC)
- Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)
2. Services You Can Offer as an Image Consultant
Image Consultants can offer the kind of advice that can help people, land a job, get a promotion, find someone to love, or just feel good about themselves. Some of the services you can provide are as follows:
Image Makeover: Assist a client with a makeover, which could include color analysis, wardrobe detox, a new hairstyle, and makeup tips.
Communication & Etiquette Consultant: Advise people on their vocal communication (voice, grammar, vocabulary, etc.), non-verbal communication (handshakes, posture, eye contact, etc.), and etiquette – from dining to cell phones.
Personal Shopper: Personal shopping, including purchasing clothing and accessories on the client’s behalf.
Liaison Services: Making liaisons between the client and other professionals who can improve the client’s appearance, such as physical trainers, hairdressers, or dermatologists.
Marketing Consultant for Fashion Businesses: Working closely with fashion designers and selected boutiques to develop ensembles made specifically for the client.
Other image consulting careers you can consider are corporate trainer, fashion stylist, and brand strategist.
3. Understanding the Market for Image Consulting
Your potential clients can include individuals setting out on a new career, business executives trying to relate to their stockholders and customers, actors, and news personalities like politicians attempting to project a successful image.
Furthermore, your customers can be brides-to-be who are challenged in the wardrobe or social etiquette areas, and a host of others looking for expert advice on how they can physically and/or psychologically create an impact.
Your clients can also be corporations who may hire you to train the executives or employees or to give the company dress code a face-lift. It is advised to conduct extensive market research to understand the demand and trends of your existing market.
4. Create a Business Plan
It is essential to write a business plan for your image consulting business. For startups starting on a small scale, you may not need a lengthy business plan document. Some of the basic issues to be addressed in your plan are as follows:
- Initial and recurring costs
- Target customers
- Pricing plan
- Services you are going to offer
- How you are planning to promote your image consulting services
5. Name your Business
Select a catchy and relatable name for your image consulting company. Also, do not forget to book a similar domain name for your website.
6. Equipment For Image Consulting
You can start image consulting by just having a mobile and a computer with an internet connection. As your business grows you can purchase mirrors, makeup, color swatches, and fashion books and magazines of your own.
You will also need to have a video camera and accessories to keep the views of your clients before and after having makeup.
7. Licenses and Permits for Image Consulting Business
Register your image consulting business under which you are going to operate day-to-day operations. If you are from the United States, forming an LLC will help you in protecting your personal assets.
Talk to the local appropriate authority for the kind of licenses and permits you net to get start an image consultancy business. If you want to provide makeup services to clients, some states will ask you to have a cosmetology license.
8. Promote Your Image Consulting Business
80% of building an image consulting business relies on how you market and promote yourself and only 20% is about the actual execution of consulting services.
A marketing plan will help you define who your target demographic is and what steps you will need to take to reach your target demographic. Concentrate on building brand identity through business cards, brochures, and a website.
In starting an image consulting business, building your credibility starts by developing a media kit. Press or media kits include many things such as professional photos, your biography, and press releases. Network with professionals and civic organizations. Introduce yourself to wedding consultants, caterers, and event planners, who can refer you to their clients. Conduct workshops and seminars for private and corporate clients.
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