Beauty is most certainly a crowded market and it can be tough for young entrepreneurs to find their niche. On the other hand, it’s a sector rich with possibilities and which generates billions every year.

Numbers speak for themselves: in the USA alone, it was revealed that beauty and nail salons as well as barber shops make an estimated $40 billion on an annual basis, accounting for around 825,000 establishments.

For all young beauty entrepreneurs out there, opportunities are there for the taking and here’s how to make the most of it and build a successful business in this demanding and ever changing sector.

1. Keep ahead of trends

Keeping ahead of the trends is all the more crucial when setting up a new beauty business as without any prior customer base, innovation should be the main appeal. A successful beauty venture needs to be ahead of the trend or set the trend.

In 2016, you’d have to look out for hair industry trends such as man buns, box braid and crazy coloured hair with grey and metallic purple on top of every fashionista’s wish list.

In the world of cosmetics, dermal fillers and injections such as botox are still making waves. It’s become so mainstream that all new salon owners should consider enrolling on a dermal injections course in order to meet the demand.

Innovative beauty startups have also been focusing a lot on developing organic cosmetic and sustainable beauty product: the green trend is most definitely on everyone’s radar at the moment!

2. Stand out with social media

Social media for beauty marketers is without a doubt one of the most important tools to reach out to your main customer base. You should be able to increase brand awareness through carefully curated social media channels as well as interact with your target audience.

3. Listen to your customer base

Customer feedback is key to building a long-lasting beauty brand and can really help with your decision-making process when building or developing a new business plan. Traditionally, brands that listen to their customers and collaborate with them tend to succeed.

Give your customers the opportunity to contribute to the growth of your business. Amazing customer service will help you win and keep customers. Repeat business can help your business thrive. And you can only get repeat customers if they are satisfied with your service and products you offer. Think like a consumer first and create an experience worth remembering.

4. Hire great business partners

Recruiting for a beauty business at an early stage can be tough: even if you find the right talent, convincing them to quit their job and join a newly launched startup will not be straightforward. In fact, entrepreneurs often describe the recruiting stage as the most difficult.

In order to sell your beauty business to the right collaborator, highlight your company’s potential but don’t lie about uncertainties: turn the problem around and focus on opportunities.

5. Have a fool-proof business plan

A business plan is a description on paper of what your business should be in a few year’s time. Experts recommend underestimating sales and overestimating running costs to avoid negative wake-up calls later on.

In any case, make sure to hire an accountant early on to take care of all administrative financial tasks such as taxes and help you come up with the best business plan.