How I Started My Hair Business With Less Than $100!

Written by: Mikey Moran



Time to read 15 min

Have you ever let the glimmer of a dream fade because you assumed it was too expensive? 

Many do. Hair business, with its luxurious strands and glamorous appeal, may seem out of reach for most. 

But what if I told you it wasn’t? Dive in with me as I pull back the curtain on one of the most exciting journeys Mikey and I undertook.

Hello there, I'm Zakiyrah, and along with Mikey, we embarked on an audacious journey, cutting through the hair industry's norms. 

With just a crisp $100 note, we began our hair venture. 

Surprised? We would have been, too, if someone told us this a while back. 

But as strands merged and styles were created, we were entwined in an ever-growing success story.

Today, as we sit in the opulent Private Label Studios, with the soft hum of hair tools in the background, we're eager to share our story with you. 

Not just any story, but a blueprint to success, a guide that proves that passion, combined with the right strategy, knows no bounds.

But here's the twist: the hair that now seamlessly blends into the beautiful wig we're showcasing? 

It's from Private Label. That's right; luxury doesn’t always carry a hefty price tag.

Stay with us, for you're about to unravel the secrets of starting a thriving hair business on a budget. 

Whether you've got grand plans or are just curious, there's a strand of information here for everyone. Let the journey begin!

The Numbers Game

Ah, dating. An intricate dance of impressions, hopes, and the ever-daunting task of handing out numbers. 

You've been there, haven't you? Standing at a party or a bar and trying to sum up the courage to slip someone your number, hoping they'd call or text.

 It's exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. What if I told you the business world isn't too different?

Entrepreneurship, particularly in the hair industry, is about visibility and reaching out. Imagine your business cards, social media shoutouts, or sample kits as your 'numbers.'

 The more you distribute them, the more chances you give your business to 'get a date' or, in our world, a client or a sale.

Mikey and I always used to joke about this.

 While I was never the type to hand out my number easily, we were both fearless regarding our business. 

And guess what? The approach paid off. People began to recognize us and ask about our products, and slowly but steadily, our brand became a household name in certain circles.

But here’s a pro tip: Just like in dating, where you offer a charming smile or an intriguing conversation to get someone’s attention, in business, you need that extra 'something.' 

Our unique selling proposition was high-quality hair from Private Label at unbeatable prices. 

That, combined with our business cards, some of which even had discount offers, worked like magic!

So, don't shy away. 

Put your brand out there. Cast your net wide. Remember, every 'number' you hand out is a step closer to weaving another success story.

Low-cost Marketing with Business Cards & Sample Kits

If someone were to ask us about the most underrated marketing tools, Mikey and I would unanimously shout out Business Cards and Sample Kits! 

These little gems have the power to make a grand impact without burning a hole in your pocket. And sometimes, it’s all about using them creatively.

Let's talk about a remarkable story of one of our clients that still brings a proud smile to our faces. 

This ingenious client had a hair sample kit from Private Label, which she cleverly attached to her purse. 

The samples, daintily dangling from her purse strap, became an instant conversation starter. 

Everywhere she went – be it a cafe, a mall, or even a casual stroll in the park – people were naturally drawn to the beautiful hair samples. Their curiosity was piqued, and they approached her. Voila! 

She'd hand them her business card and explain that she sells premium hair in Atlanta.

Talk about turning everyday errands into networking opportunities! 

Now, that's what we call smart marketing. And the beauty of it all? It cost her next to nothing. 

Check out these awesome sample kits from Private Label.

But let’s add a cherry on top. To make your business card even more compelling, consider adding an incentive. We often included offers like "15% off your first order" on the back of our cards. 

This little gesture provides value to the potential customer and increases the chances of them retaining the card and purchasing. After all, who doesn't love a good discount?

So, think out of the box. 

Traditional marketing methods can yield incredible results when combined with creativity. 

And the best part? You don’t need a fortune to start.

hair extension marketing

Unlocking the Power of Influencer Marketing

In today's digital age, influencer marketing has risen as a colossus, dominating the world of online marketing. Mikey and I discovered its power early on, and let me tell you, it's been a game-changer for our business. 

But before you plunge into the vast ocean of influencer marketing, you must set up certain elements.

Firstly, ensure that you're equipped with Facebook retargeted ads.

This lets you strategically position your ads for audiences already interested in your products. 

Additionally, prioritize capturing emails and SMS details of your potential customers

Why? Because, as we've seen, when an influencer mentions your product, there's a deluge of traffic heading to your product page. 

However, not everyone purchases during their first visit. So, capturing their contact information becomes crucial for follow-up marketing.

Speaking of influencers, while big names can make your brand visible, don't underestimate micro-influencers' power.

 These are individuals with followers ranging around 10,000 or so. What they might lack in numbers, they make up for in engagement and trust with their audience.

 Collaborating with a micro-influencer can drive more targeted and quality traffic to your site, leading to better conversion rates.

Lastly, for those wondering where to start their influencer marketing journey, we wholeheartedly recommend "Beauty Clout."

 It's been our go-to platform for connecting with influencers who align with our brand values and audience.

To summarize, influencer marketing is not just about partnering with popular faces.

 It’s a strategic move that, when executed properly, can skyrocket your brand's visibility and sales. Make sure you're prepared to harness its full potential.

Product Giveaways on Social Media

One of the most effective ways Mikey and I elevated our brand recognition was through product giveaways on platforms like Instagram. 

The thrill of winning something for free generates buzz, engagement, and a lot of attention. 

However, it's not just about giving away products; it's about building relationships with potential customers and collecting valuable data.

Whenever you're orchestrating a giveaway, ensure you get something in return. 

And by this, I don't just mean likes or shares. I'm talking about valuable data, primarily email addresses

An email is a direct line to your audience, allowing you to keep them in the loop about upcoming sales, new product launches, and other exciting updates.

 Hence, when structuring your giveaway, ensure one of the entry requirements is to provide an email address. 

This way, you boost your brand's visibility and grow your email list, which can be pivotal for future marketing campaigns.

Now, I understand not everyone has a massive budget to give away high-end products frequently. 

But the magic of giveaways is that the items don't always have to be expensive to generate excitement. 

Consider budget-friendly products that still resonate with your target audience. Items like lashes, edge control, lace paste, or even a simple edge brush can make for exciting giveaways. 

They're not only cost-effective but also products that your audience will find valuable and usable.

Product giveaways are a marketing tactic and a bridge to connect and establish trust with potential customers.

 Choose your products wisely, set your objectives clearly, and watch your brand community grow!

hair brand essentials

Registering Your Hair Business

One of the foundational steps Mikey and I took when diving into the hair business was ensuring that our venture stood on solid legal ground

As budding entrepreneurs, we quickly realized that registering our business wasn't just a formality but a necessity to ensure sustainability and growth.


The Benefits of Registering as an LLC

Why an LLC, you ask? Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) offer a blend of flexibility and protection that other business structures might not provide. 

An LLC can shield your personal assets from any potential business liabilities. 

If things go south (which we hope they don’t!), your personal savings, property, or other assets aren't at risk.

Moreover, an LLC structure offers flexibility in terms of taxation. 

You can choose how you want your business to be taxed – as a sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation, or C corporation, based on what makes the most sense for your financial situation.

Keeping Finances Separate and Added Protection

We can't stress the importance of separating your personal and business finances. 

Registering your business as an LLC will pave the way for opening a business bank account. 

This helps keep track of your business income and expenses and establishes your company's financial credibility. 

Plus, in the eyes of the law and for taxation purposes, having distinct business finances helps clearly demarcate personal funds from business revenue.

Furthermore, having an LLC gives you the foundation to apply for a tax ID, ensuring you comply with all state and federal tax requirements.

 It's not just about paying taxes but ensuring you can leverage potential tax benefits that come with business expenses.

To summarize, registering your hair business isn't just about adding an 'LLC' next to your brand name; it's about laying the groundwork for a sustainable, compliant, and robust business model.

 While it might seem daunting initially, the peace of mind and added advantages it brings in the long run are worth it.

Collaborating with a Stylist

Venturing into the hair business, Mikey and I soon realized the power of visual content.

 While a beautifully written description can say a thousand words, a well-executed hair tutorial can speak volumes and have a lasting impact on potential customers. 

This brought us to collaborate with stylists; it’s a game-changer!


Offering Hair for Tutorials to Gain Content for Promotion

The concept is simple yet incredibly effective. 

By offering a stylist our high-quality hair products in exchange for a tutorial, we gained invaluable content that showcased our products' versatility, quality, and beauty. 

This visual content served multiple purposes. It provided potential customers with a firsthand look at the product and offered them inspiration and guidance on how to use it.

Moreover, collaborating with stylists opened doors to their existing follower base. 

When a trusted stylist vouches for and showcases a product, their followers are likelier to trust and potentially invest in it. It’s a win-win situation!

A Smart Strategy for Those Hesitant to Be in Front of the Camera

We understand that not everyone is comfortable being in the spotlight. 

And that's okay! Partnering with a stylist can be a great workaround. 

While they work their magic in front of the camera, you can focus on other crucial aspects of your business.

Furthermore, teaming up with a stylist adds authenticity to your content. 

It’s about showcasing the product and educating and inspiring potential customers through professional expertise.

Collaborating with a stylist boosts your content game, establishes trust, extends reach, and adds a professional touch to your brand's image. 

If you're starting your hair business journey and feeling camera-shy, this might be the strategy you need!

Uplifting Your Online Presence

In today's digital age, first impressions are often made online

Mikey and I learned early on that to create a lasting impression and build trust with potential customers, we had to ensure our online storefront was nothing short of impressive. 

And that's precisely where investing in a professional theme for our website came into play.

Investing in a Professional Theme for Enhanced User Experience

While starting out, we had a clear vision for our brand. 

But translating that vision into a digital experience required more than standard templates. 

Investing in a professional theme could bring our brand's personality to life, offer a more interactive experience, and align our website's aesthetics with our brand's ethos.

A professional theme goes beyond just aesthetics. 

It’s about improving the overall user experience. Smooth navigation, responsive designs, and organized layouts make the browsing experience pleasant for visitors.

 A well-designed website reduces bounce rates and ensures potential customers can find what they want effortlessly.

Boosting Conversions with a Tailored Look

An advantage of opting for a professional theme is the scope for customization.

 Unlike standard themes, professional ones often come with many design elements, layouts, and features that can be tweaked to perfectly match your brand's identity

This tailored look sets you apart from competitors and instills trust in visitors.

Moreover, a well-optimized website naturally encourages conversions.

 Potential customers who visit a visually appealing, intuitive, and user-friendly website are more likely to purchase.

In conclusion, while the initial investment in a professional theme might seem like a stretch, especially when working with a tight budget, its long-term benefits in branding, user experience, and conversions are undeniable. 

If you're serious about building a credible and successful online hair business, don't underestimate the power of a stellar online presence!

modern homepage for beauty website

The Importance of Sample Kits

Mikey and I realized early in our hair business journey that while a picture may speak a thousand words, nothing beats the tangible feel of a product. 

Enter Sample Kits. A game-changer in the way we showcased the quality of our hair products.

Tangible Proofs Over Digital Images

We live in a digital age, where customers are often bombarded with images of products that don't live up to the hype once they're in hand. 

By offering sample rings from Private Extensions, we allowed our potential customers to feel, see, and experience the texture, quality, and authenticity of the hair we offer. 

It’s one thing to see a glossy image online, but another to hold a sample of the hair, run fingers through it, and truly understand its caliber.

Creating Buzz with the Sample Strategy

I recall a client who took her sample kit game up a notch. 

She attached the sample kit to her purse, letting those luscious hair samples dangle enticingly. 

The result? People were naturally drawn to it, asking about the hair, its quality, and where they could purchase it.

 This simple, low-cost strategy resulted in increased curiosity, more conversations about her business, and, ultimately, more sales. It was a brilliant approach to passive marketing.

Leveraging Private Extensions for Authenticity

Choosing Private Extensions for our sample kits was a deliberate decision.

 Their reputation in offering genuine, top-notch quality hair meant that our customers were getting a real feel of some of the best products in the industry. 

The sample rings, be it basic hair, premium hair, or raw hair, presented an authentic glimpse of what our customers could expect when they decided to invest in our products.

To sum it up, sample kits have been an invaluable tool in our marketing arsenal. 

They build trust, offer authenticity, and provide a tactile experience that online images alone can't achieve. 

Consider investing in sample kits if you're venturing into the hair business. It's a small investment that can yield significant returns!

Professional Photoshoots Without Breaking the Bank

Ah, the allure of polished, professional photos! 

They can elevate a brand, showcase products in their best light, and create a stellar first impression. 

But here's the catch: photoshoots can be pricey. However, fear not! Mikey and I discovered clever ways to get those high-quality shots without causing a significant dent in our wallets. 

Let's dive into some budget-friendly strategies for aspirational photoshoots.

Scout for Aspiring Talent

Remember, everyone starts somewhere.

 As you embark on your hair business journey, countless models and photographers are eager to make a mark in their respective fields. 

Reach out to budding models willing to model in exchange for quality hair products

Likewise, scout for emerging photographers who might be keen to collaborate in return for portfolio material. It's a win-win!

The Charm of Budget Studios

Renting out a fancy studio with all the bells and whistles sounds great, but it can be exorbitant. 

Instead, look for budget studios or alternative spaces with basic lighting and backdrops. 

Sometimes, less is more; creativity makes even a minimalist studio produce captivating shots.

Freelance Editors – A Gem in the Rough

Once you have your raw photos, they'll need some fine-tuning. 

Professional editing can make a difference, transforming an ordinary shot into something magazine-worthy.

 Platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer are teeming with talented freelance photo editors offering quality work at affordable rates. 

Take the time to review their portfolios, and you might just discover a gem!

Think Outside the Box

Lastly, don't be afraid to get creative. Natural outdoor settings, unique indoor locations, or DIY home setups can yield stunning results. 

The key is to envision the vibe you want for your brand and work towards capturing that essence.

In conclusion, professional photoshoots don't have to break the bank. 

With ingenuity, resourcefulness, and collaboration, you can achieve magazine-quality shots that do justice to your products and resonate with your target audience.

Starting with a Shoestring Budget

It's a misconception that you need significant capital to start a business, especially in the hair industry. 

But Mikey and I are living testaments to the contrary. 

We navigated the initial stages of our business with a modest sum, and here’s how we made it happen.


Economical Beginnings

Starting doesn't require you to go all out. 

At the heart of every business lies its online presence. With just $50, we managed to secure our domain, set up a professional email, and launch our store on Shopify.

 These three pillars became the foundation upon which we built everything else. And, believe it or not, this trifecta is surprisingly affordable.

The Real Investment – Strategy & Effort

While capital is vital, the real investment lies in the time, strategy, and effort you pour into your venture. 

The money will only get you so far. The relentless drive, the late nights, the research, the learning from failures, and the unyielding passion for your products will propel your business forward. 

With the right strategies and unwavering commitment, even the tightest budgets can yield impressive returns.

Quality Over Quantity

Rather than focusing on how much you're investing monetarily, prioritize where and how you invest your resources.

 For example, start with word-of-mouth marketing, collaborations, or social media engagement instead of splurging on pricey advertising campaigns immediately.

Embrace the Journey

Remember, every business has its unique journey. 

Ours began with a shoestring budget, but that never deterred us. 

We believed in our products, brand, and, most importantly, ourselves. Every hurdle became a learning experience, every challenge a stepping stone.

In wrapping up, it's essential to understand that it isn't the hefty initial investments that determine success but the heart, hustle, and strategy you embed in your journey.

 If we could carve our success story with less than $100, with the right approach, so can you.

hair business grand opening

What a Journey!

As our journey reveals, kickstarting a hair business isn’t solely dependent on a hefty bank account. 

It's about maximizing what you have, no matter how small. 

With the right mindset and guidance, even a budget as tight as $100 can seed a flourishing hair business. 

The essence lies in not just having resources but in being resourceful. It's about finding innovative ways to stretch that dollar, making intelligent choices, and pouring your passion into every strand and sale.

 The world of hair business, just like any other, is teeming with possibilities if you have the vision to see them and the determination to chase them. 

Here's to your hair business dreams! If Mikey and I could weave our success story with minimal initial investment, trust that you can, too.

Craving more insights, strategies, and behind-the-scenes peeks? 

Join Mikey and me on Hair Biz Radio. We delve deeper, share our highs and lows, and discuss the intricacies of the hair business world. 

Whether you're just starting out or looking to elevate your existing business, there's something for everyone. 

Available on all major streaming platforms and YouTube. Here’s to crafting success, one episode at a time!

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