Preparing for a new child is an exciting time, and taking maternity leave is vital to healing and developing a strong bond with your baby. However, planning for maternity leave can be stressful, especially in the service-based industry where pausing services means you might not have an income while you’re on leave.
It might take some extra planning, but taking maternity leave as a lash professional is possible! Ashley Higgins of LashLove New Hampshire is sharing her maternity leave success story. Just 2 months after returning from leave, she became fully booked and had her most profitable month ever. Using her tips, plan your maternity leave and create your roadmap for building your business back up when you’re ready to return to work.
How To Prepare for Maternity Leave In The Beauty Industry
If you’re actively trying for a baby or are already pregnant, start preparing your business for your leave early:
- Consider rewarding loyalty: Before Ashley left for maternity leave, she told her clients that if they returned to her, she would provide a full set at a fill price. This enticed her customers to come back to her and continue with her services once she was ready to return.
- Provide reputable alternatives: Give your customers referrals to nearby, reputable lash artists while you’re on leave. Building out a network and knowing your customers are taken care of while you’re out can give you the peace of mind you need to heal your body and take the time you need to bond with your baby.
- Change your mindset: Understand the value you bring and be confident in your skills. If you’re providing great quality services, chances are good a large percentage of your customer base will return to you. Remember that it’s natural to lose some clients even without taking an extended break, so understand that some client loss is a normal part of running a business.
How To Return from Maternity Leave
As you begin to transition to working life, take the time to rework your schedule to accommodate your new family member. Depending on your schedule, you might not be able to service the same clientele as before. For example, before Ashley had kids, she worked many nights and weekends to cater to clients who worked 9-5. After having her first child, she transitioned her client base to nurses, pharmacists, stay-at-home moms, or work-from-home employees who can take time out during their day so she could preserve weekends and evenings for family time.
Once you know when you’ll be back at work, start reaching out to clients to let them know when you’ll start taking appointments. Remind your clients of your loyalty offer and start getting them back on your schedule. If you’re like Ashley and your ideal client has changed, consider pivoting your marketing to appeal to your new client base. It might take a change in mindset and marketing, but your ideal client who prefers your new schedule is out there!
Related: How to Retain Your Lash Customers
What If Your Customer List Decreases Substantially?
If you have very few returning customers, take a look at your marketing. Do you understand the specific audience you’re marketing to and what resonates with them?
For example, if you’re using phrases like “save time in the morning,” you’re more likely to attract customers who work 9-5. If you’d like to target more stay-at-home moms or people who have a more flexible schedule, consider changing to phrases like “save time so you can spend it with your family,” or “look effortlessly beautiful on your zoom calls” to appeal to their needs.
Don’t Be Discouraged
A small customer list can feel defeating, but Ashley encourages you to remember that you started this business from scratch before. If you have to start from ground 0 again, keep in mind that you’ve done this once – and you are totally capable of doing this again! Recycle your business building, networking, and marketing techniques you used when you first started to get back out there and build a list of new clients.
Increasing Your Profitability After Maternity Leave
Once you fill out your new schedule, it can be tempting to add additional hours to your day so you can gain more clients and increase your income. For new moms, this can cause you to spend more time than you’d like away from your family.
If that sounds like you, consider a price increase to reflect how in demand you are and the quality of your services. This allows you to keep working the same hours while continuing to increase your profitability.
Read More: How To Raise Your Lash Extension Prices
Promoting lash extension products like Aftercare, Lash+doctor lash enhancing serum, and eyelash extension-friendly makeup can also add to your revenue without taking on additional hours. If you do end up taking on clients outside of your preferred schedule, Ashley recommends charging an after-hours fee to make up for the inconvenience and make it worth the time spent away from your family.
Taking maternity leave can be scary, but planning ahead and having a strong return plan can give you the confidence you need to do what’s best for your body and family. Above all else, remember you have an entire support network at NovaLash and your skills are in high demand. You have all the tools you need to take the time you need to rest, recover, and bond – while still building the lash business of your dreams.