How to Make Your Free Agent Hairstyling Business Prosperous in 2017

Happy New Year, #beautyKO nation! I wish you and your business dreams an empowered and prosperous 2017! I am Kate Capko, a hairstylist, beauty industry consultant, and the curator of Free Agent Hairstylist™. Free Agent Hairstylist™ was created to provide independent hairstylists with the business knowledge and industry news they need to be successful…. on their own!

Free Agent Hairstylist™ is growing quickly and we have found so many amazing tools, apps, communities, and brands to help you build a strong successful business all by yourself. We are happy to collaborate with the Stylie community to share the resources you need to build your best future in hairdressing.

Here are just a few tips to make 2017 your best year yet:

1. Do your research.

Read. Read. Read.

There are so many amazing resources out there to help you understand where to start, what you will need, business successes, business mistakes, and service trends that will make your business boom.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:

  • Subscribe to industry bloggers newsletters.
  • Read as much as you can find to keep up on our industry.
  • Call salons that carry brands you are interested in and ask how they feel about partnering with that brand.
  • Ask salons about which distributor in your area they trust.
  • Spend time on social media digging around to see what is out there.

Be warned, though: unbiased business knowledge is not as readily available in the hair community.  You will really need to dig in order to understand what is in the best interest of your independent salon business.

Please do all the research you possibly can.  The hair industry is immensely different from other small businesses. You will need to search high and low for information that applies to you.

2. Identify your brand.

In my book, I talk about how to make a vision board to help you identify your brand aesthetic.  This will help you to better visualize the style you are looking to portray to your clients.  This is no small task and there is not enough space to discuss it in the depth it deserves, however, you need to have a strong idea of the aesthetic you will display to your clients.

You will also need to create a marketing plan to maintain and attract clients. Begin to consider colors and styles that would appeal to your clients and the clients you are looking to gain.  Begin securing your social media account and posting the type of content that speaks to your brand.

Remember: it is never too early to start!

3. Keep records.

As a small business owner, you will need to know your cash flow and revenue in and out.  I am always frightened when a small business owner does not know their business totals off the top of their head. If you are focused on analyzing your business the way you should, you will be able to call off monthly income easily. You can’t run a business blindly.

Being in the same exact place as you were this time last year could be a warning sign…. Make 2017 the year! 💥💥

A photo posted by Free Agent Hairstylist ™ (@freeagenthairstylist) on

Knowing your business totals helps you find areas for improvement and can help you identify when something is wrong. Keeping record is crucial. If you do not know what is coming in, then your certainly should not be letting anything out. How will you make big decisions such as the retail brand you will carry if you don’t even know how much money you have in your budget?  You can’t even create a budget without the proper records.

We know by now that we need our clients’ formula and service records, but becoming independent will mean your records becoming more advanced in order to keep you on track.


Make your 2017 prosperous by using tools that will help you automate administrative and business tasks so you can spend more time doing what you love. Try Stylie for 60 days free by using the promo code “YOURYEAR”.

Make Your 2017 Prosperous with Stylie!

4. See an accountant.

Hiring an accountant for their expertise will save you tons in the long run. There are so many tax deductions that your accountant can help you work through, including:

  • Industry trade magazines and books
  • Salon tools
  • Memberships
  • Business cards
  • Aprons
  • Industry education
  • And much more

#MondayMotivation ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️

A photo posted by Stylie (@gostylie) on

Itemizing on your taxes should not be a guessing game.  Leave the taxes to a professional.

5. Save!

If you think you need to save a certain amount of money to open your own salon, save double that amount! Save your money and then save some more!

Doing business is expensive. It is a big learning curve when you start and that learning curve is arguably a lifelong process. You will lose some clients and spend more money than you expect.  Make sure you have a large cushion to soften the blow of transitioning out on your own.

Reminder: some progress is better than none. #MondayMotivation

A photo posted by Stylie (@gostylie) on

Always remember that cash flow is the key to a having a secure business.  The more you have saved, the bigger your safety net.

6. Get insurance.

Unfortunately, businesses deal with legal issues more often than you probably know¾especially for hairstylists. Clients can be fickle about their hair. It’s a contact service with the public, and you will need to protect yourself.

I’m sure you have seen legal cases on TV court shows; they come up quite frequently. This is only a fraction of the legal battles that go on in real life between hairstylists and an upset client.

Hair is an emotional thing for people. I cannot say this enough: insurance is your friend! When an issue arises and you are covered, you will breath the biggest sigh of relief. Having small business insurance will cover you for legal and business damages that may occur, protecting you and your business.

It’s not wise to gamble with your business. I have consulted with so many hairdressers who have been taken by surprise by a random car accident or illness that takes them out of work for an unexpected time frame. Disability happens in our industry. For all the things that could go wrong, there are small business and freelance insurance policies. Include this in your research!

7. Keep a journal.

I was recently gifted a helpful tool by Ink+Volt that allows me to write down my dreams and break them down weekly to take my mission step-by-step. They make a Volt planner that helps you to keep your goals organized. Each week and month, you are given a place to recollect your mission. The planner is filled with inspiring quotes that really make you think.

I have found in the short time that I have had my Volt planner, that I am more on track then I have ever been.  When it comes to dreaming, there is nothing quite like writing down your thoughts on paper. My phone keeps my life on track yet this paper planner is a nice thing to have in addition to your phone. There will be a lot of feelings and brainstorms that come with business ownership. Find a way to organize it and make your artistic brain effective!

8. Stick to your morals.

Your gut will not lie to you. You will need to learn how to let it guide you in your decisions.

For example, in my research for salon suite owners and independent stylists, I came across Stylie. I had seen many apps and gadgets for point of sale and scheduling but all of them were not quite right for the hair industry.

It was a hard chapter to approach in my book because none of the things I found in my research felt GOOD enough to suggest to my readers. Some of the tools I found charge a transaction fee that I felt would quickly add up. I did not feel these certain apps and tools provide value for that reoccurring transaction fee.

Other tools were not originally intended for hairstylists. Some tools were created for big salons and were being scaled down to appeal to independent hairstylists. The problem is, they were not doing a good job of this.

When I found Stylie, I loved that the app was created by a developer who was looking to help his friends who are hairstylists. His hairstylist friends expressed their needs and he had the background to create it. Not only is Stylie an app, but it is also a platform of information and business support for our hair industry community.

I have made a career out of advocating for hairstylists to be Free Agent Hairstylists™. I want to empower stylists to elevate themselves and their business to be strong enough on their own.  I want to bring unbiased information to help hairstylists make educated business decisions on their own.

When I was asked to guest blog for Stylie, I knew this was the right fit for what I hope Free Agent Hairstylist™ will accomplish for our hair industry tribe. So many brands are coming for our business as we move into not only a new year, but also a new chapter for the hair industry. We are our own tribe, and our trade makes us good money.  That income makes us vulnerable to bad business. It is our job to keep our morals and only work with businesses that will support us bring the value we need to succeed.

I have been a hairdresser for many years and have been very mobile in my career. This is because I practice what I preach, but—most importantly—I will only do business with those that make me feel supported. I know my value and you should, too! It is your key to success and the mindset of a Free Agent Hairstylist™.

I encourage you to read up on Stylie’s community and the business support they provide.  I have made it my full-time job to do the research you will need going into the New Year as you work to make your dreams come true. For other tips, follow us on Instagram @freeagenthairstylist and the blog at Happy New Year!


Want a copy of Free Agent Hairstylist™? Purchase the book on Amazon today for $4.99:

Purchase Free Agent Hairstylist

Ready to make your 2017 prosperous? Try Stylie for 60 days free by using the promo code “YOURYEAR”. Sign up now!

Get Stlyie for 60 Days Free & Make Your 2017 Prosperous!

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-Easy for you, Easy to love-

Katelyn Capko

Katelyn Capko

Katelyn Capko is a freelance hairdresser and beauty business consultant advocating for innovative business practices in the salon industry. When Kate is not doing hair, she is consulting with top talent, salons, salon suites and hair care brands to build their businesses. She has traveled the world educating for major brands and teaching on various topics on the changing landscape of the salon industry. Katelyn is an advocate for hairstylists and salon owners to change their mindset in order to keep up with modern hairdressing and salon industry branding. She teaches high profile salons how to attract and maintain modern thinking hairdressers. Her books, webinars, public speaking, and trainings are taking the hair industry by storm. You can also follow her blog for business tips along with Instagram and Facebook.
Katelyn Capko

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