Ep. 118: What You Need To Know Before Expanding Your PMU Business


Everybody makes mistakes.


But sometimes we're still embarrassed about the fact that we made a mistake. Sometimes we're so ashamed that we hide the fact that we messed up from everyone because we're afraid of being judged.

Here's the thing, you can't be a successful entrepreneur without making mistakes. I know that doesn't sound right. How can you be successful if you're making mistakes, right? Well, it means you're taking risks. It means you're trying new things, that you're pushing the envelope. You're testing the waters to see what's possible for your business.

That's how successful entrepreneurs are built. So for this episode, I'm going to share a mistake I made fairly early on in my business. And it was costly, okay? It was not a cheap mistake. But I overcame it. And I'm sharing it so that maybe it will keep you from making this mistake too.

Because that is the really great thing about having a successful business and teaching others about creating their own successful businesses. I get to share my mistakes so that you don't make those same mistakes. You get to make your own, okay? And that's a sign that you're really getting somewhere.


Here are the episode highlights:

‣‣  [04:38]  Let's talk about the first location I had a studio at, and why I thought I had to move to a different one.

‣‣  [06:33]  What happened when I got this new location? How did it impact my business? Did I grow at all?

‣‣  [08:50]  How have I grown my business without opening a second location? 




You can follow me, Sheila Bella, on Instagram @realsheilabella!


Here are the links that were mentioned in the podcast!


Pretty Rich Bosses

Microblading Sales Script

HYVE Beauty *Code SHEILA15

Text me! (310) 388-4588




You can enjoy this podcast by downloading it on iTunes here.
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You can enjoy a transcript of the podcast here.

Sheila Bella:

Yo, are you thinking about investing in a bigger location with a beautiful storefront for your PMU or lash business? Because you believe that being somewhere, being located where there's high foot traffic will help you get more clients. While that may be the case for some of you, this episode is a fair warning to those who want to expand, though, before you make such a decision, this is a must listen, right here on Pretty Rich Podcast.


Welcome to Pretty Rich Podcast where you're totally the heroine of your own story. I'm your host, Sheila Bella, and I've built a seven figure PMU beauty biz, and a seven figure online biz without a degree, without a fancy website, or a sugar daddy. And if you and I hang out on here long enough, you're going to start to believe that you can do it too. How about that for a side effect of listening to this podcast, because you really can. I know you think, I don't know you, I have no idea who you are, but I do. I really, really do because I am you. I was you. And I believe we're all on the same journey together.


My perfect job didn't exist. So I created it. The job I wanted, wasn't hiring me, wanting nothing to do with me. So I skipped the line and hired myself as CEO just like you can. So consider me your secret beauty biz BFF, in case you need to be reminded on a weekly basis that power is never just handed to you, you have to take it. Are you ready beauty boss? Let's jump in.


What's going on you guys? It's Sheila Bella, and man, I have a real one for you today. Listen, I wrote this podcast episode first thing in the morning, like five in the morning. I was still in bed and I'm like, I just need to get something off my chest. I got to tell the world because I'm seeing so many of you ponder upon the question, when is it the right time to expand? How do I know that I'm making a wise decision by expanding my business?


Before we jump into the lesson, I think I need to be transparent and open up with you guys about how I learned this. I learned it the hard way and to be completely transparent, I messed up. I messed up big time and you know what? I feel a lot of pressure or I have felt a lot of pressure for several years to hide this failure because I'm like, well, if I open up about this, are people still going to believe me? Are they going to still going to like me? Are they still going to see me as an authority? And you know what? I just had a moment where I'm just like, the reason why they should listen to me is because I've had this failure. It's through this failure that I know now what the F I am talking about. True business wisdom comes from taking risks. Wisdom comes from the experience of both success and failure.


Hey PMU, friends, listen, I don't talk about or promote anything on here that I don't believe in or use myself. And right now I got to say my favorite place to shop for quality PMU and beauty supplies is HYVE Beauty. They have the best selection and my favorite part about shopping at hyvebeauty.com is getting the package. It feels so personal. It always makes me so happy, opening up a HYVE package from the mail, because it feels like I'm getting a package from a friend. I don't know how they do it, or make people feel this way, but they managed to do it with thousands of happy customers all over the US and Canada. And I'm definitely one of them. And you should really go check it out so you know what I'm talking about. And if you want to save 15% off store wide, guess what? Today's your lucky day? Just type in the code at Sheila, S-H-E-I 15 and get 15% off store wide. So check out hyvebeauty.com. Link is in the show notes.


All right, so let's get on with the story. So for those of you who don't know, I have a permanent makeup business in Los Angeles, and I started out in North Hollywood. North Hollywood is where my location is to this day. My North Hollywood location is in an industrial area. There are hardly, hardly any walk ins. There's hardly any traffic in the front. It is a huge building. It's a huge building. It's beautiful. It's remodeled, there are eight beds at this building. And there's also a huge lobby and two offices. It's crazy. It's ginormous. Now the thing is, I thought that if I had a location that was in a more prominent area, my thinking was that people who were passing by would naturally just walk in because they were curious and make an appointment.


Oh, silly rabbit. Silly me. So what did I do? I opened a location in Beverly Hills. Now, for those of you who aren't LA literate, Beverly Hills in North Hollywood are not that far from one another. It's like a 20, 30 minute drive. And everything about my gut instinct told me that all I would be doing was I would just be splitting clients. Some of my clients would go to Beverly Hills because they live closer and those who lived over the Hill in the Valley would just continue to go to the Valley.


But then I got some advice from people that I shouldn't have taken advice from because they hadn't done it themselves. They meant well, but they were speculating. They told me that having a storefront in Beverly Hills would multiply my clients, which made sense to me, I suppose, at the time. But honestly, my gut told me that all I would be doing was I would be splitting my current clientele and I would be spending unnecessarily on a storefront just to make it more convenient for my clients, that a storefront wouldn't necessarily bring me more clients, especially since it was practically in the same city.


Well, I was right. My gut feeling was right. After a few months of opening the second location, I realized that I knew this was a bad idea. Had the location been in another state, like we thought about opening another location in Las Vegas. I think that would have made more sense, but to open a second location that was merely down the street, just because it had a higher rate of foot traffic in front, wasn't very effective. And then, so I was heartbroken that I had to close down that location and I was embarrassed. I remember eating at the restaurant across the street from it, at Urth Caffe, and seeing Sheila Bella Permanent Makeup and the for lease sign on there for like a year and a half, they couldn't lease the building. Anyway, it just was such a reminder of that failure. Like, ugh, ugh.


Listen, I'm all about the bottom line. And the bottom line was my business kept more money and made more money with just that one location. This was maybe five years ago. So I wanted to share with you guys what I learned throughout this time, because as I coach other permanent makeup artists into making this decision to expand, I realize the same patterns. If you're thinking of investing in a bigger location with a beautiful storefront for your lash and PMU business, because you believe that that switch alone, the location of your business alone, the foot traffic alone is going to bring you more clients, stop, stop, and think. Listen, business growth is exciting. It's exciting. I've lived through this you guys, but change can be dangerous if your company doesn't go about it the right way.


I have come to realize that I have done a very poor job of reminding everybody why the heck I have so much time to create content. Why do I have time to podcast? How do I have time to create so many reels? How do I have all this time to create inspiring posts, online courses, vacation with family even, et cetera, et cetera. I know you guys know that I'm a permanent makeup artist, but what you may not know is that the reason why I have all this time to pursue the things that I'm truly passionate about is because I've scaled my business. I've scaled my business to create $200,000 to $300,000 months in revenue. And I did it all through me not even having to be there.


I have a permanent makeup studio that now employs seven full time artists. I used to have 14, and now I have seven. And the seven that I have, have been with me for five years or more. How, how did I do this? You see this financial freedom is what is available to you through the art and craft of permanent makeup. If you're a solo business owner and you're looking to scale your business, just like I did, and perhaps stop the Groundhog day experience of going in and out, doing brow after brow, after brow. And you're looking to create jobs and opportunities for those who are deserving, or perhaps those that you love.


This is exactly the model that we coach people through in our Pretty Rich Bosses mentorship program. Whether you're a veteran or just starting out in the industry, if this is something you crave, why don't you pick up the phone and text me for a complimentary strategy call. On this free 60 minute strategy call, we'll use it to clarify what it is that you still haven't done in your business in order to get you to where you want to be. And all you have to do is text the word, free call, to area code (310) 388-4588. Text the word free call to (310) 388-4588. And I'll talk to you soon.


Do you have at least six months reserve in the bank? When I made this mistake, I didn't. And to be honest, the expansion was stressful because I didn't have reserve. Ah, I was so young into making money. I didn't know how to handle it. Don't lose track of your expenses. You need reserves in the bank, just in case. Make sure too that the functions, the functionality of your business, customer service, the tech in your business, and the day to day operations are built to scale. I skipped that part.


The big question here in expanding is this, do you have so many customers that you can't service all of your customers because your space is too small? Maybe you're booked out for several months and you're hiring another artist and the room you're renting only has room for one bed. All right. Then it makes sense to expand. Yes, that's a sign you should expand. Do you have a wait list of clients that you can't service because your space is too small? Do you find yourself renting out bigger rooms just to host your classes because you have so many students and you have a long wait list and you're spending more money renting out different hotels, different spaces to host your classes because your salon or studio doesn't have the room to do so? Well, yeah, you should probably look at a bigger location.


But if your entire motivation for expanding is just to bring in foot traffic, let's discuss this right now. Walk-ins are not as prevalent as they used to be. If you think that a more prominent location will get you more clients due to visibility, it might get you a little bit, but it's unlikely because what matters more nowadays isn't your storefront traffic, it's social media and website traffic. Don't build a nursery before you're sure you're pregnant. Don't expand your business until you have proven to yourself and to your investors, that you actually have that type of capability, that you actually have the business. Storefront traffic does help. It does help.


But guys, I was in the heart of Beverly Hills. I was spending about $11,000 on rent that time. Oh my gosh, had I just dumped 11 grand into Facebook ads first, first, then expanded, that would have made more sense, right? The bottom line in 2021, okay, this new year is that web traffic converts higher. So don't expand your business until you're sure you have the business. I hope this little vulnerable moment helped you get clarity on what it is that you should be doing or not doing yet.


Listen, if you have a unique situation that I didn't mention on this episode, I want you to text me about it. Go ahead, text me about it. I love hearing feedback. I love giving guidance on business because if I don't use the pain that I went through for good to help another, then it would have been for nothing. So yes, if you have a unique situation that I didn't cover on this episode, or maybe I'm not thinking about, go ahead and text me. I love hearing from you guys. And the number is area code (310) 388-4588, area code (310) 388-4588. That's it for today's episode, until next time.


Hey, thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Pretty Rich Podcast. If you want to continue the conversation longer, check me out on Instagram. It's my favorite to connect with you guys, @realsheilabella. I'm happy to answer any of your questions or simply to chat and get to know you better. And if you end up doing something super awesome, like screenshotting this episode and reposting on your stories, that would put the biggest smile on my face. Don't forget to tag me. I appreciate every share and love feedback from my listeners.


Also, do you have my number? Do you have my number? Because if we're going to keep hanging out, you should probably have my number so you can actually text me. That's right. You can text me at (310) 388-4588. And if you're sick and tired of doing business alone, and you're interested in accelerating your success by hiring a business coach or joining our mentorship program called Pretty Rich Bosses, go ahead and just apply. Why not? Check it out.


Go to sheilabella.com/apply and we'll schedule a free strategy session with either myself or one of my advisors. And of course I got to include my kids. So here to send us off are Beau and Grey. Grey, say share with your friends.


Share with friends.

Sheila Bella:

Please review my mommy on iTunes.


Mommy iTunes.

Sheila Bella:

Thanks for listening to me.


Thank you for listening.

Sheila Bella:

Hey Beau, can you tell everybody what our family motto is?


Yeah, I can do hard things.

Sheila Bella:

I can do hard things. Good job, buddy.


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