Lynelle Lynch Talks Beauty Industry and Business

The art of entrepreneurship comes to people in many different forms. Some people work from the ground up, some are born into businesses, and some may inherit businesses. No matter how anyone enters entrepreneurship, they understand that there is work to be done to ensure the success of their business. Imagine if you were to obtain your own business under any of the circumstances mentioned above. What would be your first steps in running the business? How would you provide for your staff, if you have any? Running a business has many complexities, would you even know where to begin? It is ok not to know right off the bat. That is normal. However, learning and creating goals are vital in the steps to success. Without a vision and a way to learn the ropes, the business might not grow according to your plan.

Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat, especially because there is so much more to it than just getting the business up and running. Forbes, published a list of nine things people should know before starting a business, which is a great resource for new entrepreneurs. The first piece of information in the article read, “It’s more than just being passionate,” is one of the best pieces of advice. Entrepreneurship does not always look glamorous. It takes a while to become as successful as some of the entrepreneurs we see running multi-million-dollar businesses today. However, once you realize passion is great for starting a business but not the only requirement, you create more room for growth and other tools that allow your business to flourish.

A flourishing business has a business plan, which is a guided layout for a growing business. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a guide on creating a business plan, which is helpful for new business owners, as it breaks down different definitions and lends a few pieces of advice. The key here is trying different strategies. Once one strategy is implemented, statistics should be formed, and if that does not work out, the business plan is there to provide backup strategies for owners. It is helpful too when other business owners share their own stories about their business plans and how they worked out. Some people are fortunate enough to have a successful business plan right away, and that is wonderful! However, some people have business plans that take time and different strategies. These people end up standing the test of time and, as a result, have a successful business to show for it.

So, that leads to a new question: who can we look up to for their creation of a successful business model? Well, we had an interview that could easily answer that question.

Lynelle Lynch Bellus Academy headshot
Lynelle Lynch of Bellus Academy / Photo courtesy of Lynelle Lynch

Lynelle Lynch, the Beauty Entrepreneur

Lynelle Lynch is a successful entrepreneur who has a story that is slightly different from the norm. We spoke with Lynelle about her experience as an entrepreneur. For those who do not know, Lynelle is the owner of Bellus Academy, which is the number one beauty school in the United States. Lynelle’s entrepreneurial journey began with her inheriting the three California-based businesses from her husband, who owned them for about 35 years. After taking over control of Bellus Academy, Lynelle decided to put together an advisory board with some of the top spa and salon owners in her area to start a business plan because she was new to the field. To Lynelle’s surprise, the advisory board told her that the salon and spa staff do not require five years of experience in their location, San Diego. Lynelle says, “I just looked at them all and said, ‘ok, I’m going to change that.’”

After that, Lynelle’s business plans sprang into action. First, she took some time to learn about the industry a little more and then began to recruit individuals who were well-versed in the beauty industry. Lynelle explained that the recruiting process took about two years because she wanted her schools to be run a certain way. She chose the name Bellus for the school’s rebrand, but it wasn’t until the fourth agency came in that she got a logo and was able to stop looking for other people to recruit. Lynelle explained that she learned what she did and did not want for her company from all the prior recruitments.

How is Rebranding a Business Different from Starting a Business?

Well, the differences are easy to identify but require just as much work. Of course, rebranding a business means a previous business is already in place, so that leg work is already done. However, rebranding comes with a potential new name and logo, new regulations, and all of the other nitty-gritty details that come with starting a new business from scratch.

In Lynelle’s case, she explains that government regulations and policies are constantly changing, which already change when rebranding a business. She noted that the regulations and policies under the Obama administration are different from the current administration. So, in this instance, Lynelle decided to create her programs that had no history so that any new government changes could not impact her new programs and the students in those programs. When it comes to making these policy changes and being compliant with government regulations, there are a few things to keep in mind. Forbes states that the best way to keep your business up and running with these changes is similar to what Lynelle did for Bellus Academy. The article says that partnering with specialists, staying up to date with regulations, and getting everything right since beginning business operations is the best bet. Although there is more than the article says, these are the actions that Lynelle has taken, and they have worked well for her business.

Alongside government regulations and policies that change, Lynelle chose to rebrand Bellus Academy by adding more esthetician learning opportunities. When starting a new business, people usually begin by creating a product or service that the average person cannot do on their own. However, when it comes to rebranding, the business owner can look back on what did and did not work and move forward from there. When changing up her academy locations, Lynelle decided to expand her spaces from 10,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. She also upped the ante by adding an advanced program that included eyelash extensions, hair extensions, hydrotherapy tubs, and machines for hydrafacials and microdermabrasions. Since Lynelle added these new programs as a means of rebranding, she actually created a difference between Bellus Academy and other competitor beauty schools. According to ​Entrepreneur.com, rebranding is viewed as a great way to diversify the field that a business is in. Since the beauty and the esthetic world is constantly evolving, it is in a beauty school’s best interest to keep up with these evolutions to bring in more students and clients for the students to practice on.

The same article also mentions that physical rebranding, such as the name and the logo of a company, is just as important as rebranding the services of a company. Lynelle told us that one of her first steps when taking over Bellus Academy was changing the names that her husband had (which weren’t Bellus) and changing the logo. The word ‘bellus’ was decided for the name of the academy because it is Latin for ‘beauty.’ The logo took some time to complete, according to Lynelle, but she chose the simplistic logo after doing some research with her team. Changing a company’s name and logo with rebranding their services is a helpful maneuver for businesses. In an article by Fora Financial, the pros and cons of changing a business name are discussed, and in Lynelle’s case, the pros definitely outweighed the cons. The article explains that a name change can align more with the business, which ended up being true for Bellus Academy. Because the term ‘bellus’ means ‘beauty’ in Latin, the academy having more esthetic work means that the overall beauty of a person was given more emphasis.

Rebranding a business has its own pros and cons, but the payoff can really be worth it. Without the room to grow and change, some businesses would remain stagnant and leave opportunities for other brands to start and take their business.

Giving Back

During our interview, Lynelle disclosed that she founded a charity in 2012 called Beauty Changes Lives. The purpose of this charity, in Lynelle’s words, was to bring attention to the fact that some people do not see massage therapists, estheticians, cosmetologists, nail pros, and others as viable career moves. Next year Beauty Changes Lives will be celebrating its tenth anniversary and has raised about $7 million for scholarships thus far.

The link between entrepreneurship and charities is quite strong. In an article about entrepreneurs giving back to charities, it is stated that philanthropic work done by businesses is really beneficial for the business and those being helped out. The article explains that 62% of entrepreneurs state that giving back makes their companies more successful, and 43% conclude that giving back attracts and helps retain talent. Lynelle’s charity does a great job of attracting people to attend Bellus Academy because she is the entrepreneur behind both. As we can see, giving back not only benefits Lynelle but also benefits those who are looking to start their own cosmetic career. The benefits of corporate philanthropy are great, and entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs should really investigate this for their own futures.

Lynelle’s 3 Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Watch your finances

Lynelle states that knowing your finances is one of the most important things because they can make or break you. She suggests creating a balance sheet and strategizing the best ways to use finances. In fact, Entrepreneur.com states that watching your finances helps you reach financial goals while ensuring every payment is valid and correct. The site also explains that watching your finances prevents a business from owing unnecessary taxes. Having receipts and documentation of finances is great to show to the IRS so that way unnecessary taxes aren’t owed, and there is no need for potential audits.

2. Find inspiration

Inspiration can help businesses in so many ways. Lynelle advises that people should find inspiration even beyond of their entrepreneurial paths because it may help the business in the end. Inc.com did a few interviews with entrepreneurs about what inspired them and the results are fascinating. Some explained that their inspiration came from working a traditional 9-5 job and craving their freedom, others saw their disabilities and wanted better for other people, and some thrived off being told no. No matter what the inspiration was, they could take it and turn it into a successful entrepreneurial career.

3. Keep challenging yourself

When elements of business become monotonous, it is a sign that you should challenge yourself even more. Lynelle told us, “look at your competition and think, ‘how can I overachieve and make the experience for whoever you’re serving better?’” Continually challenging yourself can set you apart from the competition. An article by Forbes about challenging yourself gives some great ideas. One point is to make yourself the center of the business, especially if you are the sole owner. Challenge yourself to be the one aligned with the business so that way the business can stay as something you are proud of. Another point is to challenge yourself to define your own success. It is important not to play the “keeping up with the Joneses” game to plan where your business should go. Your business is yours. You should be the one calling the shots and coming up with the ideas. Challenging yourself can manifest in many ways, so it is important to keep checking in on yourself and your business as an entrepreneur.

Beat the Standard

From learning about Lynelle’s story, it is clear that she is an entrepreneur that put in a lot of work to better the beauty schools that she inherited. Beginning your entrepreneurial journey does not look the same for everyone, but the amount of work and heart put into it does. You must know that your entrepreneurial journey is your own, so you must set your own standards for yourself. Set yourself apart from the competition and see the successful business that you have created. The world is in your hands. How you obtain it is up to you.

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