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  • Writer's pictureKate

How to Set up a Training Academy

The next progressive step for many salon owners and therapists is setting up their own training academy, but exactly how do you do this, and where do you start?

Teaching others should come from passion and experience, and this is the first step before you open your training school doors. It is suggested a minimum of two year’s experience is necessary before embarking on the next step in your career, and for good reason!

Experience means that you have handled the best and worst of all situations, you would have seen many contraindications, seen amazing results, adapted your skills to get the best for your client’s and seen situations where the treatment didn’t always go to plan. The best trainers are able to support their students post-training and having the skills in the procedures you are teaching, will allow you to support your learners.

Many therapists, already have the experience needed, but they see many barriers stopping them from taking the next step into teaching. Many reasons stopping therapists from starting their own academies include:

· Not knowing what they need in order to start teaching.

· Overwhelmed by the colossal task of writing manuals and other paperwork.

· Dyslexia means you struggle to write manuals.

· Not having the time to write the training material needed.

· Scared of investing in larger premises to teach from.

· Feeling like they won’t be able to get enough students.

· Fear of the accreditation process.

At Salon Expert we know how overwhelming it all feels, I mean we were where you are right now once. As a trainer myself, we were always approached by students on our courses who were interested in teaching, but they just didn’t know where to start. No one talked about this very subject, there was nowhere to get the answers many therapists were looking for. Then one day it all changed – by accident!

Having been a trainer for nearly 20 years, I decided it was time to reduce my training courses down to just 3-4 courses. Having mentioned this to a therapist that was purchasing some items from a salon I was closing down, they asked me what I was doing with all my manuals. If you know me, you know I am never short of words to say, but I was silent for a while. At this point my mind was trying to think of the reasoning behind this request, and so I politely declined the offer and left it at that. This was until a few weeks later someone else asked me the very same question. Was there really a demand for this service? I spent weeks researching all over the internet and there was absolutely no manuals for sale for our industry. Surely if salons and trainers wanted these resources, they would be available, and the best way to ever find out the market interest is to ask the question directly.

One Facebook post later and over 300 enquiries, I realised that there was indeed a need for manuals. Not only that, I was inundated with many questions from highly experienced therapists about all the barriers that were preventing them from teaching. It was from that day that Salon Expert was born in 2017.

Not knowing what they need in order to start teaching

This was the main question I got asked, how do I start? What do I need? It seems to be the first question or questions that enter your head. The answer to the question is simple, you need passion to teach, experience in your field and a teaching qualification.

If you want to know more about the qualifications you need, I have laid this all out in my Setting up a Training Academy guide, available below.

Overwhelmed by the colossal task of writing manuals and other paperwork

I have spent many late nights until 2-3 am writing manuals after a full day working in my salon, raising 3 children and the household chores! And it’s not just the time you need to find, it’s the information, ensuring the work is copyright free, adding relevant images and much more. It is hard enough to do this before your academy opens, its even harder when your academy is up and running and you want to add on new courses to attract more students and bring in more revenue.

When I first listed my manuals, I never imagined it would become a long term business with repeat custom, that is still here several years later. Yet the need for off the shelf, pre-written and editable training manuals was an essential resource for many new and existing training schools.

Since setting up our website in 2017, we have now created a catalogue of over 150 beauty and aesthetic training manuals, all written to ensure they meet the standards of the accreditation companies.

Whether you are a new academy just starting out, or an existing academy that wants to launch new courses, then our manuals are just the resources that you need.

Scared of investing in larger premises to teach from

You really do not need a large space to teach from, especially in the early days, and there are many other alternatives if you want to run a course with more students than you have space for.

Whilst it may be a dream to launch your academy with a large, glitzy, and glamourous salon, it’s really not the key to success.

Starting small is often a great way to test the market, find out which courses are most popular for you, and also overcome any teething issues, before teaching bigger class sizes. Students often prefer 1-2-1 or 2-2-1 training. Smaller classes mean you can teach from your current premises or from the premises of your student. Students benefit from a more intimate class and more attention from you, the trainer. It allows you to understand the needs of the student and overcome any issues on a smaller scale. Once you become more confident with teaching, you have more demand for courses than you have space for, then you can look at expanding.

Expansion doesn’t always mean expense, relocation, or taking on a lease for larger premises. There are many options available to you for teaching bigger class sizes. The most common one is renting out other training academies, which means you only pay for the space when you need it!

We cover this more in our Setting up a Training Academy guide. Feeling like they won’t be able to get enough students

Do you remember when you first started your salon or clinic? Do you remember wondering how you would get enough clients through the door to pay your bills? Well, running a training academy is no different, only this time the risk is not as high, as you already have the premises, and the rewards are greater, as you can charge more for a day course than you may make from a column of clients.

It is unlikely that you will fill every course you run from the get-go, even the most experienced trainers, including myself, sometimes have trouble filling certain courses or dates. Running a busy academy takes time, in the same way, it took you to build up your successful salon.

Students can come from all over the UK and even globally, to be trained by you. Contacting salons and sending them information on your courses can get you the leads you need, as well as showcase your own work on social media. Social forums are a great way to let people know that you have knowledge of the treatments you teach. This often leads to enquiries about your courses. Great trainers will have long careers teaching. If you deliver great training, look after your students after the course and only teach things you are proficient in, with good quality products you will always be busy. Just like clients return for repeat treatments, students will return for more courses.

Fear of the accreditation process

The accreditation process is nothing to fear. It is a process designed to find weaknesses within your courses and allow you to improve them before you start teaching students. It may feel overwhelming, it may feel like it is time-consuming, but overall, it helps you to become a better training provider. All Salon Experts manuals are written to meet the accreditation companies’ requirements, although on the rare occasion the odd change may be suggested, which is often a very easy and quick fix, which we always aim to help with.

We also work in partnership with the Centre of CPD Excellence, and all our manuals have been pre-approved by them, and they ask us to update manuals as needed, to ensure we constantly raise industry standards. If you are a new centre and just starting out, we can create bespoke packages for your needs, including manuals, policies and procedures, and accreditation to get you up and running in a matter of days. The next steps

We are sure you still have a thousand more questions. That is why we wrote the Setting up a Training Academy guide. You can get your own copy at the link below.

We also have a YouTube channel and Video FAQ page on our website, as well as a Podcast.

If you still have questions, please feel free to drop us a message at

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