Image consultants provide a range of personal image and style services, including colour analysis, style advice, wardrobe de-cluttering, personal shopping and hair and make-up recommendations. They provide specialist services for both men and women, including those seeking to improve their professional image, choose clothes after losing or gaining weight, or increase their personal confidence.
Many consultants offer specialist corporate image services, such as training for clients on topics such as presentation skills, branding and business etiquette, as well as personal style. Some image consultants specialise in the provision of party packages for hen nights, birthdays and other events. Although most image consultations take place face-to-face with clients, some consultants also offer online image analysis or telephone consultations.
Independent image consultants face competition from large established consultancy firms that dominate the market, such as Colour Me Beautiful and House of Colour. In addition, there is competition from department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams, which offer free personal shopper services for customers.
A large amount of style and colour information is available online and in books, allowing individuals to take a ‘do it yourself’ approach to personal image and styling.
Image consulting franchises can be a source of both competition and opportunities for a start-up consultant.
Many image consultants provide hairstyle, make-up and style advice to brides and bridesmaids. Providing services for maternity or post-natal styling could be an opportunity for image consultants, as many women experience a drop in body confidence during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Many image consultants have an agreement in place with a particular department store where they take clients, and, in some cases, receive reimbursement or discounts when clients make a purchase.
Prices charged by image consultancy services are typically around £150 for an individual style consultation. Group sessions are charged from around £50 per person, depending on group numbers. A full-day consultation for a bride, with advice on style, hair, colour scheme, flowers and more, is charged at around £400.
Image consultants require a number of insurance policies, including public liability insurance. There are several insurance providers that offer specialist cover for image consultants.