As a freelance hairdresser, there are many options available to you regarding how to do business. One is becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser.
Benefits of Working as a Mobile Hairdresser
There are many benefits to being a self-employed hairdresser in general, and becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser in particular. Some of the ones you may enjoy are:
- More flexibility – Becoming a hairdresser is a demanding job, often with many hours on your feet. As a mobile hairdresser, you can relax the pace, working the hours you want. For example, you can work mornings and evenings to suit customers’ busy lives, while taking afternoons off. This gives you time to work, run errands, and even make it to the gym.
- More profitability – As a mobile hairdresser, you can save a lot of money on rent and utilities. You also get to keep the full amount customers pay (as opposed to working in a salon where the owner gets a cut). Keep in mind, however, you will need to bring your own equipment to most customers. It will also take you time and gas to get from house-to-house, so these costs need to be factored in when setting your rates.
- Better relationships – As you are likely well aware by now, many people confide in their hairdresser. But it takes even more trust to invite a hairdresser into your home. As a mobile hairdresser, you have the opportunity to build even closer relationships with customers, meeting their family members and pets along the way! This can make your job even more satisfying on the personal front, adding a true social element to your work.
What to Consider When Starting a Mobile Hairdresser Business
As a self-employed hairdresser you’ll have your work cut out for you! To get started you’ll need to consider a number of things:
- Licensing – In general, all barbers, cosmetologists, and hairstylists require licensing. This means you need to graduate from a state-approved program and pass an exam, before you get started.
- Registration – All self-employed people, including mobile hairdressers, need to register their business. You will need to check your local laws for details according to your state.
- Business plan – If you want to be successful, it’s always a good idea to put your mobile hairdressing business plan in writing. This will help you define your business, including the exact services you offer and corresponding rates. It will also help you in terms of creating a budget, and setting long-term business goals.
- Equipment – Once you have a plan in place, you’ll need to purchase equipment. Towels, brushes, hair clips, shampoo and hairspray are just some of the basics. If you’re also offering coloring services, you’ll need to find a good supplier to work with.
- Support services – As a freelancer, you may want to hire other freelancers to back you up. For example, self-employed hairdresser bookkeeping can get complicated, so you may want to work with an accountant when it comes to tax filing time.
- Marketing – In addition to mobile hairdressing business cards to leave at clients’ homes, you’ll need to take some proactive steps like creating a website or building a social media presence.
Do Mobile Hairdressers Need Insurance?
The simple answer is yes, you will need some form of general liability insurance. The best option for you is probably a more specific variety in the form of liability insurance for hairdressers, also known as hairdressing business insurance.
This type of insurance is designed to protect you in the case of accidents related to your type of work – like spilling hair dye on a customer’s designer rug, or a client tripping over a dirty towel and landing up in the hospital. While hopefully these things will never happen to you (or your clients) good coverage is key to your peace of mind.
Also remember, if you have car insurance, you’ll probably want to update your policy to include work trips.
Overcoming the Challenges of Starting a Mobile Business
Like any business, being a mobile hairdresser has its own challenges. You may find it hard to drum up business in the beginning. Or you may have difficulty saying no to customers who want you to come on your day off.
Like most things, it will take time to find your niche, and your path to success. It can help if you build strong relationships with customers, who will continue to invite you back, or even better, recommend you to friends.
Since you won’t have a physical salon where you can hang your sign, it’s also recommended that you brand whatever else you can. For example, make sure you have your logo and contact details printed on the side of your car, preferably in big, bold font. It’s also a good idea to print up t-shirts and smocks, again, branded accordingly.
As for setting hours, that can be a difficult one. Most likely, finding a schedule that works for you and your customers will be a learning process that will evolve over time. That being said, there is room for boundaries. It’s important to separate your life from your work, and keep your priorities straight.
Becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser can be fun, interesting, and even pleasantly challenging. So if that sounds appealing to you, this may be your calling – and your chance to prove you’re a cut above the rest.