In the beauty, health, and wellness sectors, mobile businesses like mobile spas and mobile massage services have risen in popularity in recent years. People are getting busier, and the global pandemic has also forced more people to be more reluctant in leaving their homes.
Mobile salon businesses are no exception.
One of the biggest barriers in starting a traditional salon business is the high startup investment of renting or purchasing a property to set up a salon studio. A mobile salon business, however, will eliminate this issue.
However, starting a mobile salon business would require a unique approach than starting a traditional one. Just because it’s a promising concept with a huge potential for success, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get guaranteed success just by starting one.
You still need proper planning and strategy, and in this guide, we will learn how.
What Is a Mobile Salon Business?
The basic premise of a mobile salon business is fairly simple: it’s the hairdresser (or manicurist for a nail salon, etc.) that will visit the client’s location, or the agreed location, to serve the salon’s service.
How a mobile salon business works is fairly simple: a client books an appointment (by phone or via an online appointment scheduling software, then a hairdresser or cosmetologist will visit the client in a location defined in the appointment.
In short, it’s the hairdresser that’s mobile. When you offer any salon service where it’s the salon’s staff that travels to the location of the client, then it’s a mobile salon business.
Typically, mobile salon appointments are to client’s homes, but serving clients in hotels is also common for tourists and traveling clients. Some companies might also book mobile massage services for their employees (corporate salon service).
As we know, in a traditional salon, it’s the client who visits the salon’s stationery premise, and the mobile salon business offers unique benefits for both the client and the salon business owner:
- Flexibility for the client, as they can stay at home while getting the salon’s service
- Lower startup capital for the salon’s owner, as they wouldn’t need to rent or purchase a property for the salon
However, it’s also true that a mobile salon business is less versatile than its traditional counterpart. We can only bring limited tools and equipment to the client’s house, for example, and the logistics of moving around between different places can also be a challenge.
Tackling these issues is the key to a successful mobile salon business.
Mobile Salon Business: Legal Requirements
Depending on your location, you may be legally required to be a licensed cosmetician (or equivalent certifications for different types of salon services) before you can start providing service to your clients.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, those with a cosmetology license can perform styling, cutting, and coloring in the state where they’ve received the license. The exam for the license is offered by the state’s Board of Barbering and Cosmetology or equivalent organizations.
Also, you may or may not be required to be insured before you can serve as a cosmetologist. However, even if you are not legally required to be insured, we’ll highly recommend at least getting basic insurance policies to protect yourself and your business in the event of accidents. Remember that you are visiting the client’s property, so you’d want to be protected in the event of the client’s injuries and the damage to the client’s property as a result of your business.
Establishing an Online Presence
If you have a mobile business without an actual physical location, establishing a strong online presence is crucial for your business. Without a strong online presence, your clients simply wouldn’t be able to find you, and you won’t get any business.
You should establish a strong online presence in four different areas:
Your salon website
With services like Squarespace or Wix, it’s now very easy and affordable to get a well-designed and functional website for your mobile salon business. If you want more versatility and have a little bit of programming know-how, there’s always the handy WordPress.
Your website should include accurate and complete information about your salon services and your prices. Include well-taken photos and images when you can, and integrate an online reservation function.
In this age where everyone is on social media, it would only make sense to build your presence on relevant social media profiles. Make yourself available on relevant social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but also leverage other platforms like uploading hairstyling demos and tips on YouTube.
If your budget allows, you can also invest in paid social ads and influencer marketing
As a mobile salon business, it’s absolutely crucial to invest in an online booking system for hair salons. You should reliably offer a 24/7 reservation-taking function on your website and social platforms (provide a link to your website’s online reservation).
A reliable online reservation system like Bookeo will also automatically collect customer information in a database so you can leverage it for email marketing, SMS marketing, and customer loyalty programs.
You should make yourself/your business available for queries like “salon near me” and similar ones, Google pulls queries from Google Maps and will place them on top of organic results. This is where Google Maps SEO or Local SEO can help your listing climb higher the Google Maps ranking.
While local SEO might seem daunting at first, you can actually perform it in just four key steps:
- Claiming and verifying Google Maps/Google My Business listing
- Optimizing your Google My Business Listing, focus on providing accurate and complete information for your users.
- Building local citations by listing your salon business on relevant online directories
- Getting more reviews from existing clients, especially on Google Maps but also on relevant review sites/platforms
Starting a mobile salon business can be very lucrative. However, you’ll still need to plan your business carefully and especially learn how to market your business effectively to attract more clients.
By following the tips we’ve shared above, you can start a successful mobile salon business ASAP.