Managing Your Business as a Mobile Hair Stylist
One of the best parts about being a hairstylist is that you don’t have to confine your business to a salon chair. You can become a mobile hairstylist.
It comes with an incredible amount of flexibility: you can set your own schedule and work without locking down a storefront lease.
Running a freelance business can be difficult at first, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Becoming a Mobile Hair Stylist
The first step to becoming a mobile hairstylist is taking a risk and getting out of the salon or barbershop.
There’s a nice sense of stability that comes with renting out a chair. However, stepping out on your own can help you elevate your craft.
As a stylist, you’ll probably know when the time is right to move on and go mobile. You may be feeling creatively stifled at your salon. Or, maybe you post photos of your clients on social media and are getting requests to do hair at people’s homes.
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How to Establish Your Mobile Hair Stylist Business
Now, let’s talk about some of the necessary steps you must take to start start earning income as a freelancer:
1. Register Your Business
When you decide to become a mobile hairstylist, you must establish yourself as a business in the eyes of the government.
In addition to your beauty accreditation, you have to obtain a business license to run your business on your own. Registering your business will allow you to make certain decisions when it comes to finances.
2. Set up an EIN
An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. These are issued by the IRS to identify your business. Once you have money coming in, you’ll need to pay taxes, and having your EIN will help keep track of your business and finances.
3. Obtain Insurance
When you own a business, it is crucial to get liability insurance.
Whether you are making house visits or decide to use a mobile hair salon of some kind, insurance will help keep you protected in case anything goes wrong. This can cover the cost of the equipment if it ever gets damaged or potential client disputes.
4. Don’t Forget About Benefits
As a self-employed worker, you need to make sure that you have health coverage. Now that freelance and gig work is more popular than ever, you can find affordable benefit packages through services like Selfgood.
Be sure to secure your benefits when creating your mobile hairstyling business.
Preparing Your Mobile Hairstylist Setup
In addition to setting up the financial side of your business, you’ll also need to get some tools and figure out where you’re going to work.
When you set up your mobile hairstyling business, you’re going to need tools. Start with the basics like scissors, clippers, hairdryers, and everything else you would have at your station.
Think about which services you’re going to offer, and make sure you have all the tools to do the job.
Do you plan to offer hair coloring services, hair extensions, or waxing?
Order a good supply of dyes, weaves, wax, and everything else you need to get to work right away.
Type of Mobile Set-Ups
There are a couple of different ways to set up your business as a freelance hairdresser.
You might decide to go truly mobile and create a mobile salon in a van or truck. Or, you might offer at-home haircuts, where you visit clients’ homes to do their hair.
One of the benefits of being a mobile hair stylist is having the flexibility to do both. Whether you want clients to come to you or you want to go to them, having a portable setup allows you to do it all.
Just keep in mind that you will have to spend some money to set up and run your mobile salon service. For instance, you’ll need to buy tools, and you’ll have to pay for gas to get from appointment to appointment.
Tips for a Successful Mobile Hairstylist Business
Here are some tips to help you work more efficiently and boost your profitability:
Use Apps to Save Money on Gas
When you have a mobile business, gas expenses can add up quickly. Luckily, there are apps and programs out there that can help you save at the pump.
Many grocery stores with gas stations will offer discounts to customers that have value cards. You can also use apps like GasBuddy that allow you to search for gas in your area based on price.
Be Aware of Potential Tax Deductions
When you own a freelance business, there is the potential to save money on expenses with tax deductions.
If you need to buy materials that are crucial to the operation of your business, you may be able to get them deducted from your taxes later.
Make sure to save your receipts and bring them to your accountant at tax time!
Keep Your Schedule and Finances Organized
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a freelance business is keeping everything organized. From scheduling clients to processing payments and keeping up with marketing, it can get overwhelming.
There are many different client management tools out there that can help you keep everything organized. Try to make everything as easy for yourself and your clients as you can.
Consider using programs like Square to take credit card payments and organize your finances.
Be sure to set up a website for your clients to book appointments through, too. You can show them exactly when you’re available, and their appointment will automatically appear in your calendar after they book.
How to Get Clients for Your Professional Hair Styling Business
Here are some tips to help you fill up your calendar with hair appointments:
Marketing is the key to any successful freelance business. As a mobile hairstylist, you can create incredible social media channels to help market and advertise your business.
Posting photos of your clients and creating a cohesive brand can set your business apart from other stylists. Be sure to set up all of your digital assets so they are easy for clients to find.
Linking everything back to your website can make it easier for your clients to book appointments.
Reach Out to Former Clients
A great way to build your client base is to reach out to clients you’ve worked before. If you had consistent clients at your old salon, consider reaching out to them with your new business.
If they enjoyed your services in the past, they may be willing to go with you and try out your new business.
Word of mouth can go a long way. Consider giving your clients referral codes for discounts on services if they recommend their friends to come to your mobile business.
Tell them to leave customer reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and your own website, too. Most people read at least a few reviews before doing business with a company, so those reviews can bring in new customers.
Expand Your Services
You can open up your market and get more clients by offering more services. For instance, if you do hair and makeup, you could get business from brides who are looking for one cosmetologist to handle all of their wedding beauty services.
If you aren’t confident in your makeup skills and prefer to focus on hair, ask a friend who is good at makeup if they want to partner with you. Whenever you have a client who wants makeup services or they have a client who needs hair care, you can work together and split the profits.
Make It Easy
When it comes to booking appointments, simplify it for your clients.
Ensure your business phone number is easy to find across your social media pages. You can also add links to your appointment booking site on all socials and the homepage of your website.
The easier it is for your clients to book, the more likely they will be to get a haircut from you.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit or want to branch out from salon life, starting a mobile beauty business is an exciting option.
There are a lot of risks, but a lot of benefits, too.
A mobile hairstyling business allows you to work a flexible schedule while doing what you love. Styling hair is a passion — why not turn that passion into a thriving freelance business?
As a mobile hairstylist, you can make your business your own and build amazing relationships with your new and loyal clients.
When you start working independently, there will be a lot of moving parts you have to keep track of, and it’s easy to forget about the benefits.
Don’t let that happen — using Selfgood is the easiest way to get benefits as a freelance worker. Now that you have all of the tools you need, get out there and start your life as a mobile hairstylist!