Mobile beauty salons are on the rise and have been for the last couple of years. The pandemic has radically changed the beauty industry – and, more broadly, the way people take care of themselves.
Think back to 2020: for a lot of people, going to the beauty salon was simply out of the question. Industry reports showed that consumers were trending more toward at-home beauty care to limit exposure to other people and for financial considerations. Instead, we saw people gravitate towards drugstore nail polish and hair color, even scissors – basically, anything that they could order on Amazon. Those months became the age of experimental goatees, shaggy locks, natural roots, and, um, questionable DIY haircuts.
But even as most places have emerged from the strictest lockdowns, people haven’t returned to their pre-pandemic habits. They’re just not getting back to standing appointments with their stylists.
The shift has meant that many beauty professionals are rethinking the traditional salon experience. In particular, mobile salons are emerging as a good alternative. As you think about how to adapt your beauty business – or start a new one – the team at Buy-Rite Beauty thought we’d put together a guide, plus mobile salon ideas and tips for starting a mobile beauty business.
So, what is a mobile hair salon?
Basically, a mobile beauty salon is designed to bring your regular services – everything from cuts, styling, and color to spa services – directly to clients, wherever they need them. Maybe that’s a quick trim in their homes in between Zoom meetings, updos for a bridal party at the wedding venue, or even a manicure out of a converted vehicle.
Sounds great. How do I start a mobile beauty business?
First things first, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got your bases covered in terms of vocational qualifications, compliance with health and safety regulations, and insurance. These considerations will vary depending on where you plan to operate your business, so be sure to check in with local authorities in your area.
Usually, the aesthetician comes equipped with their own tools and transportation. So the next most important thing you’ll need is equipment: your own scissors and combs, dryers, styling tools, and products.
In terms of furniture, it’s important to think about size and function. Think: narrow chairs to save space, stools that can roll or stack away, and mirrors with built-in storage. Here are some ideas…
The Pibbs 6002 Capri Styling Station is the epitome of space efficiency – with multiple spacious utility drawers and built-in appliance holders for easy access and storage. It’s fully customizable to your space, and the station comes pre-assembled, so you can focus on providing your top-of-the-line spa services.
Speaking of space efficiency… Buy-Rite Beauty’s Mona Lisa Pedicure Chair is another fabulous multipurpose choice. The Mona Lisa includes a footbath that can be tucked underneath the seat, so it can pull double-duty as a reception or dryer chair. It’s also plumb-free – perfect for a mobile salon.
The Onyx Styling chair is another good option. Completely covered in an all-black smooth vinyl, and with a base finished with black powder coating, the Onyx chair is ready to withstand the wear and tear of any bustling salon – or your brand-new mobile beauty salon.
And finally, we all know lighting can make or break the customer experience. If tricking out your mobile salon with fancy light fixtures isn’t an option, check out our Pibbs 9770 Sola and Pibbs 9880 Sola Gold salon mirrors. Both come with built-in dimmable LED lights that can help your customers look and feel their best.
Each mobile beauty business will be unique – which means its exact equipment needs will be unique, too. Having trouble wrapping your head around what you’ll need? Buy-Rite Beauty’s customer service team can help you figure out what you’ll need to be successful and point you in the right direction.
So I’m all set up. How can I get the word out?
Once you’re up and running, offering quality salon services is the easy part – your ability to create the perfect color or deliver the most flattering cut is the reason you got into the beauty business in the first place. We’ve heard from some of our Buy-Rite clients that advertising their mobile salon business has pushed them to think creatively and learn new skills.
Here are some ideas for advertising your mobile salon business:
Get online: The pandemic has pushed everything online. Which means your online presence is a super important part of making sure your customers can find you. Posting to social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram makes it easy for customers to find you. A website is also a great place for customers to easily access details like pricing info, contacts, and a gallery of your work.
Business cards: When you’re out in the real world, it’s always good to have a few business cards handy. They can direct your clients to keep up with you on all those online channels you’ve set up!
Targeted advertising: Platforms like Facebook and Google offer targeted advertising, where you can pay to expand your business’s reach. Many sites even allow you to filter who you’re advertising to, so you can more efficiently speak to people who might want to employ your services.
Word of mouth: Your friends and family could be your first clients. But what about their friends and family? If they’re comfortable, you can tap your circle to give personal recommendations about your services.
What else should I know?
Professionals who have gone the mobile salon route say there are lots of pros and cons to this lifestyle. You can be your own boss, build a personal relationship with your clients, and set your own hours. Not to mention, you can skip out on the sky-high cost of renting a physical space! But on the other hand, you end up wearing a lot of hats. Not only are you a stylist – but you’re also your own scheduler, cleaner, and social media expert. It all depends on what’s right for you and the business you want to build.
Buy-Rite Beauty representatives are always happy to talk with you about your specific needs and how our expertise and equipment can help you achieve your vision for your business. You can access our unmatched service here, and you can shop Buy-Rite equipment here.