This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Direct Salon Supplies, providers of all the salon products you need to become a mobile hairdresser.
Becoming a mobile hairdresser can be incredibly lucrative if you give it the time and hard work it needs, but you will also need to implement an effective business plan, so read on as we offer three top tips for budding independent stylists.
Tip #1: Make Effective Use of Advertising
As a mobile hairdresser you might not have the power of a trained advertising department behind you, but that doesn't mean you can't effectively market yourself, in fact it is essential if you want to be a success. There are a variety of tools that you will have at your disposal to build up that initial client base - and chief among them will be social media.
Utilise Facebook and Twitter to inform and engage with potential clients, but you'll want to go beyond your existing friends, so set up a page or account specific to your business. You can then message or Tweet people in your area to make them aware of you and, once you've got up and running, use these social media platforms to maintain contact with your clients and even remind them of when they might be due for another appointment.
It is also worth considering going beyond the standard Facebook and Twitter profiles; perhaps utilising Pinterest or YouTube for showcasing your previous work and generally increase your online presence. There are also a range of free online advertising websites you can utilise.
Despite the dominance of digital media in modern advertising you shouldn't overlook the power of word-of-mouth to market yourself.
If you do a great job combined with a terrific customer service then you will begin to build up a strong local reputation, however bear in mind that it can also work in the opposite way, and if you provide a poor service then you may create a reputation that can't be repaired. Also remember the mantra that says a person happy with a particular service will tell a friend, while someone who is unhappy with a service will tell everybody.
Tip #2: Cover a Reasonable Area
When you're first starting out you will need to plan how far you're willing to travel for a client, so decide on an area of operation and stick to it, and this will depend largely on your transport options.
If you have access to your own vehicle then you will be able to travel with a lot more freedom than you would if you needed to rely on public transport, however you will still need to calculate how the cost of fuel will eat into your profit margins, budgeting accordingly.
Working for yourself you will need to maximise your turnover as much as possible, so with this in mind it would be advisable to walk when you can, or invest in a particularly fuel efficient car if you don't already have one.
Tip #3: Consider Promotions or Discounts
Overly discounting your rates may not be a solid long-term strategy but for mobile hairdressers starting out it can be a great way of picking up new clients.
Remember, people are very particular about the way they have their hair and can be wary of going to a hairdresser for the first time, so you have to give them an extra incentive to come to you. Consider offering money off a first cut, promotions for referring a friend, basically anything you can do to kick-start that client base - but make sure you aren't running at a loss because of it.
By planning ahead and devising a well thought out and intelligent business plan you can give yourself a great shot of making it as a successful mobile hairdresser.
Interested in being a guest blogger? Please let me know!