The coronavirus pandemic was hard on many salon owners, with social distancing guidelines making it tough for people to get a professional haircut during most of lockdown.
According to a report from the National Hair & Beauty Federation last February, turnover in the industry was down 45% compared to 2019.
If you worked at a salon that unfortunately had to close, now could be the time to head out on your own with lockdown restrictions easing.
Operating as a mobile hairdresser rather than setting up shop in a fixed location will reduce your initial outlay, but how do you get started and manage to stand out from the crowd?
The easiest way to get your name out there is to create a website and social media presence. If your local area has a dedicated Facebook group, promote yourself and your brand there to let people know about your business.
It’s best to rely on recommendations in the embryonic stages of your business, with 74 per cent of consumers saying word of mouth is critical in their purchasing decision. Encourage your clients to tell their friends and family about you if they’re happy with your service.
Plenty of people also read reviews before making a final decision on something like a hairdresser, so be sure to get yourself set up on a platform where reviews can be left. Facebook, Google and Trustpilot offer these services.
It could also be a good idea to contact local businesses that host people that may need your services. Hotels, retirement homes and hospitals are just a few of the places where a mobile hairdresser could well come in handy.
Make sure you’re insured
Accidents happen, so when starting up a business it’s always important to make sure you’re protected adequately.
If you cause damage to a client’s home by dropping equipment or someone trips over any cables you have spread across the ground, having the correct cover can stop you from having to pay out of your own pocket.
There are several general liability policies available on the market but you can also get specialised hairdressing insurance tailored to your business, meaning you can work safely in the knowledge that you’re covered against any unexpected incidents.
Also, if you’re going to be using your personal car to travel between jobs, ensure your policy covers you for business use.
Of course, offering a service doesn’t necessarily mean people will be instantly ready to pay for it.
It’s key to offer great customer service when you’re starting out. Making sure to respond to messages as quickly as possible and sending out reminders to clients you have booked in is an easy way to make a good impression.
To try to garner more interest, look to highlight your USP as much as possible. You could make your own shampoo and conditioner with natural ingredients, or use solely vegan/cruelty-free products.
Once you’ve got a solid client base, you’ll want to retain them. Try to get as many contact details as possible from your customers and communicate with them regularly to keep the work coming in.