Becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser

If you want to go self-employed with your hairdressing services, there is a market for it practically wherever you are. In the UK, Hairdressing commands a £1.8 billion industry. In fact, the typical woman in the UK gets her haircut every six weeks on average. Men usually cut their hair even more frequently. This shows that hairdressing is a great, steady business to consider. 

Even more, working as a mobile hairdresser will help you save on rental costs and make you more flexible to your clients. But there are a few things you may want to know before becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser. 

This guide will discuss becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser, including:

  • What you’ll need to get started with mobile hairdressing 
  • How to set up your mobile hairdressing business
  • How to organise your hairdressing business for efficiency
  • How to market your hairdressing business for success

What you’ll need to get started mobile hairdressing 

Preparation is key to the success of any small business. If you’re thinking about becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser, you’ll need to get a few things together before you get started. 

Establish a business plan 

First, consider writing a business plan for hairdressing. This plan will outline your startup costs, services, and objectives. It’s good to determine how much money you’ll need to get started and how much you’ll need to charge to earn an income. 

Aside from crunching the numbers, determining business goals will set you on the right path toward success. If you establish short term goals for your business, you’ll know what to focus on as you get started. For example, maybe you want to build a website and find ten clients by the end of the first quarter. 

You can also think of long term goals so you can look towards the future of your business. Overall, having a clearly outlined plan will give your business intention and help you outline necessary tasks.  

Know the market 

To do well as a mobile hairdresser, you’ll need to know about the market. Consider doing some research on the industry and its trends. Find competitors in your area and see what tactics they use and services they offer. You can also network with other local people in the beauty industry. 

Market research will help you determine your target customer and how you can best serve them. As a result, you’ll know what services to offer and skills to brush up on. You’ll learn what to do to stand out. 

Grow your hairdressing skills

Becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser means you’ll need hairdressing skills. If you have training and experience working in a salon, you can use this to market yourself. As a trained hairdresser, you can market yourself as a senior stylist to show you’re skilled and able. 

If you don’t yet have the training, you may want to look for courses or apprenticeships in your area, such as the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy. You can also work in a salon to gain some experience before going self-employed. This will prepare you to offer complex looks and styles. You’ll also be a better choice for clients to trust with their haircuts. ​​

Hairdressing methods and trends are always changing, so consider looking for training or seminars about developments in the industry. These events can also work as networking events. Plus, if you post about events to your social media channels and website, potential clients will see that you adapt along with the industry. 

Get the right tools 

Having the skills is important, but you’ll also need the right tools to do your job. 

Here are some tools you’ll likely need for hairdressing: 

  • Hairdressing scissors and razors
  • An assortment of combs and brushes
  • Hairdressing towels and gowns
  • Clips and hair ties
  • Hairstyling tools: blow dryer, straighteners, curling iron
  • Haircare products: shampoos, conditioners, styling products
  • Hair colouring products and supplies 
  • Cleaning products

You can factor these supplies into the startup costs of your business. You’ll likely need to maintain stock of colour and styling products, so look for a vendor that you can purchase from wholesale. 

As a mobile hairdresser, you won’t need to worry about finding a workspace or renting a place. But, you’ll need reliable transportation to hold all of your equipment and get you to appointments. 

Since you will be travelling to clients, consider how you’ll set up your work space depending on the setting. You may need a good chair and enough space to do your job. You’ll also need electrical outlets and good light. Think about how you’ll be able to adapt to the changing setting. 

How to set up your mobile hairdressing business

Once you have the right skills and supplies, you can start to set up your business. Becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser requires tasks before you can start helping customers. 

Register your business

Start by registering your business as either a sole trader or a limited company. It’s a bit easier to register as a sole trader, but you’re personally liable for your business. If you decide to register as a limited company, your business will be a separate legal entity from you. 

Starting as a self-employed hairdresser, you may want to register as a sole trader because it’s more straightforward. At the start, your client base will likely be manageable with limited financial liability. 

Prepare for taxes

As a self-employed person, you will pay tax to the HMRC through Self Assessment. This means you’ll manage your own taxes and pay them based on your business earnings. If you do register as a limited company, you’ll also be responsible for paying corporation tax

You can learn more about paying taxes as a self-employed person here

Consider insurance 

Since you will travel to your clients as a hairdresser, you may want to look into personal liability insurance. This will protect you from client or property damage on the job. For mobile hairdressing, you may also want to consider business contents insurance to protect your hairdressing tools and equipment from damage or loss. 

Establish a price list 

Before you help customers, consider putting together a price list. This will outline your business service offerings and how much you’ll charge for them. A hairdressing price list could include the cost of a trim, full haircut, cut and wash, and dying services. 

To determine how much to charge for these services, you may want to research competitors in your area and check out their prices. This will help you remain competitive while avoiding under or overcharging. Plus, add up how much each service will cost you to complete. Make sure you charge enough to earn a decent profit from services. 

Clearly outlining your services and prices will help build transparency with your clients. As a result, you’ll also appear organised and professional.

How to organise your hairdressing business for efficiency

Once you set everything up, keeping your operations organised will help you in becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser. Clients likely find organised businesses easier to work with. Even more, organisation will make it easier to maintain your daily operations. 

Use business management tools 

Consider using a platform like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 to keep all of your important stuff in one place. These business management tools connect your calendar, communications, and documents so you can stay on top of everything. You can email clients with calendar invites and keep track of when you’re booked. 

These tools will make you more accessible. The easier it is for clients to contact you and schedule appointments, the more likely potential clients will choose you for hairdressing. 

Schedule your time well 

Part of becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser is managing your time well. Business management tools are one way to help schedule your appointments. But you’ll need to focus on scheduling your time to succeed as a mobile hairdresser. Regularly update your calendar so you know where you need to be, with whom, and when. 

Plus, plan for travel time so you can get to appointments on time. This means you’ll need to understand how long it takes to complete appointments and schedule enough time between bookings. 

Get a business current account 

You can also look into getting a business current account. This is like a regular bank account, except it’s for your business. This can help you separate your business finances from your personal ones. This way, you can keep track of your cash flow, or what you earn and spend for your business. 

The Countingup business account and app let you easily organise your business account. It helps you save time by automatically categorises business expenses and creating profit loss statements. Not only can it help you organise your finances, but it can also help you anticipate what you’ll owe for taxes.

How to market your hairdressing business for success

Becoming a self-employed mobile hairdresser means you’ll need a steady customer base. Marketing will help you find clients for your business. It’ll not only help you grow an audience, but also help you build a reputable image and show potential customers why to choose you. 

Brand yourself 

Your business brand is a consistent design and tone that you use across all marketing channels. This will help you develop a reputation and awareness that makes your hairdressing business memorable. 

To develop a good brand, make sure it’s relevant to your business focus. Consider your market and determine your target audience. Being a mobile hairdresser sets you apart from other hairdressers, so use this aspect of your business to your advantage. 

You can use your brand to design a unique business logo. Also, consider creating a business website that outlines your services and contact details. You can update your website with photos of finished results so potential customers see what you can do.

Use social media

Social media platforms are a great way to start marketing your business. As a hairdresser, you may want to target more visual social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok

Start by creating accounts using your business name and logo. 

You can reach new audiences through posting regular and relevant content. To do this, establish a goal and calendar of when you’ll post. Consider posting about hair trends, celebrity looks, and pictures of your finished looks. Also, follow and engage with groups or profiles that have a complimentary audience. Consistent activity will help you grow your presence. 

Focus on customers relationships 

Aside from promoting your business digitally, focus on how you can build relationships with clients. People often value a personal relationship with their hairdresser. Aim to build customer relationships so your clients can trust you with their hair. This could start with easy conversation while you cut clients hair. You can ask them about their day or offer stylistic input. 

The closer you are with your clients and the more you seem to care, the more likely they’ll want to come back to you in the future. 

Advertise locally 

Offering mobile services will add flexibility and comfortability as you go to clients homes. But it also limits your business to how far you’ll travel. So, consider advertising your services locally. You can post on community platforms and put advertisements in local newspapers to get your business out there. 

You can also list your services on platforms like Treatwell so people can find you. The more work you put into your marketing strategy, the more people you’ll reach. If you successfully stand out among the crowd, you’ll start finding clients. 

Save time organising your finances with a simple app.

Once you get your mobile hairdressing business up and running, you’ll need to manage your finances for success. Thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.