How to start a mobile beauty salon business

Do you have a talent for doing hair, nails, or makeup? You could use these skills to start your own business and join the over 43,000 beauty salons in the UK. 

One way to do this is by starting a mobile beauty salon, which allows you to travel to your clients. This business setup will give you more flexibility and help you avoid the costs of a shop. With a mobile beauty salon, you can offer a wide range of services that people will pay highly for. 

But starting a small business can be challenging when you don’t know where to start. So, if you wonder how to start a mobile beauty salon business, you came to the right place. 

This guide will cover how to start a mobile beauty salon business, including: 

  • Getting everything you need for your mobile beauty salon 
  • Setting up your mobile beauty salon business 
  • Organising your business for success
  • Marketing your mobile beauty salon to find customers 

Getting everything you need for your mobile beauty salon

A big part of knowing how to start a mobile beauty salon business is knowing what you need to get started. Before you can set up your business, prepare for your business with the right skills and tools. 

Beauty salon skills 

To succeed with your mobile beauty salon, you’ll need the necessary skills. You could offer a wide range of services, such as nails, hairdressing, hair removal, facials, or makeup. But you need more than talent. Formal qualifications will help you appear credible and trustworthy. 

A level 2 or level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy or a T level in Hair, Beauty, and Aesthetics is the minimum qualification to work as a beautician. In fact, you may not be able to insure your business without this qualification. You may also want to seek a further accredited beauty course or apprenticeship to grow your skills and experience. 

You can find accredited training on platforms like The Beauty Guild. These credentials will prepare you for your business and help you find clients. In addition, customers are often more willing to pay well for the services of a qualified beautician. 

Industry knowledge 

Apart from the proper skills and training, knowing how to start a mobile beauty salon business requires market research on the beauty industry. You can start by researching how many similar businesses and beauty salons are in your local area. How many of them are mobile salons? Consider the population in your area and how much beauty services are in demand. This information will give you a good idea of what kind of client base to aim for.

Once you have an idea of the demand, look at the services and price lists of businesses in your area. The comparison can help you determine how much to charge and what services are popular. It can also show which services you might be able to offer that others don’t. 

Also, consider broader market research, such as trends in the beauty industry, new skills, and popular styles. Knowing what people want and what’s new or changing can help you appear knowledgeable and approach your new business with a clear idea of what works. 

A business focus 

The next step is to use your market research and skill set to focus your services. Beauty salons can offer a wide range of services, so you may want to narrow your offerings to target a specific market and make them more manageable. 

Here are some of the things beauty salons could offer customers:

  • Hairdressing and styling 
  • Facials 
  • Makeup services 
  • Waxing and hair removal 
  • Nail services 
  • Tanning 
  • Eyelash extensions or tinting
  • Eyebrow tinting

When deciding which services to offer, keep the mobile aspect of your business in mind. Which of these services will lend themselves to a mobile business? How will you transport the necessary equipment and set up an adaptable workspace? 

Since your business will be mobile, you also want to decide how far you’ll travel for your services. This decision can help you know where to look for a customer base. 

The proper equipment and tools 

Your focused service list will help you determine the necessary tools. When getting the required tools, boxes and suitcases will help you transport them easily. 

Depending on your beauty salon focus, you may need: 

  • Hairstyling equipment and products
  • Haircutting tools
  • Nail equipment and polishes
  • Facial tools and products
  • Wax and hair removing tools 
  • Tanning equipment 

On top of this, you could benefit from a chair, apron, towels, and other tools to set up a mobile workspace. As your business will be mobile, you also need reliable transportation for your business. Your vehicle should also fit your hairdressing kit in it. You can factor these things into your business startup costs.  

A business plan 

Next, put together a business plan. This plan will outline everything you need to get the business up and running, including startup costs, business services, as well as long-term and short-term goals. Having a well-thought-out plan will allow you to structure your business and maintain organised operations. A plan can also help you look professional to potential investors.   

Setting up your mobile beauty salon business 

Once you compile everything, you may wonder how to start your mobile beauty salon. There’s a few things to check off before you can begin to help clients. 

Register your business 

A big part of starting a mobile beauty salon business is registering that business. You can either register as a sole trader or limited company. Working as a sole trader is a bit easier to manage, but you’ll be personally liable for your business. Limited companies require more reporting and taxes, but they’re a separate legal entity from you. 

Beauty salons often require licensing to conduct their services. You can find necessary business licenses on the UK government license finder tool. Learn more about getting a business license here

Prepare for taxes

As a self-employed person, you need to manage your own taxes, including income tax, dividend tax, and national insurance. For limited companies, there’s also corporation tax. Small businesses that expect to earn over £85,000 annually will also need to register for VAT. 

Find insurance 

With a mobile beauty salon, insurance can help protect you from liabilities and losses. Public liability insurance can protect you from any damages or injuries your business may be responsible for. Liability insurance could be particularly important because you work directly with clients in their homes. 

On top of this, you’ll need car insurance for your business transportation, and you may want to insure your beauty salon kit that travels with you. If you lose or damage these tools and don’t have insurance, it could hurt you financially and prevent you from working. 

Organising your business for success 

Knowing how to start a mobile beauty salon business is one thing, but you’ll need to organise that business well for success. So, consider how you’ll run your operations smoothly from day one. 

Price list 

A great way to appear organised to clients is with a price list. If you outline the services you offer and establish prices that are clear to customers, this could encourage them to book with you. To find the right prices, look at other businesses in your area and research average price points. Then, consider how much it costs you to complete services, including time, expenses, and travel costs. With this knowledge, you can be sure to turn a profit with each job. 

Business management tools 

To organise your business operations and appointments, you’ll need a business management tool like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. These tools can bring your communications, calendar, and documents all in one place. This way, you can send clients calendar invites to manage your schedule and easily communicate with vendors. As a result, you’ll be accessible and efficient to work with, which appeals to clients.   

Financial organisation 

One of the most important parts of any business organisation is its finances. If you have clear and organised financial management, you’ll be able to track your earnings and expenses to understand your business performance. 

A business current account can help you separate your business finances from your personal ones. But you’ll also need accounting software that can manage your financial data and help you keep clear records. You’ll need these accurate records for tax reporting and business growth planning. 

Countingup’s two in one business current account and accounting app can help you organise your business bookkeeping while saving time with management. With automatic expense categorisation and the receipt capture tool, you can stay on top of and find expenses. Plus, the app lets you create and send unlimited invoices from anywhere. Countingup will notify you when you receive the invoices and automatically match them to payments. 

Having everything in one place will make it easier and efficient to manage your beauty salon finances. But the Countingup app does more than that. It also generates running cash flow insights and creates year-round tax estimates. With these estimates, you can plan ahead and avoid surprises during tax season. 

Marketing your mobile beauty salon to find customers 

Knowing how to start a mobile beauty salon business also means you’ll need to find customers for your business. You can do this through a targeted marketing strategy. 

Brand yourself 

A valuable way to find customers for any business is through branding. Your brand is the tone and design that represents your business. To create an effective brand identity for your mobile beauty salon business, you’ll need to first consider your target audience. These are the ideal people that you would like to be working with. If you understand these people well, you can use your brand to reach them. 

Consider choosing a colour scheme that you stick to on all marketing materials. You can also design a logo to make your business recognisable and grow awareness. Design your own marketing materials, like a logo, business card, and brochures for free using tools like Canva

Create a business website 

Once you settle on your brand identity, build a business website using that design. This website will make your mobile business more accessible as it can provide information about your business, list your contact details, and offer services and prices. You can also add photos to your website to show your skills. If you want to build your own website, platforms like Squarespace or WordPress make it easy. 

You may also want to claim your Google My Business listing so people will find you when they search for similar services in your area. Link your business website to this page so they can learn more about you. 

Market yourself on social media 

Another great way to reach your target audience is through social media marketing. Try to focus on platforms with image content. For example, make profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, to post your finished looks. You can also join relevant groups and build relationships with potential customers and similar businesses in your area. 

Advertise locally 

To find your first customers, consider advertising your business on freelance sites and local publications. Platforms like Treatwell are a great place for people to find local beauty salons. If you show up as an option, you’ll be that much more likely to earn business.  

Ask for reviews 

Once you work with a few happy customers, you can ask these people to review your services on Google. This way, you’ll grow credibility and show potential customers you’re worth working with. Positive testimonials are also a good thing to put on your marketing materials and website. The more highly you’re rated, the more of a client base you can grow. 

Organise your beauty salon finances with Countingup

To succeed with your mobile beauty salon business, you’ll need strong business finances. But, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why 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.