Mobile beauty vs beauty salon: what’s right for you?

Workplace and wellbeing

15 June 2016

Whether you're just starting your career as a beauty therapist or have years of experience under your belt, you'll need to decide whether to base your business in a salon or take your work on the road.

There are pros and cons to both, and what suits one business may not be right for another. Here's what to consider.

Working in a beauty salon

The opportunity for spontaneous walk-in appointments is higher with a brick and mortar store. And if you're taking over an established beauty salon, you can enjoy the benefits of an existing base of loyal customers. Either way, with a shop there are more opportunities to expand. Multiple clients can be served at once and you can hire staff to help you.

Working with colleagues is also great for socialising – beyond the usual holiday chat with customers – and chatter at work can increase productivity and improve health.

However, there are downsides, too. The start-up costs of launching your own beauty salon are high, as are the costs of property rental. You're also limited by your shop's physical location – clients are unlikely to travel across town for a quick post-work treatment. Additionally, your salon will have set opening hours, meaning you wouldn't have the freedom of other self-employed professionals.

Going mobile

Mobile beauticians have more flexibility – if you want to take Friday afternoon off you can, without worrying about closing up shop. It gives you a more personal relationship with your clients, and you can travel to meet them if they move to another part of town.

Mobile beauty also has lower overheads, as there are no rent payments and no staff. You can pass these savings onto your clients, making them likely to recommend you by word of mouth.

Again, there are also downsides. Travelling, and the stresses involved with driving, is one of them. It's more difficult to expand, and you won't have the support that you would in a salon – you'll need to clean your tools yourself. Like all freelance careers, workloads are variable. You could be rushing from appointment to appointment on Monday with no time for a cuppa, then twiddling your thumbs on Tuesday waiting for your phone to ring.

Whichever path you choose, it’s important to get protected – and whether you choose to work from a fixed store or a mobile salon, you should consider investing in beauty therapist insurance. With AXA shop and retail insurance, you’re covered with everything from public liability to stock protection.