How to become a mobile beauty therapist

Becoming a Mobile Beauty Therapist From lashes to nails, and massage to waxing, Secret Spa has become the go-to place for freelance beauty therapists in London, Brighton and Manchester to find bookings, and for clients to make all of their beauty bookings in the comfort of their own home. Being your own boss and having your own mobile salon is an attractive prospect, but where do you start?

How to start a mobile beauty salon business – your first steps

The good news is that, without the immense overheads of renting and managing a salon, a mobile beauty business is easier to start. You won’t need to shell out quite so much on outlay. You can even build in additional appointments to your ‘day job’ and grow your mobile salon gradually if you wish.

Your first step when considering how to set up a mobile beauty business should be to play to your strengths. We recommend choosing just one or two of your skill areas to get started. Once you’ve got success in this area, you can then expand your offering, if you want. So, if you’re an eyebrow wizard stick with that, or if you’re a fantastic nail technician then make that your focus. You’ll need at least a Level 2 qualification in that area, and we recommend higher.

You may wish to create a distinctive and memorable brand, often centred on your name. However, to begin with you can certainly start as ‘just you’.  You need to set up as self-employed and you will most likely be classed as a sole trader. This means that you will need to fill in Self-Assessment tax returns each year.

How to become a mobile beauty therapist – your professional standards

Upon qualification, you can register with a professional beauty body, such as the NHBF, or BABTAC. This will ensure that you feel supported and connected within the industry, but it also brings the benefits of letting clients know that you are professional and trustworthy. At Secret Spa we ask that all our beauty therapists have a valid DBS check. We also recommend that you have first aid training.

As a mobile beauty therapist, you should also request that your clients fill in a health form. Carrying out a consultation form for your clients will be a stipulation of your insurance, to check for any contraindications and allergies. You’ll also need to carry out skin tests if any of the products you are using (e.g. hair colour) may cause an adverse reaction.

Although having your own vehicle can be helpful for visiting clients in their homes and transporting equipment, it is not necessary. It’s possible to use public transport, especially if you are only offering one treatment. If you do use your own vehicle, make sure that you’ve notified your vehicle insurance that you are using your vehicle for business use.

The legalities

The most important part of being self-employed as a beauty therapist is to have all of the right insurance in place.

We strongly recommend using industry specific insurance, such as Salon Gold or BABTAC. Your mobile beauty therapist insurance will need to cover:

  • Treatments liability insurance – in case something goes wrong during a treatment.
  • Public liability insurance – in case a client is injured, or you accidentally damage their property.
  • Professional indemnity insurance – in case you make a mistake, or if a client makes a claim against you.
  • Equipment and vehicle cover – in case your equipment or vehicle is stolen, lost or damaged.

If you take on other staff, you will also need employers’ liability insurance.

Starting your mobile beauty business – equipment and vehicles

Before you start, you’re going to need your tools of the trade! As a mobile beauty therapist, you’ll want your own tools and equipment. Do some research about which equipment is best for delivering your services on a mobile basis and in people’s homes. For example, you can get waxing pots which can heat up in your car. Alumobile make reliable trolley wheels which make it much easier to move your massage bed around as well.

Having decided to start your self-employed business focusing on your strengths and best treatments, you can grow your equipment gradually, with your business. Always aim for high quality and be aware that clients may stipulate that they want particular brands, e.g. Shellac, CND and OPI.

Always look at reviews before you buy products, and specifically those from other mobile beauty therapists. You’ll soon discover that there is usually an ‘industry-standard’ to follow. For things which run out, keep an inventory and remember to order replacements well in advance.

Don’t forget that you may also need payment taking equipment, such as a card reader. It’s also worth having a stash of business cards so that your clients always have your details.

Your biggest and probably most expensive piece of essential equipment will be your car or van. Depending on the treatments you are offering, you may need enough room for large equipment, like a massage bed. Your vehicle needs to be reliable, and reflect your brand well.

Finding clients for your new mobile beauty salon

Once you’ve put in all the legwork above, it’s time to find your clients. Without a salon sitting on the high street, getting your name known is trickier and takes some marketing effort.

Having your own website is an important goal, as well as using social media. Instagram and Facebook are excellent advertising channels for mobile beauty businesses. It takes time and effort, but having a strong online presence is essential. Also, here your clients can leave feedback, and word-of-mouth will start to grow. Really engage with your clients online and you’ll find that your business expands.

You can also try old-school advertising but this tends to be more hit-and-miss. Local magazines and leaflet drops are worth considering. Don’t forget that you can sign-write your vehicle too.

You’ll probably find your biggest secret weapon to building a successful client base is to use online platforms like Secret Spa. Due to our size, we attract a huge number of clients looking for a range of services.

We make things easy for self-employed freelance beauty therapists to find clients and build their business in London, Brighton and Manchester. We set the rates of pay, which makes it easy for you to be competitive within the industry and your area. However, you get the freedom of being self-employed and being in control of your own diary.

At Secret Spa, we are also able to use our size to help individual therapists get the good deals that much larger salons usually benefit from. For example, we can give you special prices on the products which would cost you more elsewhere. In addition, you’ll have easier access to training.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Secret Spa beauty therapist, then we’d love you to apply.