What is it and who is it suited to?
Planning and preparation
Rules and regulations
What is it?
The beauty industry is big business. There are currently about 70 - 80,000 beauticians in the UK, according to the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), and each year, approximately 20,000 new therapists qualify, providing our beauty-conscious population with a huge number of trained cosmetologists. In today’s world both men and women are increasingly on the lookout for high quality treatments and beauticians that they can rely on, but also that can conveniently fit into their busy schedules. This element of convenience has led the mobile beauty industry – which brings treatments to the customer directly – to surge in popularity, as people strive to find reliable and accessible services.
Travelling to customers and offering treatments in the comfort of their own home appeals not only to the client. Such a service has the added benefit for therapists of reduced overheads because they don’t have to pay excessive rates to rent a salon. Without the financial burden of renting premises, beauticians can offer their services at competitive prices, thus attracting thrifty customers on the hunt for a bargain.
According to Natasha Dwyer, founder of Return to Glory – which describes itself as ‘London’s home spa on speed-dial’ – the mobile beauty industry is about to open up considerably. In the US, one in four beauty treatments is performed in the home, while the number is much lower in the UK, however she believes the UK will follow the US trend and so there is enormous scope for the sector to grow in Britain. So if you’re passionate about beauty, what better time to set up your own mobile business?
Who is it suited to?
To establish a mobile beauty business, it goes without saying that you must love the industry. You’ll spend your days providing treatments to customers and so a strong appetite for all things beauty-related is paramount. You’ll need to have a sound knowledge of everything from the treatments you’ll offer to the products you’ll be using. Excellent customer service skills are also crucial, to help you maintain a loyal and satisfied client-base. Natasha Dwyer says: “The industry suits someone with a genuine passion for delivering high quality treatments – if they don’t have that they’re going to fall at the first hurdle.”
As a mobile beauty therapist, you’ll spend a good degree of time travelling to and from appointments. The most obvious mode of transport is a car or van, bearing in mind you’ll probably need to bring products and equipment, such as massage couches with you, therefore, a valid UK driving license is required. Before you launch your business it’s important you decide on your target area and how far you’re willing to go for appointments and try to stick to whatever you decide at the beginning. Good time management skills are also vital because customers will not be pleased if you continuously turn up late to appointments.
Other necessary attributes include solid numeracy skills, to ensure you can maintain healthy account books, and a personable and friendly attitude. Being a beauty therapist involves a huge amount of personal interaction and a happy customer is far more likely to come back and refer their friends than an unhappy one.