As a beautician or stylist, you might have wondered whether it is better to work out of a salon or as a mobile professional.

If you are salon based, you may have looked longingly at the freedom mobile stylists seem to have. Or, on the other hand, maybe you sometimes wish you had the stability salon-based work offers.

It could even be that you are entirely new to the industry, and not sure where to start!

The truth is, which career path you choose to take in the hair, beauty or barbering industry is likely to be unique to you. While they both have their ups and downs, deciding whether to work from a salon or on your own terms depends on your circumstances and what you want to get out of your profession.

To help you figure out on which side the grass is greener, we weighed up the pros and cons of both…


“Mobile Beauty vs Beauty Salon: Which is Right For You..?”


What’s it like to work out of a beauty salon?

You have a comfortable base

For many hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists, the main benefit of working out of a salon is that you have a stable and professional workplace. This means somewhere you can safely store your supplies, a comfortable place for your client to sit and all the salon equipment you need on hand.

You also get a good social aspect of the job, with colleagues to chat to and help you out – and somewhere to make a cup of tea or coffee!

If you want a little more independence, but don’t want to leave salon life behind, you could look into renting a chair in a salon. This allows you to take control of your own appointments, but still enjoy the perks of working from a stationary salon.

If you are newly qualified, you may learn more

For newly qualified beauticians and stylists, working out of a salon can offer you the support, training and education you might not have if you worked independently. Apprenticeships are often available, while you also get the chance to learn off colleagues who may have more experience. The salon you work for might also offer you the chance to take courses and gain further qualifications as you work.

Related: What Qualifications Do I Need to Be a Beauty Therapist

You have set rules and incomes

For many of us, having a reliable income is most important when deciding on a career. If you are employed at a salon, you will likely receive a salary, whether you have a full appointment book or not. This gives you good peace of mind that you won’t be left worrying about paying bills during quieter periods.

If you are setting up your own salon business, it will cost more

If you have worked out of a salon for some time, you might be thinking about setting up shop on your own. If you have the passion and the knowledge, it might seem like the natural next step for you.

However, setting up your own salon does take a lot of investment – both financially and in terms of your own time. The cost of renting your premises can be steep, as well as buying all salon furniture and products required and decorating it to your liking.

On the other hand, good signage and an attractive salon is a huge help when it comes to marketing your business. You’ll get more attention from passers by – plus, you can employ staff with additional skills to help expand your business.

Related: How to Run a Successful Salon Business in a Small Town

What’s it like to be a mobile beautician or hairdresser?

Much lower costs if you are setting up your own business

One of the main reasons many self-employed beauticians choose to start a mobile business is the lower cost. Rent, utility bills and staff wages are all a huge weight off your budget when you work independently.

On the flip side, the nature of a mobile business obviously means you will be spending a lot of time travelling, so don’t forget about petrol costs. Travelling also eats into your time, plus you need to carry all of your kit around with you. As you will be working out of clients’ homes, you also never know what distractions you might have to face – curious kids and pets are a common concern here.

Finally, you will also be relying on the kindness of your clients for coffee and toilet breaks!

Related: Essentials That Every Mobile Hairdresser Needs in Their Kit

Marketing yourself might be more difficult

Without a name for yourself on the highstreet or shopping centre, marketing your mobile business can pose a few more challenges. For many potential customers, their first port of call is a salon they have seen and heard of, so you need to make sure you can get your name out there in other ways, too.

Word of mouth is perhaps the most powerful marketing tool you have, so encouraging clients to recommend you is key. However, social media is also very important, and can act like a shop window when you don’t have one. Being self-employed, it is probably going to be down to you to keep your marketing going strong, which you may feel is another strain on your time.

Related: How to Attract and Retain Clients as a Mobile Hairdresser

You don’t have a guaranteed income

Many self employed mobile hairdressers benefit from a host of loyal customers who ensure they get a minimum number of bookings every week.

However, when you are new to the game, this might not be the case. While you are building up your client base, be prepared for dips in income every now and then. On the other hand, many mobile hairdressers comment on how strong the relationships they build with their clients are – plus, they tend to be much more loyal to you.

Flexibility vs workload can become a balancing act

A common belief about mobile hairdressers and beauticians is that their jobs are much more flexible. But, is this really true?

While you will get to control your own bookings, you might also find yourself going out of your way to meet clients needs – especially if you need their custom. While one day could be spent rushing between appointments, another could be spent waiting for the phone to ring! While every business is different, it’s important to be prepared to either set some boundaries or be willing for a less predictable schedule.

Related: Salon Stationery Every Mobile Hairdresser Needs to Stay Organised

Shop Online at Salons Direct

Whether you own your own salon or mobile business, we stock a leading range of professional hair colour, hairdressing supplies, beauty salon supplies and much more. Take a look online for low prices and next day delivery.

Don’t forget to check the Salons Direct blog regularly for expert advice and tips…

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