The beauty industry is highly competitive with many players jockeying for the same customers. Building a business that’s recognized, even on a local level, begins with creating a specific plan that includes answering a few simple questions : “Why, who, what, when, where and how?”
Let’s face it, mobile barber and mobile hairstylist are not famous or popular jobs yet. But we believe it is going to be. The following questions and tips will help cover the basics of your marketing / business plan.
1. Why start this type of business ? Because it will give you more freedom
We bet many barbers asked themselves those questions at some point :
- Want more flexibility and freedom in your lifestyle ?
- Willing to earn extra money asides regular salon hours ?
- Prefer organizing your days ?
- Or drive to your customers instead of waiting for them in the salon ?
And we bet that the answer is often yes.
But there are economical reasons as well : overhead expenses are lower in mobile styling compared to barbershop, so that less more money for the barber.
2. Who will your customers be? On the demand side, the playing field is huge.
Think about all the senior citizens who have or will have mobility difficulties, or families with young children.
Think about all the segments of the population who would benefit from your beauty services like at home haircuts ?
As a barber or stylist you are naturally servicing boys and men. Based on that, is there a specific image your target customer associates themselves with?
But you should also ask yourself : what motivates them? And how can your product or service help them find it?
3. What service are you going to offer?
Answering this question is the first step to building your brand, differentiating yourself from your competition and raising awareness of your business and the benefits you provide. For example, as a barber (mobile or not), you can go with a very simple “menu” of 3 or 4 hair services : regular cut, speciality haircut and boys haircuts, meaning 3 prices on the billboard. But offering exactly the same services, you can break down your offer, showing your whole palette of talents and offering different prices, meaning higher prices for some specific services that are in high demand or that could be seen as demanding more work or skills.
Besides you also have to take into account what is the situation of the competition :
- How will you be different from your competitors?
- What do you do that they don’t do?
- What makes you better than them?
- Why should customers come to you?
Once you will have answered these questions, you’ll need to include the answers in everything you do and your customers will see the difference.
4. Where can you do that ? Anywhere !
Of course, that is where being a mobile barber differs the most from servicing your customers in a Barbershop.
First you have to decide in which area you will service clients in ? How far you would accept to drive ? And the first consequence is on your prices : driving far takes more of your time and is more expensive with gas, hence the further you accept to drive the higher your prices will be. But if all your prices include long driving times, you might be overpriced for the customers close to where you live … Sorry there is no good answer to that, find yours .. 😉
5. How does it work ? How will you provide your beauty services?
Transitioning to mobile barbering has also consequences on the type/content of the services you offer : for example washing the hair of a customer is not as easy as it sounds.
And there are also consequences on how you will reach out to potential client make them aware about your business. It will probably be online. But where will you reach these customers in order to communicate what you need to communicate? Social media is often the easiest and most inexpensive way, but other avenues exist as well. You’ll need to first ask yourself :
- where these people “hang out” online ?
- What are their media and/or social network habits?
- You can conduct your own observational analysis to help answer this question. Or you can find existing data to help you answer these questions.
You can advertise online as well, but if you are not already trained in online marketing, the outcome could be very costly.
If your goal is to build a nationally-recognized business, you know you can’t do it all yourself. You’ll need to build a network of partners, including hairstylists (whether contract or employees), product suppliers, etc. And, of course, it goes without saying that you’ll need to be very careful to offer consistently high quality in all what persons working with you do. Nothing can sabotage your business more than a bad reputation, and your reputation can be damaged in many ways: a rude employee, a bad haircut or hair color service, an unkept salon or prices that are disproportionate to the product or service you’re providing.
6. When ? The time is now !
Reflecting on these questions is a great place to start as you begin crafting your business plan. Start out small and keep expanding. Above all, make sure your services are of a consistently high quality. With hard work and determination, you’ll eventually become the nationally-recognized business you’ve been dreaming of becoming.
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