If you’re looking to become a hairdresser – congratulations. Hairdressing is widely regarded as one of the happiest trades out there. You get to practice a craft you love while meeting lots of new people, building wonderful relationships and providing a service that makes your customers very happy.
If you’ve decided you want to go self-employed, there’s probably a hundred things on your mind. How to set up? Where to get the right gear? How to market yourself? So, here are the big things to be thinking about before picking up the scissors.
Mobile Vs Salon Vs Renting
The first thing to think about is how you are going to operate as a self-employed hairdresser. There are three main ways to do this: workhouse to the house, open your own salon or rent a chair in someone else’s. Each option will define your trade very differently and there are various pros and cons to all three, so it’s important that you do thorough research to find the option that truly suits you.
Mobile hairdressing offers flexibility, the ability to build a great customer portfolio and low overheads but means a lot of driving, inconsistent business and a lot of weight on your shoulders.
Having your own salon means walk-in appointments, an on-street brand, and an already established client base to enjoy from the previous salon. On the flipside, you’ll need significant capital to start up and enjoy less flexibility than the mobile option.
Finally, renting a chair means the advantage of working under a recognized brand, the opportunity to develop profitable relationships with the current customer base, no concerns about business overheads and better flexibility than owning your own salon. The disadvantages lie in the cost of renting a chair.
You may agree on a fixed rent, a percentage of your income, or a mixture of both. Regardless of your choice, expect it to represent a significant chunk of your earnings.
Getting qualified to become a hairdresser can come in many different forms. Regardless of the route you choose, you’ll want solid qualifications and experience to set you in good standing for self-employed life.
You can train in a salon, either through an apprenticeship or other training the salon provides. You can also attend college to pick up an NVQ in hairdressing. If you’re already in a job and can’t attend college through the day, you can take evening and weekend courses to learn while you work.
You are nothing in this business without your tools, so you should make sure you’re fully equipped for your first customer to walk through the door. Your absolute essentials should include:
- A complete range of scissors and combs
- A professional standard hairdryer
- Professional standard straighteners
- Curling irons
- Hair clippers
- A comprehensive selection of hair products
When it comes to products, customers tend to be assured by a good range of options and quality brands, so equipment should represent one of your bigger financial outlays initially. It shouldn’t have to cost the earth, however; quality B2C outlets like Capital Hair & Beauty offer a range of top brands at wholesale prices.
Establishing a good price point to enter the market will be challenging and may involve a bit of trial and error. Proper research into what the market is charging and a realistic review of your own experience and product should help you define a starting price.
When first hitting the market, strongly consider offering introductory deals with good discounts to attract initial custom. As long as you back yourself to offer a great service, you should be able to keep this custom once you move to normal pricing.
Once you’ve got the key areas covered, you’re set to begin your journey as your own boss. Hairdressing should be fulfilling, fun and never boring, so get ready for an exciting new venture in your career!