A few years ago I started my own mobile hairdressing business. It was good. I quickly picked up new clients and I learnt a lot. Then I fell pregnant, had my nieces come to live with me and ended up moving interstate so I stopped. There are many things I would do differently if I were to do it again. To start with I’ll tell you how I started.
My first step was get an ABN and register my business name.
Next I set up accounts with suppliers and purchased hair colours etc... I got a package which came with free colour chart, capes, bowls, brushes etc...
I also got a mobile basin, which surprisingly to me made a lot of people go “Wow!” I thought it was a basic item to have, but apparently not.
Next I notified my clients, most of whom were friends and people I knew from church and their friends and told them I was branching out. I set my prices and let them all know how much I would be charging them.
I did a flyer drop in my local area to get more clients.
Then it was just a matter booking in my clients and doing the work.
I kept spreadsheets on what I earned and what I spent, as well as a log book for travelling, as I was using our family car. The records I kept weren’t great and if I did it again I’d do it better.
All in all, I am happy with how I did it, but there are quite a few things I would do differently.
1.) I would get a separate car. Ours was too small and it was a hassle having to load and unload all the time.
2.) I would get signage on my car. I had planned on selling my car so never did it. I think proper signage looks more professional than the magnets.
3.) I would use a plastic box to store all my products in so they are easier to see and it is cleaner.
4.) I would buy a machine (can’t remember what it’s called) that makes the hair colour develop faster, so instead of it taking 30 – 45 minutes to develop, it takes 15minutes. It costs a few thousand that to start with I did not have.
5.) I would set my prices higher and cut some of the services that weren’t really worth it. Perms and sets that the older ladies get are not worth the money. They are time consuming and the ladies don’t want to pay what it really costs to do it. It ended up just being frustrating trying to explain to them why I wanted to charge x amount. So I would just not do them at all if I did it again.
6.) I tried to do too much to satisfy too many people. I should have set what I wanted to do; the things I knew would generate an income and just say no if I didn’t want to do it. I understand in business that you need to give the customer what they want, but I was trying to do too much. I should have streamlined a lot more and not done the things that didn’t make me much money.
7.) I would have set more definite hours. I was a little too flexible with my working times and if I were to do it over I would have more definite times and not bend on them.
I am glad I had this experience, I learnt a lot and am grateful for that. I earned more doing it than if I had been working a normal job.
If I were to have a business again, it would not be one where it relies solely on me. I would buy a business I did not have to work in; otherwise it is just like trading one job for another, which is not the ideal way to run a business.
Just a few extra tips...
When you are looking into a business, discuss it well with a good business accountant. They will be able to tell you what you can claim on tax, what to do in regards to record keeping etc... It is money well spent.
Make sure it is something you love and have an interest in. If you don’t love it, you won’t enjoy it. If you are looking at it as purely an investment that you essentially have nothing to do with this won’t matter so much, but if you have a bit to do with it you need to like it.
Research it well. Do market research to see if it is worth it. If you are buying a business, check the books, suss it out properly, what comes with the price, just the business or the stock as well etc...