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If you’ve ever wondered about becoming a mobile hairdresser, we have an inspiring case study interview from someone who’s made a real success of it.
Claire Condie (35) lives in Norwich (UK) with her husband and two children. She trained as a hairdresser when she left school. After three years she tried some office work, but after 18 months went back to a salon as a self-employed hairdresser.
At this point, Claire considered work as a mobile hairdresser, but with her upcoming wedding to save for, she wasn’t confident enough that it would bring her the regular income she needed. She therefore put the thought on the back burner. (Editor’s Note: We hear this a LOT at HomeWorkingClub!)
Seven years ago, after the birth of her two children, Claire decided it was time to take the leap and start her own mobile hairdressing business.
Why did you decide to go it alone?
I had tried other jobs, but hairdressing was always what I wanted to do.
Like lots of young Mums I had tried a variety of jobs but mobile hairdressing gave me the flexibility to work around family life. When I was doing other jobs I always did a bit of hairdressing alongside, but I decided it was time to take the leap and go it alone.
Had you ever had your own business before?
I had been self-employed within a salon before, but it is slightly different being a lone worker.
How did you expect the business to develop? Has it met or exceeded your expectations?
I have definitely experienced better growth since giving my business all my time. I feel that you should work on one thing and give it 100%.
Did you have to spend much on start-up costs?
Once you are trained and have bought your basic tools and insurance, it can cost as little or as much as you want it to, but it’s relatively low cost to start a business as a mobile hairdresser. Obviously, the biggest cost is running the car. You need a reliable car as being punctual and not missing appointments helps to build your reputation in the area.
If you had your time again would you do anything differently?
I wouldn’t have wasted time working for other people!
How do you manage to juggle work with family life?
It can be hard, especially when your children are small. I’m lucky that I have clients that don’t mind my children coming with me. I work more evenings and more weekends during the school holidays.
I try hard to keep my book keeping up to date by doing it regularly, otherwise it can become a big job, so I would recommend always setting a bit of time aside each weekend for that.
Has your business improved your standard of living?
I would say it has. We have our own home, a nice car, and can afford family holidays. It hasn’t made me rich but I would rather be happy and have time to spend with my family than have material goods. (Editor’s Note: We also hear THIS a lot at HomeWorkingClub!)
What would you say to other people thinking of starting their own business
Be prepared to work harder than you have before. Learn to say no! Set your hours and be firm about them, otherwise once you have bent the rules people will expect it.
Is there a stand out moment in your business so far?
Seeing my profits go up each month is a brilliant feeling. For some, having their hair done is a real treat. Among my clients are several care homes, and its lovely to see how a new hair-do can boost someone’s self-esteem.
Is there anything you don’t like about being a Mobile Hairdresser?
People can try to take advantage of small business people. You leave them happy, then you get a text demanding a refund. With social media nowadays, you have to give people what they want even if you know they are being unreasonable. Your reputation builds up by word of mouth recommendations and comments on local pages on social media. One bad review can change things overnight.
Thank you to Claire for being interviewed for the site. If you’re a mobile hairdresser, let us know in the comments and feel free to share your experiences. We’re particularly interested to hear what people think about social media feedback and how it can affect small businesses.