The beauty industry is big. With a range of treatments as long as your arm for each part of your body, you might feel like a very small clown fish in the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you probably have some idea that it’s feet that float your boat.
The feet are a beautiful part of the human body, they aid in balance, and walking, dancing, swimming and perhaps they are taken for granted. With so many treatments on offer: chiropody, reflexology, pedicures, the list goes on. But we’re here to talk about the mobile pedicure business, so let’s get started.
There are two most vital parts in setting up your own mobile pedicure business and the first is training. Investing in good training is crucial to performing perfect pedicures, every time. Research online to find a reputable training centre; some high end courses specialise solely (see the pun?) in foot care.
In my case, I looked at local colleges in the area that covered a range of beauty treatments. I was confident I wanted to be based in the nail industry though so I decided on the Scottish Beauty School in Glasgow, which has a range of designated courses for pedicures, Hollywood Toes, and other nail courses. They train with NSI, who also have their own training centre in Manchester. The Fingertips Centre have a range of schools with a good reputation or pop into your local Salon Services as they have a good range of courses.
There are a lot of online courses out there but you will lose a lot of the personal tips and advice that you gain from classroom based education as you will be taught by professionals.
Whatever course you choose, you will want to learn the necessary skills to perform a basic file, cuticle work, foot massage and paint. Once you have gained these skills, you will need to practice practice and practice some more.
Once you are good and confident, it’s important to maintain this training with regular “refresher” training. The industry is constantly evolving; keeping up with new products and techniques is key in keeping ahead of the game. Remaining up to date will maintain trust with your clients and they will stay loyal, hopefully recommending your business to others.
The second imperative thing to running a successful mobile pedicure business is insurance. In short, it’s to protect you and your business. You may not ever need to claim on your insurance but there are plenty of stories out there regarding therapists who have been sued for thousands.
It’s the age-old rule, if you have it, you won’t need it, but if you don’t have it, you will most definitely need it. There are a few insurance companies that have a standard rate for mobile nail technicians: The Guild, ABT, BABTAC and Salon Gold.
The mobile pedicure kit will start large and just get bigger. There are some basics that you should definitely consider but it will grow with new products and extra treatments as your business grows. A mobile pedicure kit should definitely contain:
- Nail files
- Nail clippers and scissors
- Cuticle remover cream
- Cuticle hoof
- Foot bath
- Foot file or pedicure set
- Nail colours
- Foot massage cream
This list isn’t exhaustive, but for a basic kit, these tools will help you when starting out.
Now you have the kit, the insurance and you’re qualified. In order to get clients, you need to have the right marketing plan. Building your customers takes a lot of effort, but is incredibly rewarding once achieved. One thing to always remember is: never stop promoting your business.
Start by checking out your local competition, what do they offer, and what can you do better? Try and get an average price for the treatments offered in your area and don’t be afraid to charge the same or higher. If you price too low, people will think you are offering shoddy work but price yourself too high and people can’t afford you.
It’s worth getting some business cards and flyers made up with an opening offer. Return business is essential to keep you going so consider a discount on return treatments. Post these offers in local shops, drop through letterboxes and anywhere you can.
Pamper parties are becoming quite popular, in particular with hen parties and children’s princess parties so look at including those in your range of treatments. Check if your local town has notice boards to advertise your business or a local newspaper.
Another possible idea is to consider word of mouth. Offer some freebies to friends and friends of friends, and set up a referral deal: If a client recommends a friend and they fulfil their appointment, both clients get 10% off their next treatment.
Social media is imperative these days. Set up a Facebook and Twitter Page, read up on hash tags and post regularly, maybe one or two posts a day. If you really hate social media, spend an hour or so scheduling posts to publish during the forthcoming week.
There is no perfect answer in starting up a mobile pedicure business. There are no golden rules and everyone is different. The main thing to do is to follow your gut, remain passionate and above all, provide a great customer service. It is YOU that will keep the customers returning, not that over priced foot soak.