When you are running a nail, beauty or hair salon, your location is of utmost importance. Any person who is successful in the salon business industry will tell you that choosing your location smartly is the first thing you should do before considering other matters.

Salons, like other stationery businesses, heavily rely on an ideal location that’s audience-appropriate. Although the choice of the location is affected by several factors such as comfortability, cost, availability, etc. all these factors ultimately link to your target customers.

Regardless of which location you are considering setting the salon in, ensure that you make it comfortable and enjoyable for customers.

Although there are plenty of salons in our high streets, there are others that individuals run as mobile businesses. This allows delivering services to customers in their homes or offices. Therefore, an actual location doesn’t matter. Not all high street salons can be managed on a mobile basis, for example, if you offer treatments such as tattoo makeup or designer lashes that require intricate work and somewhat sterile space, going mobile could be troublesome. But for less problematic treatments such as makeovers, gel nails or hairdressing, mobile is certainly a viable option.

So, should you open a mobile or brick & mortar salon? Let’s look at both perspectives, their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Mobile Salon

There are two types of mobile salons. The first one, which is pretty simple, is where the beautician carries their equipment to the customer’s home or place of business and does the work there. Or a much less used method is where the beautician uses in a vehicle which is modified as a salon, where clients come for salon services.

Equipment needed for a mobile salon is much less than required for traditional salons. Your client will have mirrors, seating, and a sink, so you just need to have styling and cutting tools, or beauty devices.

If you’ll be going to clients’ houses, you’ll need portable, lightweight equipment, which tends to be less pricey than that used in salons. It’s also possible to buy units that convert into full workstations, so you can customize them with appliance attachments suited to whatever treatments you are offering.

Pros of Mobile Salons

Deciding on a location or acquiring premises is not important since you deliver services to customers. And it gets even better when you have clients in your neighborhood as it’ll save you the hassle of driving long distances.

Getting new clients may be trickier since customers won’t be walking past your physical salon, so it is important to market your mobile business using flyers, posters, social media, etc.

There are very few overhead fees as with renting a premise, this, therefore, reduces much pressure and makes opening your salon much more affordable.

Cons of Mobile Salons

Fuel prices could be an issue since you’ll be going to clients’ houses. If they live a distance from you, you will not only be paying for fuel, but also losing money during the hours you are driving.

Carrying your working tools around can be tedious.

Marketing yourself more of a challenge and can be time-consuming.

Additional costs, such as vehicle maintenance, traffic, or accidents, arise from time to time.

Brick and Mortar Salons

Brick and Mortar is a traditional street-side business that offers customers face to face products or services in a store or an office. Having a brick & mortar salon means customers will come to your store for your services. While some customers love it when you visit their offices or homes, some still prefer to get the services done in a salon.

A brick and mortar salon is where you have your business in a physical store. Therefore, location matters. You can either rent or buy a store, and you have to equip it with all the necessary tools.

Pros of Brick & Mortar Salons

Recognition. Having your nail or hair salon on a physical location, markets your name easily. Plus, it assures customers that you are an established business. Therefore, they can drop in at a convenient time instead of committing to an appointment.

More customers. since customers will be visiting you, often coming at any time, you’ll be able to serve more than one customer at a time. This will even help you expand your business and hire staff.

Convenient. Unlike with mobile salons all your tools and equipment will be in your store, all you have to do is keep the salon open.

Cons of Brick and Mortar Salons

It’s expensive to buy or rent a store in a prime location. Not to mention, you’ll have to invest in the décor of the salon to ensure that customers will keep coming. Also, one pays for different insurances, such as general beauty insurance, hairdressing insurance, etc.

Location is key.  Setting your salon in the wrong place can seriously injure your business. You’ll have to spend time thinking and researching the location. And even if you get the right place getting new customers can still be difficult when you start out, so you will need to make sure you have enough funds to cover a slow start.

Local regulations need to be looked into, as the town may have limited opening hours, which can affect your profits, especially during the weekends or evenings.

Conclusion: Mobile Vs. Brick & Mortar Salon, Which is Better?

Both have their pros and cons. A mobile salon offers little setup expenses and little upfront financial commitment. However, your opportunities to grow and make profits are potentially limited. On the other hand, a brick and mortar salon may be expensive to start but offers several growth opportunities that can help turn your small business into a bigger one. Individuals should, therefore, consider their goals, needs as well as budgets before choosing either option.

This content is brought to you by Mac McCarthy.

Photo: Shutterstock

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