One of the major decisions a lash artist must make is determining whether you want to go mobile or rent a room or space in another salon. The truth is: you really need to understand the particularity of each one of these work styles and know which one would be the best option for you. Just keep in mind to start how you want to end.
Regardless of going mobile or renting your own space, building a clientele interested in your chosen kind of service is key to having a successful lash business. For example, if you decide to be a mobile lash artist traveling to clients all over the city, your clients will become accustomed to this convenience. If you decide to change later and rent a salon, you may lose some of your customers. The same applies if you start renting and then moving to mobile as not all clients will feel comfortable receiving you in their home, so best to avoid this, right?
Get ready to take notes, because in this article, we are going to explain to you the pros and cons between mobile lash tech and renting a lash studio or salon.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Mobile Lash Tech
1. Convenient for the Client
The great thing about being a traveling lash artist is that it's a high-demand service. There are so many people who would just love to have their lashes done in the convenience of their own homes! It will not be hard to build your own clientele, and before you know it, you will have loyal and passionate customers. Yay!
2. Forget about those Bills
When you are a mobile lash artist, you don't have to pay rent, electricity, water utilities, etc. There's no need to worry about decorations, cleaning, and other organizational aspects of having your own space.
3. You Can (and Should) Charge More
Obviously, you are providing an excellent level of convenience for your client when going to their home. But of course, if you're mobile, you must travel. Therefore, you need to cover the cost of fuel, wear and tear on your vehicle, time lost traveling, setting up, and the time it takes to craft a stunning pair of lashes.
It’s very likely that a separate fee can be a hard pill for your clients to swallow, so go ahead and include all your ancillary costs in your price list. It's also wise to conduct some competitor research to make sure that charging fairly and that your pricing is competitive.
1. Service Fewer Clients Per Day
As we said above, traveling and setting up takes a lot of time. That means you are "wasting time" that you could be attending to other clients, and consequently, making more money. Usually, when you are a mobile lash artist, you will service an average of 3 clients per day. If you have your own space, you could easily double that. Sure, you will charge more, but you need to do the math and analyse if it's worth it to you and your lifestyle.
2. Obstacles with Restrictions and Insurance
You need to make sure your insurance covers you as a traveling lash artist. You should reach out to your insurance company as insurance coverage is not always the same as artists working from their own space. You will need to be covered for working in someone's home and traveling to and from appointments. Also, make sure you check with your local authorities to understand the state or local rules since they can be different from state to state.
It would help if you were very organized with your routine and logistics, so you don't waste time (and money). It can be tricky trying to fit in every client from a defined area in one day, so there will undoubtedly be occasions when you spend extra time traveling from one side of the city to another. Maybe a solution is to identify specific days of the week for each region.
4. Less Control over the Temperature and Environment
As lash artists, we all know that temperature directly affects the lash extension adhesives. When you have your own space, you are entirely in control of that. However, when you are going to your client’s homes, the setup in the atmosphere is going to be completely different. This can affect the results of your work, so you need to be prepared and know how to avoid this. Consider carrying a humidifier and a portable AC unit with you. That way, you're basically prepared for any climate conditions.
The Pros and Cons of Renting a Lash Studio
1. You Will Have Your Own Space
You can decorate and theme your space to suit your brand style and create the ambience expected in a lash space or salon when you have a physical space. You can set up the décor, the equipment, temperature, and you can (basically) do whatever you like with this space. It's also way easier to create your brand and identity and customer experience.
2. You Have More Time
As we said before, when you are a mobile lash tech, you must think about the travel time, set up time, logistics, and be extra organized. However, everything is in one spot when you have your own space, and you don't have to rush from place to place. You can also attend to more clients, booking them back-to-back, so you're not wasting time in-between clients. No rush, just peace, and lashes!
3. Better Insurance Cover
If you have a lash studio or salon, you don't need to stress about the insurance. Each case is different, but usually, you would have Public Liability Insurance and Service Insurance to cover you if something happens to you or your clients in your salon, whereas it can become far more complex if you are a mobile lash artist.
1. The Bills
Renting a lash studio is very similar to renting a house: you need to pay the bills, take extra care with walls, carpet, etc., and pay the rent even if you close your business for the holidays. Also, you must commit to renting the property for a set timeframe. Any changes you make to the premises during your tenancy will need to be reversed entirely or "made good" before you hand the property back. This means if you've invested in an extravagant fit-out, it will also cost you to remove it.
2. Possible Inconveniences
If something happens to your space, you will experience a business interruption, which is inconvenient. For example, if your power goes out or you spend the day without water, you can't use your space to work effectively. Whereas if you're mobile, you can just pick up and move to the next place. Of course, everybody is susceptible to unpredictable events. Still, if they happen in your studio, you usually need to take responsibility for fixing them or incur the loss until the issues are resolved.
3. Make sure You are Abiding By Local Laws
Keep in mind that you will need to contact your local council if you have a salon or your own space, as there is usually a visit from them to make sure that the salon meets their compliance standards. They will direct you on what you need to do, and unfortunately, it may cost you ($$) to make necessary changes.
There are so many different options for you as a lash artist! It all boils down to what is best for you. We hope we have helped you to make a decision. But don't forget, regardless of going mobile or renting a place, you can always provide your clients with the best lash aftercare products (and make some extra money)!
Discover more helpful hints and tips for your lash salon with the Prolong Lash blog and learn how to partner with us for exclusive discounts on our industry-leading eyelash extension aftercare products.