It’s more important than ever for beauty and wellness professionals to think outside of the box, when it comes to providing services. And that’s because health officials are still recommending that people remain at home as often as possible.
To help make sure Booksy business owners are able to meet the needs of their clients, we introduced the Mobile Services feature. This tool is designed to help our providers reach their customers who still want to stay at home or in the office in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making the transition from working inside a shop or salon to offering mobile services may be tough for some. But Tracey Sturdivant made the decision to take her nail business on the road decades ago. And now more than ever, people are recognizing the potential of her skill set.
Learn detailed information on how to provide mobile services from this skilled business woman, who has been in the industry for over 27 years and on the road for most of them. In addition to offering creative nail services, she also teaches industry newcomers the ins and outs of the business.
Most recently, Tracey hosted a Booksy webinar, where she gave advice on how to succeed at providing mobile services. Because of her skills with the tools of her trade, her prowess on the road, and her business savviness, we selected Tracey to be featured as one of our successful Black business owners during the month of February in celebration of Black History Month.
Getting Ready to Provide Mobile Services
Tracey is without a doubt a seasoned veternan in the world of providing mobile nail services. In addition to being a tried and true nail artist, she uses her Booksy profile to take her expertise on the road. And she still finds time to work with clients inside a modern beauty salon located in a suburb named Aurora that’s less than an hour away from Chicago, Illinois.
Her Booksy profile is aptly named Sturdivant’s Beauty Unlimited, LLC. And for beauty professionals who want to learn more about providing mobile services, Tracey has an unlimited amount of tips that she’s learned after almost three decades in the industry. Keep reading for some valuable advice on how to get started.
Carefully prepare your price list
According to Tracey, the first thing to do is prepare a price list and know what services you want to offer. But make sure that your price list is consistent. Prices should be based on the market and the demographics of the people that you’re trying to reach.
But make sure to take into consideration your experience, talent, time, and cost of materials. She added that going to meet clients is much different than inviting them into a salon, in regards to pricing. It may or may not be necessary to charge additional fees for travel, an alternative is to factor those traveling fees into your pricing, she said.
Find the right kind of insurance
Tracey said that handling the insurance process is another huge step. And that’s because it’s important to get the right kind of insurance. Insurance has to cover an accident if something happens to a customer. And all of the equipment, including the vehicle, also needs to be insured.
“On a daily basis, I carry probably $1,200 worth of instruments. And that’s not including my carrying case or drill or any of those more expensive items like the car that I’m driving,” she said. “All of those items need to be covered by insurance for financial protection and reimbursement against any losses or damages that could easily happen.”
Take advantage of your flexibility
The biggest advantage to providing mobile services is the flexibility, said Tracey. “You have more control over what services you’re offering and how you’re offering those services. And you have more control over products you use,” she said.
Take advantage of that flexibility and earn more business by offering services during time windows when most shops or salons are closed. For example, salons may not open until 10 a.m. But as a mobile service provider you have the flexibility to meet a client at 7:30 am. Or make sure you’re available later, after clients have put their kids to bed.
The Challenges of Providing Mobile Services
Although flexibility is a huge advantage in regards to mobile services, just like any profession, Tracey admits to some challenges. For anyone who’s ready to get on the road, read closely. Learn how to overcome some of the more common issues that can hamper your success.
Be ready to perform additional requests
Make sure you can provide additional services, whenever requested. For instance, a client may make an appointment for a manicure. Once you’ve arrived that client may also ask for a pedicure. Having enough resources to perform additional services is tough when Tracey is driving around town but absolutely necessary.
Even if you have to leave some of those materials in your car, make sure they’re available. It’s not unusual for a client to see your work and request an additional service, she said. Being prepared is the key that will make sure clients keep booking appointments.
Communicate with clients beforehand
Give your clients a call before the appointment and ask a few questions while giving them some feedback. Remind customers to put their pets away. Keep COVID-19 in mind and make sure you’re going to be in a room alone with the client. And try to ask questions ahead of time to find out what tools you will need to bring inside, so you’re not always bringing a bulky load into their home or office, she said.
For example, Tracey likes to ask questions about gel and color pallets before actually arriving at her appointments. “I probably have maybe forty colors. Why do I need to bring in 40 colors, when I can just bring in five or six and leave the rest in my car? Good communication will always keep everything more efficient and more streamline,” she said.
Carry extra materials and keep track of supplies
It may seem obvious but always pack all of the necessary materials and keep close track of your supplies. It’s very important to make sure you keep restocking your kit throughout your work week, she added.
“It’s a tough thing to remember to always do. And it’s important to have some alternatives. You better be able to think on your feet and find a solution to the question of how am I going to get everything done without this one tool, material, or product?” Tracey said.
Providing Mobile Services During COVID-19
Tracey first entered the beauty industry roughly 27 years ago, when the world of mobile services was still emerging. It wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today, because professionals didn’t have access to mobile phones, GPS, wireless internet, and other valuable resources, she said.
At the time, Tracey felt that working for a mobile spa company would help ease her into her current role where she reaches out to clients independently. She was able to provide on-site manicures and pedicures during special events, such as corporate and private parties. And over the years, she learned all about the mobile services industry.
Eventually, she felt confident enough to step out onto her own. Now, she finds her own clients and works closely with bigger contracts like those at apartment complexes, where she can get a host of business. Although that was the route she took, she states that any professional considering taking their services on the road can start right away. But they need to learn as much as possible before acting on their initiative.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of education to people in this industry, especially now that there are more educational opportunities than ever before. Education is so important, because the world of beauty and the mobile services industry are both ever changing. And we need to keep up with those changes,” she said.
She added that it’s also very important to stay educated to remain safe during the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, Tracey only spends two to three days on the road. The other days she works inside the salon, just to be safe. Above anything else, she recommends taking steps to remain safe at all times.
“I still want to be safe whether I’m on the road or in the shop. That’s really my number one priority. I feel like that’s part of the oath that we took to become licensed professionals from the very beginning—to stay safe myself and to encourage customer safety. That said, I just want for every professional to be safe and make sure their clients stay safe,” she said.