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How to Become A Licensed Mobile Nail Technician

By Jennie Waeland, November 5 2021

  1. Set Out A Business Plan To Successfully Launch Your Mobile Nail Salon Service
  2. Make A Marketing Plan
  3. How Long Does It Take To Become A Licensed Nail Technician?
  4. Protect Your Nail Business And Your Customers
  5. How Much Does A Mobile Nail Technician Earn?
  6. Insure Your Mobile Nail Company
  7. How To Get Clients As A Mobile Nail Technician

The nail industry has sky-rocketed in previous years, meeting a high demand of luxury-looking nails for all audiences. With this high demand comes a magnitude of business opportunities. Nail technicians are gradually making the transition from salon to mobile beauty.

This guide is part of the series: How to successfully launch your Mobile Beautician Business!

With freelance work becoming the new norm, it allows you the freedom and flexibility to become your own boss and work around your own schedule. It is also the perfect way to build up your own personal clientele and strengthen your relationships with your customers.

Fortunately, it is becoming easier and easier to kick-start your own business and propel yourself into the world of freelance, mobile beauty.

For tips on getting started and maintaining a successful mobile nail salon business, keep on reading.

Set Out A Business Plan To Successfully Launch Your Mobile Nail Salon Service

Make your mobile nail business plan concise

It can be easy to bombard yourself with ideas and end up feeling burnt out and overwhelmed before your business has even left the ground.

It’s important to have dreams and aspirations, but be realistic with your starting plan and goals. You can build up to bigger plans with time, but for the beginning, you should map out the most important steps to help you off on the right foot.

How to write a business plan for your start up

There are many different ways that you can plan your business. Different methods work for different people. Write it in a designated notebook, type it up into a presentation, use a whiteboard… there is no correct way, as long as it makes sense for you. That is all that matters.

There are certain important aspects that you should remember to plan for:

Make A Marketing Plan

Finding potential clients should not be complicated!

Creating a marketing plan may seem like a daunting process but it can easily be broken down into different steps.

1. Understand your audience

All of your marketing efforts will be useless unless you know who exactly you are targeting. By knowing the demographic and interests of your clients, you can tailor your content and branding towards them with the hope of returned interest, engagement and conversions.

2. Choose your platform

Social media is growing into one of the biggest marketing tools a freelance therapist can use and there’s plenty to choose from: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn…

They are have different benefits so it’s important to have an idea of what you will be using them for. Instagram is amazing for building up a portfolio of photos and creating a community through engagement, LinkedIn can help you on the business front and help you make connections with similar mobile nail technicians.

It’s important to stress that you don’t need to use all of them. As your own boss, your time is limited so don’t waste it on platforms that do you no favours.

3. Scope out the competition

As mentioned before, mobile beauty is a rapid growing business with plenty of competition. With so many alternatives, use their profiles to your advantage. What are they doing successfully? Are their audience engaging with them?

Do they have a strong brand identity? By analysing your competition, you can decide what similarities you would like to adopt for your own business whilst deciphering which aspects won’t work in your favour.

4. Develop a personal brand identity

Think about the top brands in the world. They all have a unique personality, tone or voice, marketing strategy and aesthetic look. Brand identity is crucial to set you apart from your competitors.

Font, brand colours, image style, tone of voice… the world is your oyster. Just make sure that your brand is authentic and expresses your business successfully.

5. Be adaptable

With all your marketing efforts, you should be consistently tracking your engagement and reach and making notes on what is working for you and what has failed. As daunting as failure is, it is important to recognise when aspects need improving or removing in order to generate a greater chance of success.

Be willing to try new things, don’t shy away from new ideas and opportunities.

With any marketing plan, you must first set a realistic budget for all of your outgoings and the profit you aim to achieve. You must also be realistic with your time. If something doesn’t work, scrap it. Don’t over-assert yourself if it is unrealistic and leave you in a worse-off position.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Licensed Nail Technician?

hands holding a clock

This will be individual subject to your situations and experiences. Many courses to become a mobile nail tech can take between 300-600 hours.

The amount of time can also differ depending on whether you enrol to your course part-time or full-time. However, there are many individual brands which also offer training, which is usually a day course.

When you are looking for courses, be sure to check the syllabus beforehand if you can, so that you know exactly what the course entails and if it is suited to you and your business vision. The last thing you need is to enrol in a sub-par course which doesn’t benefit you.

In order to become a certified nail technician, you must acquire certain qualifications and diplomas. For example, in the UK, you must earn a qualification such as NVQ Level 2, which ensures that you are recognised as a certified nail technician by the government.

Remember, be mindful to be constantly open and willing to follow new trends and learn new skills as this will open you up to new opportunities and expanded audiences. Strictly following what you already know may leave you closed off to many possibilities.

Protect Your Nail Business And Your Customers

In the beginning, it is important to familiarise yourself with safety regulations surrounding salons and mobile beauty. Check that your kit and products don’t contain hazardous chemicals. Be sure to familiarise yourself with your clients, in case they have sensitive skin or problems which require special products and extra care.

Ensure that you know how to properly care for and clean your tools. In the beauty business, good hygiene is crucial. There are many infections, funguses and diseases that can spread among clients.

If a client has a fungal infection or a verruca, you have the power to decline the appointment on hygiene grounds. Protect yourself and your clients, disappointing one client is the price to pay to keep your entire clientele safe.

Post-pandemic it is also extremely important to abide by government safety guidelines and protect yourself and your client as best as possible. Know the rules and regulations, carry the appropriate PPE, have safety and hygiene on the forefront of your mind at all times.

Unlike a salon, clients’ homes aren’t your responsibility to keep clean. You can have your clients sign a waiver form to protect yourself against any potential health and hygiene-related issues that may occur as a result of an unsanitary environment.

How Much Does A Mobile Nail Technician Earn?

hands holding money

Again, this will vary between technicians. The main aspects to consider are:

Take these elements into consideration, but remember, there is no reason you should be earning margins less than others in your industry. Believe in yourself and know your worth.

However, it’s important to note that you may be able to afford to lower your prices compared to salon prices.

Salons have to pay rent, bills, staff etc. So by slightly lowering your prices, you may stand out among your competition. Especially if you work in London, where the prices will be considerably higher.

Insure Your Mobile Nail Company

When you run a freelance business, it is so important to ensure that you and your business is covered by the correct insurance, as you will no longer be under wider-scale corporate policy.

Most mobile beauty apps and salons require you to have insurance anyway, so this is an important step to make at the beginning of your career.

‘Public Liability Insurance’ will help to protect your nail business in the case that a client files for legal claims made against you in their own property.

For example, if your tools accidentally cause them harm or if your product stains their furniture. Insurance will ensure that legal costs are covered. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are equipped to handle any legal issues that may arise.

You should also get ‘Beauty Treatment Risk Liability Insurance’, which will cover incidents directly related to the treatment. For example, if an allergic reaction occurs as a result of one of your polishes.

We also recommend insuring your kit and products, in the event that anything is stolen.

‘Employers Liability Insurance’ is a legal requirement should you have any employees in relation to your mobile nail salon business.

How To Get Clients As A Mobile Nail Technician

hands in a huddle

As mentioned before, make sure that your pricing is consistent with the industry. Do not overprice your treatments as you will deter both potential and existing customers from your business.

We recommend starting with lower pricing to entice customers and stand out from your competition, and then slowly raising your prices as your business grows. It is normal to charge more for experience and skill, which will come in time as you grow your brand.

Your business model should not solely be based on word of mouth, social media is one of the biggest ways to promote your brand, currently. Invest time into finding which platform works for you and showcase your skills using the internet as your own work portfolio.

Not only should you use your own personal accounts to promote yourself, but join groups and pages with similar businesses that compliment your own and help each other out. Not all competition is bad. You can learn from each other and gain helpful tips and advice.

Make sure that your branding is clear and easily recognisable. Keep your brand consistent across all marketing avenues, use the same font and colours so that your audience will immediately recognise it and think of your brand.

You can even advertise your brand using your own vehicle or on letterheads. Create business cards and flyers to hand out to everyone you meet. Post your flyer on a local bulletin board.

There are so many opportunities as a mobile nail technician. It will take time to get a plan together and find your feet within the industry. You will undoubtedly encounter hurdles along the way, but this will help you become more certain in your brand identity and what you are hoping to get out of this business venture.

Good luck!

Related guides:

How to start up your own mobile hairdressing business

Jennie Waeland

Jennie Waeland

Jennie is LeSalon’s Social and Content Executive, covering everything from beauty, lifestyle and, of course, manicures. She graduated from the University of Roehampton with a degree in film and has since used her skills to produce various content and illustrational pieces.


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