Mobile hairdresser too busy!

mcintyre85

New Member
#1
This sounds like a crazy problem to have, but I’ve been mobile Hairdressing for 8 years now (after 8 years of salon work) and it’s fair to say that my business is now very successful. I’ve worked out the best ways to get new clients, how to keep them, how to make them happy etc. I’m earning a decent amount of money and can rely on my income. Now this all sounds like a dream but... I’m so busy that I’m getting stressed. My clients are getting stressed cos I can’t fit them in without at least 5 or 6 weeks notice, I’m getting stressed cos I’m working all the time and my health is now suffering. I was actually hospitalised over the Easter weekend with excruciating headaches and what they suspected was a brain tumour, but it all turned out to be stress induced. The doctors told me I have to slow it down. So, I’ve now ‘closed my books’ and have stopped taking on new clients, but I’m now wondering isn’t there any way I can expand the business rather than just ‘stopping’ its growth like that. It’s not like a salon where I can just add another chair or open another shop, there is only one of me! Has anyone ever heard of mobile hairdressers somehow expanding their business and hiring other people to work for them? I can’t really think how this would work, as I don’t know anyone personally that I would want to take on to do my clients, plus someone could just pocket the money and steal my clients. And my clients want me doing their hair, not someone else! Sorry for the long post but I’m looking for some ideas! Obviously I have just put my prices up as well, I’m now by far the most expensive mobile hairdresser in my area and already charge more than some of the high street salons. Thanks for your help xx
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Work Smarter not Harder.
As it’s starting to seriously affect your health, you need to take a step back and review how your manage your workload currently and what changes you could consider.

How long is your average working day?
Are you taking adequate rest breaks during the day and eating and drinking regularly? Dehydration can cause headaches.

How efficient is your normal day? Are to travelling to point A then B then C then F then back to A?
Would you be better off staying in one place and either working from home or renting a chair so you cut out all the excess travel time?
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
#3
This sounds like a crazy problem to have, but I’ve been mobile Hairdressing for 8 years now (after 8 years of salon work) and it’s fair to say that my business is now very successful. I’ve worked out the best ways to get new clients, how to keep them, how to make them happy etc. I’m earning a decent amount of money and can rely on my income. Now this all sounds like a dream but... I’m so busy that I’m getting stressed. My clients are getting stressed cos I can’t fit them in without at least 5 or 6 weeks notice, I’m getting stressed cos I’m working all the time and my health is now suffering. I was actually hospitalised over the Easter weekend with excruciating headaches and what they suspected was a brain tumour, but it all turned out to be stress induced. The doctors told me I have to slow it down. So, I’ve now ‘closed my books’ and have stopped taking on new clients, but I’m now wondering isn’t there any way I can expand the business rather than just ‘stopping’ its growth like that. It’s not like a salon where I can just add another chair or open another shop, there is only one of me! Has anyone ever heard of mobile hairdressers somehow expanding their business and hiring other people to work for them? I can’t really think how this would work, as I don’t know anyone personally that I would want to take on to do my clients, plus someone could just pocket the money and steal my clients. And my clients want me doing their hair, not someone else! Sorry for the long post but I’m looking for some ideas! Obviously I have just put my prices up as well, I’m now by far the most expensive mobile hairdresser in my area and already charge more than some of the high street salons. Thanks for your help xx
Have you thought about looking in to a colour range that processes in less time?
This way you could either cut down on the hours you're working each day, to rest more. Or if you're feeling well enough you can fit more people in that time frame.
 

mcintyre85

New Member
#4
Well I often do two clients at once so while a colour is developing, I’m doing their friend’s/mum’s haircut etc.
My eventual plan is to have a home salon (I don’t want to go back to working in someone else’s salon again- don’t think I could!) but I don’t have the space right now. I live in a flat in London and we can’t afford to buy a house (for obvious reasons) and that’s more of a 10 year plan. But I do want to do it one day. Maybe I’ll just have to hang on til then and be grateful I’ve got the business I’ve got! I think a big part of my success is where I live, I can charge high prices and I’m in demand because there isn’t much competition in the way of mobile hairdressers around here. I’m travelling efficiently, I’m doing a 10 hour working day 6 days a week (to fit all my work in) and looking after my health in every other way (exercise, water, sleep, good food), I just have no time for anything else in my life at all and barely ever see my partner. And I am fully booked, not taking on new clients anymore and have a waiting list going on past June! I think that is a huge source of stress on its own, knowing people are ‘waiting’ to hear from me! LOVE my job, but I swear it is slowly killing me!!
 
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RosieR

Active Member
#5
Hi there, you have my sympathy with your pedicament, but you have actually answered most of your questions about what to do with your success.
No new clients, increase your prices , work at least 2 clients at the same adress. Tick.
So what next? A full breakdown emotionally and exhaustion unless you remove one other day in the week and take a few extra hours off each day.
You will not be able to maintain this for much longer as clearly your health has already suffered to date.
I am slowly removing my difficult clients that are causing me stress, it is very hard to tell them I am not able to do their treatments anymore. My health is suffering too but as I am over 20 years your senior I feel sad , but it is for my best interest.
I have worked out which clients I can afford to lose, but it is the time spent working that I really need to cut down on for my neck and hands to rest.
So perhaps look at who you could remove , the late ones ? or all the saturday clients? choose to keep the high value clients, or remove the clients that mess you about?
A difficult one, but get ahead of what sounds like a ticking time bomb regarding your own health and relationship with your partner.
Good luck
RosieR
 

alanaabdn

Active Member
#6
as you said, taking on no new clients, encouraging people to book in advance, so that you know your schedule. i'd look into taking another day off honouring the appointments already booked on those days and/or reducing your working hours by an hour.
your health comes first most of all. you don't want to lose your clients but at the same time you have a life outside seeing them.
i work full time in an office and do hair extensions at night/ Weekends and i really love it but it was getting ridiculous, i wasn't seeing my husband, i was just giving myself enough time to get home showered and have food before going back out.
so i ended up saying my working evenings are only these days and a Saturday. wasn't worth the stress trying to accommodate everyone, after all if they were going to a salon they'd have to book when they are open.
 

fifi

New Member
#7
Thank you everyone, that makes me feel a bit less like a ‘bad hairdresser’ now if I need to drop people or cut my hours! I feel so much guilt on my clients for making it harder for them to get their hair done when they want it, but at the end of the day I have to wait weeks and weeks for mine to be done for example, because I have no time. Time to slow it all down methinks!
 

RED STAR

Well-Known Member
#8
Make sure you get your favourites to re-book - don’t prompt the more problematic
Be sure you are charging correctly - not just for the service, include your travelling time.
Human nature is such that if you give them an inch - they’ll take a mile.....
Sadly, this is often seen in our profession.
If you accommodate EVERY request, don’t be surprised when you start feeling swamped!
Say you’re fully booked when you are .....
Your client can either wait - or go elsewhere.....
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
#9
Are there any other efficiencies that you can introduce to cut down the time you spend travelling every day?

Try analysing your data.

First go through you records showing how much you take every day. Let's use Feb, Mar and Apr. What was the best day of each month? Is there a recurring pattern at all? Do you do very well at the end of the month, at the beginning of the month or is there no pattern? Are weekends better than weekdays or vice versa? Is the best time a close cluster of days? A Thursday/Fri/Sat combo shortly after the 28th of the month (payday for most people)

Let's say you notice that the first weekend of the month is always very good if not the best weekend of the month.

Let's analyse these Weekends.

First do a simple analysis of your figures. Write down the total spend in each address that you visited. Work out your average takings per location by dividing the total for the day by the number of addresses. Example: house 1 £50, house 2 £100 (2 clients), house 3 £40 house, 4 £80 house 5 £120 (3 clients - one adult 2 kids) Total for the weekend £390 average spend per location (390/5 houses) = £78

Action point
Using past performance as a guide, give yourself a target for bookings for the first weekend of the month based on the average of what you have been taking
.

now for the fun bit.

Stick one or two maps on the wall showing the area that you work in.

Go through your records and write up a little post it note for each client that you saw on the first weekend In April. Put the address, client name, total spend, the date and the title "Weekend week 1".

When you've got a post it note for each client, stick your post it note on the map showing where all your appointments were.

Now do this exercise for everybody that you saw on the first weekend in March. If you like you can do Feb as well.

Look at the post it notes. Is there anything obvious? A block of flats where you have several clients? A street of neighbours? A family that all use you? These clients/areas are your VIP's

Now go through the post it notes, removing from the map anything below your target figure unless they are in a VIP area or are connected to a VIP client group.

Next take control of your scheduling. Fast forward to June and see if you have any unbooked gaps for the first weekend. Look back to your map, are there any VIP clients/locations above your target figure that havent booked yet thatchill need appointments? Give them a ring and get them booked. Do the same for July. Yes really.

Next go through your waiting list. Are there any people on it in your VIP client groups or areas? Can you squeeze them in for the first weekend in July?

What you want it to achieve is to gradually shape your first weekend bookings to be in clusters of connected people and or locations, all above your target figure. I hope this makes sense.

Practise what you will say to those you are going to turn away. "I'm sorry, I'm not in this area on the first weekend of the month" "I'm sorry I am so busy on the first weekend of the month that I have to introduce a minimum spend per address, I get quite a few families booking in with me."

The reason that I've written this enormous essay is because I think it's an interesting problem. I think that if you concentrate on clusters of connected clients you should be able to hire an apprentice who can give you a hand to set up and clear down your appointments and even finish off for you whilst you walk up the road to start your next client.

In theory you could slowly build up a team of trusted staff who can eventually operate independently but if I were you I'd model myself on the tried and tested "man plus van" model like a firm of plumbers or private electricians. You could drive "the van", discuss the client requirements, leave your staff member in charge and then nip off up the road to another job, returning to check the end result and handle the money side.

Anyway, good luck with your problem. Too much work too handle is a great problem to have.
 

House Beauty

Well-Known Member
#10
This sounds like a crazy problem to have, but I’ve been mobile Hairdressing for 8 years now (after 8 years of salon work) and it’s fair to say that my business is now very successful. I’ve worked out the best ways to get new clients, how to keep them, how to make them happy etc. I’m earning a decent amount of money and can rely on my income. Now this all sounds like a dream but... I’m so busy that I’m getting stressed. My clients are getting stressed cos I can’t fit them in without at least 5 or 6 weeks notice, I’m getting stressed cos I’m working all the time and my health is now suffering. I was actually hospitalised over the Easter weekend with excruciating headaches and what they suspected was a brain tumour, but it all turned out to be stress induced. The doctors told me I have to slow it down. So, I’ve now ‘closed my books’ and have stopped taking on new clients, but I’m now wondering isn’t there any way I can expand the business rather than just ‘stopping’ its growth like that. It’s not like a salon where I can just add another chair or open another shop, there is only one of me! Has anyone ever heard of mobile hairdressers somehow expanding their business and hiring other people to work for them? I can’t really think how this would work, as I don’t know anyone personally that I would want to take on to do my clients, plus someone could just pocket the money and steal my clients. And my clients want me doing their hair, not someone else! Sorry for the long post but I’m looking for some ideas! Obviously I have just put my prices up as well, I’m now by far the most expensive mobile hairdresser in my area and already charge more than some of the high street salons. Thanks for your help xx
That’s brilliant!

Too Busy = put your prices up! If they all stay they still aren’t high enough. You should easily have a comfortable amount of clients a day making very good money. The ones that can’t afford the new prices wi be replaced with newer ones that can. Then you get too busy again over time and you raise them again. You are in demand! The people want you! They will pay good money for you!
 

#11
I’m busy too and working from a treatment room at home - I started charging more for evenings and weekends - prime time appts, so if they want those they have to pay more xxx
 
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