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Make money as a mobile manicurist

Kamal Khurana 14th Sep 2017 3 Comments

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Let’s just face it: we live in a world where spending hours at the beauty parlour is no longer an option. With jobs, kids, pets and social activities to attend to, we simply don’t have time.

Enter woman’s new best friend: beauty treatments on the go!

With an exciting range of nail treatments to choose from these days – Gelish, Shellac, acrylics, extensions just to mention a few – it’s also no surprise that the demand for mobile manicurists is on the rise.

So, if you’ve always enjoyed decorating your own nails and might be looking for a bit of extra cash on the side, this could be a perfect part-time job for you.

Read our guide below on how to get started.


What is a mobile manicurist?

Manicure equipment and tools

Mobile manicurists offer professional salon treatments such as:

  • nail shaping
  • application of nail polish
  • nail art
  • cuticle grooming
  • acrylic nails
  • gel nails

…and more to their clients in the comfort of their own home or office.

Mobile manicurists are usually fully trained and offer a flexible schedule which means it can be a great part-time money maker for those who have a full-time job.

The reason mobile manicurists are so popular is because most working women (like Jasmine) or mums at home either find it convenient to have a treatment at their own home or can’t attend a salon during working hours and are simply unable to find the time.

This means an at home service is a perfect way to fit in grooming time.


Is this a job for you?

Senior nail technician

You are:

  • interested in beauty and fashion
  • creative
  • patient
  • good at organising your time and keeping a record of finances, appointments etc.
  • a ‘people person’
  • keen to learn and get more skilled as you go along


Do I need qualifications?

Nail Technician Course Classroom

When starting out as a mobile beauty therapist, it’s important to ensure that you have the appropriate qualifications.

Not only will this make you more credible to your clients, but could also offer you a greater sense of confidence.

Beauty therapy qualifications and accreditation come in lots of different varieties including:

When choosing a course, you may want to consider the following factors:

  • Value for money: do the course fees include a basic kit or some other value-add?
  • Time: how much time do you have? Would you be able to do a full-time course or would an evening class be better?
  • Location: will you be able to get to your training relatively easily from where you live or work?
  • Accreditation: Make sure that your course is accredited by one of the bodies mentioned above.

Ultimately, the beauty industry is a multi-million pound business, which remains largely unregulated.

For this reason, it is paramount that mobile beauty therapists have the correct insurance, memberships and qualifications in place to ensure that they provide the best service possible to their clients, and also to protect themselves.



Woman receiving a manicure

There are many nail technician courses all around the UK. Here are some below…

  • Nails and Beauty Academy offers a 5-day masters diploma in nail technology for £149.99. This ABT (Associated Beauty Therapists) -accredited course is suitable for beginners, doesn’t require a kit and teaches you the fundamental practical and theoretical skills needed to become a professional nail technician. Visit the Nails and Beauty Academy website for more details.
  • London School of Nails and Beauty offers a 4-day complete nail technician course for £395. Depending on which campus you attend, the course is accredited by BABTAC and the Beauty Guild, with the option of upgrading to NVQ/IAO at an extra fee. Since you don’t need any qualifications, it’s suitable for beginners. Visit the London School of Nails and Beauty website for more details.
  • Top Talons Training School offers a masters certificate in nail technology for £595 plus VAT. The 7-day course is accredited by the Beauty Guild and ABT and teaches you the basics of manicures and pedicures. Expect to lear about acrylic application, gel application, sculpting, extensions and more. Visit the Top Talons website for more details.
  • Essential Nails offers a variety of exciting nail courses, from ‘Starting Out‘ to ‘ Pro Master‘. And guess what? You can do it all from the comfort of your own home thanks to their nifty patented ‘Nail Trainer’ hand. Courses cost between £39.99 and £529 and can be booked quick and easily through the Essential Nails website.


How much money can I make?

Manicured hands on top of money

As with all highly sought-after skills there is good potential for earning decent money.

However, this depends on how many jobs you do, how much you charge and whether you find a way to ‘scale’ the business.

The going rate for home nail treatments is anywhere between £7 (for quick pedicure) and £30+ for a Shellac/Gelish treatment.

In order to establish a client base, charge a bit less as a sort of ‘opening special’ at first. Just do make sure that your overheads (travel, equipment, labour) are covered.

Don’t expect to make £1000’s in the first month after starting a threading business, but if you are dedicated and good at networking your client base will start to grow (and soon your bank account will follow).


Get some experience

Trainee manicurist

With something cosmetic like nail therapy, it’s important that you feel 100% at ease with all sorts of treatments for all sorts of hands. And that comes with practice.

A good way to gain some experience is to apply for a part-time nail technician at a beauty bar close to home.

During this time, you can focus on setting up your mobile manicurist business on the side, offering your services to friends and family members at a special price.

Once you feel comfortable enough, you can start transitioning away from your beauty bar job and to give more attention to your own budding business. Gaining a couple of additional beauty therapy skills – waxing, threading, hair styling and the like – could also give your business an extra boost.

If you become very popular you could find that you are starting to turn down work. At that point you could scale your business by bringing in other manicurists who do some of your jobs and pay you a commission for it. You could even set up your own training courses and then send your trainees out to work for you.


How much should I charge?

Woman with manicured nails holding cash

This mainly depends on your location

If you want to offer your treatments to high-end clients you can charge anything from £25-£30. When starting out, however, you should charge around £7 – £20 and increase your rates as your business picks up.

Being self-employed will allow you to charge more for your services as you will have flexible working hours, unlike salons which have limited opening times.

You could also offer your services in the evenings or at the weekend. This will appeal to those who can’t visit the salon during the week.

Consider doing special offers for Hen parties and birthday parties where you do manicures for a group of women in one place.


Spread the word

Painting nails red

If you want to get more clients (and obviously you do), marketing your business properly from the start is of the utmost importance.

You can try traditional methods, such as posting leaflets around your local area or sticking them up in shop windows, community centre libraries and supermarket notice boards.

However, this type of business model will benefit most from word of mouth. So, if your clients think you’re friendly, affordable and reliable your appointment book will start filling up.

You can maximise on your clients’ good opinion of you by having an active social media presence.

Start a Facebook page, where you can share before-and-after photos, advertise specials and build a community through client comments and reviews. Instagram could also be a great platform for nail technicians to show off their beautiful work through striking photographs.

The important thing is that you don’t get bogged down by having to constantly update your social media streams, so be sure to choose one or two platforms that work best for you and the clients you’re targeting and leave the rest.


Health and Safety

Nail technician buffing womans nails

Qualifications are just the starting point to becoming a mobile manicurist say Amanda and Suzanne Mason, solicitors at Aequitas Legal who specialises in claims to do with beauty negligence and beauty industry compliance. Below they have provided tips on health and safety for anyone who is considering becoming a mobile manicurist.

  • It’s important to have the correct insurance as accidents can still happen even with a competent and qualified beauty therapist.
  • Despite what people think, mobile beauty therapist insurance is usually fairly cheap to take out (less than £100 for basic annual cover) and this covers your clients, your products and your treatments. A small price to pay!
  • Sometimes things happen that are simply out of your control. Make sure that you’re protected properly.


Top 5 tips for starting a mobile beauty business

Man having a manicure

Running a mobile beauty business is a fantastic way to be your own boss.

It has the potential to be hugely fulfilling and will likely have lower overheads than a salon premises.

To ensure your business is as successful as possible, Sarah Condon, Marketing Manager at The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC)  has provided these top 5 tips:

1. Training is key: Do your research and pick the best possible training courses available to learn your skills. This will ensure that you not only have a great USP, but it will mean you are able to practice safely on your clients and give them the best possible level of care.

2. Make sure you are insured and do things properly: Insurance is essential for any business and mobile therapy is no exception. It will cover you and will help alleviate any financial burden, but remember to read the insurance terms and conditions carefully!

3. Pick your treatments and product lines carefully:  Invest in a good beauty trolley that is sturdy, yet lightweight enough to transport easily.

4. Keep things local: The benefit of being mobile is a large target market, but the downside is that you will have to travel. A lot. Excess mileage will not only push up petrol costs, but will also limit the time you have for treatments. Where possible, drop leaflets near your home, advertise in local publications and ask existing clients for referrals nearby.

5. Invest in a good online booking & payment system: A good online booking system might just be a lifesaver for your business! As a mobile therapist likely to be working alone, there will be times when you are with a client and can’t answer the phone. A good online booking system like Payleven will allow your clients to book themselves in, even when you can’t answer the phone, and will help reduce your admin too!


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Vancouver Manicure
Vancouver Manicure
5 years ago

Having training from professionals are needed to have a command in manicure as a perfect trainer can guide you well and makes your art expert besides these they also have art to modify in your art and makes your art perfect without disturbing anything.

5 years ago

Informative and useful article.

Kena Bladel
Kena Bladel
6 years ago

Thank you so much. This helped me. 🙂

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