Starting a successful mobile nail business takes a lot of planning in advance.

If you are here, your current normal working environment for a nail technician probably is not suitable for you anymore and you are looking for an alternative.

A mobile nail business is a small business which is owned by a licensed and experienced manicurist without a fixed business address and performs nail services at customer’s locations. This manicurist usually works alone and starts all responsibilities of a small business owner like marketing, legal documents, accounting and customer relations.

Thinking about starting a mobile nail business? you should first find out what is the basic requirements for owning and managing a mobile nail business so you can better manage it from the start and it will become a successful one.

Who owns mobile nail businesses

When talking about a mobile nail business, most people think of them as a struggling one-person nail service operation but it is not true. Mobile nail businesses are owned and operated by nail technicians who can also perform different nail services to a whole spectrum of customers.

From the top, they can be manicurists who cater their services to celebrities in the movie, fashion industries or rich people who find it more beneficial to have their nail services done at their location at the time that they are available and down to the ones who travel around their neighborhood and provide the services to local customers.

Another kind of mobile nail business is a mobile nail service on wheels. For this kind of mobile nail business model, a full-sized van is converted into a nail station on wheels. Customers can enter this converted van and get their services inside.

Where does a mobile nail technician do his or her business

Most of the time, a mobile nail technician will have to travel to the customer’s location to perform nail services. For so-called high-end nail technicians, they might have to travel by air to another city or state where their customers live or work.

For many other nail technicians, they can just simply drive to their customer locations in the surrounding areas.

Cruise ships are locations where mobile nail technicians can work on. They have to be able to be at sea on the ship for the whole trips and for the entire time of contract they sign up for. This option might appeal to people who want to see the world and making some money in doing it.

What services a mobile nail business provide

This is when mobile nail business or technicians will differ. They can either provide basic manicure and pedicure services to older customer groups or they can be as good as they can be in all aspects of nail services to be able to fulfill and keep up with their high-end, high profile clientele’s demands with ever-changing nail fashions.

What do you need to start a mobile nail business

To be able to start a mobile nail business, a person first has to be a very good nail technician since she will also be the primary mobile nail technician.

She either has to master either specialized services that she wants to provide to a targeted group of customers or all aspects of nail services so she will be able to provide great nail services to high-end customers who want nothing but the best.

Either case, you have to be a very good nail technician before you can take your mobile nail business on the road.

Anything short of that, you will not be able to build up a large clientele base to support your mobile business because this clientele base will grow in large part by word of mouth. Without this large clientele base, you will not be able to make enough money to maintain your mobile nail business operation.

If you consider yourself as a good nail technician already, it is a good idea to follow an established mobile nail technician as an apprentice. You will learn valuable skills in providing mobile nail services from these people. Many of them will welcome additional help and they can have a chance to interact with another mobile nail business owner since most if not all are working solo.

They are happy to have another friendly mobile nail technician in their net-working list because sometimes, they can not get to one of their appointment and if someone who can fill in for them and it is a win-win deal.

You might find yourself a good friend who has the same interests as yours too.

Great mobile nail business means great mobile nail technicians

To create a successful mobile nail business, a nail technician has to have all the following qualities.


Before hitting the road, a mobile nail technician has to be able to perform all the nail services she wants to provide efficiently with the best possible results. This means that she has to have at least one year of experience doing nails full time.

Doing nails at customer locations means that she will not have anybody to ask for advice or suggestions. All the necessary tools and equipment have to be ready and available and she must know how to handle them with ease.

In short, stumbling, looking for missing tools or looks confused will not project a good professional image of yourself in front of your customers.

Going mobile, you have nobody but yourself, your experience and your tools to rely on.

Mobile nail technicians are good listeners

Do listen to your customer’s needs and wants. The best service you will be able to give any customer is just those. Make it your mission that your final result is your customer’s smiling, happy face and your expertise in nails is the vehicle that brings you that outcome.

Do not impose your experience and ways of doing nails on to your customers unless it might get in the way of their well-being or safety.

Be able to adapt

Going mobile is fun at the same time unpredictable both in working environments and customers. Each house you visit will be different from the next so setting up your work area will have to be able to change with it.

Similarly, visit customers at their home some time means that they are immobile or not able to sit down in front of you to receive your services.
You must be quick on your feet in trying to create the best work area for your manicure or pedicure service and as fast as possibles so you can provide your service in the most efficient way.

Be open for change

Regular nail technicians who work in normal salon settings will have co-workers and managers to interact and cross-learning so they can be up to date with the latest news and trends.

On the other hand, a lone mobile nail technician must be able to be self-educated because there is no one around so they can receive fresh nail trends promptly.

So a mobile nail technician must be ready for any change in the nail industry to be able to take advantage of new products or new procedures that can improve their overall working conditions.

Mobile nail technicians are business owners

Each mobile nail technician is his or her own boss. This means that you have to learn or know how to balance your business checkbooks and responsible for all of the business accounting and create sales.

  • As a small business owner, you have to know how much you make and your total expenses monthly. You must have a general knowledge of how accounting works so you can gather and store your monthly income and expenses in a systematic way so you can save a lot of time doing the whole 12 months at tax time.
  • One vital responsibility of a mobile nail business owner is how to increase sales which is the same in any other business, he or she must know how the most effective and least costly way to attract and build up the nail clientele.

There are many different ways to market the mobile nail services and they all depend on who and where you want to target. However, having a general knowledge of all different ways of marketing will be very beneficial because you will able to choose and utilize them for your advertising campaigns will be a successful one.

Personal safety is important for mobile nail business

One last skill or practice a mobile nail technician must have is being able to have a good safety measure in place.

Moving from one customer to the next on the road creates additional safety issues. A busy mobile nail technician will spend a good part of her time driving from one appointment to the next so being a safe driver will be a plus.

The safety issues for being longer on the road during severe weather conditions or his or her well-being inside a totally strange home are factors should be added to a safety checklist.

Therefore, it is a good practice to always have someone know where you are at all times. Some day, these safety activities seem redundant or repetitive but it is the only way for someone to know where you are if you are in any bad, unforeseen situation.

If you finish reading this entire article, you will want to know more about this, come back to continue reading the next article in this series: Mobile Nail Technician Part 2: Preparation which is coming soon.

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