On-Demand Beauty

Today's On-Demand Beauty Apps
by Elaine Truesdale

How are on-demand apps like BeautyLynk, Tressenoire, and Colour effecting the hair care industry? On-demand beauty apps are a fast growing part of the beauty industry. These apps allow customers to book appointments for professional services to be done when and where they choose at a set rate. Rates range from just below salon rates to well above. So how does that effect the professional hair stylist?

The Opportunity

On-demand apps are a way that professional hair stylists can earn additional income doing what they love.  Each company has different things that they do to make the opportunity more appealing for the professional. Some provide additional training, others give the pro's their own unique profile that let's customers book with them directly.  Other benefits may include product discounts or bigger job opportunities like weddings and parties.  It is up to the professional hair stylist to ask the right questions before signing up with one or more of these companies.  

The Responsibility

When asking your questions be sure that you have a good understanding of what your responsibilities will be.  You will likely be responsible for your own transportation, products, and tools.  If you are not already doing mobile services find out what needs to be in your kit.  Ask both the company and your colleagues.

Other things to consider include...

  • Does the company's insurance cover your appointments?  Even if it does you should also have your own professional liability insurance.
  • Who is responsible for vetting the customers and job locations to ensure your safety?
  • Are you required to take a minimum number of appointments or can you pick and choose as you feel?
  • Are you allowed to market salon services to your on-demand customers?

The answer to these questions vary from company to company.  Knowing what is required, you need to plan how you will best maximize your opportunity.  How many appointments do you want to take per week?  What is the minimum number and what is the maximum number needed to cover your costs without driving up your expenses?  Maybe you only want to take appointments in certain neighborhoods. Think about all of these things.

The Competition

Whether you are working with an on-demand company or not, their existence represents a certain level of competition.  As a contractor or employee you are competing with other professionals who work for the company.  Learn what it takes to be the first pro chosen for an appointment or the first pro to claim an appointment.  Make the necessary adjustments and add them to your plan.  If you can't make it work than don't be afraid to walk away.  Working with an on-demand company is something you should only do if it is beneficial for you.

As an independent stylist or salon you are directly competing with these companies.  You all are working to get the same customers.  This does not have to be a problem.  Many of the on-demand companies do not provide full services.  Most do not even shampoo the customer's hair.  Also, homes or hotels do not come with all of the comforts of your full salon or salon suite.  Learn how to adjust your marketing to be the customers place to go for full services and pampering including treatments and hair color.  Leave home care and styling for on-demand.

The Future

No one knows exactly what the future holds, but looking at companies like Glamsquad, Uber, and Lyft we can make some educated guesses. 

On-demand beauty companies like Glamsquad are already causing an uproar in the industry, especially for make-up artists.  Make-up artists are doing the math, facing the competition and saying it's not worth it.  Therefore, other on-demand beauty companies are going to have to look at market rates not only for salons, but for mobile stylists as well and make adjustments.  Without satisfied professionals working with them they will fail.

On-demand rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft initially were considered tech companies.  Now they are getting labeled as taxi services by several U.S. states and banned by other countries.  Because driver's can not set their own rates and essentially have to "clock-in" for work, rideshare companies are being viewed as taxi service companies instead of apps that simply allow drivers to connect with customers (taxi service companies that do not have to invest in cars or garages).  In areas were rideshare companies are treated like taxi services drivers face increased regulations and fees.  Similarly, on-demand beauty companies are not currently treated like salons or agencies but that will likely change as they become more popular and more profitable.  We may see on-demand beauty services begin to look more like on-demand staffing platforms like Upwork with a variety of rates set by each individual professional hair stylist.  Or, we might see the cost of on-demand services go up as they are asked to provide salon level amenities.

The Conclusion

With all that being said, the main point is this.  On-demand apps are a fast growing part of the beauty industry.  Be aware of them and take advantage of them if they are useful to you.  If not, keep you eye on the competition and adjust accordingly.

resources: http://www.glossible.com/beauty-business-blog/glamsquad-killing-freelance-industryhttps://www.qcmakeupacademy.com/2016/08/glamsquad-killing-makeup-artists-salary/https://therideshareguy.com/cities-with-extra-requirements-for-rideshare-drivers/https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/uber-countries-governments-taxi-drivers_us_55bfa3a9e4b0d4f33a037a4b

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