Doing Spa Services inside your home... please offer knowledge

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to start my own business outside of my full-time job. I have a business plan for a high end mobile spa. I have received great reviews from other business women here in my city. Unfortunately i do not have capitol to build the business right now. I have a nice spa area in my apartment. And i'm surrounded by lots of apartment complexes. I was thinking about getting the word out in my neighborhood, it's a really nice neighborhood very family oriented.

I do not want to do this for long, i just want to build capitol for a better business.

Please give me feedback on what you think? I'm in DFW, Texas.

Thank you!

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Hi Nandy,

Good for you for being proactive in getting yourself established. I don't want to rain on your parade or discourage you, but I would not do it unless totally legal. Meaning permits and permission from all of the right places. You risk your professional license and your living space if you are not in compliance. Getting started is an expensive, time consuming investment. Maybe take that business plan to some established salons and explain what your trying to do and how they might benefit from having you on location. Or at least on call. Still (if its okay with property management) hang your advertisements in common areas, leave a stack of business cards in the laundry area, chat up the parents hanging outside with their kids. Good luck with everything.

Thank you for your feedback, i thought so. I really do not want to get a loan, and i also don't want to go work for someone, especially if it's only temporary. If i can't do it from my home, a mobile spa should be okay right?

If by mobile you mean freelancing your services like an independent contractor I guess it would depend on what services you plan to offer. Its a real bonus for a client to have you come to them and you can potentially charge good money for door to door service, but not everyones home will be convenient for you. Lugging your treatment table and supplies gets physically taxing and time consuming. That doesn't even include products to retail. I don't know what your estimates for starting up this way are but it probably comes out to just as much if not more than booth renting. On the upside marketing your services in much the same way people do Mary Kay parties might work, or even as an event specialist. Are there hotels or hospitals, or senior citizen homes nearby that might be looking for someone on call to help their patients? There are so many avenues to go down but getting started is so hard. If you plan to have a literal mobile spa like on wheels I know here in Florida there are all types of rules for that. Im not sure about Texas. 

Check with you state cosmetology board.  Most states prohibit nail care from being done outside of a licensed facility and many prohibit skin care services on the go as well.

Plenty of folks do it -- and even advertise it -- and there is little enforcement.

I know someone who is doing the mobile spa thing right now. She's based in Atlanta and catering to those who dont want to fight traffic or have child care issues etc. It seems to be working for her. She's offering a limited list of services, primarily different facial packages. I'm not knowledgeable about the laws regarding this, though.

from researching so far, i have noticed mobile spa to be more common, there are very many, it seems to be a new concept. I will need a salon license. it absolutely possible! yeah i will need a tax id number and other stuff. ughh, that makes me feel so much better. the cosmetology board is very difficult to work with but it's good to know it's legal.

It appears your friend is not knowledgeable about the laws either  because the state of GA prohibits any cosmetology services being performed OUTSIDE of a licensed establishment except in the instances of bed rest.

http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/16/faq

§ 43-10-18.3. Serving physically disabled persons in their homes 

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, cosmetology services may be 
performed by a licensed cosmetologist in a client's residence, a nursing home, or a 
hospital when the client for reasons of ill health, infirmity, or other physical disability is 
unable to go to the licensed beauty shop or salon for regular cosmetology services. 

(b) The board is authorized to adopt reasonable rules and regulations prescribing 
requirements and conditions for the performance of the services authorized in subsection 
(a) of this Code section. 

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 43-10-18.3, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 1089, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 814, § 1

Check with your apartment manager and see if maybe you can use an area in the community room. Some complexes have rooms available for the tenants to use if you ask and explain what your trying to accomplish. Offer them services to open the door.  I currently have a full time job and trying to establish a business on the side as well. It is very expensive and time consuming. I just purchased a home with a full apartment in the back. Im going to start allowing customers in my home until I can get the apartment fixed up.

 

Good luck in your endeavors

Hello Nandy,

Great idea. I built my spa in my basement. You get to write off the area used for your business. You go girl!

Once you have capital, you can make other choices. Good luck!

 I built my spa in my basement. You get to write off the area used for your business

Home office/workspace deductions are a huge red flag for the IRS and are not as straightforward as they sound. Since your home is considered a 30 year asset, the value of the workspace is calculated as 1/30th of the % of the square footage of your home * the value of your home.

But since part of your home is now used to derive income, you cannot deduct that % of your mortgage interest (which is substantial in the early years of a mortgage) and when you sell your home you have to recalculate the depreciation and amortization.

Consult with a tax professional. 

Nandy:

I think it's great that you are being proactive. I have an at home business before and it is just like any other business--tough, but worth it if you put in the effort. There are obviously less costs this way and can help build a clientele to bring with you when you are ready for a brick and mortar.

Also, as to your mobile idea--I have a friend in NYC that has a mobile service and she does great. Again, it all takes elbow grease-- but if it was easy everyone would do it. Best of luck!

JS

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