To succeed in business, you typically need to find an area in need and create a business that fulfills this gap. When you find the perfect solution and develop a strong business plan, the last thing you want to do is face opposition in your state’s laws. One business unfortunately found itself in that situation: Glamour on the Geaux, a mobile salon in Louisiana. The proprietor saw a need and created a business to meet it, only to find out it was against the law.
The Growth of an Idea
Jennifer Menard from Bossier City, LA, had an idea for her salon. She enjoyed working with the elderly and disabled, which led her to see first hand their limited mobility. Due to their disability, they found it hard to visit a salon for hair care services. It dawned on Menard that a mobile hair salon could be a great way to offer services to this population where they already were. She even included a wheelchair lift to make it easier for this population to visit her salon.
The State Resists
Her salon was visited by the State Board of Cosmetology, which stated that they do not license mobile salons. Menard had found no direct rules against it when she was developing her business. Even though she already had a license for a salon, she was unable to get her mobile salon approved. The state has no explicit law against a mobile salon; however, the inspector stated that the law defines a salon as a business on a premise, which is typically a room, shop, or building that is in a definite area, according to KSLA.
Sheri Morris, the lawyer for the LA Board of Cosmetology, later detailed some of the other reasons why Menard’s mobile salon was not approved for a license. Services must be performed at a licensed facility, unless it is in the residence of a chronically ill or disabled client, in a hospital, at a funeral home, in a temporary site (such as for TV, theater, or photo shoots), and at a cosmetic retail store. The salon must be in a premise, and it must have certain physical, sanitary, and administrative facilities. According to Morris, Menard did not have restroom facilities, she performed duties in places that violated local zoning laws, and she did not have permission to park her bus in certain areas. Until the law in LA changes, Mernard will have to put her mobile salon dreams on hold.
Mobile Salons in Other Places
Menard may have faced problems with her business idea in Louisiana, but other states do allow mobile salons. There are two basic types of mobile salons, according to the Houston Chronicle. One is where a practitioner takes the basic supplies with him or her from place to place, typically practicing in the clients’ homes. The other kind is the type that Menard tried to create: using a mobile home with a water supply and electricity hook up for a full service mobile salon. States that do allow for this type of mobile salons do require that the vehicle has a bathroom.
If you want to create a mobile salon, then you should check with your state’s license board about the regulations for a salon before you create your business. You may also need to research local zoning laws and restrictions. For further help, you could consult a local small business lawyer. Taking the time to know the law could save you a lot of time, energy, and heartache.
You also want to be sure you maintain your cosmetology license, including getting your necessary continuing education requirements. Check out Beauty Academy’s online courses that meet the requirements of many states.