Your Business Questions Answered by David Anthony
Q: I’m a newly licensed nail tech and I’m insecure about my work. What advice do you have for building confidence? —@painted_zebra, via Instagram
A: I would suggest working in a salon and doing only manicures and pedicures for at least one month, and working under an experienced tech who is willing to train and guide you. In addition to working in the salon, you should practice applying acrylic or gel on yourself or a friend every day. The only way you are going to get better is through repetition and practice!
Q: I am the only nail tech in a small town beauty salon and I am always booked out three weeks or more. I love my job, but I hate not getting a break. Help! —@nikki74_nails, via Instagram
A: It sounds like you should give yourself a pay raise! While I don’t know what you’re charging, I bet it’s not enough. Remember: Time is the most valuable commodity you have. In your case, you have already proven yourself as a nail technician by being booked three weeks out. I’m proud of you—and now is the time for you to raise your prices and take on fewer clients each week. I recommend you give yourself Sunday and/or Monday off (or whatever your slow day(s) happen to be). You will eventually burn out if you work six to seven days per week, 365 days a year, if you haven’t already. Next, let’s say you raise your service prices between $5 to $10 per set. You may lose customers over the price increase—and that is OK. Those are the clients who do not value your time in the first place. By increasing your fees, you will service fewer customers, but make more money. When all is said and done, you will have a day (or two!) of rest and, ultimately, this will make you more effective when you are working.
Q: How can I set myself apart from other nail techs and/or salons in my area without getting into a price war? —Carly Green, via Facebook
A: Even in an oversaturated market, there are still ways to create a niche for yourself. For example, Starbucks is often across the street from Dunkin’ Donuts. They are both essentially selling the same product, but in two totally different environments: Dunkin’ Donuts offers quick and fast service, whereas Starbucks relies on customer service in a social and relaxed environment.
As a nail tech, assess your salon environment and look at it from your customer’s point of view. Ask yourself these questions: Is it clean? Is it inviting? Is it someplace that you would want to go to and recommend to your friends? Then, focus 100 percent on customer service. As a tech, the service you provide is one of the most intimate: You are holding someone’s hand for over an hour and are face-to-face on a personal level. In that time, it’s your job to provide clients with the best experience possible. Offer them coffee, water or even mimosas to elevate the experience, and educate yourself (and your clients!) on the newest products in the industry to set yourself apart from everyone else.
Do you need business advice from David? Leave your toughest questions in the comments below!
[Image: Courtesy of David Anthony]
This article was first published in the February 2017 issue of NAILPRO