From attracting new clients to boosting your profits, there are plenty of reasons to start offering beauty services beyond the mani/pedi menu. Find out how nail salons are branching out with other offerings and why you may want to as well.
We get it. When you’ve mastered a fine art, like nail services, it’s natural to focus all of your efforts on making those offerings as impactful as possible. However, as the beauty market continues to become more saturated and competitive, maintaining a narrow niche can hold a salon back, preventing it from reaching its full potential and reaping maximum revenue. That’s why a lot of nail salons have started to offer other types of beauty services.
Whether it’s facials, massages, brow shaping or blowouts, these extra offerings are adding value to the typical nail salon experience and getting clients talking. “Not only does the client leave feeling better than ever, but the chances of that individual sharing her feedback with others becomes much greater,” says Buddy sims, manager at Bella Dea Day Spa in Omaha, Nebraska. When you sell more services and attract more clients, it doesn’t take long for your sales to surge.
Offering even one or two new add on services can have a dramatic effect on your salon’s overall image as well, says Samira Far, founder and president of Bellacures, a nail salon with several locations in Southern California and Texas, where the service menu features a wide range of nail, hand and foot treatments as well as a full waxing menu and massage options. “Additional treatments allow for more of a one-stop-shop experience,” she explains, noting that the convenience of being able to get everything in one place, as opposed to visiting multiple establishments, can turn your salon into a truly desirable destination. Of course, there’s a lot to consider when expanding your menu offerings. Here, we asked nail businesses who have successfully branched out how they did it, so you can, too.
Consider the Possibilities
When thinking about what treatments to add to your menu, the options can be overwhelming. Do you want to sell your clients on facials, waxing, massage, spray tanning, hairstyling or lashes? The decision should primarily be dictated by the wants and needs of your clients, notes far. When Bellacures first opened in 2006, she explains, the salon was a nails-only operation. That changed quickly once the team noticed a substantial number of clients requesting massage and waxing treatments. Nail tech rosa Vargas, who works at Chroma Salon and Spa in West Palm Beach, Florida, also considered what clients wanted when she began offering trendy facial treatments, like waxing, micro- dermabrasion and European facial massages. “When the salon opened in 2014, I only offered nail services even though i was a licensed esthetician,” Vargas says. “I added skin care a year later, due to high client demand.”
Although Bella Dea, which opened in 2004, is best known for its stellar and innovative nail treatments, Sims says they offer a full-service menu that includes hair care, massage therapy, a full list of facials, waxing treatments and body wraps. For nail clients, notes sims, the key is to have plenty of fast and easy options that don’t add a lot of extra time to the service they’ve already booked. “While my client’s Shellac is soaking, I’ll offer a collagen hand mask and a stylist will tint brows or offer a quick brow, lip or chin wax,” explains Sims. “In turn, a nail service could be offered with a color process hair treatment.” Vargas seconds the need to keep things quick and convenient, stating, “Some clients just don’t have the scheduling flexibility.”
A lot of in-demand services may seem worth offering, but it’s vital to pinpoint one or two that you want to explore. Then, you’ll need to think about what’s involved in getting those offerings up and running. for starters, do you have enough space in your salon to perform certain treatments? Services such as body waxing, massage and eyelash extensions will likely require a private area, and possibly a bed or reclining chair. “We have one treatment room for waxing that includes a bed and supplies,” says Far. “shoulder massages are done in the mani/ pedi chairs.” Meanwhile, Sims says Bella Dea’s layout strategy is a part of its success. “The salon floor is divided in half by six hair stations and six nail stations,” he explains. “Toward the back of the salon floor, two pedicure thrones mirror two wash basins. The salon floor is open, while the spa area is more intimate and private. The entrance to the spa wing takes you down a softly-lit hallway with two rooms for esthetics and two rooms for massage.”
Depending upon the type of service and the region, nail techs may need to take classes and/ or acquire special licenses or certifications as well. Obviously, if you already have staffers with the requisite credentials—as Sims does—you’ll be a step ahead of the game. “The estheticians at my salon are dual-licensed in nails and esthetics,” he explains. If you have employees who don’t yet hold the necessary licenses, you might want to consider investing in courses and programs for them, should your budget allow, instead of hiring additional employees. one of the best things about taking classes is that most also offer instruction on marketing the services. In the end, the skills that your staff learns could result in a substantial return on your investment.
Another major consideration is the potential need for additional insurance coverage. “Each service can have its own separate insurance requirements, but most should be covered under a basic practitioner’s policy,” notes Sims. “Here in Nebraska, a new law requires a separate insurance policy for eyebrow and lash tinting. Beyond that, most of our services are covered under the same policy, no matter what the scope of practice—but every state is different.” Bottom line: Before you jump into any menu expansion, consult with an insurance professional to see what type of coverage might be needed for any services you’re thinking about offering, as well the potential risks involved.
Once you’ve decided on a service or two, a period of trial and error will be the key to making sure they’re a good
fit for your establishment and clientele. “I recommend buying samples or smaller quantities of supplies and educating yourself on the product, service and median income expected,” says Sims. “Try it on yourself and at least one other person before taking it to the salon floor.” From there, you might start offering the service to clients at a special introductory price. after using up your initial product, you should have a clear sense of whether the service is going to succeed in your salon—and client response will help you determine if it’s going to be worth your time and investment to continue doing so, notes Sims.
Add It Up
For all of the potential pluses that come with expanding your service menu, you’re ultimately running a business, and these new offerings need to make sound financial sense. The good news is that, for many, the proof is in the profits. Vargas says tacking on facial treatments has been a definite boon for her business. “The additional services have increased my profits by 50 percent,” she reveals. “They’ve been instrumental in growing a loyal client base and future referrals.”
Sims advises that when new offerings complement your business well and are executed properly, they should work seamlessly into your regular service routine. “For instance, I recently had a client who i passed along to a cosmetologist who had a few extra moments to spare for brow shaping and a bang trim,” he explains. “Because we were prepared and educated, the client was willing to spend $50 more than she had intended and walked out of the salon at the same time she had originally planned on leaving. over time, as we’ve upheld these kinds of standards and practices, the traffic has become constant and the profits bountiful.”
How are you boosting your services beyond the mani/pedi? Let us know in the comments below!
-Angela Melero is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.
[Images: Courtesy of Getty Images: mykeyruna/istock; licsiren/istock; Gilaxia/e+; pyotr-istock]
This article was first published in the May 2017 issue of NAILPRO