Anastasiia Rozdobutko, Owner of Banana Nails and Educator for The GelBottle Inc, shares tips for knowing how to price your nail services.
Pricing is a delicate subject. You want to price high enough to value your time and expertise, yet you don’t want to price yourself out of attracting more clientele. So, how do you know if your prices are fair for the services you are providing and the area you are providing them in? We went to nail salon owner and The GelBottle Inc educator Anastasiia Rozdobutko to weigh in.
Nailpro (NP): Where do you start in assessing the cost of your services?
Anastasiia Rozdobutko (AR): Many nail technicians set up their prices for services according to the area or other nail technicians, which is a big mistake. We don’t know how much money other nail techs need to live or how much they spend on their supplies.
I always start with calculating my expenses. I add up all my personal expenses and all my business expenses. It will require some time to get all the bank statements and to analyze and categorize all expenses. Once you do it 2-3 times, it will get so much easier later on.
NP: How do you determine the cost of supplies for your service?
AR: For anyone who has been doing nails for over six months, it is very easy to determine the cost of supplies. You will need to go back to your bank statements and highlight the expenses that were for nail supplies. Once you see how much money you spend each month for nail supplies, you will get an idea of how much money and supplies are needed on average.
If your income is low and you’re trying to save, having these calculations will help find the leaks. Maybe you will need to make some changes to your monthly supply shopping.
For someone who is thinking of starting, I would recommend writing down the list of everything needed. If you don’t know, you can ask me or your mentor. Either go to a local nail supply store or look online at the prices to calculate how much money you will need. Nowadays, there are so many mentors for beginners, and I would definitely recommend for a beginner to invest a little bit of money and time into getting in contact with fellow nail techs. They have already been in the business for some time and know average expenses, so they can give an estimate for a beginner.
NP: How do you determine your value for the time of the service?
AR: When you know how much money you need to live (your personal expenses) and you know how much money your business needs to run smoothly, you can calculate how much one hour of your time costs.
My formula is simple to use.
All you need to do is to calculate how much money you need for your personal life, plus how much money you spend on your business, plus how much money you want to save, and divide it by the time of your work.
NP: Google search shows a very big difference in percentage when it comes to profit margin.
On average, nail salons make about 10%. A good number is 20%. If anyone is getting over 20%, their business is growing amazingly.
There are many ways to increase profit margin, so don’t give up if your number is not making you happy right now.
NP: Should you account for experience in the industry in your value?
AR: Definitely, the more experience you have, the more you should charge. But, 10 years of experience does not always equal a great job. I recommend taking continuing education classes, to keep up with the latest trends, and turning those years of experience into an asset.
NP: How often should you increase your prices and by how much?
AR: Price for services should be increased every year, simply because of inflation. You can just search “United States inflation rate 2023,” and you will know how much you need to increase your prices next year to avoid losing money.
NP: What do you do if your price is too high?
AR: There is no such thing as pricing that is too high. The sky is the limit. Nail technicians can charge as much as they want for the services they provide. Another question is if your books are not full, is your price too high? Maybe you need to increase your perceived value to match the pricing. I would not want anyone to lower their prices; it is not the most pleasant thing to do.
NP: How do you price your art and other enhancements to your manicure?
AR: As you can see, I mostly set prices according to the time it takes. For example, if one hour of my time costs $72, I will charge $18 for simple nail art that takes 15 minutes.
About the Author:
Anastasiia Rozdobutko (@nail_classes_chicago) is the owner of Banana Nails in Chicago and an educator for The GelBottle Inc. She is a proud Ukranian licensed nail technician, and she opened her own nail school, Banana Nail School, in Chicago.
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