Feet

Everything the serious pedicurist needs to increase her pedicure business and improve her techniques.

 

Pedicures: Cultivate those clients now for year-round profits

A change of seasons, especially from winter to spring to summer, brings changes in lifestyles and attitudes.

A change of seasons, especially from winter to spring to summer, brings changes in lifestyles and attitudes. For example, fashion-conscious people are thinking:

Spring. Summer. A complete change of wardrobe. No more winter woollies, heavy socks and boots. Time to update last year’s lightweight clothes and purchase several pair of those bare, strappy, sling-back, open-toed shoes, remembering always that their feet are as much a fashion accessory as anything they may buy.

Then there are the earthy, back-to-nature types, the ones who are thinking:

May. June. Time to kick off the old shoes and stroll through grassy parks, burrow cold feet into warm sandy beaches, or prop a fishing pole between the toes while dangling a line into the water of a local creek, river or lake.

Different kinds of people with different priorities. They can be divided into two other groups: Those who are thinking about their feet for the first time in eight months and those who even now still haven’t given a single thought to the condition their feet are in.

And those who are saying, “Omigosh, what I’m gonna do about these feet?” will divide themselves into two more groups. Those who suffer through a summer of embarrassment over their own do-it-yourself foot care and those who will pick up the phone, call a salon and make an appointment for a professional pedicure.

Thank goodness for this group. Unless, of course, well. . . You know there are two kinds of nail specialists: Those who perform all services well and without complaint, and those who have this one little hangup. And maybe you have too many of them on your staff. They’re the ones who have an aversion to feet and object to doing pedicures—regardless of the condition of the client’s feet.

Four kinds of people. Clients who do; customers who don’t. Pedicurists who do; manicurists who don’t. It may not be easy to get them all together, so why bother?

Several reasons. Briefly, pedicures are a major trend; competition is tough; it’s profitable; and your clients deserve it.

FADDISH LUXURY OR PRACTICAL NECESSITY?

Just as the phenomenal growth of the nail care industry had been put down as a mere fad, and has now become a basic part of good grooming, so seems to be the case with pedicures—or as Geoff Geils of Flowery Beauty Products quipped: “We believe foot care will follow in its handprints. Pedicuring is a hot area right now and getting hotter.”

More and more salons are adding pedicures to their list of services, and with good reason. Linda Mandell of Swedish Clover, a pedicure line which was recently acquired by Flowery, noted that “Salon owners realize the same client who believes it is a good investment to always have ‘perfect 10’ fingernails is the same client who knows it is important to always have soft, smooth feet with professionally shaped and polished toenails. These clients know this can be achieved by simply making monthly pedicure appointments. Pedicures then become an essential part of a clients health and beauty regimen, just like manicures.”   

For some clients, pedicures may be considered a necessity if they cannot tend to their own feet (for whatever physical reason), while others will think of pedicures as routine maintenance, points out Ursula Thompkins of Amber Products. “And some will have a pedicure for the sheer pleasure of having someone massage and minister to their aching, overworked and often neglected underpinnings,” she says, emphasizing that “Pedicures, whether viewed as a luxury or a necessity, are a pleasant experience for the client and a profitable service for the salon.”

SUMMER FLING OR YEAR-ROUND ROMANCE

Most people associate pedicures with summertime and sandals, and they tend to wait until May or June before thinking about foot care, notes Christine Mandish at IBD. “The fact is, esthetics are only one of the many benefits of pedicures. Another year-round benefit often overlooked is the therapeutic value of pedicures. After a long day spent standing on hard floors in dark, cramped shoes, a pedicure is just the medicine needed to ease away the pressures of the day.”

Also overlooked is the fact that many people have active lifestyles that many people have active lifestyles that expose their feet all year long. Many belong to health clubs, swim all winter, and travel for business or pleasure to warmer climates. More and more of these people are potential clients who can be convinced to have their feet maintained all year long.

IT’S A CALLOUS COMPETITIVE BUSINESS WORLD

Don’t limit your thinking only to convincing women to have year round pedicures, advises Thompkins. “Consider gearing it up to men. It’s not considered to be as wimpy as it used to be, and this client base ought to be pursued,” she contends. “Nail specialists have to broaden their base of services and clients because competition is so intense. These days, being top-notch in nails alone is not enough.”  

In agreement is Rudy Lenzkes, Jr., of Beautiful Feet, one of the new pedicure lines on the market. “It’s getting so competitive that nail technicians have to do everything—including pedicures.”

To get an idea of the attitudes and awareness of pedicuring, Lenzkes’ company sponsored an informal market survey for two days in January at the Long Beach Hairdressers Guild Convention. Manicurists have a number of reasons for declining the opportunity to do pedicures as part of their business, such as:

Just opening, not 

             ready yet ..............................................3

No time..............................................................4

Not enough space..............................................2

Do not understand

                procedure.............................................5

Not aware of opportunity

                for profit...............................................3

Unwilling to consider it.....................................4

Hate feet...........................................................3

Health fears.......................................................2

Paranoid............................................................1

Smells bad.........................................................1

Not glamorous..................................................2

Pass off clients..................................................2

Avoid foot assignments....................................4

No reason.........................................................5

Three respondents said they tried offering the service and dropped it, while two others provide the service but find there’s no demand for it. Those surveyed who currently do pedicures gave the following reasons for providing the service to clients:

It’s part of the job

       Of manicuring.....................................7

Got into it through

       reflexology..........................................1

Students learning it...................................8

It’s a challenge...........................................1

Moneymaking opportunity........................3

Have a foot fetish.......................................1

Those who offer pedicures charge prices ranging from low of $15 to a high of $35. The most common price charged is $25, although the overall averaged worked out to approximately $22.23. During the survey, most technicians indicated that once they became aware of how much money they could make on pedicures, they would more willingly consider doing pedicures.

In fact, Judy Tearney at European Touch discovered, “Many nail specialists prefer to do pedicures because it means more money—two to three times more money than manicures.”

No argument here from the other experts. Geils at Flowery contends that “A thorough pedicure can command more money than a good set of nails in the same amount of time. They provide a service that has not yet been exploited.” His advice to salon owners evaluating the possibility of getting into pedicuring: “Initial investment should depend on current and potential demand. The decision must be made with a sense of commitment so that the overall presentation appears professional and is sanitary.

“Cost for a decent area ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars,” he continued. “Yet a technician outlay for products to get started only costs between $50 to $100. Personally, I don’t care how much they spend as long as it’s neat and clean and the clients enjoy the total concept.”

TERRIFIED TECHS CAN TAKE IT BUT CAN’T GIVE IT OUT

Quite frankly, chances are the clients won’t enjoy getting pedicures if the service provider doesn’t demonstrate a degree of pleasure in giving them. “Those salons which offer the service can expect repeat business when the pedicure is performed by a competent nail specialist who likes to do pedicures,” says Thompkins. “Not all nail specialists do, which is a pity, because given the same skills and facilities, the service can be easily marketed to an estimated 30 percent of existing manicure clients.”

This can represent some good revenue to the salon and manicurist, but only if aversions to feet can be overcome. The Beautiful Feet survey concluded: “It will not be easy. There is a lot of work to be done in just changing the attitudes of paranoid technicians.”

During the survey, it was evident that “Impressions of what a potential pedicure client would look like ranged from ‘old women’ to ‘guys with bad feet problems’ and practically everybody had a worst-case scenario in mind when questioned about pedicures.”

Those who have been in the pedicure business a long time can confirm that these misconceptions are prevalent among technicians. “This often originates when the nail technician was in school and was forced to perform pedicures on clients who had foot disorders that should have prevented them from receiving a salon pedicure,” admits Linda Mandell.

In addition, those who are most likely to avail themselves of free or low-cost beauty school pedicures are people who have never had a pedicure, haven’t had one in a long time, or can’t do it themselves. These people are likely to have a build-up of callus and thick toenails, which tend to leave a lasting impression on student manicurists. But as Mandell points out. “Usually, clients who are willing to spend $20 or more on a salon pedicure practice good grooming habits and have clean, touchable feet.”

And Ursula Thompkins reminds manicurists that when they really think about it, “Feet are cleaner than hands. Feet don’t go places that hands go,” she says candidly. “When performing pedicures, use a wash that is a medical quality scrub. Feet should always be soaked and cleaned well first. When manicurists can get past that, they will often prefer pedicures simply because of the money that can be made.”

The aforementioned survey stressed that the pedicure potential depends on the number of people who can be convinced of its “glamour” image, but questioned: “If manicurists have this sort of hangup and downright disdaintful attitude toward pedicures, how can the public be expected to embrace the practice?” The challenge, then, becomes one of educating timid technician, sceptical salon owners and cautious clients as to the benefits of soothing, healthful pedicures.

For the technician, the basic problem is confidence, according to Geils. “The major factor in the lack of confidence has been the need for a comprehensive and complete education program. Since there is hardly any licensing legislation around pedicuring, the quality and quantity of education has been left entirely up to the schools.”

All too often, that education has been minimal, and until recently, there hasn’t been much in the way of manufacturer involvement, either. This is changing rapidly, with the introduction of kits that feature coordinated pedicure products; emphasis on antiseptic foot washes and surface sprays; and seminars with in-depth background information, techniques and procedures.

“The technicians with enough foresight who take the seminars, ask the questions and do some homework to learn as much as they can, stand to do extremely well using the knowledge and understanding they’ve gained to build their confidence,” states Geils. “That will be worth more to their business and themselves.”

PROMOTING PEDICURES

Once technicians have educated themselves, they must then learn to sell the advantages of pedicures to both existing clients and potential ones.

One way to do this is to start by educating the entire salon staff about pedicures. “Give each employee, especially the receptionist, a pedicure so they will be able to pass on to their clients exactly what your pedicures are like,” is the recommendation from Mandell.

She is also emphasized that “Your confidence and enthusiasm will enable you to educate clients about the benefits of getting professional pedicures. You can be sure all clients are aware of this service in many ways. Place signs in the salon and salon window indicating pedicures are available, and include this service in your advertising and salon promotions. Promote a salon special that includes pedicures.” 

Amber’s Ursula Thompkins suggested that on occasion, a complimentary pedicure for salespersons, surgeons, or stylists should result in a high rebooking ratio. “Many people who stand on their feet to earn their living enjoy the experience of a professional pedicure way beyond any other salon service.”

RETAILING MAKES THE NEXT TIME EASIER

Geils observed that as the popularity of pedicures increases, so do the opportunities. “Retailing products, for instance, creates another profit center. Pedicure will become part of the overall beauty regimen with take-home maintenance products on your shelves.”    

Sunny Stinchcombe of Gena Laboratories estimates that retailing pedicure products can increase income by 30 to 50 percent, and also makes the next pedicure appointment with that client much easier by maintaining the soft condition of the feet between monthly salon visits. 

The benefits of pedicures and retailing pedicure products are shared equally by client and pedicurist. And, as noted in conclusion by IBD: “Pedicures are more than just a way to make feet look pretty. They are the ultimate way to take the edge off the day. A pedicure is a non-caloric, inexpensive treat that can keep a smile on your client’s face long after the last coat of polish is applied.”

Facebook Comments ()

Leave a Comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:
Submit

Comments (0)

Encyclopedia

Lumos is a fast dry top and bottom coat used with traditional polish, which delivers a 10-12 minute dry time, Lumos goes on smoothly and has a...
Learn More

Featured Products & Promotions   |   Advertisement

Market Research

Market Research How big is the U.S. nail business? $7.3 billion. What's the average service price for a manicure? Dig into our decades' deep research archives.

Industry Statistics for

View All

VietSALON

FREE Subscription

VietSalon is a Vietnamese-language magazine and the sister publication to NAILS. Click the link below to sign up for a FREE one-year subscription.

Subscribe to NAILS & SAVE!

Get a free preview issue and a Free Gift
Subscribe Today!

Please sign in or register to .    Close
Loading...
 
Subscribe Today
Subscribe Today