Business Management

I Have an Idea

This special Idea Issue of NAILS is chock full of new ideas and places to find inspiration. Use it to get your creative juices flowing.

Where do great ideas come from and how can you bring more of them into your business and your daily salon life? I propose a few suggestions to get you started. This special Idea Issue of NAILS is chock full of new ideas and places to find inspiration. Use it to get your creative juices flowing. A smart businessperson is constantly thinking of new ideas, so don’t wait until you’re in a rut or your business is suffering. Constant innovation is the key to staying ahead of the curve and making your salon unique.

Two minds are better than one. Some of the best ideas for NAILS come out of group brainstorming meetings or even one-on-one meetings with another staff member. It’s great to bounce ideas off each other and see how they take shape when people put their heads together.

Carry an idea book with you at all times. Too often I’ve found myself searching for a scrap of paper in my car or purse because I had a revelation at a random moment. And while ATM slips make great note paper, they’re easy to lose. Keep a small notebook close so when inspiration strikes, you can jot down your idea to revisit later. Not into writing things down? Invest in a handheld recording device so you can record your thoughts and play them back later. (This is much better for using in the car.)

Keep it fresh. It might be a reflex to dismiss someone who is new or doesn’t have as much experience as you do, but that lack of experience might also mean a fresh perspective. Someone who doesn’t know “that’s how we’ve always done it” might be able to offer new (and better) solutions. The next good idea can come from the person you least expect.

Get some fresh air. Getting out of your normal surroundings can expand your mind. Take the salon staff on a group excursion. Go to the beach or the park. Get out of the salon for your next team pow-wow and see if that helps get the ideas flowing.

Keep an open mind. Unless you’re open to new ideas, you might not recognize them when they’re right in front of you. Even if you’re not currently working on anything in particular, don’t close your mind to potential new ideas. Closed mindedness can stifle creativity.

Good ideas can come from anywhere. Don’t rely solely on our industry to come up with new ideas. Look at hotels, retail boutiques, grocery stores. Look at the music industry, the design industry, the health care industry. Get customer service ideas from restaurants, for example, nail art ideas from textiles, product display ideas from department stores.

Whether you’re looking to add a new service, change your decor, revamp your advertising and promotions strategy, or you’re just keeping track of ideas for the future, encourage everyone on your team to be actively involved in brainstorming and idea sharing. The more people involved, the greater the chance for that next great idea to pop up. — Hannah Lee

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