This week, Nail School News brings you part one of a two-part story from guest editor Royan Williams on how to start a successful nail business. Roy has been a licensed nail technology educator, nail school operator, and continuing education instructor for over 20 years. His experience as a school operator has helped him understand the needs of nail technicians, especially those of new students breaking into the nail industry.
Congratulations on your decision to attend nail school! It’s exciting to start a new career, and there is a lot of work ahead to be done. Let me be the first one to tell you: making good decisions about your career is sometimes harder than you anticipated. So I’ve put together some guidelines to help you hit the ground running once you graduate.
First, think about a mission statement. A mission statement is a key tool that can be as important as your business and marketing plan. It captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’ goals and the philosophies underlying them. Your mission statement conveys what your business is all about and reflects every facet of it — growth potential, use of technology and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the community.
“A mission statement helps clarify what business you are in and your objectives,” says Rhoda Adams, author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies.
Once you have established what your mission statement is and how important it will be to your business, you can focus on planning ahead. As a new student attending nail school, you already have a goal to either build your own salon or to build a clientele working in someone else’s salon. Create a business and marketing plan to help you build a clientele once you are out of nail school.
Start by calling friends and family now to let them know that you are attending nail school. Start a contact list and add them to it. Use social media to network, and build a good rapport with your instructors at school. Volunteer in the neighborhood where you plan to do business; get people to know who you are and what you do. Network at social clubs, health clubs, spa parties, etc.
Your car is another great marketing tool. Have a magnetic sign made and place it on the side and rear of you automobile to create a moving billboard. On days you are not working, you can remove it.
Business cards are essential to your marketing plan. Make it your goal to pass out at least 50 business cards daily. Leave cards at the different places you do business: your local grocer, the cleaners, etc. Passing out 50 business cards daily X 5 days equals 250 business cards weekly; your return rate on 250 business cards is usually about 10%, which equals 25 new customers weekly spending about $25 at an average per person. This X 25 equals $625. Add this to your existing customer base and you can easily create an even larger successful customer base, along with walk-ins and referrals, which are key to your business. Remember, good work will create word-of-mouth and referrals, which means $!
As you start to build your clientele, find a web designer to build you a simple website. This can be done very cost effectively and can create new customers for your business. Once your site is up and running, use other social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Facebook to drive traffic to your site. Learn about using hashtags and other social media tools. Be sure to add your site name and social media handles to your business cards. Do regular e-mail blasts to draw people to your sites. E-mail blasts are extremely effective, but you must create an e-mail data base which can start with your existing customers. Social media is a great way to keep your business in the forefront of your clents’ minds; the more they remember your business and what you do, the more they will support you.
Finally, don’t be afraid to tell people you are a licensed nail technician, and always keep your nails looking stunningly beautiful! You are always your best advertisement. Remember, the key is to gain new customers and keep the old ones happy. You are in business for yourself and you are the CEO. Only good planning and execution will help you build your clientele.
See You Soon!
Royan Williams (www.chicagonailschools.com)
For free help and advice e-mail: Royan.williams@ att.net
For more information on social networking and e-mail marketing, check out these past NAILS Magazine articles: