So I officially opened for business on July 6, and I must say that it's going well. I have some of the greatest gals coming in for services and can't imagine a job that would be more fun than this! So far I am keeping it pretty low-key, not doing any advertising except word of mouth and a bit on Craigslist — which works pretty well.
I spent a lot of time working on my policies prior to opening. I think one of my biggest concerns in this business is getting to the place of having a reliable schedule, leading to a reliable income. With that in mind, I decided to offer a slight discount to clients who book standing appointments. In my first four weeks of business, 62% of my clients have taken me up on that and 62% of those have standing appointments for two services!
This was an idea I asked many people about and for the most part people felt like I shouldn't discount my services, but at this point I'm open to seeing what works. For anyone interested in trying this, I generally just explain the benefits of standing appointments to clients while I am performing their service. I let them know that I reserve their time for them for the following year, and they receive the following benefits:
--Discount (varies slightly by service booked)
--Free (reasonable) repairs
--Priority scheduling for additional services
--Occasional specials for standing clients only (TBD)
When all is said and done, they're happy they got a great service and saved money, and I'm pleased with both the income and seeing my calendar start to fill up.
—Candice, Panache Nail Studio, Marysville, Wash.