At all the locations I have worked in in all my years of doing nails, I have never really loved walk-ins. They are very nerve-wracking for me.
Even in a situation where you want walk-ins, since the whole point is that you don't know if someone is going to walk in or not, it makes sense to keep busy doing something. So, back in the days when I had time to accommodate walk-ins, I'd still spend my down time doing my own nails, or working on nail art for display, or whatever was available to keep me busy.
Naturally, it never failed that as soon as I was elbow deep in acrylic on my own nails, that's when someone would pop in wanting her nails done on a whim. Or, even more popular, was the 20-minutes-before-my-next-actual-appointment timing. And that just sucks when it happens. Because there you are, sitting quietly at your station — often already set up for a service — maybe reading your newest Nails Magazine (or in today's day, updating your Facebook status on your smart phone) when someone walks in asking for a new set or "just a quick fill" and you have to look up at that person who sees you just sitting there doing nothing and tell her that you're sorry but you can't accommodate her right now but if she'd like to make an appointment she could come back at... And you know she thinks you are lazy and don't want to do her nails because you are too busy reading your magazine.
Which is why I was so thrilled when I had the opportunity to move into my current location on the 4th floor of an office building. The building I'm in now has one entrance into the lobby from the street and that door has an automatic timed lock on it that opens at 6 a.m. and locks at 7 p.m. If you need to come into the building before or after those hours, you'll either need a key or a code for the door. There is no receptionist or doorman in the lobby. Just two elevators and a stairwell. It is not exactly an inviting atmosphere. You sort of get the feeling that you need an invitation to come upstairs.
I was sure that moving up here was going to eliminate walk-ins. I have absolutely no street level visibility or advertising. And yet ... yup. Not only do people still wander in unannounced, but I actually get more walk-in traffic here than I have at any location I have worked in in the last 18 years! I spent eight years next to a liquor store and donut shop for crying out loud!
At least I feel vindicated when I look at them like they've lost their minds — of course you need an appointment, does it look like I rely on walk-in business?!