Bye, Bye Blogger
  • NAILS Magazine
  • September 26, 2012

Can you believe it’s been a year since my first Blueprint post? I can’t. What will I do with all my quasi-funny ramblings about the nail polish biz? {Insert big smile here.}  I started this post, edited it, scrapped it, and started over at least least three times. Why? Because, I wanted this final blog post to go out with two well-polished thumbs up.

After many attempts at the perfect blog finale, I decided to keep it simple, and just be transparent.
 
Here’s how I made it through year 1:

1. Love it or Leave It. The journey continues to be rough, tough, and enough to make anyone scream out, “Oh the horror! Make it stop!” And I’m not even being dramatic. If I were to list everything that has gone wrong in the past year, I’d have a thousand pages more than any Stephanie Meyer book {think Twilight saga}. But, if you love the nail business, and you love beautifying fingers and toes, and you love the new nail colors that come with the dawn of a new season, and only if you love learning new techniques, the rough stuff is worthwhile.

2. Pray for the Right People. My Nikki (right, in photo) is the best thing that could have happened to me. I came into this business with the thought that my aunt would be joining me. That, along with many other things, didn’t go quite as planned. Nikki has turned out to be both a valuable team member and an incredible asset. I love watching her grow as a beauty professional. {Go Nikki!} Lyvonne and Whitney are also great. I’ve been fortunate to have so many gems, sparkling brightly at Posh’aah. I couldn’t be happier.

3. I Built It, So Where Are They? The first few months after opening were depressing. We had day after day with absolutely no guests. Other times we would see one or two guests a day. There was nothing more frustrating than knowing money was going out every minute (payroll, rent, and bills) and people were not walking in. Remember the business plan I had written about earlier in my posts? Well, let’s just say I had to completely scrap and rewrite the financial section altogether. If I had a chance for a do-over, I would have budgeted for a profit of $0 in the first six months.   

4. Marketing is a Must. Since the business wasn’t turning a profit, I had to get creative when it came to advertising. There’s a marketing book for small businesses called, Guerilla Marketing. I found it to be an indispensable tool. My low-budget marketing strategy was three-fold: passing out fliers in the neighborhood, blabbing about our best (see point #5), and using online deal sites like Groupon as a marketing vehicle. I never expected to make a profit from the online deals, but instead used them to introduce ourselves and our services to large groups of people. The number-one comment we’ve received from guests who purchased an online deal and lived in our neighborhood is, “Wow, I didn’t even know this place was here.”

5. Blab About Your Best. We’ve been featured on two local cable programs in Chicago and named the best nail place in our neighborhood because we’re blabbermouths {in a good way}. We share what we think is cute or cool on our Facebook page and are slowly building our friend base. This also serves as a portfolio for anyone looking for an interesting story. Anytime someone sits in a chair at Posh’aah, we share info with them about new colors, about proper nail care, and even about nail art. I happened to mention Nikki’s nail art to a guest. She saw and loved Nikki’s nails. She left the shop with a Shellac marble manicure. We later learned that she was an editor at Chicago Magazine, and I’m pretty sure that random visit has a lot to do with why we were named the best nail place in our neighborhood.  

6. Celebrate The Wins. Especially when your win is standing next to a loss. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Business ownership comes with a unique set of challenges. There have been many times when we’ve had a major success that was short-lived because a setback was right on its coattail. I had to learn to celebrate our wins and minimize our setbacks to limit the stress.

7. Pray. I pray to make it through every day. I feel incredibly fortunate to be to owner of Posh’aah Nail Spa. I’m still surprised when I turn my key in the front door. I’m so blessed.

8. Love your Life Support Network. I’m going into Academy Award speech mode here {smile}. My family and friends have been crucial to the existence of Posh’aah Nail Spa. My girlfriends pop in for mani-pedis. They blab about my business, post pictures, and share stories about Posh’aah. My girlfriends pray with me when I am doubtful. They support me and constantly share how proud they are to see Posh’aah. They say things like, “I had to get a pedi from another place, but it was nothing like Posh’aah.” They lift me up, speak life into Posh’aah, and I adore them.

My sons are the cutest. They know that Posh’aah is mommy’s business. The 9-year-old comes up with his own business ideas and marketing strategies. He asks me about how things are going at the shop, and when a lady compliments me on random things (like a dress or shoes), he says, “Mom, you should give her a flier for Posh’aah.”

And my guy {super big smile here}. He’s there physically (fixing things when they break), spiritually (growing and praying with me), mentally (creating strategic plans for success and expansion), and emotionally (giving a hug when I start sounding like Minnie Mouse pumped up on helium). He’s also there financially, making sure that all of our needs at home are met.

My support network has been indispensable.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my journey with you. And many, many thanks to those who made comments on my posts. Each comment made me smile. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read what’s been bobbling through my brains. Now, go out and make to world a better place, one mani-pedi at a time :o).

—Makeda, Posh'aah Nail Spa, Chicago

Keywords:   clients     Makeda     marketing/promotions     salon decor/design  

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