When asking on Facebook for blog subject requests, the most frequent answer was business-building tips. Instead of only offering my own opinions it seemed like a better deal for all of you for me to gather lots of ideas and tips from all different aspects of the industry. The first of the Business Building series is from Robin Stopper Renner, a nail professional and product manufacturer. Look for more ideas and suggestions from other guest bloggers throughout the coming weeks. — Holly
“In my 28 years of doing nails, I have relocated a far distance three times. The way I've built my business after each move was by self-marketing. This has only cost me the price of business cards, service menus and time much better spent than sitting in a salon waiting for clients to find me.
Make sure you look your best and your nails are perfect. Go to establishments near your salon where the employees are in the public eye (restaurant employees, cashiers, gym employees, etc.). Be positive and excited. Introduce yourself to the employees, tell them what you do and where you're located. Patrons may hear you and also want to get in on the action. Then proceed to give them a business card or service menu with a discount written on it.
I usually offer a 1/2-price full set to get them in the door. I don't offer anything for free because I don't want to target this type of client. They seem to appreciate the service more if they have to pay for it and are more likely to return as a paying client. If you are new to the industry, this will give you practice as well as fill your appointment book. When booking, always get a phone number and confirm the appointment the day before.
During the visit, keep the conversation positive. Educate the client about what you’re doing and what she can do at home to care for her nails. Have the products you recommend for sale at your salon. Most of all, be a good listener and do the best nails you're capable of. Try to get her to reschedule or book a standing appointment before she leaves your chair. Give her some more business cards (also with a discount written on them) and tell her that for every client she sends in, she will receive a discount (I give $5 or $10) off her next appointment. This is a great way to choose the type of clients you want and get them to send their friends.
Good work habits are very important and will keep you servicing these clients. Use equipment and practices that will make your job easier (wrist-assist, e-file, the proper chair, lighting, etc.). Constantly thrive to do better by networking with other nail professionals and taking continuing education classes. Most of us are in this business because we love to share.
I hope that these tips help you build your clientele, make money, and love what you do for many years to come."