Q&A

What’s the best way to handle friends and relatives who expect free nail services?

Q.

What’s the best way to handle friends and relatives who expect free nail services — especially now that I’m working out of my home? I don’t want any hurt feelings, but that’s not something I can afford to do.

A.

Always charge for your services whether you’re in a salon or working out of your house. When it’s your bread and butter, you have to let friends and family know that you can’t pay your bills with free nail services. I know my electric company won’t accept a “free nail service” receipt in exchange for free electricity! There will be some friends and family members who won’t like it, but you have to stick to your guns. After all, your goal is to make money, not give free nail services away. Products aren’t cheap. Ask them if they’ll take a reduction in their weekly paycheck. They won’t, because they value their time and what they do, and feel they should be paid the full value for it. You have to look at your craft the same way. Don’t let others downplay what you do to make to money. When my friends say my prices are too high, I say, “Compared to what? The discount salon that uses mystery products on your hands?” I let them know they get quality services with me and leave it at that. My feelings aren’t hurt because they aren’t the kind of client I want. I never let anyone make me feel guilty about charging what I’m worth.

— Chrissy Monroe, Love Those Toes Nail Spa (www.lovethosetoes.com), Washington, D.C.

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