Blueprint of a First Year

Halloween Decor and Much More

by NAILS Magazine | October 7, 2011

What a whirlwind this job can be! I was so busy this summer that whenever I had an idea for something I wanted to do in the studio, it just got added to my to-do list. I've been looking forward to the slower time of year, when I could chomp away at that list, plus MAYBE do my nails more frequently than once a month. Lucky for me I rarely break a nail or have any lifting!

My business has been slowing down a bit here and there. It's still pretty well booked but with some time to think about that list. Since I've been working on it over the last couple weeks, it has really hit home with me what a huge task it is to run a nail studio by myself. Some of the biggies that I want to accomplish this month: shopping for supplies, adding new add-on services, creating a service special plan for the next six months, new menus, rack cards of various types of info for clients (home care, what to look for in salons, gel vs. acrylic vs. gel polish explanations, etc.), bringing in new retail, fall decorating (done!), making some RockStar jewelry, lost client mailings, and getting some professional signs for the interior of the shop. Whew! I'm tired just from typing that.

My husband was working the Forest Service booth at the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival last weekend so I tagged along to check out all the vendors. This is a fabulous event that draws about 100,000 people over the weekend, and there were some amazingly talented artists represented. It hadn't previously occurred to me to go to an event like this for retail, but I found five potential retail lines to add to the studio! I am now in the process of getting set up to buy wholesale with them. This is a huge chunk that will be off my list once I get the products into the shop. I'm really hoping to put my retail on auto-pilot through the holidays.

I've been online shopping quite a bit too -- to make sure I don't have to order any supplies or product until after the holidays. I'm just about done with that, with the exception of my Young Nails order, as I'm waiting until I go to the next class in Redding, Calif., in November. I love the 10% discount at the class! I'm so looking forward to going back to California for a visit, to be inspired by Greg and Tracey, and by being surrounded by other techs, and to visit friends and family.

As a bonus, I have a local woman who hand-makes some note cards that I sell, so I put her to work making me signs for the shop using 3-D paper flowers (I'll be sure to post a picture when I get them up!). It's a small thing, but I can't tell you how good it felt to delegate something!

So, obviously I'm making great progress (still a long way to go) on my to-do's, but it's really got me thinking about what I need to do differently in the future so I don't get such a log-jam of things that need to be done. I'm starting to actually consider hiring another tech next spring, which means I need to add making an employee manual/service guide to my list...

— Candice, Panache Nail Studio, Stanwood, Wash.

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