With 2010 right around the corner, and New Year’s resolutions floating around your mind, what better time to rededicate yourself to new experiences in the new year? A great way to build your business is to reinvest in your greatest asset — yourself (and if you are a salon owner, your employees too). There are so many different options for continuing education. Here’s a quick refresher of where you can go to increase your knowledge:

1. Trade shows. The first “big” trade show of the season is ISSE Long Beach (January 30-February 1). You can find a variety of technical and business classes at most shows. Learn a new skill, hear from business leaders, or watch your favorite industry experts do on-site demos.

2. Manufacturer/distributor classes. Professional product manufacturers and beauty distributors offer product-specific training to help you master your technique. Nowadays, many manufacturers and distributors also include business-oriented material or classes to help nail techs maneuver through the business side of salon life as well. Contact your favorite product manufacturers or local distributors to find out about classes in your area.

3. Networking events. We’ve seen networking events popping up all over the country and the great thing about these is they still have a real grassroots feeling. It’s all about nail techs getting together to help other nail techs. They usually include a day of hands-on training with a number of educators and other techs who you can learn invaluable information from. You can find out about all the local events in the pages of NAILS.

4. DVDs. Learn new techniques without leaving the comfort of your home (or your salon if you have a laptop and an empty appointment slot), and you can pause, rewind, replay if you miss something. Most manufacturers offer training DVDs with industry experts to complement their systems.

5. Online education. In addition to offering instructional DVDs, many product manufacturers are now putting their training programs online. Often they are shorter (or broken up into chapters) for easier online viewing. Check your favorite product manufacturers’ websites for online offering. NAILStv is also a great source for a variety of online demos and videos.

6. One-on-one training. For more custom and personalized training, you can find a mentor or a master tech who will work with you on anything from improving your pink-and-white skills to your marketing plan. The Consultants Directory in the NAILS Big Book offers a wide range of business coaches and consultants. You can find mentors to help you with your technical skills online (BeautyTech.com, NailsMag.com/forums), or find an educator at a trade show or class and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you.

For a list of tradeshows, classes, educational cruises (fun while you learn!), and networking events, log on to our online Show Calendar.

— Hannah Lee

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