One of the most exciting and easily implemented niche markets to explore as a salon owner are children and teens. With the explosion of figures like Hannah Montana and Hillary Duff, Disney has helped launch a whole new generation of little girls who want to look, act, and talk like their idols on TV. This means rhinestones, tons of pink and, you guessed it, nails and hair that look like the big girls. This demographic has huge money making-potential, and it’s here to stay whether we like it or not. So how do you get a piece of this lucrative market?

Assuming you already have an established business, this means you have a nice pool of people to market your new services to initially. Every woman that leaves your door should hear about the new services or specials you are currently running specifically for kids. Have a menu of services created so they can share with friends and family if they don’t have kids of their own. Another great way to market your services is to create specials that include an adult, like the Mommy and Me Manicure or a Father-Daughter Special Manicure for Father’s Day. This technique will not only help promote the new service but gets Mom’s business as well. Consider giving group discounts on birthday parties or graduations.

It is imperative that everything from the names of the services to the colors used cater to that demographic. A great example of this would be to name your mani or pedi after yummy treats that kids love like chocolate chip cupcake or sweet cherry pie. Add a cupcake to the experience to take home after the service. Or add a glittery polish that looks like sprinkles.

Remember, the more memorable the service — from the name, the takeaways, the look, and the overall experience — the more they will come back and recommend you to their friends.

Themes Should Include Take-Aways

• Princesses: Hang a castle poster on the walls or tie fabric to make the area look like a castle; Give each girl a crown after her manicure.

• Jungle animals: Do tiger- or zebra-striped nails; Give the child a stuffed animal to match her new nails.

• The Rose Manicure: Add a spritz of rosewater to the service; include a real rose to take home.

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