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by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Products | August 1, 2006

When I walk into a department store I often head to the cosmetics area to see what’s new. I’m usually drawn to the latest products, colors, and displays (which makes sense since my job at OPI is choosing the latest colors and products). And that’s precisely the cosmetics manufacturers’ intentions — to lure consumers to their new products by placing them in the spotlight through advertising and promotions. By now you may be wondering what that has to do with the salon environment. Well, a few things, actually. Beauty companies, including OPI, are continuously coming up with new products to keep consumers interested and ready to purchase.

32%of nail techs launched a new service in 2005.

Take a cue from these companies and follow suit in your salon. According to NAILS 2005-2006 Big Book, 32% of you launched a new service last year, so it’s evident you’re already being proactive about keeping things fresh and updated at your salon.

While it’s great to have a service menu that caters to your clientele, it’s also important not to stay trapped in the same thing year in, year out. It’s essential to stir things up a bit— and adding a new service can definitely do the trick. Many salons like to add seasonal services to their menu, such as during Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Others like to introduce a new permanent service every year or so.

However, don’t think that adding a service means you must add a new manicure or pedicure. You have different options. For example, if you’re already offering acrylic enhancements, you might consider offering colored acrylics. According to the Big Book, 11% of you began offering colored acrylics at your salon last year.

Other services such as airbrush tanning, paraffin dips, and even eyelash extensions or tinting can be added to your menu, provided your state board allows it. Add-on services such as aromatherapy, waxing, and even temporary tattoos are great ways to up-sell clients and customize existing services.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to promote your new service and to do it well. Let’s go back to the cosmetics counter scenario for a bit. When a new mascara or blush comes out, that company makes sure you know about it. Head to the counter and you’ll find that tube of mascara prominently featured in an eye-catching display. Open a magazine and you’ll see an ad touting the benefits of the mascara. When OPI comes out with a new seasonal lacquer collection, for example, many of you find out through ads in magazines such as NAILS or promotional pieces from your distributor.

If you decide to add a new manicure treatment, for instance, tell your clients about your new service. Print out promotional pieces and hand them out to clients and have them available at the receptionist’s desk. Give mini demos of your new service. Place signs throughout your salon (and even outside if you can) promoting your new manicure.

Remember, a salon is a business and you have to treat it as such. Even if your client doesn’t want to try that new service and would rather stick to her traditional pink-and-whites, at least she’ll know you’re doing all you can to keep up with what’s current in the professional nail industry. And that’s as good a promotion as any.  

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann is Executive Vice President, OPI Products (North Hollywood, CA)

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