DEVELOP A TARDY POLICY. You can’t stay on time if your customers are late.

HAVE ALL NEW CUSTOMERS COME IN 10 MINUTES EARLY. If they can’t find the salon or need to fill out customer information cards, they’ll have enough time.

TRAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS TO WALK IN AND IMMEDIATELY WASH THEIR HANDS. Don’t let them wait until you’re ready for them to sit down in your chair.

USE ACETONE TO REMOVE POLISH. I know we have been told to never use acetone or even polish remover with acetone on nail enhancements, but go ahead, try it and save time.

STOCK YOUR TABLE. Don’t waste your customer’s appointment time running around looking for things.

START LOOKING FOR PROBLEMS WHEN REMOVING POLISH AND PREPPING THE NAIL. Look  for lifting and separation of the enhancement at the free edge—anything that will slow you down. If a nail needs to be soaked off, start it as soon as possible.

SATURATE A COTTON BALL, WRAP THE FINGER IN FOIL, AND DIP IT IN PARAFFIN (make sure not to get paraffin on any other nail) when removing a nail. This technique allows you to work on the other nine, and by the time you’re finished and go back to the one you’re removing, it should slide right off.

APPLY YOUR ENHANCEMENTS THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME. Whatever you use—fiberglass, gel, or acrylic—develop a system. If you apply each nail the same way, you will increase your speed.

HAVE A SMALL CLOCK AT YOUR STATION or wear your watch backward, so you can look at it without your customer seeing you check the time. Get in the habit of checking the time throughout the service.

PRACTICE UNTIL YOU DO NAILS IN YOUR SLEEP. Make up a schedule, setting aside a specific amount of time for each step in the process. Do practice sets and try to follow an allotted amount of time. This is a great training tool because it will show you where you’re losing them time in your application. It also allows you to set goals and try to shave time off on every practice set.

Shari Finger, owner of Finger’s Nail Studios in W. Dundee, III., offers continuing education for nail techs. Classes include Pink-and-White Fills, The Need for Speed, Promote Your Business, Acrylic Toenails, Basic Nail Art, Backfills, Pink-and-White Acrylic Tips, Get Booked, Stay Booked, Acrylic Troubleshooting, and the Perfect Sculpt.

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