A woman walks into your salon and approaches the reception desk.  She’s never been in the salon before—in fact she’s never had her nails done before—but she just broke a nail and wants to have it repaired.

You examine the break and offer to remove the broken free edge and replace if with a tip and acrylic overlay.  The client recoils.  She doesn’t want a tip, and she doesn’t want acrylic.  Can’t you just fix it? she asks.

She may want a wrap, which is a perfectly good way of mending a broken nail.  But the question is, can you provide the service the client wants?

No matter what your job, there will always be aspects of it you like better than others.  Some nail technicians would rather do sculptured nails than anything else.  Others prefer wraps, while still others could devote their entire careers to natural nail care.   Some see gels as the most promising service, while others would be perfectly happy limiting their service menus to tips and overlay.

The point is, you cannot limit your field of expertise to one area and remain successful.  As an editor, I have to plan the contents of each moth’s magazine and assign, research, write, and edit articles.  My favorite part is writing.  However, if I neglected the other aspects of my job, the magazine would not make it to your mailbox every month.  Likewise, a nail technician may prefer doing tips with acrylic overlay to wraps, but if she refuses to learn how to do wraps, she’ll miss servicing a lot of clients.

This flexibility may be particularly important now.  Economic indicators point to a recession in the next couple of years.  Some economists claim we’re already in one.  We’ve all heard that the beauty industry is somewhat recession-proof, but that doesn’t mean individual salons won’t be affected.

When consumers have less disposable income, they are more selective about where they spend it.  Add that to the fact that today’s consumers are more educated about the products and services they purchase—from home appliances to medical care to nail services—and you’ll see that the technician who specializes in one service to the exclusion of others limits her chances of success.

There are many nail salons out there, and the main thing that separates yours from yours from your competitor’s is the variety and quality of service you offer.  So go ahead, specialize in tips and overlay if that’s your preference.  But be proficient in other aspects of nail care as well so the next time a client comes to you and asks, “Can you fix my broken nail?” you don’t have to send her to your competitor.  You can say, “Sure, have a seat.”  Next thing you know, you’ll have her on the books as a regular client.

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