Is perfectionism on the job a blessing or a curse?

April 03, 2014

To Be or Not to Be … A Perfectionist: Do you lose all sense of time and place as you do and redo in an effort to create the perfect nail? Or do you regard good enough as good enough? Some nail techs view their perfectionism as a plus, whereas others find it a curse. We asked readers to weigh in.


The day you get over perfectionism as a nail technician, it’s time to retire!
Nicki Blair
Profiles, Fort Myers, Fla.

Perfectionism. I’ve been a nail tech for 16 years and I still don’t think I’ve gotten over it yet! I can sit there for hours doing nail art. I make sure everything is perfect. There are times when I surprise myself and get it perfect and there are times where I just can’t get it right. My clients are always rapt with my work and leave happy, but I’m not happy because I know I can do better than I did.
Melanie Milti
Melz Nail D-Zine, Melbourne, Australia

 I’ve been a nail tech for nearly 12 years and I’m still never happy with my nails, even though they are extremely good. But that keeps me on my toes wanting to learn more and give my customers the ultimate service.
Mandy Kirkham
The salon @ eye4beauty, Andover, U.K.

I’m always trying to do better work as a nail tech and that is bad and good. My perfectionism makes me do slow work and means less money on the nail table. But my clients love the perfectionism. They love my work and design as well.
 Ednice De Jesús
Ednice Nail Artist, Patillas, Puerto Rico

 It’s all about time. How long will the client sit there while I fuss over something she’ll probably never notice? When you only have so much time available, you have to know what to focus on and what not to fuss about. You can’t always fix every little thing.
Katherine Evans
Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee, Fla.

I’m a pure perfectionist, but I get quicker every set I do and that’s the way it should be. Nobody wants nails in 20 minutes if it’s not top scratch. People are happy to wait a little longer for the best, and I don’t want bad nails advertising my services.
Rachael Elizabeth
via Facebook

I am a perfectionist with a hint of OCD, as my clients point out to my when I’m shifting my files around in order all the time. However, doing the funky nail art I do, my perfectionistic nature got worse. When I started doing more “free art,” I had to train myself to allow my hand to move a little messy, as not all nail art is perfect and symmetrical.
Rachel Shuttleworth
Betty-Rose Beauty Boutique, Nelson, U.K.

Perfectionist is a requirement for great customer service and client retention. 
Kandie Winchester
Destiny Day Spa & Salon, Bossier City, La.

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How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?


As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?


What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?


Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.


Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits?

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