Reader to Reader: In regards to your nail business, what has been your smartest investment?

January 02, 2011

In regards to your nail business, what has been your smartest investment?


The smartest investment for my nail business is continuing education. It’s important to be open to learning new trends to stay on track with the changes in the industry.  ~ CARMEN JIMENEZ, Envy Nail Couture, Charlotte, N.C.

I have to say the Internet! Sending reminder e-mails has increased my retention rate, sending last-minute opening e-mails and newsletters has increased my referral rate. Staying in touch with those in the business and keeping myself educated has also kept me fresh and creative and clients love it. ~ TERESA SHACKELTON, Tee’s Nail NV, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

I always believe investing in education is vital but I couldn’t live without my OPI cuticle pusher! I have had it for years and it’s as wonderful as the day I purchased it. Clients are always asking where they can get one. ~ DEBBIE BREW, Jenniffer & Co., Mentor, Ohio

Minx, social networking such as Facebook, and entering an elite Canadian photography-based beauty competition called the Contessa Awards. This has opened up brand new doors for me that would not be available otherwise. ~ LAURA MERZETTI, Scratch My Back Nail Studio, Ajax, Ontario, Canada

A top-grade e-file, hands down! (No pun intended.) ~ ELISABETH WEBSTER, PussyKat Nails, Victoria, B.C., Canada

Two smart investments I have made are continuing education and developing good working relationships with my co-workers. These are actually investments in myself. An example regarding education: I am a commission-based employee and work with two other full-time nail techs. When a new guest calls to book gels, I get the appointment. This is a direct result of my taking the initiative to learn a new product (OPI Axxium…I love it!) and practice, practice, practice. Second, by developing and maintaining good working relationships with my co-workers I have been able to pick up some new ideas and learn techniques that may be new to me but old hat to another tech. ~ LAURA MOORE, Tocaloma Spa and Salon at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix

My Young Nails Magic Wand and acrylic brushes transformed how I did nails; now I don’t stress about the outcome! Plus the time I invested in Internet marketing and social groups...priceless. ~ ADRIENNE SCHODTLER, Blissful Lounge, Apex, N.C.

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?

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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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