How do I avoid raising prices in this economy when my product costs are increasing?

December 28, 2010

Dear Shari,

My product costs have gone up but I can't raise my prices in this economy. What do you suggest?

Sincerely, Stuck


Dear Stuck:

You’re right, it’s not the time to raise prices. Everyone has been affected by the economy and you do not want to discourage customers by raising your  prices now, which may make them feel that they can no longer afford to get their nails done.

Instead of raising your prices, try reinventing your service menu. Change your services and offer new things to make it fun for the customer. Up the prices slightly only on unestablished services and make sure you have some low-cost options available.

Reinvent a low-cost service — like an $8 polish change — by adding shaping of the nails, a lovely lavender lotion hand massage, a quick push back of the cuticles, followed by polish and speed-dry top coat. Call it a “Lunch Time Manicure” and charge $12. Market it to surrounding businesses, or offer it free with your highest-priced pedicure. After all, your cost is time and a couple of drops of lotion is a small price to pay for a new customer, or to entice an existing customer to spend her hard-earned cash on a higher-priced pedicure instead of painting her own nails at home.


SPONSORED CONTENT: DeEnterprises offers bulk discounts on all your professional product needs. Browse their website for ideas on saving money for your salon purchases.

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?

Load More