Close

Business

Dear Shari: How do I build my nail business in a full-service salon that is made up of booth renters?

July 01, 2008

I am a booth renter in a full-service salon with no receptionist. We are all responsible for our own appointments. With so many hairstylists renting in the same salon you’d think my book would be full but it’s not. I get very few client recommendations from the stylists and they are usually one-shot deals. I understand they have no obligation to talk up my services with their clients, but you’d think that as part of a team they’d want to do so. The salon owner has brought up the subject at almost every quarterly meeting but it has made no difference. I don’t service the stylists’ nails because they do their own or have acrylics done by techs they’ve been going to for years. Any suggestions? Sincerely, Baffled

Answer

Dear Baffled:

Oh yes, you do have a problem! Building your client base will be harder without the help of the rest of the team. But if you have chosen to start your career in a salon that is made up of booth renters, it’s the way it goes.

Still I would try to build relationships with the stylists. Start by approaching them one at a time. I would pick one stylist who is trying to build her clientele or is new and offer a barter situation. You will do her nails in exchange for a haircut. And that could get the ball rolling. I would also jump at the chance to give free polish changes and fix broken nails. Eventually they will feel obligated to send business your way.

If that isn’t possible, then go after new business. I worked in a salon years ago where none of the stylists had their nails done (I know! How could that be?). So, I drew from other markets such as health clubs, tanning salons, bridal stores, hotels and resorts, restaurants, and bartenders.

The best advice I can give you is to practice, attend classes, and become the best nail tech you can be, and then the stylists will all rally around you.

Veteran nail tech Shari Finger — owner of Finger’s Nail Studio in W. Dundee, Ill. — fields reader questions in the areas of salon management and workplace politics.

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?

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.

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