Reader to Reader: How do you keep yourself, you employees, and you salon safe?

May 01, 2002

How do you keep yourself, you employees, and you salon safe?


As a nail instructor I teach my students about universal sanitation: the use of gloves, safety glasses, disinfectants, detergents, personal hygiene, salon cleanliness, and following state board rules and regulations.-Zora Garner, Ayers State Technical College, Anniston, Ala.

We do fine drills. My salon is in a small Alaskan town with very little crime, but we have bars on the windows just in case. We try to keep up with the safety standards of Oregon and California.- Louise Earle-Snyder, Purr-Fect Nails, Soldotna, Alaska

We have a well-lit parking lot that we can monitor from the front desk. We watch our clients when they leave and make sure they get to their cars safely. We have a locking file cabinet where we keep our files and client information and only the owner access to it.-Diane Miller, It’s All about Me, West Jordan, Utah

My primary concern, being an owner and operator, is guarding against the spread of infection. All of my clients have their own envelopes. Artificial clients have their own envelopes containing their own files, sanding bands, and buffers. Natural nail client each receive an autoclave envelope with a nail brush, sanitizing fizzing ball, a new nail file, and a new orangewood stick. Not only do I feel safer about this, so do my clients.-Lori Flynn, Salon 1921, Scranton, Pa.

At night we walk our clients out to their cars and don’t go back in until they have left our parking lot. Once it gets dark we lock the doors and set the alarm. We had it installed as a precaution even though we are not in a high-crime area. We also have strict sanitation standards. Safety is of utmost importance to us.-Christy Sims, Kreated Nail Envy Inc., Phoenix

I am the only one in the salon so I have to be extra careful. I have a monitored alarm system with a panic button that is connected to the police. Because I work alone in the salon I lock the door after my last client arrives.-Donna Graham-Parker, Polished!, Woodland, Calif.

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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