What’s the Best On-the-Job Advice You’ve Received?

February 01, 1997


If the client likes the service, she’ll tell one person. If she doesn’t she’ll tell 100.

Susan Discorfano-Caiafa

Oh! Susanah’s Hair and Nail Salon (Lodi, N.J.)

Take as many educational classes as possible. Never stop learning. In addition to technique classes, take classes on business management so you’ll know how to make money as well as manage it. You are your own business. The more interest you take in your field, the better professional you’ll become.

Aimee Ginsberg

Salon 544 (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)

The best advice I’ve received is from my dad. He told me to do what I’m good at, which is why I no longer do hair. Concentrate on what you do best and become an expert. Do it better than anyone else.

Sherri Evans

Get Nailed by Sherri & Co. (Yuma, Ariz.)

Don’t gossip about other clients or other people in the salon. It makes clients feel extremely uncomfortable. They’ll think that the minute they leave the salon, you’ll start gossiping about them.

Christi Vreeland

Polish (Allentown, Pa.)

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was from another nail technician. She said “Make sure you sculpt the nail the way you would like them to look finished. Never say to yourself, ‘Oh, that little bump or dent is OK, I’ll just file it out.’ It’s a lot better to fix imperfections with your brush that with your file.”  After putting her advice to work, my client’s nails look beautiful. Although my sculpting time is a little longer, there is only minimal filing, which saves lots of time in the end.

Marianne Hilton

Mari’s Mobile Manicures (Heber, Utah)

Always do nails that you would be proud to say you did. In other words, don’t do a sloppy job because you’re running behind schedule. Your clients’ (and your own) nails are your best advertisement.

LaCinda Headings

Xenon International School of Hair Design (Wichita, Kan.)

I have a client who always asks what hot beauty tips I have to share. I’ve always stayed on top of what’s in and what’s not, but because of her thirst for beauty and beauty products, I’m constantly searching in magazines for that ultimate tip to pass along. As a result of my client’s question, my search benefits many clients and has boosted my retail sales as well as my own professional look and style.

Mary-Francis Travis

Nail Affair, Etc. (Medford, Ore.)


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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