In the quest to become a successful nail professional, step three is establishing the experience. Sometimes we fall down the rabbit hole of thinking we must have the most expensive gadgets and forget that the most important thing we have to offer clients is time. Taking the time to listen to your clients and offer them the best service you’re able to provide in that moment is essential. Assuming you have educated yourself and your environment is clean, next focus on the client experience. This is based on perception and that perception can be swayed by how you leave them feeling.
I have had a pedicure in the corner of a small salon, sitting in a plastic garden chair with my feet in a small plastic tub that was filled using a plastic water pitcher. The pedicure left me feeling relaxed and happy, my feet and legs felt amazing, my toes were beautiful for over a month and I recommended it highly. I’ve had a pedicure in a top-of-the-line massage chair with a fancy color-changing bowl that left me feeling disappointed and ripped off. I had to fix the polish, and my feet grabbed at the bedroom carpet when I got home. I was embarrassed to have my feet seen and would not tell anyone to go there.
In those instances, it was the level of education and the personality of the professional, not how fancy their furniture was, that made the experience good or bad. If you are just starting out or if you have just moved and have to start over, focus more on the experience and less on the fluff. The fluff can come as you make money from offering the services and word of mouth gets around that you offer a true experience.
Start with good-quality tools and work your way up from there. Analyze the expenses of the business and decide where the money could best be used for things that will endure and be truly necessary. Then as you turn a profit and become successful, you can make changes like small additions or five-year upgrades. Clients will love celebrating the milestones with you and feeling the pride and ownership of helping you grow.
If you haven’t been on the client side of a service in the last five years, make a point of getting a mani or pedi this year to see what’s really important from that side of the table. If the chair is comfortable, the professional is knowledgeable and safe, generally having someone take the time to make you the focus of their day for a little while is a pretty fantastic thing.
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