Business Management

On My Mind: Are You Specialized or Diversified?

When it comes to your service menu, is your salon only known (or predominantly known) for one specific type of service? Does your salon specialize in pedicures? Or nail art? Maybe your salon is an acrylic mecca. Perhaps your salon’s service menu is varied, but you have found your own niche within the salon by being the resident nail art queen or the pink-and-white guru. There’s something to be said for creating a niche and pouring all of your resources into becoming the best at it.

On the flip side is being diversified. Instead of focusing on one specific service segment, are you well-rounded and capable of attracting clients for multiple service categories? Do you offer nail art and pedicures and acrylics? Do you have a client roster who sees you (or comes to your salon) for more than just one service? Diversifying your salon offerings can make you feel more stable (because during winters when pedicures might be slow, you’ll be glad you’re the acrylic expert).

I’m not here to recommend which path is “right” for you or your salon. In fact, I can see pros and cons for both scenarios. My goal is to place them all out there so you can make a more informed decision.

The Case for Specialization

  1. You know your specialty inside and out. In the absence of trying to be great at all things, you can really hone your skills in one specific area and you live and breathe that skill set.
  2. By not spreading yourself too thin, you can focus all of your education needs toward becoming the best at that one service category. You can learn the intricacies of your chosen niche and excel.
  3. You can build your business more quickly since you’re only concentrating on one area. This can help bring you recognition in the press and in your community as people begin to recognize you as the leading expert in your niche. You can really make a name for yourself as your city’s “Best [Nail Artist, Pedicurist, Acrylic Tech, etc.].”
  4. Because you are a specialist, you will stand out from your competition. When people are looking for someone to do that perfect set of pink-and-whites, your name will come to mind before a more generalized salon. If a client is looking for a signature pedicure service, you’ll be top of mind as the area’s only pedi-focused salon.
  5. As a niche business, you can market yourself differently and charge higher prices since your clients will know they’re getting a very dedicated professional service.

The Case for Diversification

  1. As a jack-of-all-trades, you’re able to offer a variety of service options to your clients. You benefit from multiple service bookings with your best clients because you can do their nail art and their pedi.
  2. Having multiple sources of income allows you to shift your priorities if something happens to one of those sources. You’re protected if one service type falls out of favor with your clients. (One major pedicure scare in the news could sway new clients from inquiring about your pedicure services and totally affect that month’s bottom line.)
  3. Diversification is the best protection against a change in trends or attitudes toward certain salon services. You’ll be better prepared to adapt your menu or drop a service if all of your eggs aren’t one basket.
  4. You can pick up your business and go anywhere. If you aren’t pigeon-holed into one segment of the industry, you’ll have more choices when changing salons.
  5. You’re seen as a one-stop-shop, which in our busy world can definitely be a plus. When hurried clients can get several things done at once, you’re making their lives easier and you’ll retain their business.

Maybe you choose to carve out a niche in several areas so you are more diversified, but you can still focus on fewer things. Maybe the answer is really a combination of the two. As a nail salon, you already have your toe in a pretty niche market. How far you take that is entirely up to you and what works for your clientele.

What do you think? Are you specialized or diversified? I’d love to hear your ideas on the pros and cons of both. Email me!

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