Business Management

Crowdsourcing: What have you learned by visiting nail salons other than your own?

This month we asked nail techs: What have you learned by visiting
nail salons other than your own?

While visiting other salons I have learned organization techniques, appealing ways to display products, and found furniture that keeps my salon looking clean and uncluttered. I have also noticed things like sanitation and appropriate wall decor and ways to make my salon atmosphere exactly how I want it, such as adding music, plants, and a seating area for guests.
Kate Chitwood, Kate Nails It, Albany, Ore.

I have checked out other salons for many reasons. I have gotten pedicures so I could compare their services as well as their setup. Whenever I want to make changes to our salon I check out a few places in town as well as online to get ideas. There are a lot of talented, creative people running salons out there and it is interesting to see how others handle a problem that I might be grappling with. For example, I am looking for new nail stations but I don’t have a ton of money to spend — it’s amazing how many different ways people have created stations using non-traditional items.
Kathy Dent, Salon Glow, Reno, Nev.

I love this question because I have had some great and some not-so-fabulous experiences. Either way, there is always a lesson to learn. It’s not unusual for my schedule to be booked out three-plus weeks at my salon, so it’s important for me to seek out quality salons that I can refer others to. While visiting other salons, I am looking at what services they offer, the level of sanitation and cleanliness, and how friendly and skilled the staff is. I had an opportunity to take a class with an internationally-known nail tech who showed up late and disorganized, and her station was cluttered and looked unsanitary. I left there very disappointed. On the other hand, I am blessed to have a few very talented nail artists and educators in my state. The benefit of visiting their salons is that I can often shadow them for a few hours, see how their stations are set up, ask technical questions, and possibly learn some new techniques. If this opportunity is available to you, I would suggest taking advantage of it and possibly booking an appointment.                           
Sheera Gersh, Addicted to Nails, Tempe, Ariz.

Visiting other salons is extremely helpful for your business. “Shopping other stores” is a term my mother used as the owner of a chain of department stores. She told me it was something you should get in the habit of doing every quarter. She was so right! It helps you to see what’s trending in other salons, for one. Going into the salon and having multiple services done allows you to stay in the salon long enough to actually see the workings and what’s really going on in their salon. I have been surprised at the lack of cleanliness in other salons. It helps remind me that it’s good to train your employees from the start on a good cleaning regime. I ask lots of questions  and inquire about marketing — how they market, where, etc. Sometimes you walk out of a salon with oodles of ideas and other times you come out disappointed.  However, even in disappointment, you learn perhaps what NOT to do. If you have the opportunity to meet the owner, you might be surprised at how gracious and helpful she can be. It’s a great networking opportunity. A definite benefit in so many ways — a must do!
Jaétte Burneo, Hot Pink Polish/ Salon Eyeconic, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Next question:
In what ways will you run your business differently next year? [Answers will be printed in the December 2015 issue.] Share your opinion on the topic by e-mailing your response by September 15 to [email protected] Please include your name, salon, city and state, and a high-resolution headshot with your response.

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