Money Matters

Don’t Go Broke When Clients Go Natural

Learn to do a complete, top-quality manicure in a half-hour, including soak massage and price your manicure appropriately.

While some women may have less time and money to devote to the upkeep of artificial nails, it doesn’t mean you have to lose customers. So, what can a nail tech do to keep her bottom line from bottoming out? Plenty, according to Paula Gilmore, industry consultant and co-owner of Tips Nail & Image Center in Redwood Shores, —Calif. Here’s her advice to technicians and salon owners:

Learn to do a complete, top-quality manicure in a half-hour, including soak massage (if you add a paraffin treatment, charge extra). To price your manicure appropriately, consider how long that service takes in comparison to a fill. For instance, if you charge $22 for a fill (which should take one hour) and you can do a manicure in a half-hour, then charge $11. If a manicure takes you 40 minutes, then $14-$15 would be more appropriate.

Take retail a higher percentage of your total receipts. Less time spent in the salon means more at-home care on the part of the client. You can ensure loyalty by prescribing an excellent home care regimen. Keep clients well-supplied with a strengthener/top coat, cuticle conditioner, light buffer or file, and nail enamel.

Capitalize on the fact that some clients won’t show progress with natural nails. Get clients to try a test nail with some type of nail enhancement. That Way they can wear it for a while and see if they like it, and you can get a manicure client to step up to a more dedicated service.

In order to maximize profits, you have to book manicures effectively. Don’t ask the client what time she wants to come in, tell her when you’re available. That way you don’t end up with awkward gaps. With a little planning you can get a fill and a manicure into a 90-minute opening.

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A substance used to destroy bacteria, fungi, and viruses on human skin; antiseptics will not disinfect or sterilize metal nail care instruments.
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