Business Management

Specialize or Diversify?

Can nail salons remain successful if they only offer nails?

Can nail salons remain successful if they only offer nails? Do nails-only salons have to diversify their services to survive in today’s full-service salon/spa mindset? Will customers remain willing to patronize one salon to get their nails, another for their hair, and yet another salon for skin or body service? Has the concept of a nails-only salon become quaint and outdated?

I think there’s a bright future for nails-only salons if, and only if, they take advantage of the fact that they are a specialty business. If you’re going to be only nails, then be only nails with a vengeance.

If you’re a nails-only salon, you should be able to offer customers the entire gamut of nail services, from acrylics (including flawless pink-and-whites) to gels to nail art to a whole range of pedicure options. You should have a variety of products to try and use on clients (both in service and in retail) that it’s like Beauty Product Disneyland. You should be such an expert in the diseases and disorders of the nails and skin that customers think you’ve got a dermatology degree.

You should have all sorts of programs to deal with every conceivable nail-related issue a customer could have, whether it’s nail biting, bad lifting, or chronic green nails. You should have fast services for the lunchtime executive as well as luxuriously slow services for the pampered matron.

When you reach into your supply drawer to pull out a tip to fit a nail misshapen by a lifetime of biting, your customer’s jaw should drop because she’s never seen so many sizes, shapes, or colors of tips!

You should be the first salon on the block with a new colored powder or low-odor product, the first to try a new brush or cuticle implement. There should be son many hand creams and cool polish colors lining your shelves that your customer’s head will spin. You should stock every hard-to-find nail charm, every high-priced moisturizer, every grit file that you can fit in the salon.

Is the nails-only salon dead? No! In fact, we may soon see its renaissance.

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