Young Nails Blog

Help A Nail Pro Build Out Clientele

We’ve been incredibly grateful for all the Young Nails love and loyalty. So we wanted to pay things forward in our special family of professional nail techs. This new Biz Talk Live Call is our way of reaching out and offering some fresh ideas to slay your salon business demons.  We look forward to hearing directly our customers, about what you really need in real life.  We’re confident that the issues tackled in this space are universal speed bumps on a nail pro’s journey. Look to us as a friendly resource and as a way to connect with our wonderfully like-minded nail artist community.

BACK STORY
Taylor is a beauty pro with a nail and brow business. She graduated in 2014 from a cosmetology school in Las Vegas that she adored. At the age of 19, she was a dedicated student but after an unexpected medical issue; she had to take a small break. Ready and armed with her license, she admitted that at first starting out in the Salon Industry was not as easy as she thought it would be. Taylor noticed the divide in the Las Vegas nail market between the quality of the work she wanted to offer her clients and what was available at the competition, your typical walk-in nail salon. She was able to run an OK nail business through her friends and family network. Taylor called in from Spokane, Washington; her new home base and is having a hard time setting up shop in a new town.

RELOCATION & REAL WORLD PROBLEMS
Taylor says it’s pretty hard to find new clients in Spokane. In her experience, the biggest problem is that the local client/customer is relatively uneducated about nails and buy into false fads. As a former Sally Beauty Supply manager, she has a ton of product knowledge and is often frustrated when clients think they “know better than you, the trained nail professional when she offers to explain nuances of nail product.  In her first six months after relocating, Taylor started in a salon, working on commission. Then she decided to try out booth renting. Disappointingly, neither set ups worked out and she wasn’t able to justify the cost. The Spokane area is basically two communities in one: a college town or a retirement community. Trying to specialize and be more resourceful, Taylor reached out to her State Board of Cosmetology in order to obtain a traveling business license and set up a mini-treatment room to service her older clientele with mobility and health issues. She’s managed to have 5 clients a week. It’s a pretty minimal number. So where does she go from here building on six months in a new city? What can she do to drum up more business?

[YN]:
First thing we like to do is look at your nails (on social media) to see what’s going on. You do good nails. Your work is solid.  Your brow game is on point. You do acrylics. What else do you offer? With this kind of work, we’d expect you to average 10-20 clients.

TAYLOR:
Spokane is an odd town. Some clients live in adjacent, Idaho, fifty minutes out. So a lot I won’t see except once a month. My bread and butter is hard gel. It’s what I’m most comfortable with. I try to get some of my clients who are hairdressers, with them being in water into gel that would hold up.  But a lot of clients are old school and don’t want to switch.

[YN]:
But you have both skill sets. You can offer what your clients what they need. How many hours are you dedicating to the salon?

TAYLOR:
However much I need to. And I really mean that. I spend a lot of time in the salon. I’m in the nail suite for a long time. If I have one client coming in to see me that day, I will hang out in my nail suite all day and do nothing but practice my nail art or concentrate on my sculpting which is easier to do that a tip. So a lot of the time I am practicing working with tips or

[YN]:
So we’ve narrowed it down. It’s not your skill. Your putting in time at the salon. You have the technical part down. You do very nice work and continue to build up your skill level. Be honest with yourself. How much time are you actually spending on building your business, the distribution and exposure of your work? For example at YN, we are create a lot of content. The content needs to go out beyond our feed. We use facebook advertising. It requires money. What would we be doing to build? We would be on Instagram focusing on the distribution on your brand. We would be hustling getting to know our community. We’d be networking with other businesses in your community and social media.

TAYLOR:
Sure. I know that I don’t post a lot but I am out of my house everyday. I have my Instagram handle on the card. I am not afraid to walk up to people at a store, tell them they’re awesome and try to maybe work out a discount.

[YN]:
If we were you? We would hit up 100 people a week. Set up a target;  hitting up as many people as possible. And this would maybe result in getting one client. Where do you go after you give them a card? Tell them to check out our work on social media. It’s kind of required. What if you tried this for the next 6 months for your nail and brow work? You have multiple skills (gel and acrylic) and talents. There would be no reason why you shouldn’t be crushing it in the salon in Spokane.

TAYLOR:
I’m in the nail suite, an actual room in the back of my house. A place were my clients can be more comfortable especially since they are older.  It’s approved by the Licensed State Board of Cosmetology. I just wasn’t making it enough money on booth rent. I thought I would do better on commission walking in and out. I agree that I could benefit by walking up to  those 100 people. I’ve maybe approached 60 people and had them call me.

[YN]:
It’s a volume game. Your skill is not an issue. You sound very confident. For you, it’s a numbers game...hustle and move. You’re full of energy and enthusiasm. For four hours, hit the road and spend time on the distribution (of your work/brand). Maybe spend an hour on Instagram advertising. Remember, it’s quite uncommon to have a home salon and harder to build a clientele there. It can be off-putting for some people to come to your house. So try to surround yourself with other hairdressers and nail techs. It’s encouraging, first of all.  It’s important. You can feed off them, be seen right there as you practice, and be their nail person or brows. There is so much money to be made in nails and brows especially in a salon atmosphere. You’ll be able to grow there. Another thing is, what are you doing for pricing? Sometimes we can price ourselves out of the market and not charge as much working from home. People can ask maybe she’s too cheap? Maybe she is not that good?

TAYLOR:
Usually for a full set is $55 hard gel/acrylic. And my Fills are about $40.

[YN]:
Pricing is good. You are not doing standard work, ombres and marbling. If you could find that perfect opportunity, the perfect marriage with a salon would really help. Looking for that perfect spot, you have time. You’re not desperate while you have the home salon. Take advantage of that. For example, if Tracey was dropped anywhere in the US; 99% of the locations may have some random spot. Every single day, she would go get it, really go after it. It sounds simple but it’s not. It can be discouraging after hitting up 100 prospects a week, (or what that magic number is for you). You have to hustle until you convert clients. One last questions, so what is your (client) retention?

TAYLOR:
Once they are in the door, they stay. I’ve only lost clients when I moved and even now they stick with me until I come back.

[YN]:
That is huge. You are so close. Keep knocking on doors. We’d love to talk to you again in another 6 months. Create a strategy around your ground game and social media. Target 100+ prospective clients a week. Go big. Just don’t stop until you are booked solid. We really appreciate you calling in. It’s going to help a lot of people. What a great session that was! A lot of times it comes down to the simple things. Taylor’s got it all. Nails and brows is huge right now. We know a lot of people say we sound like we’re always money hungry. We’re not. We’re about supporting a family. We’re about running a good business.

*This is an adapted version of the Live Call. The dialogue by Habib and Tracey has been abbreviated and rolled into one voice shown here as [YN]. Watch it here:

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