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What's Needed When You First Start In The Nail Industry?


What do you need when you first start out in the nail industry? Habib and Tracey talk about the hardships that many face when they set out in the nail industry and share what skills you need in order to break through.
Beyond the basics of your favorite nail care products and regular clients, we explore some obvious but often overlooked essentials that every nail tech new to the nail game needs to consider. Top of your to-do list is to cultivate an abundant supply of patience, honesty, and positivity. The nail industry in the US is a unique one.The instant you decide to become a nail professional; you are also (and often unexpectedly) signing up to be a real deal business owner. It’s important to know that it’s a package deal and learn to treat your work-self as a separate entity. Real deal business owners have real deal problems. How you handle them determines how your fledgling business will get off the ground. So here we go.

The idea of “paying your dues” is something most people understand as a concept, right? The main problem is underestimating how much it actually sucks when YOU are the one doing it. Keep in mind that It can take a really really really really long time before your business finds its own rhythm and starts turning a profit. There will be joy. There will be pain. There will be a lot of crappy variations in between. This is where your patience needs to kick in. What does being patient even mean? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, it means to be able to bear pains or trials calmly or without complaint.
Sitting clientless at your station killing time until someone finally walks in the door is the worst. Insert patience here. The next worst thing is the nerves and performance anxiety when, at long last, you get to perform a nail service on an actual living breathing paying client. Insert patience, here. Patience, it’s It’s just one of those things you can’t quite know how much you need until you lose yours. Like all things in life worth doing, cue this power ballad from Guns N Roses on your playlist to get you through the rough spots, “Said woman take it slow, it’ll work itself out fine//All we need is just a little patience”.

So many questions to work through the slow times. Use this time to make outline what your business will look like. There is no such thing as a perfect plan but having one is still important and will save you a lot of headache. Here are some sample questions for you to ponder and a business plan will take shape.

What am I going to do? How long do I think this is going to take me? How am I going to build a clientele? What do you do when you’re building your business but not making money? While you have the time to think, make a plan and write down your short term and long term goals. What days am I going to be in the salon? How many hours will I spend at the salon? How much do I realistically need to bring in every month to just cover my booth rental and product supply? What does that amount break down to every week? Every day? How many clients a day would it take me to reach that goal? What is my plan to strategically increase my income over the next 3 months? What are three simple actions I can take to market my business? Can I offer my services to help my fellow salon pros with repairs just to get someone into my chair? How much money do I need to be making to really feel like I’ve made it.

Starting a new career is no walk in the park. Everyone’s situation is going to be different; trying to overcome different financial and emotional hurdles. If you have awareness, it will be less of a surprise for you when you find yourself on some rocky stretch along the way. We’ve found it’s important to approach the start-up years of a business within the context of survival. Do whatever it takes to survive. Stay humble. Live lean. Scrimp and save if possible. Know how much it costs to be you. Be prepared to work unconventional hours to pay the bills. Sometimes while your carving out your dream job, it can be helpful to take on a side hustle to act like a little safety net as you transition into financial independence. Let colleagues know that you’re willing and able to take on someone’s client overflow. Come to work with a bottomless supply of patience and positivity thinking. The key however is to be very realistic about your situation. Talk to nail pro mentors about where you are at. Check in with people who’ve walked this path before you; seek out support and encouragement.

This aggressive approach of survival mixed with sunshine can be a powerful combination. Make all your decisions based on reality and truth. Nothing good comes from being in denial. Be aware of your finances. Commit to really do the calculations and figure out if you can afford the lean first couple of months. If you can’t maybe consider starting out with a commission salon and then make the transition to go out on your own. Nothing happens overnight. Identify what keeps you motivated and keep at it. Plug into positivity. Never stop promoting yourself whatever situation you find yourself in. Step up and be amped about finding yourself in the wonderful career that is nails. Keep your eyes on the prize. It’s an amazing business doing something that you actually love with tons of money earning potential once you.

**This is an adaption from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “WHAT'S NEEDED WHEN YOU FIRST START IN THE NAIL INDUSTRY?”

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