You’ve finished school, obtained your license, and stocked your station with supplies. Now all you need to do is hang the “open for business” sign and wait for clients to line up, right? Unfortunately, the reality is that getting your license isn’t even half the battle to a career in nail technology. Once you’ve learned how to perform nail services, then it’s time to learn how to sell nail services, or rather how to “market” nail services.
Building a profitable service business requires an ongoing marketing program. Good prices alone won’t do it. Good service alone won’t do it. And skilled techs alone won’t do it. A combination of all these factors, and a marketing plan, are necessary to achieve business success.
Marketing is an essential ingredient in the recipe for growth for any small business, especially one providing a highly personal service. Yet, many salon owners shy away from all but the most obvious ways to promote their businesses. For some, their entire marketing program consists of an expensive ad in the Yellow Pages or an advantageous salon locale. However, by using proven marketing techniques, you can improve your profits and bring new and repeat clients into your salon.
While advertising is an essential part of marketing, it’s only that—a part. An effective marketing program requires much more than advertising. Marketing embraces all facets of your salon’s operation. To be an effective marketer, you must nurture and promote your business image, sell yourself as well as you do your business, and concentrate on making your salon the best choice for discriminating clients.
There are many elements that can fall under the broad heading of marketing, starting with how you dress (Selling Yourself) and where you decide to work (Employment Opportunities, Compensation, Salon Location). Day to day activities that affect your profitability include: How you answer the phone (Telephone Scripts) and book appointments, pricing of services and price increases, as well as record keeping (Client Records, Tracking Marketing Results). Additionally, there are many time-honored marketing methods that can be used in new and exciting ways, such as: Traditional advertising and promotions, retail sales, referrals, PR, and more. Finally, many of the above methods are aimed at getting new clients, but it’s just as important – if not more so – to retain clients, and prevent them from landing in the chair of the competition!
Whatever first step you take in your new marketing program doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do something new in order to overcome the inertia that keeps many small business owners from ever reaching their full potential. While marketing is work (and most nail techs and salon owners agree they don’t need more work), this kind of work can pay off. Take action now, and reap the benefits for time to come!