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How to create an exceptional nail business – part 1

Following on from last week’s post, “Are you cheap or are you exceptional?” I am going to show you how to build an exceptional nail business.

Included in the post was a short video that explained how a Hair Stylist in New York charges $310 for a men’s haircut. To put that in perspective, most men’s Stylists in the US charge between $10 to $50 to cut a gent's hair. In case you last week’s post (and the video) missed it, click here.

If they can be exceptional, charge above average prices and still be busy – why can’t you?

Why be exceptional?

The truth is, most nail businesses are not exceptional. There are so many nail businesses out there, but most of them are the same and they do things in the same way. In other words, they are average.

But, you are not average, you are unique and you want your business to be unique, to stand out of the crowd. You also want your business to make more money than the average nail business. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you started it?

When you are exceptional, customers can’t compare you or your prices with the nail business across the road.

When you are exceptional, people no longer buy on price. They buy value.

When you are exceptional you develop customer loyalty. You customers just don’t want to go anywhere else. Aren’t you sick and tired of customers leaving you because they can save R20 at the “Nail Tech down the road?”

When you are exceptional, you can charge exceptional prices. Aren't you tired of working hard but not making real money?

The question is, do you believe you are exceptional? Is that belief communicated through everything you do in your nail business?

Before we go any further - everything you are about to learn is based on the assumption that you are a really good Nail Tech. Gone are the days when just being an average Nail Tech was enough. These days the market is flooded with Nail Tech’s, most of whom are average – but who wants to be average?

How many nail bars in your trading zone sell nail services similar to yours?

Regardless of what town or city you live in, customers can buy a set of Gel or Acrylic Nails from at least a dozen other businesses just like yours.

That’s why customers no longer just want to buy a product or service – they want a customer buying experience.

In other words, they want more than a set of nails. When they walk out your door, they should be saying, “That’s a great set of nails I just got, but WOW THAT WAS AN EXPERIENCE!! I CAN’T BELIEVE THE WAY I WAS TREATED!!”

To give your customers that unique experience that they don't get from any of the other nail businesses you compete against, you need to create a "customer experience pipeline." This is a simple, yet powerful and predictable pipeline that you can create and control even before your nail business opens doors. Every customer that buys your nail services will flow through this pipeline.

The problem is 99% of Nail Tech’s and nail businesses aren’t even aware that this pipeline exists and they never even put any thought into how they will take the customer by the hand and lead them predictably through the pipeline. They simply do things the way that everyone else does them. This creates massive opportunity for you to  be exceptional. (and it won't even cost you money)

When you create and control an intentionally planned customer experience pipeline you no longer sell a service or a treatment, instead you set yourself apart from every other nail business that you compete against because your pipeline now helps you to deliver a customer experience. One that customers don’t forget.

Before we get into the pipeline, there are two important things to remember.

  • Firstly you control every step of the pipeline.
  • Secondly, your customer experience pipeline must be written out in detail.
  • Thirdly – when you create your customer experience pipeline, stop looking at what other businesses in the industry are doing. Innovate don't imitate. Start paying attention to the way other service businesses treat their customers. This is where original, creative ideas will come from.

What’s your plan?

Developers don’t build houses without blueprints. Chefs don’t create meals without recipes; rugby teams don’t win games without a game plan. So then, why do Nail Tech’s expect to succeed without their version of a blueprint, recipe or game plan?

Your customer experience pipeline will become a critical part of your day to day operational procedures so it must be documented and trained to all staff members. It is the way you do things in your business and must never be deviated from. If you haven’t written it down, then you haven’t perfected it, you haven’t tested it and you certainly can’t train it and pass it on to staff members.

The 9 step plan to become exceptional

Below is an overview of the 9 step customer experience pipeline. I have implemented this in businesses all over South Africa and it works. Next week I will take you through steps 1-3 in detail and show you how to implement them in your business and create a first impression that "knock's your customers socks off."

Just in case you are thinking that this sounds like hard work, well it is. It is easy to be average. It is easy to just like every nail business out there. It takes time, effort and hard work to be exceptional, but that's why exceptional businesses make exceptional amounts of money!

The 9 Step Buying Experience

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