Overcome the biggest challenge of running a home-based nail salon

Eight out of ten Nail Tech’s that we train at Magnetic Nail Academy end up opening their own home-based nail salon. While a home-based nail salon is not for everyone, there are so many benefits to running a home-based beauty business, for example,

  • Start-up costs are low.
  • The travel time to work is zero!
  • There are a lot of legitimate tax benefits.

However, over the years of helping Nail Tech’s build successful nail businesses, there is one particular downside to owning a home-based nail salon that we have seen Nail Tech’s struggle with.

Because you run your business from home and your costs are low, many clients mistakenly expect that your prices be just as low.

Almost every Nail Tech that we train at Magnetic comes into the industry because they want to turn their passion for nails and beauty into a lucrative career. The problem is, if you are charging rock bottom prices for your nails, you will never make money.

Unfortunately, charging low prices is the # 1 sales and marketing strategy for most Nail Tech’s in the South African Industry. I know that you don’t want to be like most Nail Tech’s. You want to stand out of the crowd and build a successful home based nail salon, so how do you overcome this problem?

Step # 1 - Decide to be a professional and then conduct yourself like one

If you are going to overcome this customer price objection, then what you need to understand is that the problem lies with you and the way you think. The way you think about yourself and your business determines the way you act. The way you think also determines how your home-based nail salon will operate.

There is nothing wrong with owning and running a small business from home, but too many people have small thoughts towards their themselves and their small business. So, when you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see an average ordinary Nail Tech, or do you see a passionate, highly trainer Nail Artist? (We talk about this often at Magnetic, but it is because we want to raise industry standards...)

What difference does it make you ask? Let me illustrate…

My family goes to a GP who runs her medical practice from home. Do you think she charges low prices for her consultations because she has a home-based practice? Of course not! She is a highly-trained professional who is extremely good at what she does.

I know what you are thinking, you are saying to yourself, “Vaughan, I am not a Doctor, I can’t charge premium prices like she does.” If that’s what you are thinking, then you need to get your head right. My GP’s consultation fee is not based on her location, it is based on her expertise and the value that she brings to me - the patient.

The same is true with Nail Technology.

Your service fee must not be based on your location, it is based on your expertise and the value that you bring to the customer. (Side Note: the only time you shouldn’t be charging premium fees for your work is if you suck at doing nails and you are using cheap and nasty products – but in this article, I am assuming that you are good at what you do and that you are using a quality nail brand.)

So change your job title from Nail Tech to Professional Nail Artist and then start thinking and behaving like a professional. If you don’t see yourself as a highly-trained Nail Artist who brings huge value to the customer – neither will your clients. Clients will treat you according to how you see yourself.

Step # 2 - Position your home-based nail salon as a professional business in the mind of your customer

What is the difference between a hobby and a business? Hobbies suck money out of your bank account while a business put's money into your bank account.

What's the difference between an amateur Nail Tech and a professional Nail Artist? An amateur runs her nail business like a hobby, while a Nail Artist runs her home-based nail salon like a professional business.

Once you have decided that you want to run a professional home-based nail salon, then both you and your business need to communicate that sense of professionalism to the customer at all times. Here are 5 easy to implement, practical ideas that will make your customer see you and your home-based nail salon as worthy of the premium fees you want to charge.

#1. Download this poster

Magnetic has created the poster below for you to download, print out and place all over your business. This poster will begin to communicate your professional business attitude, quality of services and pricing philosophy to your clients.  But, a word of caution, when you print out the poster, do it properly. Don't stick it on the wall with prestik! Do it in full colour, put it in a bling frame and hang it up right near your nail desk, where the client can't help but see it. Don't forget to put it in your reception area and behind the toilet door!

Home-based Nail Salon Poster

Click on the image to download A4 Poster (1.12MB)

#2. Dress like a professional

How do you dress for work? If your attitude is, “I work from home, I’ll dress how I want.” then you are simply not a professional. If you work from 9 – 5 in your home-based business, then from 9 – 5, make sure that you look like a professional - that includes your hair, nails and make-up. You can dress casual after hours.

Some of the most successful Nail Tech’s I know work from home, but they dress like business women. They always look smart and they dress professional, and as a result, they attract professional business women to their nail salon. If you want clients to take you seriously as a Beauty Professional, then look the part and communicate your professionalism through your personal image. Magnetic supplies professional Nail Tech uniforms and tabbards. Make sure you get one and we'll even have your nail salon name embroidered on the outfit.

#3. Put your Certificates up

There are consumers in the market place who are nervous to visit a home based nail salon because they don't know if the Nail Tech is a backyard mechanic or a highly trained professional? The best way to let them know is by putting up all of your Nail Technology Qualifications in your reception area or behind your Nail Desk. But, did you know that 7 out of 10 Nail Tech's don't even put up their qualifications. This is not just a problem in home based businesses, it it also a problem in 5 star Day Spas. 

If you want different results in your business,, then don't do business like all the other Nail Tech's out there. Put up your qualifications and be proud of them! They are proof that you are indeed a professional!

#4. Do regular Client Consultations

How would you feel if you went to see a Lawyer and she didn’t ask a few questions about your particular situation? What about an Interior Designer who didn’t take the time to find out what your favourite colours are? Would you trust a Doctor who didn’t ask about the symptoms you were experiencing? If a Lawyer, Interior Designer or Doctor didn’t do a consultation, you would probably consider them to be a “Back Yard Mechanic!”

The same is true of Nail Tech’s who don’t do client consultations.

If you want to build a long-term business relationship with your customer, then it starts with you delivering a Professional Nail Technology In the Beauty Industry, it is supposed to be standard business practice to conduct a Client Consultation when offering facials or massage. However, in the Nail Industry, Client Consultations are virtually non-existent.

Think about this for a minute;

  • you are probably not doing consultations on a regular basis
  • your competitors are definitely not doing consultations
  • consultations give you a massive opportunity to look like a professional and boost sales.

I am not going to talk about Client Consultations any further, but click here for an in depth, practical business post on how to grow your nail salon by doing client consultations.

#5. Make sure your home-based nail salon looks professional

If you are going to run a professional home-based nail salon then you have to make sure that your setup looks professional. Please don't misunderstand me. I did not say that you have to break your bank account and hire an Interior Designer, however, your nail salon setup needs to look professional, hygienic and attractive. If you want to see how to setup a low cost, professional nail salon, come and see our demo setup a Magnetic and we will show you how to create a gorgeous home-based nail salon with a small budget. (Remember - to succeed in business keep your costs low and your profit margins high!) 

Here are some practical ideas to help you raise your standards and create a professional setup.

  • Keep pets out of the nail salon. I love animals, but many clients don't like being licked by your dog or having your cat shed on their clothes. How would you feel if your Doctor brought her poodle to work!
  • Don't mix and match Nail Technology products. This is the #1 mark of an amateur!
  • Get fanatical about salon hygiene.
  • Make sure that your nail desk creates a good first impression.
  • Download and use our "nail salon visual assessment tool." It is a comprehensive, 6 page, step by step guide that will help you build a home-based nail salon that looks professional and attracts clients.


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