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Deciding on your nail salon operating system

manicure-1916489_640Deciding on your nail salon operating system can be daunting. Nail care is a vast and versatile business! The nail care field offers therapists various ways they can operate and this is so exciting because as a therapist you get to decide which path you want your career to take. You can literally live your dream by doing what you love everyday – you know how the saying goes “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”.

Either you can work for yourself, or you can work for somebody else. Working for yourself is great if you have an entrepreneurial flare or working for somebody else can be even better if you tend not to like taking too many risks. But what type of salon do you want to have? That is the first question you need to ask yourself – will it be nails-only; a full-service salon; a day spa; a home based salon; or a mobile salon?

If you choose a home based salon or mobile salon, the benefits would be that you save money on rental. However, clients might request appointments at strange hours and they might invade your personal space. Remember to set boundaries with your clients.

Having a home-based salon can also be intrusive on your family time and their privacy. You may also have domestic demands that leave you feeling panicked such as cooking dinner or bathing children which could compromise the level of service you provide your clients – it may be rushed, impersonal and low quality.

If you are a mobile operator, you need to make allowances for the kilometers you travel and add it into the cost. It is also good to keep in mind, that perhaps you should only do home visits with clients that you know well, or have met before – your safety is paramount.

To make your decision on what form of operation little easier, here are a few pros and cons of each option:

  1. You can have your own business where you work for yourself as the only nail technician
    • You would do all your customer’s nails
    • You would be hands on in all aspects
    • You would work for several hours a day in your own salon. You may be expected to commit long hours to set up your salon and clean up in preparation for the next day
    • You would be your own boss – not having to answer to anyone else. This is a huge pro but also requires a lot of determination, discipline and long-term planning.
  2. You could hire a salon manager to run your business for you
    • You would need the initial start-up capital and consistent income to pay them
    • You would need a team of nail technicians that you trust to uphold your salon brand and reputation
    • You would need to rent an operating premise
    • You wouldn’t need to be hands on – freeing up your time to truly develop your brand, make plans for expansion and look into new business ventures
  3. You could rent salon booths
    • You would need to make sure that your rentals make enough money for your business through large clientele that would justify paying the cost to rent a booth
    • Your booths might not always be fully rented
    • You would have to have plans in place for months when the business returns are much lower than expected

Whichever you chose to do, remember, you are there to make somebody’s day – so chose something that makes you so happy that it radiates through you and your working environment to make the clients happy too, because at the end of the day that’s all that matters…and beautiful nails, of course.