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Key Strategies to Opening a Successful Nail Salon
Key Strategies to Opening a Successful Nail Salon
From expertise in picking location, equipment selection, budgeting, licensing, marketing, staffing, and hygiene best practices, you also have to be an expert in your craft to build your clientele. With all of this, it’s no wonder opening a new business can seem like a daunting task.
Keep reading, though! We’ve put together a comprehensive collection of tips culled from some of our favorite sources to help guide you through the process.
1. Do Your Research
You’ve likely already sized up your competition. But, just in case you haven’t, now’s the time. Check them out via Google maps, reviews, and streetview. Then, make time to visit them in person to size them up. Get a feel not only for the services they offer, but also for what they do well and what they don’t. You can get a jump on the competition from day one if you can offer services or technologies they don’t.
2. Location, Location, Location!
If you’ve done good research, you likely know what local peak hours are for nail services in your area. You’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing your location. Will your customers be wanting to schedule maintenance appointments during the work day? Or in the evening or on weekends when time, parking, or traffic are less of an issue? Also, keep in mind that your location will reflect your business sensibility and your brand, but also must be within your budget as a new business. If a location offers your perks for a higher price point or conversely, offers you a nice bundled package of location plus services in a slightly less advantageous location, you’ll want to evaluate those offers completely to determine which is the best for *your* particular venture. New businesses are not one-size-fits all. A commercial real estate agent can help you determine which areas in your region are hot, up-and-coming, and on a downward trend. Let experts help fill in your knowledge gaps.
3. Invest Where It Counts
We touched on having a budget before when it came to rent, but we’re going to dig into that more deeply here. Your business is going to be the manifestation of your brand – with a budget. Of course, you want the best of everything in your salon, but you may not be able to afford that level of quality across-the-board at first.
You’ll need to create a business plan and a budget that is built for realistic growth and reinvestment. This way, you can reliably track progress, set realistic goals for yourself and your business and adjust your timelines accordingly. A few business courses wouldn’t go amiss, but if the thought of going back to school makes you queasy, don’t worry. There are tons of free and low-cost resources available online, through your local small business associations and/or accelerators, at your local library, and through your local extension agency. With a little time, you’ll be able to determine your priorities and invest where it counts most for you and your future clientele *and* have a plan to fill in any gaps with your future success.
open a nail salon
3. Set the Mood
We all know why people visit the nail salon. Part of it is to get a rocking set of nails to introduce themselves to the world. But another large part of it is the opportunity to relax and be treated to some pampering.
Your clientele will choose you for a variety of reasons – location, skill, professionalism. But your interior spaces will make a huge difference in their overall experience and keep them coming back — or not. If you’re thinking about opening a nail salon, undoubtedly, you already have a vision in mind. It’s worth your time, though, to compare that vision with the current market to see how it lines up. If it’s too samey or too radically different, consider tweaking it a bit. Customers have expectations of what salons should look like and generally, they don’t like curveballs when it comes to comfort. Wow them with your creative use of color on their nails. Let your salon interior complement that work not compete with it.
opening a nail salon
4. Get the Right Tools for the Job
Get ahead of the game by choosing and initiating a salon software scheduling system for nail salons first thing. A salon scheduling tool like Salon Iris can seamlessly organize your client booking, allow clients to book their own appointments, help you manage client data, forms, and releases, send reminders, create gift cards and a customer rewards programs as well as market your business via social media and other outlets all from a simple interface that you can operate from all from your smartphone.
Your salon will help other people feel better as they go about their lives. A scheduling tool like Salon Iris is an investment in helping you run your business with less stress. It’s like having a whole team of people working together to help you succeed with unlimited customer support for training and questions. Don’t go it alone. Get Salon Iris on your side from day one!
5. You’re a Professional First.
Your clients are there for a service and it’s important to set the right tone from your first interaction and maintain that through every interaction afterward. That includes interactions in person at your salon or elsewhere, on your website, on social media, etc. When you own and operate a small business, you often remain profitable or not based on your reputation. You may not be able to control your clientele, their opinions, or their reviews of your business. But you can control yourself and your responses. It’s normal to feel upset about a bad review, especially an unfair one. But, if you’re managing your own social media, it’s a mistake to react out of hurt. Give yourself time to calm down and, if you’re smart, you’ll have taken this next bit of advice. Create a response for bad, unfair reviews today so when the time comes, you can just copy it and paste it in as a reply and move on. Prospective customers reading a generic acknowledgement of poor reviews will see you’ve acknowledged and are aware these words are out there. That’s important and lends credibility to your business. An example of such a response might be:
“Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of [this business]. Your feedback gives us insight into where we need to focus for improvement. Your input is appreciated. All the best, The Team at [This Business].”
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6. Use Social Media (but also have a website!)
Social media is a great tool for showcasing your professional skills and your business, but remember, no social media platform belongs to its users and neither does the content posted there. Anyone’s access to any social media platform could be revoked at any time for any reason so make sure you’re not basing your business there.
You need a standalone website that’s under your control that you can easily maintain and update with your own content that you can then share out through your social media channels. And this is something you can achieve with the scheduling software mentioned above, Salon Iris. With Salon Iris, you’ll get your very own website with your own customizable look and feel with multiple content templates and integrated features, integrating your marketing, scheduling, and social media tasks with automated set-it and forget-it simplicity and efficiency for as many users as you require.
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