Among the delegates at OPI’s s/s ’17 Fiji Trend Tour were mobile techs, longtime salon owners and those venturing into owning a nail salon for the first time. Vicky Knight, owner of Salon Chique in Canterbury, shared valuable advice for a successful nail business that everyone can benefit from.
Creating a brand
“First off, you need to look at what you’re offering and what sort of style you want to aim for. It’s really important your branding follows all the way through the business, like it does for the most recognisable brands, such as Apple. Start with your logo and colour scheme and keep it running all the way through.
“Identify your ‘touch points’ – the things in the salon your customers are going to pick up on. These are things like the reception desk, table-top towels, furniture, and refreshments. You have to think about what makes you different in order to stand out. This is where offering something like nail art, which we teach on the Trend Tour, can really set you apart from your competitors.
“Take your target client and your location into consideration when you’re pricing; there’s no point charging £50 for a gel-polish manicure when you’re in a small village. Don’t try to be everything to everyone – focus on something you can excel at that rather than offering lots of things that are mediocre.”
“Add-on services are a fantastic way to boost profits but when talking to clients refer to these extras as “beauty boosters” or “upgrades”. Calling it an add-on makes it sound like you’re just tagging it on to make extra money.
“During quiet months, I might offer free nail art on one finger with a set of gel polish. It takes 15 minutes and it’s free time anyway, and if that client becomes a nail art client you’ll make the cost back very quickly.
“It’s important to know your clients and what they like. Keep notes on your software system about things like how they take their tea or coffee. Then when they next come in you can have their drink ready and a couple of colour or nail art suggestions based on what you know they like. This kind of thing takes your service to the next level and makes it really personal.”
The key to retailing
“It’s important to stop thinking of retailing as a hard sell. You’re only recommending a product you trust and that you know will keep your work looking its best, so you’re doing the client a disservice if you don’t recommend it. You’re a professional and you’re retailing to make sure clients maintain the beautiful work you do.
“You can sell just by talking about the product as you’re using it during the treatment. Always make sure your products are in stock and keep a note on your system of any product a client purchases so you can ask how they’re getting on with it when they come in again. It shows you care and weren’t only interested in making a sale.”