If you have experience and expertise as a nail technician, you can open your own nail business. Before doing so, you should find a niche and get a mentor to help you through the process.
In finding a niche, or some area of specialization, you offer your clients something that no one else does. To discover what this offering might be, you should first size up your competition. Get an idea of where they are located and what services they offer. You should also check out their ratings and reviews. This will allow you to deliver in areas where they fall short. It will also help you come up with something new, something that will interest people who like having their nails done at a salon.
To get all this information, you can visit them in person or visit their website, blog, and social media pages. Reviewing client comments will allow you to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. Hone in on the latter and figure out ways you can deliver the service much better.
Once you figure out what kind of service and solutions you want to offer, you will need to choose a target market. The latter consists of the kind of customers you want to attract to your nail business. You can discern this market by thinking about your ideal clients. Are they upper middle class, lower middle class, or working class? Are they from a particular ethnic or linguistic background? Do they live in the area where you will locate your business? These are some of the demographic questions you will need to ask and answer.
You should also get yourself a mentor before opening your business. This is someone who has been through the journey on which you are about to embark. You can ask such a seasoned entrepreneur what they think about the niche you have chosen and the target market you have set your sights on. They can also give you some insight into how they got their first clients and tell you a little about the process of getting funding, permissions, and the like. You should choose someone whom you trust and who is easy to speak to.
Steps to Setting Up Your Business
Once you have the above elements in play, you will be ready to establish your company. Here are some of the things you will need to do:
1. Create a business plan
A business plan is a written document that lays out your business goals and describes in detail how you intend to achieve them. A business plan will not only keep you focused; it will also help you get the funding you need. No matter which type of investment you seek, the people with the money will want to see a clear and sound business plan.
There are many templates and resources online that will help you draw up this document. But here are some of the questions you should ask to come up with the right content:
- How much will it cost to open the business?
- What are the recurring costs?
- What is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- How are you going to market and promote your nail business?
- How many people will you need to run the business?
- Where will you locate your shop?
- What kinds of supplies will you need?
- How will you find the most cost-effective supply vendors?
2. Choose the perfect location
If you have worked as a nail technician, you probably know the peak hours for nail services in your area. You should keep this in mind as you look for the best place to open your business. In general, residential areas, college localities, and office buildings are the best places for nail salons. When coming up with a short list of locations, you should use the following parameters:
- Traffic conditions in the area
- Parking availability
- The age range of people in and around the area
- Peak times for nail services
These criteria will help you get a better understanding of what your customers look like and what their daily habits are.
3. Decide on a business name and aesthetic
One of the best ways to make your business thrive is to offer your clients not only nail solutions and services but an entire experience. People don’t go to salons just to get their nails done; they also want to escape from their daily lives for a little while. You can help them do this by bringing them into a world that you have made.
You should choose a name that feels like your own. You should come up with something that is personal, catchy, and memorable. You will then need to design an interior that is warm, welcoming, and buzzing with friendliness and charm. Here again, you can look around and shop around for ideas.
4. Make a financial plan
To do this well, you will need to take expert advice. You should start by speaking to your mentor. But at some point, you will need to consult with a financial advisor. After your research and consultations, you should come up with a preliminary budget. This is also the time to start learning the basics of spending and record-keeping.
There is now on the market a wide range of bookkeeping software specifically designed for small business owners. If you are just not comfortable with numbers, it may be better to hire a professional accountant and add that as part of your overhead expenses.
5. Determine your pricing strategy
To price your services correctly, you must first understand the following factors:
- Location: If you are in a higher-end area, you should factor that into what you charge; you will also need to account for rent and mortgages
- Demand: Note how busy your business is on a day-to-day business and take note of repeat clients
- Competitor pricing: The amount of money your rivals charge for their services will give you some insight into price elasticity in the nail business
Based on the information and data you gather, you will be able to develop a pricing strategy. Your target market, work experience, and expertise must also be factored into the model. Customers tend to associate price with quality. While you don’t want to charge outrageous prices, you should not be afraid to be well-compensated for the superior service you offer.
6. Get the permissions
Legal requirements for opening a nail business vary by location. In nearly every instance, you will need a building permit, business license, and state-approved certificate to open your business. If you are unsure of what you need, you should visit your local government’s website. You may also want to speak to an attorney.
Once you have all the permits, you should immediately start ordering your supplies and equipment. Don’t jump the gun on this. There may be bureaucratic hiccups and delays. Make sure everything is in place and sorted before you start spending money.
7. Build your clientele
You will need to immediately start building your brand and clientele. Getting your name out there is the most important part of building your client base. One of the things you will need to do straightaway is to list your salon on Google My Business. They will require the following information:
Here are some of the basic things you will need to do:
- A small description of your nail salon
- Your contact information, address, website, operating hours, days, and other information pertinent to your business
- A logo or image that represents your nail salon
- A booking button that links directly to your reservation page
Listing your nail business on Google can greatly increase its reach. A well-optimized Google My Business listing can improve your local search ranking.
You will also need to engage on social media. Social media management (SMM) is becoming the marketing tactic of choice for many small businesses. Opening accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube will help you engage with people who may be interested in getting their nails done at your shop.
Engagement is the keyword here. Social media is a great way to speak to your target audience and for them to communicate directly with you. It is also a great way to give them insight into what your salon and its people are like. You can post videos, photographs, and other images on these platforms. It is a great way to market your business and attract new clients.