[Nail Techs] Appointment booking, automated client reminders and more how-to-grow-your-business tips for nail salons

Nail technicians are solopreneurs. Manicurist, pedicurists, nail techs are artists making this world a more beautiful place, one nail at a time. It might seem their main job is just to clean, shape and beautify fingernails and toenails. But their hidden power is to bring more beauty into the world one client at a time. And the goal is to have happy clients, make more money and grow their nail business.

Your profession is your passion

Your day to day work as a nail tech includes discussing nail services with your clients, treatments, cleaning, trimming, polishing and decorating nails with superb nail art. These are the things you typically do and you master them really well.

Having a profession which is also a great passion, is a blessing.

When it comes to the business aspect of your nail salon though, you’re always in an active search for tips on how and what to improve in order to offer a better experience to your clients and increase your profit margins. Because let’s face it, you’re running a nail salon and not a charity.

A nail tech needs to wear many hats to be a successful small business owner.

Manifesting your skill, care and gentleness when you remove your client’s rough skin or offer a treatment, is as important as manifesting your most creative artsy side while painting something very pretty on your client’s nails.

Also manifesting your management skills when it comes to people and inventory, and financial knowledge when it comes to pricing (and never apologizing when raising the prices – remember the supermarkets don’t apologize or ask for your opinion either).

How to be professional, look professional and act more professional 

You can be amazing at doing nails and your client may not fully perceive it as top professionalism. It’s the whole experience that counts. There are those small little details that make clients think “my nail tech is really the pro!”

Do you want to know what’s one of the secrets that make nail techs look super professional?

Easy answer: a digital appointment book which sends automated appointment reminders to clients.

We’ve heard it so many times: “I use Appointfix for managing my appointments and sending automated text reminders to my clients. And since I use technology my clients now think I’m 10 times more professional. No more no shows as all my clients get their appointment reminders, plus I get a more organized appointment book.”

Or other clients who are grateful to have a lunch break thanks to Appointfix. You can check the online reviews to see what users are saying about the scheduling app.

Appointfix is a helpful app for beauty industry professionals: nail techs, hair stylists, barbers, makeup artists, etc. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

If you have less than 100 appointments/month you can get the Basic FREE package. Give it a try. For Premium you only pay $9.99/month and you can use the app on multiple devices, plus many other benefits. Check out all the details here.

How can you make your clients nail salon experience more enjoyable? 

Let’s say you have a new client. It’s the first time she’s visiting your salon and you’d like to impress her. You want her to become a regular client, one who keeps returning. How can you do that?

First of all, you start with the usual “getting to know each other” chit chat. So after the initial “how did you find out about our salon” question, ask your new client what they do for a living.

You don’t want to get too personal from moment zero, but your aim is to understand some important details about your client. For example, what they do with their hands at work and on their leisure time.

For more ideas on how to wow your clients from the first visit, here’s a quick checklist for busy beauty professionals.

What does your client do with their hands, how they use their nails

What your new client likes about their nails and how they want to have their nails, are things a nail tech must know it in order to think about the best services and treatments to recommend.

E.g. It’s one thing if they are a doctor, a history teacher or a bank teller, and quite a different story if your client is a swimming instructor having their nails in the water all day.

Or, if your client is a piano teacher thinking about trying those beautiful super long acrylic nails (artificial nails, fake nails, nail enhancements, false nails, whatever you call them) for her next series of concerts.

The hands would look great in pictures, but it would make the activity in itself more difficult. (Playing the piano with long acrylic nails might not be the best idea. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it.)

An experienced nail tech advises about the type and length of the nail extensions depending on the activity the client does, their lifestyle, type of service desired, length of time for maintaining great looking nails, periodical appointments needed, etc.

Wear your work to get more work

Whatever your best work is, just wear it. Why would you do that when you have all kinds of different clients? Because clients love to see your work and more times than not, they’ll want something similar.

So either if it’s you doing your own nail art, or you have someone helping you, make sure you wear what you want to offer to your clients.

That means that you shouldn’t wear a french white mani when you want to do a bunch of nail art. “You should wear the crazy nail art because a lot of times your clientele is going to gravitate towards what you are wearing and will want that on their nails too”.

And if you’re just starting your nail business, check out this very quick read which boldly states: “I know what your biggest nail art hurdle is”.

Play hard to get and be wise about it

Well, what if you’ve just got your nail tech license and the start is slow? Even in that situation, sales experts say it’s good not to reveal to your client that you have the whole day or week open for them.

You can offer your client couple of slot options and see if they work for them. Being busy is a sign that you’re in demand and clients like going to places that are in demand.

They are actually also willing to pay more for the service.

If you feel you need some motivation, here are a few inspirational pictures with quotes and ideas to make you smile and be more positive.

Educate yourself more, continue to refine your skills 

Yes, you want to learn all of the latest techniques and to constantly be innovating. That is the reason why you don’t want to have your client list staying always the same. You want a good stream of old clients, but you also want some new clients to have fresh blood coming in.

The new clients will assure you will be constantly challenged to improve your techniques.

A tip here could also be not to offer many services, but just being stellar at a few services.

Another idea is to keep educating yourself in areas that are not related to nails, but maybe business management, finance, marketing, etc. Business related topics which can improve your business knowledge, making you a more skilled small business owner.

There are many areas you can improve on, here’s a good read on how to be a better conversationalist. And if you’re really into reading, check out 7 great beauty industry books to read

Being on time, a myth or not

On time, seriously? Everybody wants to be on time, but it just doesn’t depend on the nail tech many times, as clients come in late or just want a different service or more complex type than the regular time they booked.

People change their minds. They book an appointment with you and when they are on your seat they realize that they want a more complicated design.

Some clients just come prepared with this very sophisticated nail art Instagram picture which takes double the time. That’s not fun and it happens to hairstylists and barbers too. There goes your lunch break down the window because one client wanted something after you already finished the service she asked for at the beginning.

So yes, it’s hard to be on time some days, but in order to present your most professional image to your client, please have the courtesy and let your clients know you’re running late.

This way they can come in 10-15 minutes later, managing to do something useful for themselves in that extra time. Instead of waiting frustrated on your chair with a magazine on their lap, or just tapping nervously on their phone.

Why offer water or coffee to your clients

How can offering a glass of water or a cup of coffee make a difference at all? Well, offering the clear transparent liquid or the dark beverage really counts, as it makes your clients feel more comfortable.

By the way, if they are a new client, make sure you show them the way around your salon. Don’t have them ask about where the restroom is, but point to it in advance so that the client feels more familiar with the place.

If you’re thinking about redecorating your space or just love seeing other salon look tips, here are some ideas on how to arrange and organize your salon.

How social are you?

As a nail tech you need to grow your Social Media presence. How? Just being there, spending a few minutes each day and by all means please post only beautiful pictures which do justice to your work. Learn to take some nice shots. Blurry shots or pictures with the subject on a side and too small are not helpful.

Learn your way around Instagram, Facebook, etc.

For some great ideas check out using social media to grow your nail business, or listen to this podcast and you can also watch this video. Regarding when to run promotions during the year, you’ll like to check out these promotion dates and options

Angry client? Breathe deep and deal with the situation impeccably  

There are the days when your clients might have a more complicated day and they are not easy to deal with. Anxiety runs high, you’re pretty tired (especially on those crazy days when you end up working 12 hours, being fully booked back to back) and you get this one impossible client complaining about the service and just taking all of their personal frustrations on you.

How do you deal with such situations?

First of all, you breath deeply. Anger is an emotion we all experiment at times, so try to put yourself in your client’s shoes.

One of the keys is not to take their anger personal and start being defensive as a result. Find out what to do next from this little article with 5 tips on how to deal with angry clients. You can use some of these little techniques for solving things better, faster and with less emotional consumption.

Flex those muscles, keep yourself healthy 

The nail tech job involves a lot of sitting. Over time that can really affect your body if you’re not exercising. Working out improves your mood, boosts your energy, improves your sleep, etc. It can also be a social activity and a fun thing to do, if you’re doing it with more folks.

You can go to the gym, join a volleyball team, an aerobics class, etc. or if you’re not the sporty type, you can just walk your dog for an hour daily and get the needed thousands of steps in. Because as they say: “excuses don’t burn calories.” 😉

How to make the most out of your time off 

Trips, outings, fun with friends, volunteering, sports, etc. are some possible ideas of what you would be doing on your time off. As a nail tech is hard to have weekends off, I know.

Most of your clients might prefer to book their services on the weekend. They work the whole week and use the weekend for a little pampering. That means you’re taking care or your clients needs, instead of being pampered yourself.

You can make up for it by doing some fun and meaningful activities on your time off, some great recreation and ventures that can recharge your batteries. Here are some beneficial things to do in your limited free time.

Growing your nail business is possible

You’re a business owner and are in this to make money. You’re blessed with the beautiful artsy side too. Because every nail is an empty canvas for a nail artist. As a nail tech you work on nicely shaped little canvas designing beautiful paintings. The result is a work of art in the most unique colors, shapes and shades.

Beauty is the name of the game and making money to support yourself and your family is the goal.

Happy clients bring money. Clients that don’t miss their appointments and keep returning to your salon bring money.

You can grow your nail business with appointment reminders. As mentioned above, one of the available platforms for growing your nail bar/ nail business is using a helpful scheduling and appointment manager app. Appointfix provides the right tool for nail technicians.

Thousands of great nail artist already use Appointfix app. Are you one of them? You can download Appointfix right now from the App Store or Google Play.

While we’re at it, another little idea you’d like to consider is to have a good stack of business cards with a 10%-15% off for first time clients. And same discount to the person recommending and directing them to your salon.

Encourage your clients to use the discount business cards, spreading the word about your business. A simple yet sure way to get new clients coming in and grow your business.

Last but not least, business success in a nail salon (as pretty much in any beauty industry field and type of business in general), is achieved with hard work, continuous efforts, passion and time invested. So chin up girl, you’ve got this! And when the going gets tough, remember that the tough gets a pedicure. Life is better in flip flops! 🙂

Emilia is Marketing Director at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at emilia.pustan@appointfix.com.