I’ve been wanting to write this article for a while now because I see so many nail techs struggling in the industry and I think there are some simple rules that if you follow them, you will be successful. At anything you do.
1. Be Professional
What does it mean to you to be professional? Monster.com lists these ten rules of professionalism which I think sums it up perfectly.
1. Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.
2. Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.
3. Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.
4. Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.
5. Respect For Others. Treating all people as if they mattered is part of your approach.
6. Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.
7. Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.
8. Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.
9. Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.
10. Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.
If you just follow this one tip, you will be well on your way to success. My dad always told me to remember the “3 R’s” in life: Responsibility for your actions, Respect for yourself, and Respect for others. These go right along with being professional and are an easy way to remember the rules. Thanks Dad! 🙂
The first suggestion is hard for a nail tech starting out. But if you are honest with your clients and let them know you guarantee your work, they will respect you and return.
2. Listen To Your Clients
When your first starting out as a nail tech, you might be really nervous about your work. Heck, I still am after five years and I’ve heard 30 year nail techs say they still get nervous. I have a hard time carrying on a conversation when I get nervous because I’m so focused on doing a good job. But no matter what, always try to ask your clients how they are doing and really listen to them. If you can show your clients that you truly care about them, they will return. I promise. Don’t spend the entire appointment talking about yourself. Only talk about yourself if your client’s ask about you. Which they will once you establish a relationship with them. In the salon industry your clients become your family and you will become a therapist to a lot of your clients…so many people don’t have anyone to talk to. That being said, remember Rule #1 and keep the conversation professional at all times! Try your hardest not to gossip or offer too much personal advice…if you are unsure what to say just nod your head and smile! 🙂
3. Be Consistent
Some of the best, but hardest, advice I ever got when I first started out was to give it a good 18 months before I will start making money. Unfortunately, you will lose money the first six months, break even the next six months, and finally start seeing a profit after that. I think because I followed Rule #1 “consistently” it only took me about 15 months, but the important aspect of this rule is to not give up!
Unless you are the chosen one and the business Gods are really looking down on you, the first few years will be tough. The salon owner I worked with at first started me out on commission based rent which helped a ton. You might even want to find a salon that supplies all the products when you are first starting out so you don’t need to invest in material. But if you have the finances to invest in product and rent, you’ll be ok if you are consistently consistent! 🙂
Show up to work every day. Put in the hours. Always be consistent. Here’s one of my all time favorite quotes…
4. Always Keep Learning
When I first started out, I can’t tell you how many nights I was on YouTube watching hours of technique videos. I couldn’t afford to go to classes and conferences but I could watch online videos for free. Which I did…all the time. I read as much literature as I could get my hands on. And I haven’t stopped. I am still learning as much as I can.
Don’t be afraid. Try new things every chance you get! Learn as much as you can from the other tech’s in your salon. Ask a million questions. And practice! Practice on plastic tips, practice on yourself, practice on your mom, sisters, friends, boyfriend, husband, dog…you get the point!
Be passionate about your craft!
5. Work Hard
Don’t be lazy. Don’t be a slacker. Work hard.
You will probably have a lot of extra time on your hands while you are building your clientele. Ask the salon owner if she has anything she wants you to do. Offer to help other co-workers. Practice as much as you can in your spare time. Practice on other co-workers who are building clientele. Your co-workers are your best form of advertising! Keep yourself busy all the time!
Market yourself through social media AGGRESSIVELY. Social Media is your best friend. It’s hard to know if you should spend money on advertising when you first start out. I would recommend setting up a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page instead. Hashtags are vital, no matter what Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake say.:) Use smart hashtags to target local business. Run contests to highlight your work and spread the word around. You could do a free pedicure or free set of nails asking people to repost a picture on their own account. Here’s a great article on Social Media Marketing.
A Little Bit About Me
Why should you listen to me? I kind of consider myself a professional in the industry. I’ve been a licnesed nail tech for five years and by the time I decided to stay home full time, I had a full clientele, was booked out a year, and had a wait list.
Besides being in the nail industry, I was a store manager at Bath and Body Works prior to becoming a nail tech, and before that my husband and I owned and operated a successful restaurant with our family for over twelve years.
I am also working on my Business Degree in Marketing. I’ve learned a lot of valuable information over the last couple decades!
Business is business. The rules apply to everyone, no matter what business you are in. Most importantly I have learned that if I apply myself entirely to my goals and dreams, I will accomplish whatever I set out to do. And so will you. The world is big enough for everyone to be successful, trust me! 🙂
Thank you so much for reading and let me know if I can ever help you with anything!