Top nail experts reveal key areas to improve business for nail salons.
1. Pushing the App Envelope
Nail appliqués were well received in 2012, and this year will show a new dimension of these smart stickers. “You see appliqués going from very formal with rhinestones to elegant,” says Essie Weingarten, founder and global creative director of Essie. “It opens up the window and challenges nail techs to step up their game with ombre, colour blocking and other trends. Using them as accent nails makes for wonderfully good conversation starters.”
2. Offer the ‘Blind Item’
Tony Cuccio, CEO of Star Nail International and Cuccio Naturale, says that massages and salon body care will be an up-sell that won’t lose. “Women these days are stressed. They work all day, run after the kids—she has a lot of demands. The salon becomes her haven, where she can have an extended massage and escape,” says Cuccio, who swears by the perceived value of up-selling pampering services like a foot massage. “A massage is a blind item—something everyone wants and nobody has. There’s a need fulfilled: for women to detoxify their body, be healthier, to relax. The massage will also bring clients in, increase revenue and give women what they want.”
3. Good Additives
Sometimes less is more, especially in the case of harmful ingredients, but Shel Pink, founder and chief creative officer of SpaRitual, predicts a new philosophy towards healthy nail ingredients. “What’s been hot the last few years are the ‘free-of’ ingredients. But what are we adding to help with nail health?” In their spring and summer collections, SpaRitual will be adding an eco-certified bamboo ingredient, which strengthens the enamel.
4. The Nail Tech is in Business
“There’s a new generation of nail technicians who are really business people. I see them using Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and all the tools that allows them to track their customers,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director. “Let nail technicians integrate their customer list into a computer and send them nail art of the week and weekly promotions. Why let the customer go someplace else? She’s already your client.”
5. Keep Teaching
While gels are super hot, there’s still a need to educate the customer. “It’s not just putting nail polish on. The critical part is the removal, and if not removed correctly, it will peel clients’ natural nails,” says Weiss-Fischmann. “When customers comes in for a service, the nail technician needs to explain what exactly a gel nail involves.”
Photo courtesy of Essie