Thursday, October 2, 2008


My word of the day is: Frazzled. This state, frazzled, can be brought on by many things. Politics, the price of gas, the rising cost of goods, the domino effect destruction of our financial system beginning with the top financial institutions and ending with the stock market.

Basically, unless you live on a private island or under a rock some where, you've GOT to be concerned right now. I know I've written blogs about making money and increasing business, but it's time to discuss... survival.

What are some things you can do to help your business survive this financial crisis? I have a few suggestions. Pour yourself some chamomile tea, kick off your bunny slippers and get comfy.

Salon and spa business owners first fear is, "How will I keep my customers when they can no longer afford to come?". Consider this. The LAST thing Betty wants to do is give up the ONE thing that makes her feel like she is getting "me" time. However, the guilt of putting survival money into the me time can start to effect her rational thinking. If Betty went to the local drug store and purchased nail products to do her own nails, she'd spend anywhere from $10 - $25. Now, take a look at your menu and ask yourself, "Do I have services on my menu that can offer smaller, less expensive services to keep Betty coming in?" For example, offering an express manicure that schedules for 20 minutes and costs only $10 could be the difference between Betty staying, or going to the local retail store and trying to do her own nails for $10. You'll still essentially be getting $30 an hour. And now, you've created a great service to invite stressed out executives to come in on their lunch break.

Fills. Your clients may start to stretch their fill appointments. How about offering a "maintenance fill"? Let's say Betty comes every two weeks for a fill. But now she's considering every 3 - 4 weeks. Keep some of that business by offering a 20 minute appointment. Remove her polish. Check her nails for lifting or any potential problems. Apply some brush on resin to seal down her acrylic or gel edges. Shorten and shape her nails. Apply polish. Again, you can get $10 for this service and still get her business.

Don't stop trying to get new business. Not everyone is feeling the financial crunch. There will always be the "have's" and the "have not's". I have been chatting with a nail technician on the mailing list. Her name is Athena Elliot. She was sharing some great ideas that she implements to get new business. I was so moved by one of her ideas that I asked if she would allow me to share it with my blog subscribers. She purchased cling on's with her Spa name and contact information. She said that it basically came to about $11 per cling. If you know a printer that makes these you could barter your services for the cost of the cling on's! Then, she offered a discounted rate to her customers that would agree to put the cling on up in the window of their vehicle for 2 -4 weeks. Her clients were so excited at the opportunity to save money and advertise their favorite tech that she has a line of customers waiting for their chance to have the cling on. In the mean time, Athena will be increasing her client base and getting her Spa a LOT of recognition.

Times are tough. And I think they will get tougher before they get easier.

(writing from Valencia, CA today)

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Excellent post!!! Several years ago, when I lived in a farming town in rural Nova Scotia, we had a mini depression when a local canning company shut down and left the province. About half the town that I worked in was employed there. To help keep my clients coming in, I switched their fills from acrylic to powder and resin. A lot of people don't realize that you can use a brush-on resin just like an acrylic brush, dip in the powder and go. I was able to offer fills at a lower price for my acrylic clients, and I got better at using resin/powder systems. Because it moved a little faster, I was able to book more people in, and I didn't lose any money. I also threw in little extras for free, like hand-painted nail art or dried flowers on one nail. It made my clients happy and I didn't have to go looking for a second job to ride out the storm.