5 Industry Trends to Watch
“Celebrity Manicurist” Is a Frame of Mind.
If ubiquitous self-styled “celebrity manicurist” Ji Baek can charge $250 for her super-high-end manicure, why can’t you? Well, maybe because you’re not serving Heidi Klum and your salon isn’t in NYC. But you can get your own prices farther away from the national average by abiding by three simple concepts: Provide custom services unavailable anywhere but your salon; charge prices that reflect your quality of products, service, and exclusivity; and follow through on every promise you make. Tell clients you’ll get their nails to
grow out in six weeks and make it happen. Promise no lifting nails and make sure there isn’t a bubble in sight for two weeks.
Service Is the Common Denominator.
If you’re having your Lexus serviced at Magnussen’s in Northern California, you can also get a manicure while you wait. Or if you’re waiting for a tire rotation in Louisville, your new tires will be on the car by the time your manicure dries. Maybe the original idea was to lure women into a male-dominated retail business or maybe it was just smart business owners trying to set their businesses apart in their own competitive markets. So if tire stores are doing manicures, should you start rotating tires? No, but should you consider offering head and neck massages while clients’ nails dry? Yes. Should you reconsider that spray tanning booth you looked at during a recent show? Probably. And should you expand your retail offerings beyond cuticle oil and nail polish? Most definitely, yes.
Don’t Be Callous About Callus.
The baby boomers — who’ve driven the huge growth in anti-aging services and the rise of the day spa — have another little present for salons. This one is especially for nail salons and it’s kind of yucky: built-up, hardened callus. What the boomers want you to do is remove it, make it stop growing back, and make their heels feel better. The boom in callus products, as well as the strength and effectiveness of the products themselves, can make a “callus management” service a profitable standalone service. As nail technicians who’ve watched these different products work know, there is something magical about applying some goo to the heel then watching the callus gently roll off with a file. This isn’t just a service for the vain and aging; everyone gets natural buildup. Since you can’t use a blade in practically any state, you need a gentle, powerful alternative and callus products are it.
The Full Circle Effect.
A few years ago, we predicted new distribution opportunities for nail techs. Fueled by dissatisfaction with the traditional full-service dealer, we thought nail techs might branch out on their own and start cooperative buying groups or even become dealers themselves. Some have, but now more than ever, it’s the manufacturers themselves who are frustrated with “the system” and are taking their products directly to the salon customer.
The fear of territorial issues that once prevented manufacturers from alienating their dealers seems a thing of the past. Nail techs who don’t have a dealer in their area can now buy direct from the manufacturer. You’ll find your products in more online stores than ever, giving you choice and variety. More nails-only dealers will spring up and you’ll start finding it easier to find products.
Higher (and Higher) Education.
I’m not talking about taking six CEUs every other year on sanitation; I’m talking about nail techs and salon owners literally going back to school. We’ll see more salon specialization courses offered at the university level, farther-reaching curriculum being designed by manufacturers and independent outlets; super-specialized technical courses (in areas like medical pedicures, anti-aging treatments, solutionoriented natural nail care based on biology and chemistry). We’ll see salon owners going back to get business degrees, and we’ll also see more MBAs give the nail industry a look and start their own salons.