Monday, 22 July 2013

Pricing Your Nail & Nail Art Services - Nail Business Ideas

Pricing Your Nail & Nail Art Services

Let’s face it not all of us are born entrepreneurs but that doesn't and shouldn't stop us wanting to start a new nail business and working in the nail industry.

Many of us at some point have dreamed about a career change or becoming self employed and for the majority of those that work in the nail industry that journey began by enrolling on a series of nail technician training courses or enrolling at university /college for a nationally recognised qualification in beauty.

But that was ages ago and you have gained lots of valuable experience working for someone else and now it’s time to strike out on your own. Perhaps you have decided to launch your own nail salon or maybe you have decided to go freelance and become a mobile nail technician. Either way you have the skills and the confidence but do you have the business experience to ensure you succeed?
All of These Aspects Are Important for Your Nail Business

What to Charge for Nail Services & Still Make a Profit

In this article we are going to explore the aspect of what to charge for your range of nail services and how to go about creating a pricing structure. Pricing is an incredibly sensitive aspect that can make or brake a new business. So whether you’re planning to launch a swanky new nail bar, you decided to go freelance and rent out a nail bar in an established salon or you’re going to hit the road as a mobile nail technician; at some point you’re going to have to make sure that your set your prices realistically, not only to allow you to run your business comfortably but more importantly at a profit.

The Key to Success for Your New Nail Business is Minimising Risk

With any new business venture and a nail business is no different the key to success is minimising your exposure to risk and this achieved with careful planning and research.
Minimise Your Risks. Do Your Homework First.

Your Bottom Line Goals

You want to ensure that every nail service that you provide is priced correctly and appropriately so that:
  1. Your competitive and can attracts sufficient numbers of clients to your business.
  2.  Enough profit is generated to make your time and efforts worthwhile.

Remember: If your initial pricing scheme doesn't seem to work perfectly, you can always make adjustments, use coupons, discounts or run special offers to compensate.

So where Do I Start?

There are two key sources of information you are going to need.

1.       A firm understanding of your costs and expenses.
2.       Your local nail competitor’s prices. 

What Does It Cost to Run a Nail Business?

Understanding your costs and expenses is an important part of setting up and managing any business.

If you’re already an established nail business then this is a relatively straight forward task as you will have bills and expense receipts from various suppliers and service providers.

If you’re still at the planning stage for your nail business you will need to consider the costs of some, if not all of the following:

Business Rates
Business Loan
Bank Fees
Payment Terminal
Credit Card Fees
Payment Gateway
Book keeper
Professional Fees
Public Liability Insurance
Professional Membership
Hire Agreements
National Insurance
PPI Compliance
PPL Music TV licence
Salon Software
Broadband / Internet
Tools & Equipment
Business Car Insurance
Petrol / Diesel Fuel
Please Note: This list is not exhaustive, but a pretty good starter for ten.

Seems like quite a lot to consider doesn't it? Of course some of this may or may not apply to you depending on whether you’re planning to set up a nail salon or a mobile nail business. Either way it’s important you’re being realistic because ultimately it will indicate whether your new nail business is viable.

You've probably noticed that many of these items are what we call ‘fixed costs’, i.e. they don’t change that much from month to month. Also some of them are ‘one off costs’, these are usually accrued during set up. The remainder are 'variable costs', these are things like product and consumables that fluctuate depending on the amount of business your doing.

Estimating the Cost of Your Nail Services

Each nail service you plan to offer such as, acrylics, gels, nail art, repairs, infill’s, shellac, pedicures and manicures etc. will have an associated cost that can broadly be considered in terms of time and materials. You need to determine how long it should take to complete a nail service and the cost of the consumables used to deliver the process.

Consumables will include things like nail files, wipes, acetone, nail polish, shellac, top coat, nail art, cuticle oil, towels, base coat, nail glue, orange sticks, nail art stickers, nail art stencils, etc, etc. The question you need to answer is how much does all of this cost for a single job?  It’s best to work out your service costs in broad terms.

How to Estimate Your Costs and Expenses

Use the internet and phone to get prices, quotes and costs. Go through the exercise as if you were actually setting up your nail business. Remember the more work you do in researching the set up and running costs the less likely you’re new business will fail due to unexpected expenses.

This All Seems Like Hard Work

You’re right it is! No one said starting your own nail business would be easy, but you want it to succeed, right? Then you must realise this is arguable one of the most important parts of the planning process. After all if you went head long into starting up a nail business and then found that:
  1. You didn't have enough money to get started.
  2. You discovered that despite working really hard, actually you’re not making any money or worse your losing money!
  3. You need a bank loan or finance to start or prop up your business.
Any of these could spell disaster, wasting lots of your time and possibly losing you a lot of money. We recommend you keep your figures and calculations so you can refer to or modify them in the future, to make changes easier try doing them on a spreadsheet such as MS Excel.

Now I've Worked out My Service Costs, What’s Next?

So now you should have a good handle on all of your planed nail services and what they will cost to deliver. Now it’s time to see what all your local competitors that deliver nail services charge.

Researching Your Local Competitors Nail Services & Prices

This is relatively straight forward. All you need is the internet and your local business directories. Identify the local businesses that offer a similar range of nail services in your proposed area and make notes on their service offerings and prices. You can also scan local newspapers for companies that run ads and special offers.

You will begin to notice from your notes that the pricing for similar nail services covers a range. There will be an upper and lower limit. You now have to decide where you want your prices to sit within this scale.

This will of course largely depend on what your running costs are and how quickly you want to gain new customers and at the same time recover your set up costs. Pricing to high for a new business without a track record and you won’t attract new clients. To low and you may find yourself working very hard for very little money. You need to strike an appropriate balance.

Avoid Price Wars

We don’t recommend offering significantly lower prices than your competition. Otherwise a price war can develop where each business constantly looks to cut prices until someone is no longer making money and subsequently ends up out of business! It’s important to consider that you can all co-exist in business.

The Final Part

With your costs known and your prices set. It’s now possible to work out your potential profit against each of your services and treatments. Simply subtract the cost of your treatments from the price you set. What remains is your profit.

If you’re thinking of working in the nail industry we hope this article has been useful, informative and thought provoking. Please feel free to share and link to this article but please ensure ‘’ is credited.


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