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I did a few searches but can't find what I'm looking for. Apologies in advance if this has already been addressed. Anyhoo...

I finally finished some painful calculations to figure out once and for all how many steady clients I need to reach my monthly revenue target. I'm doing it by hand (no fancy shmancy software). So far, here's what I have:

My monthly target: $2400
My average $/hr (based on avg service price: $15.83
Number services I need to do to hit monthly target: 7/day with a 5 day work week
Daily $ target: $111 (working 22 days)
Weekly $ target: $555 (4.33 wks/ mth)

Whew! Still with me?
Okay, now the hard part. How do I use all this math to figure out how many CLIENTS I need to support this pie-in-the-sky steady cash flow?

Or am I going about this all wrong?

By the way, I am only using my full sets and fills for this analysis. Nail art, gel polish, pedicures and all that stuff will be gravy. I don't want to consider those in my "steady service clientele" analysis.

Thanks for anyone who can help (and who had the patience to read this!)
UPDATE: I did something simple. Since I would need to do 7 services a day for 22 days, I multltiplied these to get 154. Thats the number of total services I'd need to do a month. If each of these were enhancement customers, I'll assume they'll be in at least twice a month. So I divide 154 by 2 and get 77. That's 77 regular standing enhancement clients. OUCH!!!
I am less than half-way to THAT goal.

At least this gives me options. I can either:
1. Increase my service prices so I'd need fewer clients.
2. Increase my hours to 6 days or longer work days. But I don't think that will affect the number of clients I need to have.
3. Add in the rest of those services to my analysis.

I have a headache now. HAS ANYONE ELSE DONE THIS STUFF? HELP!!!
I don't know, but your average dollars made per hour seems REALLY low. Are you doing a commission split?
Also, are you including any tips in this calculation?
You should contact CandiceAE. She's on it. A wiz.
Looks to me like your math is pretty much right on.. 77 clients is really not a horror, and as it was mentioned, raising your prices just a little will reduce that number.. but keep in mind when you raise your prices you will lose some clients, so you end up making the same $ for the week, but worked less.. now you also have room for new people willing to pay your slightly raised prices OR you have more R&R time making you a much happier nail tech Smile

Do you offer pedicures, or only enhancements? How do your costs factor in, product used per service, etc?
(10-18-2012, 09:25 PM)its an art Wrote: [ -> ]You should contact CandiceAE. She's on it. A wiz.
Big Grin Thanks! My nerdyness exposed.

Your math looks pretty good to me. I recommend that you calculate in some vacation time too, though - so $2,400*12 months = 28,800 / 50 weeks = $576/week average needed - so 576/15.83 = 37 services per week, or 1,850 services per year. That's just me, though - I'm always thinking we deserve a break too!

I definitely would count the pedicures, too, unless you really only have people doing pedi's a few months out of the year. Also, I have a fairly even split of 2 and 3 week clients, so that's definitely something to take into account, because if you're thinking you need 77 and then half of them end up being 3 weeker's it throws the numbers off.

If you have 60% who come every 2 weeks and 40% who come every 3 weeks for nails, and 30% of all your clients get a pedicure on average of every six weeks, the numbers might look like this:

65 clients
-60% come every 2 weeks - so 39 clients x 26 services/yr = 1,014 services/year
-40% come every 3 weeks - so 26 clients x 17.33 services/yr = 676 services/year
-30% of total come every 6 weeks for a pedi - so 20 clients x 8.67 services/yr = 174 services/year

1,014+676+174=1864 services per year, 37.28 per week, 7.5 services per day needed if you take two weeks vacation throughout the year. Whether that's realistic for you, I don't know. My career average for all services is 1.15 hours per service - because I have a few that I book at 1.5 hours, two at 1.25 and the rest are at 1. If your times look like that you would have to work 8.625 hours per work day plus cleaning and break times. Of course, I didn't factor add-ons, so just make sure you actually charge for them, then your needed client count would go down.

I'm a little tired, so I hope my math makes sense - I'll double check in the morning when I'm fresh.

If you keep sheets tracking those you consider a "client" based on their scheduling habits you can get a picture of what your numbers really are. One tip for the sake of not getting discouraged - I never add anyone to my "client" tally until they've been consistent for 3 cycles on nails and 2 on pedicures. So, for me, even if a regular nail client gets the occasional pedicure, if it's not consistent then I only count them as a "nail" client and not as a "two-fer". Eventually when you get full they may not even be able to get a pedi!
Oh, so much help! Where to start?
First off, I'll admit that I was not keeping very good records, despite my best efforts. So I only have about 2 mths of "data" to analyze. I just kept track of all the customers I had each day and what service they had. I tried to stick to my price list and not do any specials, so I could see what the "real" money looked like.
It was all over the map!!! Pedicures (which I thought I was doing a lot more of) ending up being customers who wanted toes polished, acrylic'd or something, but I ended up doing a mini pedi on just so the results looked right. So I was writing down "polish change" or "nail art" when it was really a mini pedi. Get it? That's just one example.

Factoring in costs...hmmm. I know what I spent, but cost per service gives me a headache. How many ounces does my dappen dish hold? And how much of that do I use on a full-set? If somebody could help me with that, I'd name a kid after you.
Jeanne, I strongly encourage you to keep accurate records; any accountant or tax preparer would say the same. Your costs include much more than just product costs . . . here's an introductory article and you may need some aspirin : )

Everyone has different circumstances and financial needs/goals; for example, your weekly revenue target is my personal daily one, but that's why we need to do our own homework to determine what works best.
If you use excel. You can email me and I will email you a spreadsheet that helps calculate service costs. It accounts for product, supplies, tools and overhead, then adds in your hourly rate. If you don't care for the name Candice, my middle name is Aileen, so you could just use that Big Grin

This is a tough industry to make money in. If you are giving away your work -as you said- then the chances of you actually earning a decent living go way down. When you are tempted to undercut yourself, picture your child going without shoes because mommy didn't charge for her work Smile.
Thanks Candace! I sent you and email. Looking forward to the help!

Also, I realized that I made a HUGE goof. The $2400 monthly target is just my BREAK EVEN. I don't know how I got lost, but I was only calculating what it would take to cover my costs (i.e. NO PROFIT). Back to the drawing board....
If you are not including tips in your calculations, and you usually get them, I would do so because it can make a huuuuuuge difference. Go with a conservative amount, like 10%, but I'd definitely include tips in your projections/calculations. It really sounds like you need to raise your service prices too. I only make 35% commission and I still make at least 18$ per service hour. With tips it's usually at least 25$.
Well don't name your kid after me-- no one wants to be named "Marjorie!"

So, $2,400.00 is your "break even" point? That's what you need to cover your business operating expenses? Or all the expenses you currently have? Including personal things like rent/mortage, car payment/insurance, credit cards, Starbucks, etc?

One thing that would help some of us help you would be to know things like what prices you charge for your services?

For instance; if you "only" need <$16/hr to reach your goal, most of us are probably thinking that it should be pretty easy to do if you're charging $30+ for a basic fill. At those prices, it won't even matter if you took 2 hours to do a fill, you'd be coming so close to your hourly goal it would most likely work out.

But you need to know what your "bread and butter" services are. For most established techs, that's fills/backfills, manis and pedis. These are the things that regular clients come back for on a regular basis. But not everyone falls into the same patterns, so you'll have to keep track and see where your money is coming from.

As far as figuring your cost per service:

You need to sit down and figure out how much of each product you use for each service, on average. This can get really tedious. Most dappen dishes hold approximately 1/3 ounce (10 mililiters) by volume-- or about 10 grams by weight. (A lot of nail products are measured in metric and it pays to know the difference between weight and volume.) If you measure your products out and estimate that it will take one dappen dish of monomer and one dappen dish of polymer-- you can easily figure out the cost per service based on the cost per ounce that you are paying for product.

Gel is harder to measure per service. I started out by finding companies that offered trial kits that gave an estimate of how many sets I could do with the kit.

You are going to be SICK when you do the math and see the difference in cost per ounce when you buy product in--say-- an 8oz bottle, vs a 16 oz bottle, vs 1/2 or 1 gallon at a time!

It is worth it to buy your products in the largest size you can reasonably use in its shelf life. I buy my monomer by the year.

It can be the difference of a fill costing you $8 in product/supplies, or costing you $1.00!

But don't forget to calculate forms/tips, files, buffers, arbor bands, paper towels, table towels, and any other consumable supplies that you use in a service: base coat, top coat, primer, bonder, etc.

And then think about the things that clients use that you don't consider part of your service: beverages, toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex...

I did ALL this math years ago when I owned a salon where I was responsible for providing all my own toiletry supplies and paying the utilities-- I was able to get my cost per service to $1.50 each ($2.00 for gel, it's just more expensive. And if you use tips, they'll add to your COS also.)

Then-- if you really want an even greater understanding of your true costs: calculate your rent/utilities/insurance/phone/internet, commute to/from work, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that you need in order to do your job.

It came out that I needed to make $3.50 an hour, 40 hours a week, just to stay in business. Plus that $1.50 per client. Everything else was profit.

Once I knew what I needed to cover those costs, I could determine what I wanted for my labor and from there I set my prices.

These numbers will change depending on your costs for all these things. My overhead decreased significantly when I went back to booth rent, and when I left booth and opened my current studio, my overhead didn't go up because I now have my utilities included with my rent. So my costs are similar to what they were as a renter.

FWIW: I need 60 regular, bi-weekly clients to keep ALL my bills paid, professional AND personal. I keep track of what each client pays me and what they tip by adding a note to their appointment like so: "35/5" then I add those numbers up at the end of the week, and then yearly. I also keep track of how many clients I see each week (so my notes at the end of the week look like "$1190/$42/32"-- yes, my clients are terrible tippers! LOL.) That way, I can keep an average of what each client is "worth." And that also helps me figure what I earn, on average, per hour, per day, etc.

I never cease to be floored by how many people in our industry have NO IDEA what they actually make or how much it's costing them to be in business!

Great thread! This was extremely helpful Smile Thank you ladies!