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Here I am to vent againSmile I moved into the new salon the end of Sept. At that time, I was told from the owner and other stylists that all of their clients were looking forward to a nail tech joining the salon. Now that I am here, only one client had booked an appt. When the appt was done, I asked if she would like to book another appt. She did but then cancelled while I was out. She came in for her hair appt. the other day and she told me she can't afford hair and nails. The owner really wants me to do gels and I am practicing on it with plastic nails. We have placed ads, doing fundraisers, nothing is happening. I am paying 1/2 the booth rent til next month. If I don't get any clients coming in, I won't be able to afford to pay the full rent. I saw an ad for another salon that is looking for a nail tech with clientele provided. I really don't know what to do, I know with the economy alot of people are cutting back and nails is one that is being cut. Should I call the other salon and see exactly what they have? I went in with the massage therapist for a 3 month ad, don't know what the response will be either. Just really down about all of this.
I would find out how the other salon is guaranteeing that they have clients for you already. it would be discouraging to go there only to find out that it was a ploy just to get yoy in their salon.
Don't get too discouraged. It takes a long time to build a clientele and this is a hard time for people.
What services do you offer?
The services I offer are gel polish Shellac, Nubar and Gelish. Manicure/Pedicure and gel enhancements once I am comfortable with that. I know it takes a long time to build but I just don't think I can afford the booth rent if I only have one or two coming in for services a month. I've already spent way too much and stressing about paying the CC off too!


Please don't take this the wrong way, but in my view this is why it is highly recommended to work for a salon on commission where minimum wage has to be guaranteed. Then its their burden to get clients in the door, pay all the expenses and help you build a clientele. Starting out as a renter is so difficult and this is why, its completely on you to bring clients in, advertise costs, supplies, rent, taxes. Its really awesome to make your own hours and be your own boss, but it doesn't pay out to do it from the start. I am not saying this is every case or that it never works out, but this is why it can be very frustrating.
Ditto what Sobeit said, booth rental is truly for someone who's got an established clientel. Can you work something out with the owners to put you on a commission basis til you build?


Contrary to what schools tell you it takes a lot longer than two years to build a nail business. And now days with all the nail factories out there giving services away it makes it tougher.

I've worked in salons where they advertised they had clientel for certain positions and they didn't and still don't. Usually that is a ploy to get someone in the chair. You might book a shampoo and style at the other shop and check it out as a customer. Talk to the hairstylist and ask some questions inquiring about getting nail services. Sit outside and see what traffic there is on certain days, say like Saturday. This will give you some idea as to what the possibilities are.

If there are network groups in your area that are free this would be a great way to meet people in your area and get the word out what you do.

It takes patience and practice. Hang in there and you will reap the rewards.
Patience is key, as a booth renter with no clientele you need to expect to be barely making rent for at least a couple years (hey, the truth hurts). but be persistent in your pursuit for clients, and you will build slowly but surely. dont be afraid to move around the salon while youre not busy and introduce yourself to clients, hand out your business cards and brochures to hair clients, and offer quick services (like a polish change or mini-mani) to clients who are waiting or while their chemical services are processing. Go introduce yourself to employees at other businesses in the area, offer to exchange marketing material (set out a stack of their business cards if they do the same for you), and even consider offering a free full-set to anyone who's hands see a lot of people everyday (like cashiers, or waitresses). Also, dont spend too much on advertising. Skip expensive print advertising like in the yellow pages or newspapers.. its not worth it anymore. Create a facebook page, and a google page for yourself and NETWORK. With so much technology at our fingertips your reach to potential clients is endless and FREE! Smile

That being said, i would definitely check out the opportunity at other salon. Even if its a partial clientele, it might be worth it for you to move. It's not common that a booth renter position comes with a clientele, but it does happen. It could be a situation where a tech is moving, or retiring, just be sure to ask a LOT of questions and if you dont get all the answers, it's probably not legit. Stake the place out, ask if you can see their books, talk to the tech you're replacing if possible and talk to other renters in the salon. Ask the owner if they would be willing to let you rent on a 30-day trial basis where either party can terminate the contract for any reason, with no pentalies, before signing a more permanent lease. This will protect both parties, so if they have nothing to hide they should have no problem agreeing to it.