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I have just starting doing nail in a small town where there are three successful discount nail salons. Everyone I talk to seems to be going to these salons including some of the stylists I work with . I have not been into any of them and I hate to talk badly about any business, but I am not sure how to get these clients flipped over to me. Especially when they have to pay 30-40% more.

Could anyone offer suggestions on how to grow my clientele while competing against them?
I think the best thing to do... is NOT compete with them! Find out what they are doing, then figure out how you are going to do it differently and better! If you hit it with sanitation, safety and unique environment, then stand out with specialized services that they don't do, you will never have to compete with them on price - and in all likelihood you will beat them on the other points, one new client at a time. Do some internet research on buying habits, and you will find that most purchase decisions are not made based on price, they are made based on emotion.
Educate....You can do that without slamming anyone else. As you're working talk about why you use the products you do, how you sanitize, etc.
Market your self as certified and educated. Frame and display your diplomas very publicly. Keep you sanitizing sloutions in full view for all clients to see. Good luck!


I dont know about other places but what I can tell you I notice around me, and I am in a small commercial, retail residential town is this. I include everything in my service. And those shops charge a la carte.
So my Full set is $45 and their full set is $25 plus $10 for gel top coat +$35 + $10 more for white tips glued on = Viola $45. Like magic, but the client sometimes sees only the discounted sign and feels in control of the add on cost. Aside from the discount shop giving a 20 min crappo pedi or 10 junk mani, they are in fact not discounted from me. LOL
Maybe check out their menu and see what they are offering, find out if the are a la carte, and see if the client truly gets what they are asking for. Then run with your ad from there.
I compete by offering what they won't, which is great service and art nails. They're willing to apply glitter acrylic in a french nail, that's it, I'M able to do 2 color fades and hand drawn art. They're all about how fast they can get that person in and out but not all clients are interested in speed. Some want to be able to hold a conversation and ask questions, those other place don't usually do that and I've heard of times that they actually discourage it!
I think it is really important to network with other businesses in your area. Find a networking group, join the chamber of commerce, etc. Once you find some groups to join, then you educate the other small business owners in your area about your services, and what makes you "unique", without "bashing" the other salons.
Small business owners love to support other small business owners. Think of yourself as a business owner, and not just a nail tech. It really changes how people perceive you.


I decided to set myself apart from them. I do appts only, one on one personal service, no waiting for your appointed time, odorless environment, home away from home environment, individual service and attention, American owned/operated, quality products used, etc. etc. You just have to figure out the positives of what your want people to think about when they think about the nail services they receive from you.

Some very famous top nail techs have been heard to say they would rather give away services then to discount them to get new customers in the shop. You may need to do that to get them in your seat to start with, but make sure you don't give away too much.
Do some kick butt nails on a couple ladies that work with the public- bank tellers, clerks, waitresses, etc- and then give them some of your business cards Wink