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Home based businesses
#1
Good morning all, I have a question for the home based business owners. How often are you raising your prices if at all and do you keep your prices lower than competitors because you work from home?

I have been in business 7 years and I am not fully booked which is what upsets me, however I feel my prices are too low and want to go up but fear that i will lose clients and a lot of tips too!

My kids were home for Easter and said I am not busy because I'm too cheap and people are afraid of that. Please advise me I could really use some help here, thanks!
aj
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#2
AJ, are your competitors also home-based? Being "cheaper" may not be the reason . . . fair or not, some consumers may not take you and your business as seriously because you're home-based. If you're not as busy as you want to be, you may not be reaching potential clients effectively. Do you have a website promoting your services?
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)
http://www.precisionnails.com
http://shop.precisionnails.com
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#3
When I first started working many years ago doing nails, the owner ran a very cheap special on full sets. Something like $15 and that was back in the late 80's. She got no one! Raised her prices back up to $40 and the people started coming in. One person said that they thought the lower price meant inferior product or a student was going to be working on them. Run limited time sales but don't sell yourself so cheaply that people think you're inferior or this is a kitchen business for you.

People love bargains but the very people who'll take advantage of them are the ones who DON'T
(04-12-2012, 10:58 AM)Donna in Huntsville, TX. Wrote: When I first started working many years ago doing nails, the owner ran a very cheap special on full sets. Something like $15 and that was back in the late 80's. She got no one! Raised her prices back up to $40 and the people started coming in. One person said that they thought the lower price meant inferior product or a student was going to be working on them. Run limited time sales but don't sell yourself so cheaply that people think you're inferior or this is a kitchen business for you.

People love bargains but the very people who'll take advantage of them are the ones who DON'T


have the money to keep up the maintenance on the nails. THOSE are NOT the ones you want. Go up in small increments and the ones who stay will be your best clients.

(sorry for the two part post, I accidently hit the button to post before I was thru)
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#4
My best clients appreciate value (quality work at a fair price), and would be suspicious of "bargains." Many of them also own their own businesses so they understand the realities/cost of operating a legitimate business.
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)
http://www.precisionnails.com
http://shop.precisionnails.com
 Reply
#5
Thanks for the feedback ladies, I appreciate this.

I do have a website and honestly it has views on it daily but i can't really say it's bringing in new clients but all new calls and clients are asked to check it out for sure.

My competitors are not home based no, there are a few home based businesses that are busy and there is no advertising. But these people have worked in the high end salons in town first. I have never worked anywhere other than at home. I live on a very busy street and a lot of my business is drive by. I do work by appt only and my sign on my lawn says that too. That could be it too.
aj
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#6
Is there anyone else out there that can help?
aj
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#7
AJ, what's your website address so we can review what potential clients see? That would be helpful.
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)
http://www.precisionnails.com
http://shop.precisionnails.com
 Reply
#8
(04-14-2012, 09:06 AM)aj Wrote: Is there anyone else out there that can help?

First of all you got to make sure your home salon and environment is professional. That's a major issue many people who work from home do not pay attention to. It has to be attractive to clients. I work from home, and I have a waiting list for clients to get their nails done with me. They come to me and always compliment me on how well kept, clean and serene my working environment is. Everyone knows I am a clean freak. I have rules and policies, to maintain structure and order. I do not have my family members anywhere close to my work area, especially when I have a client. I know one woman who works from her house and has her son running around and bugging her and her client while she works. Also pets tend to bother clients and nail tech while they work, so again I stress that its extremely important to keep your work area professional. I have an upscale clientele, my prices are not cheap, as I DO NOT want to attract bargain hunters at all. So my advice to you is to:
1) Invest a lot into your work area to make it just as professional as a good salon would be (classy furniture: comfortable seating area, coffee maker, candy bowl ,private bathroom, updated nail magazines, posters, frame licensed/ certificates showing that you are state approved and qualified etc).
2) Keep your home salon super clean (I have never worked for anyone, straight out of beauty school, i started rented my nail station and built my clientele on my own due to my cleanliness) Keep the out side of you home just as clean and well maintained, if the outside looks poorly maintained, no one will dare enter, also upgrade your sign, make it more attractive to get people's attention.
3) Raise your service price to the average price for your area (if not transforming to an upscale salon) you get what you pay for. CHEAP NAILS=DANGER. Cheap salon services turns good clients away, they assume you are doing their nails in a dump using cheap products.. You don't want to be known for being a cheap nail tech, you want to be known for being a good nail tech!
4) Make some rules/policies so people will know that you are not just another lame home salon, you need to do something to outshine the salon on the streets as well as other home based salons.
5) Again keep it professional, this time I mean with how to interact with clients, your work behavior should be professional and you should dress professionally, or maybe with a uniform when you are working. You should do some printed t shirts or scrub tops with your business logo and wear those when working.Set work hours and stick to it.
6) Separate your personal life from your professional life, keep your kids/husband/pets out of your salon, you wont take them to work with you at a job so keep them out from your work area.
Once you have those 6 things in order, start to do some marketing/ networking. Have your nails well done, so you can be your walking advertisement. Once you get one client, they will refer others to you if they are pleased with your work and your surroundings.
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#9
Hi Tricia,

I do and have done everything that you suggested. I have a very nice little set up in my basement with a separate entrance from my home. I am very clean, so much so that clients always comment about how much they appreciate this. I have offered specials and discounted my prices to the point where I stopped as I thought 25% off was too much for me.

One thing I do not do is advertise, I thought word of mouth was the best advertisement. I am going to put myself in my local paper Monday morning with a pic of myself and see how that goes. I live in a very small town that is clicky and people have their establishments and loyal clientelle.
I think I am good at what I do and I`m friendly, always offering refreshments, and a clean place for clients to come to. Maybe it`s the fact that I work from home and in a basement I`m not sure.

Nevertheless, I am proud of my accomplishments wish I could just be a little busier, keeping my chin up and hoping for a brighter tomorrow. Thanks for all the help guys!
aj
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#10
Well once your place is up to standard, it's definitly lack of advertising/ networking, maybe you should open both facebook & Twitter acounts for your business (keep personal & business accounts separated) post specials and updates regularly, even little comments eg. 'available today 2pm-5pm, feel free to book an appt' . As not everyone is into technology, you may want to advertise with flyers, (the newspaper ad would be awesome) You can have a referral discount system as well, I had that but my clients don't care for it. But it's a great idea to offer an incentive to your existing clients, it shows client appreciation as well as help you gain more clients. But you need to do the math so that you don't end up losing money with the discounts, so you may have to raise your prices. Good luck Smile
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#11
Here's my recommendation for competitive pricing:

http://www.nwstylist.com/columns/2011/03...nsion.html
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)
http://www.precisionnails.com
http://shop.precisionnails.com
 Reply
#12
Do you have an HOA? Mine sends out monthly news letters about what is coming up and what is going on. They have neighborhood meet and greets. BBQ's. Holiday parties, and block garage sales. They also take ads for businesses from home owners in the neighborhood only. If you had something like that, it could be a great way to get the local clientele into your chair. If there were and social events, you could get to those and introduce yourself.
I don't want to work from home. I like going to my salon space and having two different lives so to speak. I also think of home-business as a specialty and one not every person will be willing to visit. As a client I know I would not. I would want the atmosphere of a salon. That's just me, and likely many others. So if you can find a way to get out there in your neighborhood, it would be a good starting point.
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