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*UPDATED* This might be crazy, but...
We are in the process of buying a house (not the crazy part lol), and suddenly realized that it has the perfect set-up for a home based nail studio! It's a 3 bedroom (which we don't need as it's just the two of us now), and when you walk in the front door there is a door to the immediate right which is supposed to be the master bedroom and bath. Basically when you enter the house you're in the informal dining area, then the kitchen is to the left - the remainder of the living space and bedrooms are on the other side of the kitchen so the master area is separate. The bathroom has been updated with new fixtures, and all we would need to do is take out the carpet and put down some laminate flooring and voila! instant studio. The bedroom is 13x17 and the bath is 13x6 - it has a 6' closet in it which would be great for storage.

I have a great salon set up where I am now, so wasn't looking for a house that would allow a home salon, but here it is, so I guess we have to at least explore the option.

There's definitely a case for staying put, I have an established location that is very cute and professional - and I'm guessing that there are some people who wouldn't go to an in-home salon. I actually have been getting my hair done in a home based salon for the last four years, so I know I don't mind it, but probably some would.

I think if I were still working full time I wouldn't even consider it, but I had to reduce to two days a week (three days every 3rd week) for health reasons in the Fall, and that's not likely to change. So I've been covering the 800/mo plus overhead on part time income, which works (shocked me) but isn't ideal as that's a lot of money for a nail tech to pay for rent!

One other perk of the home based salon is we could get rid of one of our cars - we have two cars and a truck (for DH's hunting & fishing needs) - as I'm a homebody during the week if I'm not working anyway.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Nail Tech/Owner
Go for it! But make it clear of your hours. Absolutely no walk-in or drive-bys.
Sounds perfect, especially since you have an established clientele.
Jessica Hoel
Nail Professional
Akzentz Distributor & Educator
Thanks for the encouragement! My biggest concern I think is that I live on the island, but my current shop is in Stanwood, so it's about 15 minutes further for my people who live in Stanwood or the few who commute to me from 45 minutes away! I've spoken with two of them and they said they would still come - I have to decide if I should ask my clients what they think and if they would be willing to make the change. My husband asked me why I would - haha - and asked me if I wouldn't make the change if a few said they wouldn't follow me to the new location! The majority of my clients also live on the island, so maybe I'm worrying too much about that. I'm thinking since my location wouldn't be quite as convenient, and my expenses would be lower, I would probably lower pricing a bit - just using my price spreadsheet so that I'm making my hourly wage where I want it to be.

One benefit for clients is that I could spread my services out over 4 or 5 days a week instead of 2 or 3, so there would be more flexibility in scheduling for them.
Nail Tech/Owner
I know you are a whiz with numbers. Why not figure out what your expenses would be, determine how much you can decrease your service prices by, and then take a poll of your existing clientele and ask them if they would be willing to come to you at home if they could pay less?

Based on their answers, you could then proceed. I think I would take it one step further, and offer them some kind of VIP or loyalty program to ensure they continue to come to you at home. Last thing you want to do is have them all say yes, then have a large percentage of them not come. Think of an incentive to get them to continue to come to you at home (if the decrease in service price doesn't do it for them).

I think this is a truly exciting opportunity for you if you do it the right way Smile
Laura Merzetti
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Be sure and check that you don't need a completely dedicated entrance into the salon part. I believe that here in TX., that's the way it's supposed to be. Hope you can pull this off! It's a great money saver and Laura has some wonderful ideas to get your clients over the hump of coming to an in home salon.
Thanks Laura for the great ideas. I am going to use the percentage of space used for the salon, then apply that percentage to the mortgage, insurance, taxes and utilities and use that as my "rent" expense - it's a little incentive with the lower price, but not huge enough maybe for people who already commute into my town to see me, as this would add about 15 minutes to their drive. I'm thinking of two people in particular that I might give them a special incentive, since they already drive 45 minutes to me! We'll see how it goes...

I'm thinking that for their first service in the new shop I will do a free add-on of either art or a service upgrade...

Donna - I'm pretty lucky to be in Island county - they are pretty relaxed for business' in general (better than the county my shop is in now) - so I think the rule in WA is that they can't go through your living space to get to the salon area. Actually, I think that's a state board requirement and not county. I'll definitely be checking into that!
Nail Tech/Owner
Well, I asked all my clients who have been in for appointments in the last two weeks, plus called those who are taking a winter break from pedi's or who travel in to see me. All but one said they would have no problem coming to my home on the island!! The one client already lives an hour away, so if I do end up moving I'm hoping to find her a new tech...

I did learn two things in this process, and I think it's something we all can learn from...

1) While I fully intend to reduce my prices to match my expenses, I didn't tell any of my clients that! I simply told them the move was a possibility and that they were important to me so I wanted their opinion. (So this will be a great surprise for them when the time comes and they find out that not only will their price go down but they will get a treat at their first home salon appointment!)

The lesson here though, is that we shouldn't predetermine what clients will pay. It didn't automatically signal to them that I should be cheaper, or that they would be doing me a favor, and the value to them is the same. For all the techs out there who aren't charging what you're worth, Big Grin remember that your clients don't necessarily make purchasing decisions the same as you do.

2) The only concern that anyone expressed to me (maybe half of them), was asking me if I would still be continuing my retail! I have a good selection (maybe 45 lines) of items that are great for last minute gifts and they were worried I wouldn't have the space to continue. So anyone out there who thinks their clients would think offering retail is pushy, it's really just another service you're offering.

We still have some thinking to do, and I will definitely have to determine ahead of time what my policies will be and how to control my work hours, but it looks right now like this will be a great opportunity. I will miss my too big for one tech shop though!
Nail Tech/Owner
That's great news! I was wondering why you wanted to reduce your service prices in the first place (I am on the higher end for my area, even with being home-based, nobody bats an eye). I look forward to hearing more about your new journey Smile
Laura Merzetti
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Candice could you throw out there some ideas for a gift on their first appointment? And any other tips for a transition move.... Thank you!!!
To make the best nails is to do the best you can!!
I haven't decided what I'm going to do. As for transitioning, this will be my 3rd in 4 years, so I think I have it down - there's not much to it, just tell people, do all the prep work early and move fast over a long weekend.
(03-05-2013, 04:58 PM)scratchmyback Wrote: That's great news! I was wondering why you wanted to reduce your service prices in the first place (I am on the higher end for my area, even with being home-based, nobody bats an eye). I look forward to hearing more about your new journey Smile

I think I had read that in one of your older posts, and good for you! I wish all of us were getting paid well for what we do. I am currently the most expensive nail tech in my area (74 for a full set, 40 for a basic fill), and even with a slight price drop I will still be the highest priced tech. For me I guess it's about fairness and trust - my clients will know my expenses went down, so when they see the prices adjust it reassures them that my prices really are tied to expenses.

Right now I pay 800 for rent and utilities, plus 35 for my MIFI. Using my percentage of square footage of the new house (about 21%), I am "charging" myself rent in the amount of 21% of the mortgage, taxes and insurance plus 21% of anticipated maintenance for the house - which I estimate as an average of 3,000 per year for items that would benefit the salon. Then when I plug those numbers into my cost sheet with my desired hourly rate it spits out what my service costs should be... and gives a small reduction. Sometimes I love being a numbers nerd. Rolleyes

Other savings that will not be accounted for in my service costs will be 1) selling our third vehicle, so between insurance, registration, gas to work and maintenance I figure I'm saving another $125+ each month 2) with a 35 minute round trip commute gone, I will be gaining back that unpaid hour and a half each week, and 3) on top of those saved dollars, I've calculated my tax deduction for the business use of my home, and it's a pretty good amount!

Aren't you sorry you mentioned that now? lmao
Nail Tech/Owner
Candace, I have learned so much about number from your post!!! I hate the numbers part of it, but the reality of it is we need to know how to balance everything out in order to run our business successfully. Thanks for sharing!!

Bowie, MD
You're welcome! I hope it inspires you to dial in on your actual service costs including overhead, supplies and equipment, and hourly rate! (If you haven't already) The beauty of actually knowing these numbers and therefor knowing that your prices aren't arbitrarily high really gives a great deal of confidence if you ever need to explain to a client why you charge what you do. I really think most techs who charge lower amounts would be shocked at what their real hourly rate is!
Nail Tech/Owner
I just want an app or something to fill in the the numbers, so it will calculate it for me. I HATE Math and am not good at formulas. So my trying to do it on my own would be kinda ugly. lol

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