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2 steps forward 3 steps back
I have relocated back to my hometown where I had a full clientele and a waiting list. 3 years later I come back to a town full of consumers who want cheap cheap cheap. There is another nail tech in my salon that took over some of my clients and I cant blame them for not switching back. Shes much cheaper. A hair stylist decides shes going to do shellac. Many of my old clients were told by her, Shellac does not work on acrylics or gels. So they have all taken their nails off and go to her. It will be a cold day in hell when whe lets those clients come back to me. Basicall I only got 2 of my old clients back and struggling big time.
Of course many NSS have popped up and everyone has the mentality why pay my prices and have to set up an appt. My prices certainly arent as high as I think they should be. Havent raised them in 4 years.
I am advertsing with facebook, local online classifieds, offering referrals and cant get business for anything. Anytime someone calls in for nails, the hair stylist take everyone of those appts. Shes booked a month out between hair, massages, pedicures and now nails. God forbid anyone take a nail appt. now.
Im basicall ready to give up. I know you cant build a business overnight, but I havent had a new client in a month.
Thinking of lowering my prices down to the new girl. No one cares about quality justhow much? So frustrated and just starting to give up.
Any ideas?
You have to offer something that she doesn't at an attractive rate (comparable to hers) in order to get new clients in the door. Sandal season is almost here, so run a special on pedicures (classic/rock star/Shellac) and offer them a few dollars cheaper than she does. If you absolutely have to, try running a Groupon or Living Social deal. That will get the folks who want "cheap" service in the door. Then you can properly educate them (no Shellac over gel or acrylic -really?!). Let them see your work and how the quality is worth the prices you charge. We all have the NSSs around us, but they are not our competition. Those salons are for people who care about appearance not quality. Pretty nails do not = quality nails. You know your worth, and you know you do great work so don't give up on yourself. You'll get those clients in the door and at your table in no time!

Bowie, MD
Do you have the ability to modify your services, or do you need to do everything the same as others in the salon? If you have flexibility, then I would totally recreate yourself and your service menu and move toward the premium end of things... Competing on price, especially within the same salon, is a lose-lose for everyone involved, even the client in the long run!

I would look at the services that are being done by others, the prices they are charging, and then design your services to have a much higher perceived value at a slightly higher price. Consider that the products we use are a relatively small percentage of the cost of services, most of the cost comes from your time. So, I would look to super-charge the service offering.

For instance - look at the basic gel polish manicure. Your times might vary, but I can do a basic gel polish manicure in about 30-40 minutes depending on the client. My basic includes removal, reapplication and a client applied sugar scrub followed by removal using a hot moist towel. I charge $36 for this.

If I were trying to compete with others' low prices, I would bump my basic gel mani to a deluxe and keep the price the same, or add just a dollar or two. My deluxe "hand facial" adds grape seed oil spritz, mango hand peel, rinse with moist towel, then the deep dermal transforming wrap, wrap hands in warm towels for a few minutes, then a short hand massage - maybe 2 minutes per hand. These are all Cuccio products, btw. Normally I charge $18 for this as a stand alone service (book 20 minutes), but I only charge $10 if it's an add-on to any nail service, and it only takes maybe 10 minutes longer than my regular gel polish service. In trying to beat out your competition, maybe over something like this without the up-charge, so your services really stand out. The product cost for my hand facial is about a dollar. So let's say the other techs are charging 30 for a basic gel polish - I would charge $32 for the deluxe and not even offer the basic.

You could figure out something similar for all the other services. Personally I would never lower prices or compete with lower prices on basic services - but you end up with very similar profit margins by offering deluxe as your standard and only being a little more expensive than the next tech. By doing this you become the tech who "wow's" her clients with the level of service. Just never tell your competition how inexpensive it is to provide this over the top service level. Smile

Sorry if this post is a little hard to understand, I'm tired and the brain isn't spitting things out cohesively!
Nail Tech/Owner
Going with what Candice said Offer a "Deluxe full-set" with shellac polish lol.
Candice's ideas are Awesome!!!!!

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