build up my book?
I did it from 0-70 in 9 months and you can too! I typed my fingers off explaining to Shelley (mendordb) how to and this gal is so busy now we haven't chatted in 2 months!!
It's all in your client referral...
My method was to get hold of one of the more popular high school girls.. I adored this kid, she adored her nails so I made a deal with her.. every warm body you send me you get a free fill.. then I made a deal with all those other kids.. every warm body you send me I'll give you $5 off your next fill. With in 9 months my book was solid and I hired a girl to pick up the over flow, she was booked (2nd job nights only) within 3 months. Within 2 years these kids - who generally were all great (lucky me huh??) started to leave for college, BUT.. they also started to refer me to their mom's, aunts, boyfriends mothers, boyfriends sisters etc.. so I made a swing to mostly adults over the next 2 years.. a little more reliable client.. but like I said I was generally very lucky with the high school girls I did, still doing one today, she is now my bookkeeper, married and all that :)
You have to be strong and wise to know when to stop the referral discount.. post a sign at least 1 month before.
Another thing I did when I first really started which you may or may not have time to do is get a stand at a craft fair and do nail art.. now keep in mind 14 years ago, no one ever saw decals on nails, so thats what I did decals and whispies, dot flowers on 1 or 2 nails FREE.. now everyone is doing colored acrylic so I dont know if that is practical, especially if it is an outdoor fair.. but you could still do some hand painting.. need very little supplies and your appointment book and a stack of cards.. thats how I got this one high school kid that started the whole ball rolling in the first place :) My big expense for the fairs was I think $20 or $25 a day and I got much more than that in repeat clients at each fair.
Somewhere in my files I still have a "family tree" that I sat down and made at some point and was amazed to see who referred who :)
Oh keeping track of referrals..
Susie called, my first question was who referred you?? (lets say Mary sent her.. When I made the appointment I would write MARY next to her name.. when Susie came in and paid and I opened to rebook (that was the key they had to rebook for the referral) I would find Mary's next appointment and make a note there about her discount. Simple but it worked for me.. When you don;t have that many clients it's easy as you get more and it becomes to brain taxing.. thats the time to stop it :)
Hope that helps!
Debbie D, Webmaster BeautyTech
Then try and find a couple of small trade shows -health and wellness, lifestyle, women's shows and bridal shows where you can rent a table at. I've done 3 shows in the past month and my business is booming already. My total investment was $100. Offer "show specials" to people if they want to book appointments right then and there.
Be visible, professional and passionate about your services. Take your appointment book with you wherever you go.
Send thank you cards after they have been to you for their first service. Whether you want to get into referral discounts is up to you. I decided not to do that yet because what I'm doing is working fine. I believe if you offer exceptional service at a fair price then you don't need to discount - and I'm a new business starting out so I have to be careful what messages I'm putting out as far as discounts go.
Good luck and I hope you found something useful from my post.