Tips for running a successful mobile nail business post Covid-19
We might be in the midst of coronavirus lockdown but despite the uncertainty, now is a good time to reflect on your mobile nail business and look at the ways you can bounce back bigger and better.
I established my mobile nail business Nails by Mets in London almost 10 years ago and I’ve been able to steadily grow the business and improve profits year after year, despite working less hours than others techs.
5 ways to work smarter as a mobile nail tech to make more while working less:
1. Charge what you’re worth – and then some
Many mobile nail techs are undercharging for their services. Make sure you know exactly how much your treatments cost per service – i.e. products, disposables, travel time, etc – and then factor in a wage.
So many techs are charging too little for their work and are usually spending a full day on the road visiting clients back-to-back. Not only can this be stressful and physically taxing, but once you work out the costs vs money received (revenue), many end up earning very little profit.
During lockdown, analyse your service radius and make sure that when you can reopen you focus on working within a certain area, charging extra for clients that live outside that radius to ensure you don’t spend too many hours on the road.
It’s really about charging smarter, upselling your services and visiting a handful of clients a day instead of many. For example, you might charge £20 for your mobile service, meaning you need to see five clients per day to make £100, whereas if you charged £50 per service you would only need to visit two.
2. Offer the best products and services
Are you unsure how you can justify high prices to clients? My advice is to offer them professional-only brands and services. By stocking brands not readily available to members of the public to purchase, your services will feel more professional and exclusive. While in lockdown, research the brands that can make your service feel more VIP.
While it’s important to dress comfortably when working, make sure you still look the part with a uniform and clear branding as it’s small things like this that will set you apart from the competition. It gives your clients reassurance that you are the expert and it will justify your prices compared to someone rocking up in a pair of jeans and trainers.
3. Focus on CPD and upskill regularly
To ensure you’re providing clients with a five-star service every time, you have to invest in further education. There’s always room for improvement and by learning a new treatment or skill – i.e. enhancements or nail art – you can add it to your menu to upsell, improving your efficiency (work faster = more profit).
While in lockdown, look into refining your techniques so you become a specialist and can justify more premium pricing. Start researching courses you can book yourself on when this is over and follow key industry techs for inspiration.
When looking into reputable training schools and educators, take particular note of their portfolio of work and after training support.
4. Don’t forget about aftercare and retailing
During lockdown, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with clients and suggest products they can use to maintain their nails at home. For example, gel-polish remover kits, cuticle balms and oils, and hand creams. It’s also a way of generating income during this time when you can’t receive money from your services.
Another effective way to increase your revenue when you reopen is to continue selling products to clients, which may not always feel natural to do as a mobile tech. Provide your client with thorough aftercare information and make recommendations for products throughout the service they’re having.
For example, if you notice your client’s nails are particularly weak and brittle, recommend a suitable strengthening product and let them know that you have it available to purchase. Your client will appreciate your expert knowledge and the convenience of being able to buy direct from you.
5. Provide the option to pay by credit/debit card
If you don’t offer a card payment option then you should. If you’re a cash-only business then you’re limiting your ability to upsell additional treatments and retail products. We’re moving towards a cashless society and our businesses should be evolving to support this.
Clients are also more inclined to spend more when paying with a credit card, knowing they can pay at a later date. Card transaction fees are minimal and usually more than justified by the increase in spend.
You can also take booking fees with credit/debit card over the phone or online to confirm bookings and this helps to prevent last-minute cancellations or no-shows. Don’t forget to have clear booking fees, terms and conditions and cancellation policies.
Metta Francis is founder of mobile nail business Nail by Mets. You can check out her work on Instagram @nailbymets.