Monday, July 14, 2008

Response to Nail Salon Comment...

You will almost certainly need a license to open a nail salon whether or not you are a technician.
Check with the state's Cosmetology Board for more information.

Before opening a nail salon I would be cautious of a couple of things. First of all, make sure there is an adequate labor pool in your area. Even if cosmetologists (hairdressers) are licensed to do manicures (as they are in my state), you may have a hard time finding people to work in a nail salon. Prices tend to be low which means you have to do higher volume to make good money.

Second, what type of salon do you want? Are you envisioning a high-end, lower volume salon, or a lower cost/high volume salon. Many salon/spas are finding that their nail services are their lowest margin service because they have to price the services to be competitive in the marketplace. For example, in my salon we try to price services at about $60-$70 per hour. A 30 minute haircut is priced at $32-$34, right in that range. A one-hour massage is $75 (but takes 70 minutes of time). Because of the market for nail services, our 50-minute pedicure is only $45 and our 30-minute manicure is just $25. We offer the services because they are expected in a spa, but they are low-margin services.

In our city (and most others, I think), there is an abundance of low cost nail salons. Many of them lack atmosphere and the level of client service you expect from a fine spa, but they provide a quality service at a darn good price. Even I find my self stopping in to one of the Asian nail spas for a quick manicure instead of booking an appointment at a fine spa.

Good luck!

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