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Home > Business & Marketing
Pricing Your Services

Unless youíre a natural born entrepreneur, the business side of your involvement in the nail art industry probably isnít your favourite part. I mean, please, youíre an artist. You should be thinking about colour theory, new creative designs, and the perfecting of your craft; not calculating prices and creating a business plan.

But alas, unless you want to hire a professional to do your planning for you, youíre going to have to put some serious thought into your pricing structure. Whether youíre operating a full blown salon, renting out a single space in a salon as a freelancer, or working as a mobile nail care technician; youíre going to have to make sure that your prices are within a range that will allow you to continue running your business comfortably and profitably.

There are two main sources of information that you should consult when trying to establish a pricing structure. These are:
  • Your Competitorsí Prices, and
  • Your Costs.
Weíll go over both of these in a little more detail here. Letís start with your competitorís prices.

The first thing to do is find out how much other nail salons in the area generally charge for the services that you are planning to offer. You can find this information out in a variety of ways. Some salons have websites that list their prices and others may publish advertisements in the local newspaper that included prices for treatments. If you arenít finding out enough information through these two avenues, try calling some of the local salons and asking about pricing. You probably donít want to let on that you are planning on starting your own salon. They may not welcome the competition. Just make it seem like you are an average potential client comparing prices between salons so that you can get a good deal.

Next, you need to decide whether you want to be on the upper or lower level of the pricing scale. If you set your prices lower than your competitors, you may be able to attract some of their clients as well as bring in new clients who are concerned with saving money. On the other hand, if you place your prices on the higher end, you will increase your profit margins. Plus, some clients feel that they are getting a better service if they are paying more. You can use this psychological tendency to your advantage. But if you do, just make sure that you can really deliver superior service!

Just as important as your competitorís pricing, is your total costs. If youíre already in business, this is pretty easy to estimate. Simply add up all of the expenses that you incur both on a per service and a per month basis. When trying to establish a price for a French manicureófor exampleóadd up the total cost of all of the products that you have to use in this process. You will have to use paper towels, wear and tear on your nail file, top coat, etc. How much does all of this cost for a single job? Subtract this amount from the total that you charge for this procedure and you have your profit margin. You should calculate the profit margin for each of your services. Do these margins justify the amount of time that you spend on each procedure? Remember that you will also incur monthly expenses as well such as rent if you are working at a salon or transportation if you are working as mobile nail care technician.

It will be a little more difficult to calculate your expenses accurately if you are not yet in business. However, you can try practising some of the procedures that you plan to sell on some of your friends. Record the amount of money that you spend on supplies for each procedure and then you will have some idea of your total costs.

In the end, you want to make sure that every service that you provide is priced in such a way that both (1) attracts a sufficient number of clients to your business and (2) generates enough profit to make your time worthwhile. And remember, if your initial pricing scheme doesnít seem to work perfectly, you can always make adjustments.


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