As a nail salon owner or nail technician, you have plenty of things to think about — from polish colors to profitability.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your nail salon business, luckily, there are a variety of easy ways to do so. From streamlining your booking process to establishing loyalty programs, incorporating some fresh business tactics can be just the ticket to a more lucrative life in nails. 

Here are our top tips for improving your nail business and growing your client base. 

1. Simplify Your Booking Process

Simplifying your booking process is not only beneficial to your potential customers, but to you as the business owner, too. Running an efficient salon business is all about streamlining your process with a mix of creativity and strategy. 

When you’re fine-tuning your plan for how to manage a nail salon business, your booking process is a great place to start. Using the right booking software or app will help manage your nail salon services, payments, and reviews. 

With StyleSeat, for example, we give our talented pros the tools they need to bring home the bacon. Your clients can browse through your availability, book their desired time slot, and even take a peek through your photos. Whether it’s neon artificial nails, a classic manicure, or a luxurious spa pedicure you specialize in, let your target customers find you through StyleSeat and book with ease.


2. Offer Online Payments

If you’re a salon owner wearing lots of hats, online payments will revolutionize your workflow. Of the many benefits that a simple online payment brings to the beauty industry, here are some of our favorites.

  • It saves time for you and your clients
  • Online payments are more eco-friendly (fewer paper invoices and paper receipts)
  • It’s convenient and quick
  • It makes future payments easier for you and your client
  • You can keep your finances nice, neat, and organized (a big bonus come tax time)

If you’re using StyleSeat, you can charge clients seamlessly through the app and get paid instantly. Long gone are the days of unreliable swipers or the need for clients to pull out their wallets.

3. Send Appointment Reminders 

Sending a simple appointment reminder is an easy addition to the list of how to improve nail salon business. If you’re using StyleSeat, when you book clients on your calendar, they’ll get an automatic appointment reminder 48 hours before the appointment time. We see this as a quick, efficient way to save you time and keep your clients happy. 

Here are some more details to convince you why sending appointment reminders is one of the best (and easiest) ideas for streamlining your nail salon business.

Avoid No-shows or Cancellations

Sending appointment reminders decreases your risk of no-shows or cancellations. These reminders can provide your existing clients and new customers with a convenient link to add to their digital calendars. They also include your overall policy on no-shows and cancellations (i.e. your clients will be charged a late fee if they cancel late). 

Show Clients You Care

Although not every client needs an appointment reminder, many do, and sending one out is a great way to show clients you care. Appointment reminders help to build your reputation and alleviate any pre-stress anxiety for your customers. We’ve all been there — life gets busy, we miss our appointment, and we have to pay a fee or reschedule. With appointment reminders, both you and your clients can eliminate the messiness and embrace the organization. 

Save Time

Overall, appointment reminders save you time and effort. With StyleSeat, for example, professionals save an average of ten hours per week by allowing clients to book online and automating all of their confirmations and reminders.

4. Regularly Market your Business

If you’re a small business owner, regularly marketing your services is key. There’s a lot of competition out there, so building your brand and conveying what makes you unique is important.

Maybe you focus on floral nail art, acrylic or gel nails, or have hundreds of options for nail polish — the point is to know what makes you shine and share that with your potential clients. New customers have lots of options when it comes to booking their nail tech, so make sure to give them a way to remember you. There are a lot of nail salon marketing ideas out there, but here are some of our top tips for marketing and branding.

Establish a Loyalty Program

Establishing a loyalty program is a fantastic way to boost client retention and build your brand. If you’re interested in how to improve nail salon business using a loyalty program, there are a handful of ways you can do so.

  • Make Them VIP: Just the word “VIP” sounds fancy. Establish a VIP club for repeat customers where they get certain perks — like a free manicure on their birthday, a cup of local coffee with their pedicure, or a certain percentage off of their services.
  • Give Them a Punch Card: Punch cards are one of the oldest and most handy tricks when it comes to nail customer loyalty programs. Your client visits you nine times, they get their 10th nail service for free. 
  • Use a Points System: A points system is a simple and straightforward way to reward your nail salon customers. You can allot different points for different services — a regular manicure might be five points, for example, whereas a gel manicure is 15. Once your clients get a certain amount of points, they can trade them in for services or new nail products. 

Turn to Social Media

As they say, content is king. Showing yourself and your work through social media is a great way to increase brand awareness and promote your nail salon. Think of your social media profiles as your portfolio. They can become your place to post the latest nail trend, share your thoughts about the nail salon industry, attract new customers, or offer your insights on nail care and nail products.

Local Involvement

Unless you’re a traveling nail tech, involvement in the local community is often an important component of your business. As you come up with your own idea of how to manage a nail salon business, think of your community. Are there certain networking events or local charities you can get involved with? When it comes to small businesses, local involvement is crucial, as it helps to spread the word and build your client list.

5. Focus on Improving the Customer Experience 

Overall, when you’re figuring out how to manage a nail salon business and nurture its growth, you want to think of improving your customers’ experience.

What are the things you can provide that perhaps other local businesses don’t?

  • Complimentary Add-Ons: Draw your client in with the promise of a complementary add-on. They might be interested in seeing you for a full set of false nails, but you’re happy to throw in a spa pedicure for free. When it comes to complementary add-ons, it’s always a good idea to map out your time and resources beforehand. Does what you’re offering make sense and is it worthwhile for you as the nail tech? If your answer is yes, go for it!
  • Limit Time Offers: There’s a reason why hair salon owners and nail technicians run limited-time offers — they work. Some salon owners choose to run specials that involve packages of nail treatments, like $100 worth of services for $75. Others may do flash sales, where clients have 24 hours to book a service at 25 percent off. This is a great idea when you’re trying to figure out how to make money as a nail technician. It may seem counterintuitive, but great offers may lead to long-term clients that will help grow your business.
  • Holiday Specials: Who doesn’t want to get a nice set of sparkling acrylics before New Year’s Eve or a pretty pink pedicure on Valentine’s Day? Holidays are the perfect time to run specials and draw your ideal client in. If you have a collection of client emails, you can plan for a holiday special and send out a timely email promo with StyleSeat’s email marketing tool.

6. Try StyleSeat for Free

StyleSeat is an online booking platform that helps beauty and wellness professionals — including nail techs — showcase their work, connect with new and existing clients, and build their business. With StyleSeat, clients can discover new services and professionals and instantly book appointments online. 

If you need a little boost with your nail services, we’ll help you with your marketing plan. We’ll run ads, promote your profile across search engines, and run email campaigns to get you discovered (all for zero monthly subscription costs).

At StyleSeat, we know figuring out exactly how to improve nail salon business and gain more clients can feel a little overwhelming at first. Luckily, by implementing some of these quick tips, you can easily get yourself and your salon out there and hopefully, fill up that schedule.

If you’re interested in getting listed with StyleSeat and doubling your revenue in your first year, sign up today.

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