How to generate more income for your nail salon
When building your own business you will soon realize that it’s a good idea to invest in multiple sources of income. When doing nails will only start being profitable once you build a reputation for yourself and your business. That will most likely take at least a year. Just with any business, it can be hard to generate a steady form of income.
As a nail technician, I have come across many ways of generating more income. Doing things like becoming a distributor for a beauty company, creating and selling your own salon products, renting out space in your salon. These might feel a bit intimidating at first, but over time they can grow to amazing business opportunities for your salon.
Become a product distributor
Becoming a distributor for a beauty company is a great way of generating an extra source of income when you have your own business. The reason for this is that you will be working face-to-face with many people per day. You will build relationships and people will start to trust your judgement. This will allow you to sell clients products that you believe in.
Becoming a distributor does not mean that it has to be nail-related. You can sell other beauty products and equipment, health products and anything else that you personally use. It is important to remember that selling something you don’t use or believe in is never a good idea.
Your clients will trust you and selling them something you yourself would never use is not just not ethical but it will most likely ruin the relationship between you and your clients if the products turn out to be low quality or otherwise not worth buying.
It is always a good idea to do your research on the products yourself before considering selling them. Are they ethically made, cruelty-free, vegan? All of these questions are something you need to be asking the suppliers. We live in a day and age where purchasing products that are not at least ethically made and cruelty-free, are really not acceptable. Selling products that are environmentally conscious and recyclable are also very important factors to consider.
Money is never worth selling things that you would usually not associate yourself with. Your reputation is very hard to build and maintain but can be tarnished in the blink of an eye. Keep that in mind when you are approached by a company or are thinking of distributing products.
Some ideas for products to distribute are cuticle oil, fungus treatments, files for home use, callus treatment creams, etc. Remember that your business runs on you doing nail treatments for your clients, so it won’t be ideal if you start selling products like at home do-it-yourself nail art kits or gel kits, etc. Products that can assist your clients in treating ailments are good for starting.
Creating and selling your own products
This is something that is really great and has the potential of creating a large source of alternative income for your business. Creating your own products are always a winner as you determine what you put into the products you sell, so producing natural and vegan products are a lot more achievable than selling someone else’s products. You can also ensure your clients of ingredients if there’s a concern for potential allergens.
Creating your own products creates an endless source of opportunities. Some things that have caught my eye are creating your own foot soak and foot butter. Creating cuticle oils and nourishing hand creams. You can also create your own line of press-on nails to sell online to people who might not like getting their nails done or can’t do it every couple of weeks.
A way that you can combine your business and healthy living is by making and selling things like kombucha which is a very popular health drink.
Ways that you can promote your products are by using them while treating clients. Use your own foot soaks and creams when doing pedicures. Apply your own cuticle oil and hand creams when doing manicures. Remember to mention that you create these products yourself. People tend to comment on products that smell nice or feel good on their skin. Use this as an opportunity to tell them a bit more about your product.
Creating your own products also gives you the opportunity to use healthy ingredients that are good for the person using them. Everyone loves using healthy products made with only natural ingredients, remember that.
You can also promote consumable products by offering them to your client while performing the service. Just remember that it is very important to ask your client if they have any allergies and explaining what the product is comprehensively before offering the product. You don’t want to offer your clients something that might put their health at risk.
Create renting opportunities to other beauty therapists
If you are in the position of having a large salon space you might want to consider renting out some of that space to other beauty therapists. I know that when you first start your nail business, it won’t be realistic placing other nail technicians in your space. You are already working hard trying to get clients for your own business; another nail technician might make it hard.
There are however many beauty therapists that can co-exist and can actually work amazing together, bringing in business for each other. You can consider renting out space for someone who do lash extensions and who shape and tint eyebrows, someone who specialize in waxing or permanent makeup.
These are but a few examples of beauty therapists that you can consider bringing in to your salon.
When renting out space it is important to remember that the renter will not be working for you and will have her own business separate from yours. So you should never treat them like employees, except if you are paying them a salary, but that is a whole other topic.
Something that will also be a great idea when renting space to another beautician, is considering working together to create specials and deals for the salon that will ultimately benefit both parties involved.
Renting out space in your salon will also be potentially beneficial for not only you but the renter as well, as you can both gain clients from the experience. People usually like to get more than one treatment done at once. Not only is it convenient but can create a relaxing pamper day for the client. Your clients might start to make use of the renter’s services and vice versa. It’s not guaranteed but very likely to happen.
Not only will sub-letting generate an extra income, but there will be someone else to help take care of the salon and maintenance. It is a lot of responsibility to have a large space to yourself and to carry all of the maintenance cost on your shoulders. This will definitely lighten the financial burden.
Create a merchandise line
This might not be your go-to choice for creating an extra income, especially when you’re only starting your business as it will need some investment to get started. But it is a good idea to consider in the future nevertheless.
A merchandise line can be anything from customized clothing to your own nail brushes and equipment. Starting small you can build yourself up and create a brand for yourself. You can create your own logo and even design cute quotes and animations that can be printed onto clothing or can be sold as stickers and prints.
Your target audience will either have to be your clients or other nail technicians. Thankfully we live in a modern society where you can sell almost anything online. If you have a product and a phone you can make money. Many platforms have been designed to sell your products, so you also don’t have to worry about creating an e-commerce website. Using platforms like Etsy, you can easily sell your created merchandise.
An option is also partnering with someone who can help you sell your products in their stores. Usually, they will only want a percentage of the profits for helping you. Use your salon to advertise your products as well as your social media pages.
Start creating online courses
If you have quite a bit of experience in your field and are good at something you can use your skills to make money. Create online courses on something for example specific nail art. You can create a large comprehensive course with a couple of sessions, by only using your phone and a tripod.
It is however a good idea to invest in good quality equipment as people will pay money for your video courses, and you shouldn’t sell them low quality services.
If you are talented in things like hand painting or creating 3D acrylic art, use those skills to help other nail technicians. Do a thorough step-by-step video where you include everything you use to create the art. Go slow so that no one will be lost along the way.
If your courses are comprehensive and complete, you can use social media to promote them. Join nail technician pages on Facebook and advertise your courses there. You won’t be limited to local marketing as online courses are available internationally. This means if you draw enough attention you can generate quite a bit of income through just a couple of courses.
Many people struggle with nail art, and where tutorials can help, some people will appreciate a more detailed approach. Online courses have become more popular especially in the Covid time. You can sell live courses where people can interact and ask you questions, pre-made courses where people can buy them in the future, and physical courses/workshops where you teach people face-to-face. Here you can find an article on how to create online courses
With physical courses/workshops, you should consider putting together a “kit” of sorts that people get when applying for the course. The kit should contain everything they’ll need to complete your workshop.
Some things you can include in a physical nail kit can be:
- Art brushes
- Art medium (gel, paint, acrylic, sculpting gel, etc)
- Practice hands and tips
- Acrylic brushes for 3D art
- Dappen dish
Creating courses like realistic portraits on nails, extremely detailed watercolour nail art, intricate 3D and 4D acrylic sculptures for nails, are all ways that you can get people interested in subscribing to your courses. Remember that most people won’t be interested in attending a workshop about something that they can just watch a YouTube tutorial about. Your courses should be unique and something that would be worth paying for.
Remember to add a disclaimer before people purchase your course that they might need to buy certain products to be able to effectively participate. You will also have to design your courses in such a way that they will not be shareable. This means that if someone buys it they won’t have the rights to share it with friends. This will potentially cost you the loss of buyers and money.
You also have to do extensive research on what people want in the industry, what is popular and what will be worth making. It does not help you spend hours creating the perfect workshop and no one shows up. Remember to do legal research as well. And you should never plagiarise another nail technician’s work. If you want to create a workshop you should strictly use your work and designs as reference.
Some places where you can put your courses:
Here is a list of more sites you can check out
Ether if you feel online courses will be too much of a hassle or don’t have the time and resources to create a comprehensive online course with detailed instructions on a topic which can be quite complicated.
Consider creating short tutorials that you can post on YouTube and other social media platforms. Then share them as much as possible without being spam.
If you have something you’re good at like creating 3D flowers, hand painting nail art or doing watercolour nail art, it’s a good idea to make online tutorials. YouTube has created a separate flow of income for many people. If you use it correctly you too can make money this way.
YouTube should not be your only option as you can create a Patreon page where people can pay to view certain tutorials as well. Many ways of doing what you love can generate an alternate form of income. This is also a good practice, as creating nail tutorials will keep you busy with things related to your business.
Creating tutorials can also get exposure to your salon. People may realise how talented you are and want to book an appointment. Alternatively, other companies might recognize your skills and generate opportunities for your business.
You can obtain opportunities like becoming a nail educator or instructor for a brand. When you are loyal to a certain brand they might ask you to become a brand ambassador. These are only two examples of what exposure your business can get. The possibilities are endless.
For online tutorials to be successful you have to make sure you create quality videos. You have to make videos that are clear with good quality sound. Most modern phones will be efficient to take high-quality videos. Play around with the video settings to achieve the best quality video. An investment that you should make early on is a tripod for your phone/ camera, a good quality mike as sound plays a big role in video quality, high-quality lighting and video editing software (many free/ inexpensive programs exist).
You don’t need the best and most expensive equipment to get started. Once you start generating a profit you can always upgrade your setup getting more professional tools.
Make and sell press on nails
Press-on nails have become increasingly popular in the past few years. This idea is aimed more at clients. Seeing that people can order press on nails online, you can ship in all over your country. This has the potential of becoming a very lucrative business as you don’t only have to advertise for people in your area, you can broaden your horizons to everyone in your country. Press-on nails can also be an option for other nail technicians as we don’t always have time to do our own nails.
I created an in-depth article on press on nails that you can check out if you want to learn more about press-on nails. press-on nails how what when where and why.
This is a great way to still stay busy and create beautiful sets of nails even during lockdown when you might not be allowed to see clients in person. They can simply send you their nail sizes and desired design and you can have the nails shipped to them.
Press on nails also has the possibility of generating more profit for you as you can create amazingly intricate designs and art, as the time constraint isn’t so severe. When you do nails on physical clients you have a few hours at most to do nails. When doing press on nails you can spend days (and possibly weeks depending on the design) perfecting the set.
You can ultimately charge more for a set of press-on nails. The factor that pressed on nails is reusable when removed properly also motivates the cause for a price increase.
This business is great when looking for a way to generate an extra income as you can do this while running your day-to-day business as well. If something happens that you have to close your salon doors you can still pursue your passion and generate an income.
Stay active on social media
Social media is for most nail technicians, the main way through which to obtain new clients. When you are active on platforms like Facebook, I also wrote an article on creating an online presence for your salon on Facebook, your posts are more likely to be shown to new people. If you start having a decrease in customers, naturally the number of organic posts that you create for your social media will start to decrease as well (photos of clients’ nails).
This should not be the case. You can use the points mentioned above like making online tutorials and selling press on nails to create posts for your social media page that will not tarnish your niche.
If you created an online tutorial share it to your social media pages as well as on nail groups. You can advertise your hosted workshops as well as press-on nails. Staying busy and active will not only be great for your social media presence, but will also show potential clients that you take your job seriously, put a lot of time into your work, and it can also be a way to display your talents.
If your problem is that the number of regular clients went down, staying active on social media is a great way to attract new clients. Doing press on sets or practising nails are great ways to attract attention to your work.
I didn’t have many clients who did extreme hand-painted nail art, so no one knew what I could do. Once I started painting sets in my free time and posting them, I started getting many new clients and existing clients also started doing more art.
Being inactive on social media will also cause fewer people to start seeing your posts. People might also choose to un-follow you because of your inactivity.
These are but a few ways that you can generate more money for your growing business. We are in a world of endless possibilities. Use your talents to your advantage.