How to improve your time when doing nails.
When I first started doing nails, I remember everyone putting immense pressure on me to improve my time.
This caused a lot of stress, and I made many unnecessary mistakes while working, seeing that I was so concentrated on doing each set within a certain amount of time.
Don’t get me wrong, doing nails fast is important! No one wants to sit 9 hours for a basic set of nails.
Unfortunately, when starting you most likely won’t be able to work as fast as someone who has been doing it for multiple years.
I went from doing nails part-time for 3 years, and seeing almost no improvement, to doing nails full time for a year and minimizing my time spent on each set, by at least four hours!
In this article, I am going to give you tips and tricks that I have learned, and use daily to speed up my work, and that you can use to your advantage.
The First Step for improving your time
The first and probably the most important step I would recommend is to stop thinking about the amount of time that you are taking to complete a set of nails.
That’s right! Stop obsessing over it. When you concentrate too much on how long you’re taking, you will be prone to making mistakes.
Not only that, but your client will also feel the pressure that you’re putting on yourself, and will probably not enjoy the experience as much as they possibly can. Concentrate on following the steps you learned.
After a while, you won’t even have to think about what you’re doing, because you will have built muscle memory, and it will be like second nature to you.
When nails are not prepped correctly they will not last, and your client will not be pleased. Not only that, but a lifting nail is the perfect breeding ground for a nail fungus.
Skipping a step can be disastrous, and no nail technician wants their client to remind them of a step that they missed.
This will make you seem unprofessional and under-qualified. Rushing a set can also cause you to cut your client, and even though accidents happen, this should not be a regularly occurring event.
Focus on doing things properly and effectively. When rushing, a person tends to fumble and drop things, which in turn will cause you to take longer.
Concentrate on the steps you follow. File properly the first time, so that you don’t have to do it again.
Pay close attention to your steps, so that you won’t have to wonder if you’ve already done something. This will waste time and product.
When applying tips make sure to check for air bubbles and stick the nails on straight. If a tip is applied skew you might have to remove it and apply another one, if you can’t correct the mistake by filing it.
Also, make sure that you apply the nails in such a way as to avoid sticking your skin to a client’s nail. I know this sounds silly, but trust me, it happens to the best of us.
When making use of nail forms, practice by applying them on your own, or someone else’s hands, to learn the best method that works for you.
A good idea will be to practice with different nail shapes, seeing that this will affect how you have to apply the forms.
Use nail clippers to trim the edges of the tips, so that you will easily be able to file the nails in different shapes like coffin and stiletto. Work smart, not hard!
Use acrylic sparingly, remember, excess filing takes time, and no one pays for the product laying in dust-form on the table after you’re done.
So, practising to perfect the liquid-to-powder ratio is a must! You will be surprised when you see the effect it has on your time!
Work Space & Preparations
Put all of your tools and products in the order of use. Ensure that your tools are placed in such a way to make it easier for you to work.
Put all of your tools close together and keep them at arm’s reach. Avoid working crisscross. Don’t clutter your workspace because this will make it harder for you to work effectively.
Invest in equipment that will make your work easier. An e-file will cut your filing time in half with ease.
Using an LED instead of a UV lamp is a much better option, seeing that it reduces curing time by a minute for each cure.
Use proper overhead lighting. This will help you to spot mistakes and to correct them early on.
Keep all of your storage organized and sorted so that you never have to waste time looking for something.
Take out any products you might use for the client beforehand. This will save you from having to look for products while your client is waiting.
Be prepared for the weather. Acrylic takes longer to set in cold weather. Glue also takes longer to dry. So it will be a good idea to supply extra heat to your salon for this purpose.
Plan Ahead to save time
Asking a client beforehand what they have in mind for their nails, will not only ensure that you have the right products to do the job, it will also save a lot of time on the day, seeing that clients can be quite indecisive.
This will also allow you to practice intricate designs, which might save hours on the day. Writing down a client’s preferences will also help you to plan.
Fill in a client card with your client’s information and anything noteworthy regarding your client’s nails, that might be helpful to know before the next appointment. For instance, if your client is a nail biter, you can prepare yourself effectively for any possible scenario on the day of the appointment.
Don’t be too ambitious. If you know you won’t be able to do a certain set don’t be afraid to admit it. Otherwise, you might waste hours trying to do the set, to no prevail.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new methods and designs. Perhaps just practice it on your own time.
When faced with an extremely indecisive client, make sure you double, and triple-check choices they make, like the length of the nails and the shape they desire. Otherwise, you might have to completely change the nails when you’re almost done.
Don’t drink too many fluids before a client; this will keep bathroom-breaks to a minimal.
Make sure you have allocated yourself enough time in-between clients, to clean your work area. You never want to keep your clients waiting.
Avoid using your phone while busy with a client. If you have to answer your phone in case of an emergency, ask your client if they mind.
Never answer texts while busy with a client. If someone wants to book an appointment you can answer them back after you’re done.
If you are constantly on your phone while busy with a client, they might start to think you’re rude and don’t respect their time. Every second spent not doing nails in an appointment is a second wasted.
Keep interruptions to a minimal. Don’t allow things like smoke-breaks. Make this known to your clients before you start with the appointment.
Make sure you plan your appointments in such a way that you can give your client your undivided attention.
Request that your client keeps their hands on the table at all times. When clients use their hands while you’re busy they may smudge their nails. This will make more work for you and will increase the time you take to complete the set.
Stop talking! This does not mean being rude, and not answering a client when they talk to you. Just don’t be the one who initiates the conversation.
Talking can cause you to work slower, skip important steps and accidentally cut your client.
Concentrate on doing your work, and if you’re afraid of awkward silences, simply play soft background music to fill the void.
It is quite easy with chatty clients, seeing that they will most likely keep the conversation going requiring only basic responses from you.
But believe it or not, most people prefer to sit and enjoy the experience, rather than to spend the next couple of hours small talking about nothing in particular.
Don’t invite someone to sit in for social purposes while you’re working. Limit the number of people that are allowed in your salon at a time.
Only allow your clients to bring their kids along as the last resort. Children cause distractions and can usually not sit still for long. This will cause your client to have to remove her hands from the table a lot and, in turn, will increase the time taken to complete a set of nails.
Also, by keeping your salon a kid-free zone, you ensure a relaxing environment for your clients who come to you to have a stress-free couple of hours.
In conclusion, the best way to improve your time is to practice, practice and more practice. You won’t be a pro immediately, but in time you will get better, and before you know it, your time will have gone from four hours per set to two.
So go out, and get a couple of close friends and family members to practice on before you jump into your business. Remember, the more time you put into it, the faster you will see improvement!