I’m a nail technician, and beautician by trade and I proudly own a gorgeous salon but it didn’t come easy. Here are some things I wish I knew before qualifying in nails and beauty. If you want to just see tips on building a clientele click here
Growing up, My mother was a hairdresser and beautician so I always had an interest in beauty. She always used to do my hair, the odd facial and bits of minor glam here and there. When I was younger I never actually wanted to study beauty in college. I knew that if I went to college to study hair and beauty then I wouldn’t be focused on doing nails. By now I wish I would have taken the level 3 beauty course instead of a short course, but that’s a whole other story you can read here. I was set on studying music and wanted to accompany it with an “intelligent” sounding course like Law. (Yawn)
The Epiphany: Before Qualifying In Nails and Beauty
For my high school prom, I was so excited to have my first set of acrylic nail extensions. Having been a nail biter all of my life, I was obsessed with how beautiful my nails looked.
A couple of years later, after practising at home I decided to book a complete nail technician course. It was perfect. I learnt everything from a basic manicure, to gel polish (shellac) to nail extensions, even fibreglass and silk overlays. Following on from this course I did spray tanning, eyelash extensions, lash lifting, and ear piercing. I was now fully qualified, insured and ready. I would be super busy, make loads of money, I could easily just jump right into a salon seat… Wrong.
Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
If you are fortunate enough to become employed by a salon after being newly qualified then fab. This is a perfect way to learn, gain experience and make mistakes without ruining the reputation of your own business.
The worst thing newly qualified beauticians and nail technicians can do are become self-employed in a salon straight away. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! I have put together some do’s and don’ts here on Building your clientele.
In my opinion, it takes a good year until you are doing a fabulous job of certain treatments (acrylic nails or lash extensions). If you prematurely set up in a salon you immediately start getting a bad reputation.
“Owning a Salon is an Easy, Glamorous Job…”
There has always been a misconception that being in the beauty industry is for unintelligent people or is an easy job. This is really sad as there is so much that a beautician/ hairdresser has to lean and continue learning to be good at the job.
The other day I had a client come into the salon, and say…
“I really want to own a salon and employ a load of people or rent out the spaces so I don’t have to work in it. I’m not qualified but I just love make-up and think it would be a nice business to own”
Honestly, my work colleague and I were a little offended to think that someone would think that it was that easy. It sounds great though doesn’t it; Set up a pretty salon that runs itself, makes you money without having to work. But the reality is that it simply isn’t an easy, glamorous moneymaker like people may think.
Ever wonder why so many salons open up and then close down a few months later? It’s not as easy as one may think.
If you are newly setting up or looking to go into the beauty industry because you think it is an “easy glam job”, or to make a lot of money, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. It takes a lot of commitment, practice and complaints until you’re ready for the industry. You have to love what you do for it to feel like it’s worth working for.
I would like to point out that I didn’t write this to discourage anyone from joining the industry. If you are a creative person and have a passion for it no matter how hard you have to work, you’re on the right path.
It is a very competitive industry and at times can be stressful and disheartening. However, if you remain consistent and know that you are good at your job you can build a really successful business.
When I qualified I kept trying to make it work but I kept quitting. It made me feel I was never going to earn a living doing it. I didn’t realise just how long it would take until I was busy enough to make it my full-time career. I gave it one last shot and stuck at it. Thank god because I now proudly own a salon with a fantastic team, and it can be done. Be prepared to work hard, long hours and don’t be disheartened, you can’t please everyone. There is so much time, effort and consistency involved with building up a successful clientele never mind a salon.
I hope the things I wish I knew before Qualifying in nails and beauty, can help you guys. Drop me a comment or contact my social pages if you have any more questions that my other posts haven’t covered yet.