Crowd Surfing

Standards let you rise above the crowd – not competitive cut pricing: argues Karen Peppercorn, Australian Professional Fingernail Association President.

Fingernail AssociationIt’s easy to take a negative attitude, of which I have also been guilty, when it comes to the increasing numbers of ‘cut price’ budget style nail and beauty salons. You know the ones I’m talking about, they are popping up in almost every shopping centre in the country. Rows of tables, technicians wearing facemasks, prices designed to attract the most budget conscious clients.

You’ve heard the horror stories, seen the exposés on national television (some of which I contributed to). It’s easy to talk about the harm they are doing to the reputable salons and technicians, the damage they are causing to unsuspecting clients, drilling the natural nail down to bare skin or burning the nail bed, the disease they are spreading through unsafe and unhygienic practices, from banned or poorly applied chemicals and bleeding cuticles, through to double-dipping Brazilian wax treatments and fungal diseases.

Rather than get hung up on all that is bad about these salons, let’s find the positive. Remember, that you have an opportunity here, to set yourself apart, to demonstrate care for the welfare of your client, to build trust through communication, to demonstrate hygiene and safety, to show your client that there is a better way. Don’t compete with these salons on price alone; compete also on the quality and service that they won’t deliver.

Educate your client. Explain why you are using new files for each service. Help her understand the importance of a proper consultation, or why you would never drill on the natural nail, let her see proper sanitary controls that are designed for her safety and yours. Most importantly – talk to her. Don’t scare her away from beauty salons. Instead, encourage her to learn what is safe and good, versus what is dangerous and nasty. Develop her trust in your abilities as a technician and you will have a client for life.

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