There was a time that I thought that being a nail technician wasn’t a profitable occupation. After all, we ‘only’ paint nails. 4 years later, I have come to realize that is a VERY short sighted way to view this career. So that brings me to my question: Do you know what you’re worth?

We are going to break down that statement into 2 main ideas. (We could go further, but we will save that for a future post) First, let’s chat about charging the correct prices for your services. This is a crucial part of success for any nail professional. Yes, I called you a nail professional. This industry is changing rapidly and you should begin by noting that you are a professional. Whether you are fresh out of school or have been in the industry for 20 years, You. Are. A. Nail. Professional. Educate yourself like a professional. Speak to your clients like a professional. Charge for your services like a professional. By doing so, you set a precedent to your clients that you know what you’re doing, you value your clients nail health and in return, you will gain a LOYAL clientele that are willing to refer their friends. And we all know where that leads: SUCCESS.

You may be wondering how to set your prices. I wish this subject was taught in depth in school, but it isn’t and most nail professionals graduate with no understanding of how to create a profitable service menu. You have 2 options: you can call around to local nail salons and find the ‘reasonable’ prices in your area OR you can learn to break down the costs of your product per service, your overhead per service and what your profit is per service. I would personally suggest the second option.

Rule #1 of figuring out your cost of product per service: Don’t invest in too many different product lines. Keep it simple so you can create a streamlined accounting of your costs. I know, you love this color from that line and that color from this line. I totally get it! But, to keep you in the know of your business, try and keep that to a minimum. Rule #2: invest in a scale that can weigh tiny increments. (Amazon: Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale) Rule #3: Start your research. You will need to weigh your product before AND after a service, for a total of 5 times for EACH service you offer. Write down the weights, how many gauze squares you used, your nail file, orange wood stick… write down everything you used for the service and figure the price for each. Once you know the cost of the product you used, next comes the overhead. TO ALL OF YOU NAIL PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK OUT OF YOUR HOME: you still have overhead! Figure out how much it costs to run your nail services out of the space you ‘rent’ (from home, from a salon, etc) per client. So, if you pay $168 per week for booth rent and you see 30 clients in a week, every client costs you $5.60 to rent your space. Lastly, what should you earn as profit? This idea is a tough one for most people. But remember, you are educated (or becoming so) and you are a professional. You should get paid fairly to do your job. Should you get paid the same as your neighbor down the street? No! Your costs are different. Your education levels are different. Choose a profit per client that is fitting for the investment you have made into your career. (FREE HINT: Continue to educate yourself so you can continue to make proper increases in your wages!)

EXAMPLE ONLY:  Nail product $5.87 per service

Overhead $5.60 per service

Profit $18 per client

Base price for that particular service (remember, the nail product fee changes for each service) $30

(Nail art, glitters, stones, etc are an extra cost. You can figure those prices out to if you want to be extra thorough. But the trick is… CHARGE FOR THEM! Don’t give away your investment for free!)

Let this idea sink in. Most nail professionals I meet are people pleasers which is why we love to serve our clients. But that doesn’t mean we have to give away our services for cheap. Last thing I would like to say before we move onto the second idea is this: Once you know what your services are costing you, go to your bank and set up sub accounts for rent and product. At the end of each week, multiply the cost per service and cost per overhead against how many clients you saw and move that money into those separate accounts. That way, the next time you want to invest in the coolest new product, you just grab some CASH MONEY from your product account and VOILA! No debt + new product = happy nail professional! Happy nail professional = happy clients!

Now onto the second idea: YOU ARE VALUABLE. In this crazy, social media driven world we live in, it is easy to fall prey to the comparison game. I do it myself all too often. I am here to tell you: YOU ARE VALUABLE! Knowing what you’re worth doesn’t only refer to profits and overhead. You offer something different than your fellow nail professional and isn’t that a beautiful thing!? You don’t do nail art, great! She does, great! You don’t sculpt enhancements, great! He does, great! You only work with gel, great! She only works with acrylic, great! There are enough clients with different preferences for every nail professional to be successful. Don’t get sucked into the comparison game. Instead, let’s cheer each other on!

Set goals and crush the heck out ’em, then set some more! Until next time…