nail biterAs a nail tech, I have gone through 2 recessions. I have ALWAYS said that this industry is recession proof because I went through those 2 recessions unharmed…..I will have to change my wording…if you change how you run your business, you will come out of the recession unharmed.
Your customers are forced to set budgets…they still want to be pampered, but will NOW more than ever be choosier of where they spend their money.

Quality and Customer Service
There is something that I believe everyone has to hear…..EVEN if you don’t want to. The quality of your service is 100% why clients will stay or leave. If your client has to come to you every 2 weeks because your nails are not lasting AND you charge to fix the issues, then when their budget dictates they will remove your services. If you are doing quality nails and allow your clients to stretch their fills a little longer AND don’t charge them for doing that they will remember the kindness and understanding that you have shown them and their loyalty will grow. I would let people go 4 – 6 weeks in between fills and didn’t charge for a new set…this of course if their lifestyle and growth spurts would allow that stretch 🙂
If you are doing nail art and charging for every little thing, now would be the time to give them a deal on that art…don’t charge SO much for every little thing that you do. You don’t have to charge $5 for every color you put on.
If you want to keep your clientele during the rough times you have to treat them well during the great times…..people have NO loyalty to being treated badly and when the money is tight they will get rid of things that don’t make them feel great in every way. If you have not been understanding and kind and treated them well in the past they will not feel obligated to stay. If they do stay, be kind to them and their situation NOW. Their husband might have lost his job and they need to spend less, but can still afford a certain amount per month of pamper money…accommodate their budget as much as you financially can. I always say that making a little less per person during the hard times is better than losing clients all together.

Retail
SO many do not retail as it is, and I am here to tell you that retailing can retain clientele AND give you extra income during a recession. For an example, if you also do pedicures and your clients have to stretch both services, give them ideas on how to stretch it without causing the calluses you have worked SO hard on maintaining to be unruly. How? Retail high quality products and SHOW them how to use them. Same with their nails…..SHOW them the products to use to help reduce lifting…example…cuticle oil!!! They will trust you more because you are saving them money and they still have beautiful nails and feet. If you offer waxing for example. An eyebrow wax every time they come in for a nail fill, give them every second eyebrow wax free.....and believe me, you are NOT losing money by doing this, you are just accommodating to retain customers during a recession…they will NOT forget it 🙂 And when the economy is stable again, they will tip more and help you build any loss that you have endured…..they will help keep you alive because you helped them during a dark time and the loyalty will be unbelievable!!!!

Purchasing your product in BULK
I see SO many techs purchase their product as they need and pay SO much shipping in the long run. Here at Impact, for example, we offer 2 deals per year where you can buy gel and other stuff at the BEST price possible (30ml gel is buy 2 get one free). Stock up at those times and you give yourself a larger margin to make more money. If you are buying one item and paying almost the same for shipping that one product you are taking away from you bottom line.

Bottom line is that this industry IS recession proof if you step outside of your comfort zone and allow your business to make some changes, and make a little less per person for retention purposes. I will tell you that when you go to do your taxes, it won’t be THAT much of a difference and you will gain loyalty that ALWAYS pays off in the end.

Hope this helps in this tough time
With love and respect to you ALL
Lisa Leibel