How to Develop a Successful Nail Art Service After Retirement
A unique and fun retirement career, working from home, is to start a manicure service. If you have a license in cosmetology, or are thinking of getting one, you aren’t limited to working in a salon. Many retirees are now looking for a more relaxed manicure experience. It’s a big market, with over 76 million Baby Boomers retiring at the rate of 10,000 people every day. Who better to serve them at home than a retired baby boomer?
You can serve them by starting a manicure service in your home or a traveling manicure service to your customer’s home. The start up cost to set up your business is minimal and the investment will yield great rewards, both monetarily and in establishing friendships.
7 Initial Steps to Setting Up Your Business
- Most states require that you complete a nail tech or manicurist training program. You must have a high school degree or equivalence to apply. Most training programs are offered at community colleges and beauty schools. You will learn the basic skills necessary to offer safe, sanitary services to your customers.
- Next, you will need to get your license to manicure nails. Check with your state for the licensing requirements and costs. You’ll need to post your license in your place of business and also have extra copies to keep in your bag for your travel service. You may want to make a digital copy and display it on your smart phone. That way, it is with you wherever you go.
- Choose a system to track your money. You can use a computer program like QuickBooks to track your money flow, or do it by hand in a traditional ledger.
- Choose the appointment book carefully. Digital formats are popular but pen and paper books cannot be erased by a computer crash.
- Choose the receipt system carefully. You will need to generate duplicate copies, one for your customer and one for your tax records.
- Buy a business telephone number. It can be a second line in your home or it can be a dedicated cell phone used only for business calls. The cell phone is certainly a better option if you are conducting a travel service. Be sure you have a reliable voice mail service with your phone number.
- Investigate state, county, and city health regulations regarding your service. Each locality has different rules and you must follow them or risk being shut down. Do your homework!
Crucial Steps in Preparing for Service Delivery
- Inventory and manicure supplies: These include:
- Polish colors
- Manicure tools
- Manicure table (portable for easy transportation)
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton balls.
- Travel and Storage: You need to find a convenient way to carry manicure equipment and supplies for your service in your customer’s home. A travel bag on wheels is certainly a viable option. The size of the bag depends on:
- The number of bottles of solutions you need to serve the customer
- Manicure tools
- Manicure table
- Appointment book
- Receipt book
- Necessary supplies (including extra towels and cotton balls)
Why Offer Service to a Customer’s Home?
Traveling to a client’s home is not for everyone, but there are many benefits to offering a travel manicure service. From your customer’s perspective it is much more enjoyable to have you come to them. One of the biggest drawbacks of getting a manicure from a busy solon is the excessive noise while you are trying to converse with your tech. Home service will negate that concern.
Does a “Have Nail Art, Will Travel” service qualify as a home-based business?
Yes. Your office is in your home and business address is your home. You are offering an additional service to enhance your business marketing outreach. A traveling manicure service has many advantages:
- Reduces the number of people coming in and out of your home each day
- Mileage expenses are tax deductible as a business expense (make sure to keep accurate records of how much you drive for your business. Click here for a good record keeping system).
- Working at home can be isolating, so getting out of the house to do manicures can be a break in your day.
Four Marketing Tips to Help You Find Customers
Advertising your business can happen in many different ways. Here are some tips to help you begin to reach out to potential customers:
- Create a Business Card
- Create a postcard sized advertisement
- Create Flyers
- You can leave your business cards, Flyers, and postcards at:
- Local Laundromat bulletin boards
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Drug stores
- Gift shops
- Other places around town with bulletin boards
Network with people that you already have contacts:
- Church socials
- Senior centers
- Your spouse or significant other’s place of work
- Your former co-workers
- Your neighbors
Tell people that you are starting a manicure business and get excited about it. Share with everyone you can think of that they or someone they know will benefit from your service. Before you know it, you will have a list of consistent clients who will also refer clients to you.
This article just scratches the surface. The most cost effective training program is with your community college. You may be surprised at the number of older workers registering for the training.
Products and tools are not expensive. The direct links to products will show you what you will need to get started. It is also a convenient way to order on line for secure payment and shipping. Click here for a book on nail art that will help you prepare for your new career as a manicurist.
Starting a manicure service can be a great way to work at home and do something that you love. Instead of paying high fees for a chair at a salon, start your own business and have the flexibility and income that retirees covet.