Should you have Salon experience


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Sep 20, 2003
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I think I read somewhere amongst some of the posts that some techs wished they'd had previous Salon experience before they opened their own salon. Why is this? In particular is it the commercial aspects of running their own business or "tricks of the trade" type stuff?

Hi Liz! Well I can't speak for anyone but myself but in my experience of opening a salon before working in one the following things made me wish I had done the latter!... 1. the general Public!, no amount of training or working on family/friends can prepare you for how demanding most of your clients will be! They will generally expect perfection, clients are way way more informed about the services we provide than they ever have been before. 2. Learning which product you work best with whilst not losing clients because you have chosen one that isn't so good. 3. Not having to worry about advertising/finances/competition whilst also perfecting your technique! I opened my salon in July and made ALOT of mistakes and now am working freelance from home/mobile and have perfected my technique and got the right product (at last!) and my business is coming together nicely, I've made it no secret on this board that I lost ALOT of money by rushing into things I wasn't ready for. But if you do go and work in a salon don't just use it as a way to see how to run your own business, watch and learn from a great tech, they can teach you so much and something I miss is having colleagues, thank goodness for this board I say! Anyway hope that doesn't sound negative, I just make it my mission to help techs not make the mistakes I did! Jxxx :)

Jojo's posting really makes sense, theses are the exact reasons i don't want to go it alone, BUT i'm finding it impossible to find any salons in my area that want to take on a junior, I have the training (creative 4 day foundation and fabric# conversion) but i don't have the work experience that salons want, it's a bit of a catch 22 situation, I really don't want to go mobile, i want a salon that i can stay with, (bit of a stick in the mud i don't like change)

oh well just have to keep looking

love katie
I have been doing nails for a year so I am a relative newbie. My plan is to work in a salon for another year and then go solo, either from home or somewhere else. I want the experience of working in a salon first so that I can offer something BETTER when I go on my own. Whether that better is better product, better enhancements, better customer service, better atmosphere or ambience - whatever I decide BETTER is - I wouldn't have a clue if I didn't work in a salon to begin with. You have to market yourself to be different (better) than what clients are used to. This translates into any product or service, not just nails. And it can't be gimmicky, it has to be the real deal. I call this the R&D phase of my career (Research & Development). It also allows me to make all my errors and mistakes somewhere else and get it out of my system.

Hope this helps! Good luck.
hiya katie
i've run a salon for 16 years.
and believe me, i've seen every scenario that is possible 2 c regarding staff/trainees/work experience.
because it is the natural progression of things for staff to move onto pastures new, i stopped employing people 2 yrs ago.
1 of my current team has been with me from the age of 14 (8 yrs ago).
she & 2 others rent space in my salon.
it's a win/win situation, as they r not my direct responsibility, they work the hours that suit them, earn loads of money etc.
however, there r numerous other nail tech's that i've mentored in the last couple of yrs.
the arrangements have varied from person 2 person, but the general idea is they spend 1 or 2 days a week in the salon helping out on reception & in general while gaining valuable salon experience.
i don't charge them 4 training & they don't charge me 4 their time.
it's a good arrangement if u can find the right salon.
my salon has a v.good reputation & i'm not looking to rip anyone off.
but equally i'm not looking to b ripped off either :shock: :shock:
i feel that if salon owners look at the situation carefully they will realise that it's also a win/win situation.
another advantage for the salon owner is they will get to know these techs & if the need arises they can call on them if a vacancy arrises.
good luck
liza xx
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