some advice please


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Jul 31, 2003
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Looking for any advice that could be helpful in my new venture…..
I passed my foundation course in august, and since haven’t had much practice due to working and study. I have decided that it was time to push my self forward with the being a nail technician , renting a space in a shop part time .I just been given the go ahead today that I can rent a space in a tanning shop ,although I have been told that after 1 month I will be reviewed (trial period ).I wasn’t allowing my lack of experience to hold me back in getting started and now that I have somewhere to start my own business I have been offered a months trial , this has made me worry …however I have stressed to the owner before being offered the space that it was a few months since qualified as a technician and my skills are not as great as I would like them to be , and by doing more more nails I will get better .My concern is that in 1 month I will be judged on the quality of nails , and the amount of clientele I manage to keep happy .It was suggested that perhaps I could offer special offers to begin with ,this sounds ok as prices can always be increased…my concern is even if I do offer special offers to start with , doesn’t alter the fact that level of experience I have now will keep the clients coming back …and in one month if his clients who uses his shop complain ,I will be out on my ear …
Well it does seem to me that you are 'putting the cart before the horse' here.

If I was going to a salon to have my nails done, I would surely expect a technician that had more than a 4 day Foundation course and no practice behind her!

This may seem like a good opportunity, but it is definitely too soon in my view. The clients need only get a 'whiff' of information that you are new - and your own level of expertise and lack of experience will tell them that immediately - and you will have them cueing up for free nails every time they have a complaint. You will loose credibility with these clients forever and you will always be the 'trainee' to them.

Why not contact your trainer and ask them if they know of any salons that will take you on for 6 months or more work experience? That is my opinion anyway. You have your own doubts or you wouldn't have posted your reservations. I think you are right to have them.
Hi Rubyred

When I first started out in nails I wanted to do some work experience with a salon before I went it alone. At the time there was no work experience available so I started off going to people's homes and them coming to mine. I had a few regulars but nothing very challenging. Then one day I was offer a space in a hair salon and although I still didn't have very much experience I went for it.

The problems started there.

I had clients coming in with problems that I hadn't seen before and I had no support and had to give the advice and deal with the problems. I had clients not returning for whatever reason but now looking back it was probably because of my lack of experience. Anyway to cut a long story short I have a very good client base but I learnt the hard way.

The best advice I can offer is get the work experience from someone that knows their job and has experience and a good client base then if a client comes in with a problem it is not fully your responsibility and you will have back up and an experienced shoulder to lean on. Then when you feel ready, go it alone - but don't tread on anyones toes in the process because you never know when you may need their expertise again!

Hope this helps.

Jenni x
Hi, I did the same as you and jumped at an opportunity to do nails at a local Sports Complex (in a very high class area I might add!!) Well I was very professional in appearance and attitude etc, etc, but after a few weeks of dealing with clients that where extreme nail biters,or used to having their nails done in Harrods it completely freaked me out!!! I really felt like I had ran before I could walk and promptly left rather ashamed :oops: It really knocked my confidence.
Then I decided that every spare moment I had I would spend on my Nail Trainer and do tons of practising (and still do!), but also I wrote to all the nail bars and salons around explaining my situation about being a recently qualified Nail Tech and asked if anyone had space to give me some work experience. I had 3 salons reply and although it wasn't guaranteed work or pay, basically if I did a job at a discounted rate I would only pay a small % to the salon instead of rent, and I got into a salon and picked up loads of hands-on knowledge from experienced Nail Techs that were already there renting space.
It was a big step to drop a days pay at my regular job and take the risk but I felt worth it. I have since done some more coarses and feel my confidence is just on the brink of coming back.
Its so frustrating being in the 'no experience and how the hell do I get it' bracket but persevere and the opportunity will arise!!
Good luck
Allison ;-)
many thanks for all the responces and advice
I agree ....running before i can walk , something i often do alot of and it doesnt get me anywhere .I run that much 1st that i have already spent over 300 pounds on creative products .Im just frustrated ..i have asked people if i can come into thier salon and do some free work expierence ,although i havnt got nowhere , i guess i must work the law of averages .
I had thought about having a notice in the shop window , stating models required for a small fee ...after all it was said in someones reply to another topic that nails cost about 1.22 per set.
OOhps this also a bad idea !!! i was just thinking of what hairdressers do when they have a trainee hairdresser , so they can get the expierence.
Hi Rubyred

Where are you in the world? Perhaps if you fill in your profile someone on this board may be in your neck of the woods and could offer you that much needed work experience. Just a thought.

Jenni x
Sorry to jump on the bandwagon as it were but reading this post has got me thinking.......

I'm in the process of sorting out booking to go on the foundation course with creative. I've been so excited about finally plucking up the courage to and do the course that I hadn't thought about the bit after..... the getting clients and dealing with problem nails etc.

Bit Naive of me I know but I was thinking that all I need to do is build up my clients slowly by reputation. Starting on friends and family to get comfortable in my new role, then by word of mouth gaining more and more clients. I want to go mobile so I handn't considered at all about working in a salon.

Is it more advisable to get work experience in a salon so that you have someone on hand to help you with all the pitfalls? What does work experience in a salon involve. Do you get paid?

I must admit I'm a bit nervous about going it alone after what has been said so I'd be grateful if anyone could allay my concerns. How have you all generally started up etc?

Sorry to be a pain.

Tamm :oops:

Why don't you start looking for work experience now? Then you'll have an idea what it's all about before you go on your foundation course. You could just shadow someone on a Saturday to start with and then you'll have a bit of background knowledge before you start your course. It's not always about actually doing a client but everything else that goes with it, this will build your confidence up before you start real nails!

Jenni x
Hi Jenni,
I didn't realise you could do that. Do salons take people in like that? :p
mmmmm, would certainly be interesting..... Just got to find somewhere.... I'll find out when my course is then work fromt there.

Thanks. :D

Heres my experience so far -

I did my Foundation course in January. I live in Cyprus so I flew back, did the course and then flew back home! I havent had the opportunity to do another course as yet. So sometimes its been frustrating as I got stuck sometimes and need help!

So far I have found that the best thing is just to go over your training notes and keep practising, pratiscing and more practising. I only used myself and my trusty nail trainer as a model for 9 months while working full time and also i bought the winning nails video which I found to be a great help.

At first I only charged a small amount to cover costs. I was going to just offer it all free but Geeg gave me some great advice and said that people do not appreciate what they dont pay for. I have found this to be very true.

I have not had any extra training or work experience but Ive read books, watched videos, picked the girls brains on this site and read posts and practised like mad.

Now nearly a year down the line I have a great customer base with everyone rebooking each time and I feel ready to tackle more demanding techniques and courses and cant wait to get going.

Dont pressure yourself into taking on too much too soon otherwise you wont enjoy what you are learning! Take advice from everyone and work out what you think is the best way forward. Trust your insticnts too and remember that taking a chance sometimes can also turn out to be good!

Anyway this is turning out a lot longer post that I thought - sorry!
Thanks Vanessa :oops: I feel a bit daft really getting aprehensive about it all but you've made me feel tons better.

i bought the winning nails video which I found to be a great help.

Is this video by Creaitive? What does it show and tell you and is it available for the likes of myself who as yet am not qualified to do nail enhancements?

I agree with going by my instincts. I'm just gonna destress and just go with the flow and just let it all happen in its own good time. I will get clients but it may take a bit of time thats all. Better to go at my own pace then rush rush rush and be fretting incase I have too many problems to deal with. Friends and family is what I said and that is what I'll do. The nail trainer sounds excellent to practice on.... can't wait to get cracking on the course!!!

Thanks again :o
Hi all, when I was at college doing my Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology diploma I phoned around my local salons and asked if I could come in during my Christmas break for some work experience. I struck gold, and managed to get into a salon near me.....I was warned I would only be allowed to help with cutting up cotton wool or taking clients coats! This was indeed what happened but it gave me a good idea of the day to day running of the salon.

At our Easter break, I asked if they would have me back, which they did.
I then recieved a phone call a few months later from the boss asking me to start full time with them the Monday after I finished college! They had been so impressed with how keen I had been to get some experience for no pay that they thought they'd employ me!

I started slowly with them, gaining experience along the way, plenty of back-up from all the staff, plenty of willing volunteers amongst the staff for me to practice on!

After 6 months with them I started a business management course at my local college and by the time I completed that course I felt I had enough hands on experience and some business know how, I took the plunge and opened up my own salon.

19 years on, I have a thriving business with many of my original clients who remember me taking their coats during my college holidays!!

So, stick with it, ask around and hopefully you will be as lucky as I was !!

WOW !!! I don't half go on !!!! love Fiona x
Wow! that is some inspiration. You did really well there didn't you! Definately something to keep in mind.... Just goes to show there is a way round everything and that if you are enthusiastic then you will definately succeed.

Thanks! :D

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