Working From Home Woes


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Well-Known Member
Aug 12, 2003
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Hi guys, how you all doing?

I'm feeling right fed up today :( I am desparate to start my little mani/pedi business. I've got as far as having most of the products, sorting out my leaflets, even some customers waiting patiently (friends) but am stumped when it comes to where to set up in my home. :(

My problem is, I live in a small place. It has a spare room (9X6 ft)but we use it as a dressing room as our bedroom looks very crowded if the whole lot was in there.

We also do not have a dining table that I could use (our living room is L shaped and isnt' very wide, with an open plan kitchen in it!!)tso I'm in a bit of a dilemma on what to use that is comfortable for myself and my clients doing manis and pedis

Do you guys have any ideas for a small place? I want something that looks professional but also not too expensive.

Are there any laws for working from home?

hi Tamm

I have always worked from home.

I have a lounge/dining room and when I first started I had a small piece of wood - a bit like an ironing board which I clamped to my table.

I have progressed into taking over half of the dining room space and I am now in the middle of doing a large extension to give me a salon room of my own. The builders have been here for 3 weeks so far.

The down side for my family up until now is that they dont have access to the lounge while I am working - the kids can sit quietly and watch tv but my hubby prefers not to be in there when I am working.

Initially, all you really need is a table and a couple of chairs and as your business grows you can look for alternatives.

You dont need a huge space - maybe with clever storage thinking and dual purpose furniture you could make a little nook.
I'm with Natural Nails on this one - you don't need special desking or a perfect little area somewhere, all you need to be successful is committment and to produce the best nails you can 8)

I would prefer to sit on the floor with a decent technician, than in the most perfect salon and come out with crap nails!!

How about checking out the Ikea catalogue, they specialise in making the most of small dual purpose spaces with foldaway desks and stuff. There must be something in there that will suit - it doesn't have to be forever, and like everything you can trade up as you become more successful :D

Go on Girl - you can do this :eyesore:
Hi Tamm,
I also work from home - my problem isn't with space but lack of customers!!
I did check with the local authorities when I was setting up and they said that as I was not putting an official sign up outside nor expecting loads of cars to be blocking the right of way, there was no need to make any formal applications.
I am really lucky co we have a little space right inside our hall that I thought was ideal to turn into a salon. I got a carpenter to build me a little reception desk and we put up some shelves. You can see some parts of my salon on my web-site by clicking the link.
I am only advertising in a local magazine rather than in the town newspaper as I want to attract the local population. I have also been rather shy about advertising with neighbours etc. as I am worried about them complaining - [although they are a really nice bunch and I don't think they would] but I wanted to be a little discrete at first.
You know - I think the nail business is one of the easiest to set up in a very small space cos when you think about it, plenty of people are mobile and they don't know how much space they will have when they visit their clients. Even a garden shed could be made very homely with curtains at a window and a heater - I'm sure you can find somewhere.......
speak soon
Thanks for the confidence boost guys :D I was worried that I wasn't going to look very professional but as you say its my work that counts and I loooooove doing manis on people so I'm hoping that I'm going to be good at it!

My hubby suggested something from Argos but I thought that it might be uncomfortable for people. Its a square breakfast type thing with 2 stools. What do you think?

Well working from home is definatly more relaxing and i find i always do a much better nail if im not uptight!! mobile is hard work so i definatly know where your comming from wanting to do it from home! hopefuly you can find a space for it i think the girls have hit the nail on the head so's to speak :D space saving furniture seems the way to go!
Now talking of garden sheds :D there is a covered walkway come alley down the side of my home.
At present it house's hubbies rubbish :D he has got some first class aircraft seats that where being chucked out in there and he sits in there all comfy and chilled 8) on his recliner with his ciggie and a beer when he wants to escape us lot :D some how i managed to get him to agree to let me turn it into a nail room for me! (oh the power of being a woman ;) ) it would need total kitting out as its only a brick shed with no insides,(plaster board the walls ect) but i was wondering do you think it would be too cold out there obviously i would invest in a good heater do you think this kind of enviroment would be ok and that cleints would find it ok? just thinking about them cold winters bbbbbrrrrr maybe they will have to keep their hats and coats on lol. i have been chatting about the idear with some of the girls a while ago but i still cant come to any conclusion! suey best you get round here hun and tell me what you think babe :D nickki jonesx
should be ok so long as they don't have to keep their gloves on! :D should be fine... after all what's a house but a brick shed with insulation and heating. storage heaters are good and easy to fit apparently.

have you got your eye on any space saving furniture? anywhere else but ikea as it is miles away :evil: and takes ags to get to!


Go for it with the Garden Shed!! If it needs some work doing to it internally then make sure one of the jobs you do is insulate the walls. If it's brickwork all you need is some battening and some sheets of insulating plasterboard, and a box of nails and you're done!!

Loads of people use sheds/outbuildings for all sorts of things (train sets, offices, wine-making) so they can't be that bad as long as you make it water tight and draft-proof.

Get it priced up by a local builder - quotes are free, then make up your mind - it costs nothing to ask and you might be pleasantly surprised!!

You can see some parts of my salon on my web-site by clicking the link.
I like your little set up Carol :D Really compact! Unfortunately I can't do that as my window sills are too high :? but the old grey matter is starting to work and I'm hoping a solution will pop into my head verrrry soon!

by the way welcome to the board! You'll get loads of help and support I know I have and I've been asking tons of questions some of them really daft :p but they've all been patient with me as I'm still new to all this!

my problem isn't with space but lack of customers!!

How long have you been doing nails and what services do you provide. I know that it takes time to build up a regular clientelle. I must admit thought that I am a little aprehensive about not getting many customers as I only do manis/pedis at the moment and I live in a village.

am only advertising in a local magazine rather than in the town newspaper as I want to attract the local population

Living a village I was concerned about the lack of clients but I also thought that that my turn to my advantage as its a pretty affluent, purpose built commuter place so plenty of money about and when they want pampering they haven't got to go all the way into town as they will have little old me!!! - thats the theory :? :shock: I've yet to prove it as its early days for me yet. I've got to get my table first!!! :)


What about MFI?
Trinity Nails said:

What about MFI?

Hi ya. Looked at MFI today but they didn't have a lot and too expensive. :( Argos has something which I mentioned earlier but didn't know if it would be too uncomfortable.
Will try Index

hi ya tamm now come to think about it last week in lilds by me had some breakfast bar type set ups, they where flat packed it was like kitchen work surface on a silver tubular frame and at one end it had selves (under the table top at one end) it also came with two fold up stools which had backrests on them do you know the kind i mean ? and get this the best part about it is a) it was the right width not too wide so you have to break your back and b) it only cost wait for it £39.99 wowee!
maybe you could stack up towels and bits and bobs on the shelves
have a look in your local lilds maybe they have some left?
nickki jonesx
hi ya TC i think i will have to go for it now its got the geeky thumbs up :D
hopefully we should be able to do it realy cheap as hubbie bless him is a jack of all trades nothing he cant do or fix ! will have to get back to sweet talking him tommorrow when he gets home :D
will let you know how the negiotations go lol i think he may well think his shed is safe as i havent raised the subject for a bit :D wrong!! :shock:
nickki jonesx
nailsbynicola said:
have a look in your local lilds maybe they have some left?
nickki jonesx

Hi Nickki! That sounds really good. Trouble is I've never heard of lilds? Where would my nearest one be i wonder :? Sounds too good to miss. Do they have a website? (Warwickshire)

men are putty in our hands when it comes to sweet talking from the woman they love lol. Your hubby sounds great. Definately handy to have someone around that can do all those odd jobs!!

Hope the conversion goes ok. Make sure you show us some pikkies showing all the stages of metamorphosis!!

oooooh i dunno love :? they are like a cheapy food shop place a bit like aldi's anyone from up that end of the country can help us out here?
nickki jonesx :D
Hi Tamm

Good luck to you I am sure you can sort something out. I use a fold up picnic table costing £10, have you tried Woolies or Wilkinsons? Better get shopping quickly as I should imagine they will be putting the summer sunny things away soon, hopefully you may get a sale bargain, there is nothing i like better goal BTW I think Nickki meant Lidls, I don't know if you know it.

Nickki I am now going to have to visit your garden shed cum nail salon! How exciting thumbsup (poor ol' Ed!)

Sue x
This may sound silly but.....if the crunch comes to the crunch and you get customers b4 you have sorted your work station an ironing board is ideal with a nice cloth over as you can adjust it to the right hight.
Take care Dawnie xx
I am using a summer house at the bottom of the garden as my salon. I bought a fairly good quality one and my other half built it. We started off by filling any gaps with that expanding foam stuff, insulated the inner walls with polystyrene, then finished them off with plaster board. We sorted out the electrics (haven't got a water supply yet, but working on that one) and decorated it and it looks lovely. It isn't huge, but I have it split into a 'salon' area and a 'storage' area - there is even room for a big leather massage chair my mum gave me when she bought a better one for herself (thanks mum!). 8) My clients love the chair and it's no problem getting them to hang around to let their enamel dry - they just hop in the chair and relax for 20 minutes or so, sometimes have trouble kicking them out!

I use a table I bought from Argos (or perhaps Index). It's just the right width, narrower than a normal table, has three drawers and three shelves - only cost around £30. And it doesn't take much room, so is ideal.

I have french windows on the front of the summer house and I find my clients love looking out through them at the garden, especially on a warm summer day. I have a tv & dvd ready for them to look at when the winter arrives and there's nothing but puddles to look at!

When I lived in the UK I used my spare bedroom as a 'salon' but find this new arrangement far better. I wasn't ever keen on having people coming and going through my house, this way I get to keep my home seperate from my business.

Jackie :D
Hi all - in reply to your question Tamm, I have only been doing nails since early this year and qualified through Essential Nails in July so I am a baby really. I am offering manis/pedis/extensions.airbrushing and body art. I have a small amount of retail products including hand and nail care, polishes [Itzy Bitzy] and nail gems etc. My husband was joking the other day saying that he hopes there is no shelf life for these products because due to lack of customers, it looks like we're going to be stuck with them!! I live in a really pretty lane on the outskirts of Wolverhampton and I really don't know why I haven't spread the word more round my neighbours but I think it's because I'm so new, I'm frightened of someone complaining about the way I do things!!! It's silly really cos I am very aware of the risks of hygiene etc and try to give a really good manicure with heated mitts and everything else. Anyone who has had the service say they are impressed. The other thing was that I recently had my first real paying client who had extensions - someone who answered an advert in a local mag and I was soooooo nervous - but it went well and after she left, I had this horrible sinking feeling - she doesn't like me - she doesn't like the nails - God I did something terrible etc etc etc - but I was reassured when she phoned a couple of weeks later for an infill and her nails still looked pretty good even though she's been on holiday with her kids and had spent loads of time on the beach. I guess it's just going to take time to build some confidence.......... I've gone on - I don't know how to keep things short and sweet......... take care everyone. Bye for now
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