All kinds of beauty therapists are discovering that working from home is a great alternative to having a job in a salon. Nail technicians who work from home (particularly if they offer a mobile service) can make a very good income. The main expense of starting a nail technician home business is the training. Operating as an unlicensed nail technician carries risks for the technician as well as the customers (as we shall see later), so the training must not be skimped. Fortunately home study courses are available as a convenient alternative to attending classes.
Nail technicians have taken over from manicurists and are in great demand nowadays. Up until a couple of years ago, most people were satisfied with doing their own manicure at home. Having a professional manicure at a salon was a luxury reserved for special occasions.
Then acrylic nail extensions arrived and, since then, decorative nail finishes (for toenails as well as fingernails) have become wildly popular.
As well as acrylic and gel nail extensions, there are nail tips and all kinds of artistic embellishment available. The elegant extended fingernails can be studded with rhinestones, dotted with glitter or painted with seasonal pictures. The days when nail color was the only choice you needed to make when having a manicure are long gone.
There is enormous potential for earning money as a self-employed nail technician. You only have to pass by a nail salon a few times to see how busy they are at all times of day and, if you want to try out nail extensions for yourself, you will find there is a long waiting list for appointments. Starting your own home based business as a nail technician will give you much more control and flexibility in your working hours than you would have if you worked for someone else in their salon.
If you offer a nail design service from home, you can offer three things that will put you ahead of the salons:
- Flexible hours. You can offer evening and weekend appointments for people who are at work during the day or want to get their nails done when their partner is at home to look after the children. You can also offer an emergency repair service.
- Discounted rates. Fancy fingernails are not cheap to maintain but your overheads will be far lower than those of a salon owner. You can, therefore, compete with the salons on price and still make a good profit.
- Mobile service. To put yourself even further ahead of the salons, you can offer a mobile nail technician service. This will be a valuable service for people such as mothers who don’t want to take young children to a salon, disabled people who find traveling difficult and anyone where transport would be a problem or parking a nuisance.
The basic equipment you will need to work from home as a nail technician is not expensive and, due to the popularity of nail extensions, supplies are readily available and can be purchased conveniently online. Always use the highest quality products. If you are running your own nail technician business from home, you will have little in the way of overheads, so there is no need to scrimp on quality. Nail care is a luxury and your customers will expect to be pampered with fine quality products. Using poorer quality materials would be a false economy because they can result in a poor end product. Always remember that the best form of advertising is personal recommendation. Word of mouth can make or break your business. You want your customers to be satisfied with your service so that they will recommend you to their friends. If you make the mistake of using cheap products which give a customer an unsatisfactory experience just once, that will very likely be the last time that customer or any of her friends will use your services.
Training is the most expensive part of starting a nail design home business but it is absolutely essential. In most parts of the United States and the UK, it is illegal to practice as a nail technician without a licence from your home State or Local Authority. To obtain a licence you must be able to show you have attained a recognized qualification. Having a Certificate to show you have completed a professional course will also add to your credibility as a qualified technician with customers. Training is also vital for reasons of safety and the future of your business. Failure to undertake a proper training course is dangerous to you as well as to your customers. Apart from the obvious danger of leaving a customer with a manicure that will disintegrate within a few days, there is the far greater danger that you might cause horrible ugly (and possibly permanent) damage to a customer’s natural nails. All you are likely to earn that way is a bad reputation and a law suit. It is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of getting proper training before you attempt to make money as a nail technician.
If you have never seen what fungal nail infections look like, do a search on the Internet and have a look at some pictures. You will then understand why customers would sue you for damages. It would be highly irresponsible to risk inflicting this sort of damage on anyone, so make sure you take a proper training course and use top quality materials. Remember, business is about competition, so you want to offer the best service you possibly can. A good reputation will be your key to building a loyal customer base who will recommend you to their friends and family.
Nail technician training courses are short and the amount of practice needed before you reach competency will vary depending upon your abilities (a certain amount of artistic skill is required). It is also possible to learn nail design through a distance learning course or by purchasing a course on DVD. These options are cheaper but they are no substitute for proper training at a specialist center if you want to become a professional nail technician.
As the demand for nail technician training has increased, the number of centers offering training courses has also increased but they are not all Government accredited educational institutions. When choosing a nail technician training center (before paying anything to them) make very sure the training will lead to a recognised qualification and not just a worthless diploma invented by the owner of the training center.