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Who wouldn’t love to run their own salon and spa? You’d spend your days helping people feel wonderfully relaxed and fabulous, from their fingertips to their hairstyle. While managing a salon is bound to be hard work, it’s definitely a rewarding profession to take on. This is especially true if you love the feel of a great manicure, pedicure, and spa treatment yourself because you’ll know that you’re giving your clients a treatment that feels amazing.

What steps do you need to get your salon or pedicure spa off the ground? Sure, you’ll need nail polish, nail files, and pedicure chairs, but what else? There are a few key things that shouldn’t pass you by as you get your business up and running. Let’s take a look at what exactly they are.

Get yourself the best equipment and accessories around.

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It doesn’t matter where in the United States you’re located; you’re going to need some great equipment and accessories if you want to impress prospective clients. Of course, you know that pedicure chairs, manicure tables, and facial beds cost money, and you don’t want to skimp. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get great value for your expense, though. Look for pedicure chairs and salon chairs that have luxurious armrests with gorgeous upholstery and a durable tub. There are some great options out there with multiple function options that swivel and even come with a free technician stool that doesn’t have to break the bank.

Offer giveaways and discounts to new clients.

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Everyone loves a giveaway or a special price, and you can be sure that your client experience will be excellent if you offer these. In the beginning, all of your clients will be new, but they can quickly become loyal customers if you give them great value for their investment. You might consider giving a free or discounted nail buffer kit to anyone who comes into your nail salon for a manicure or pedicure. Or, offer discounts on the lotions you have for sale if someone came in to enjoy the relaxation of lying on the facial bed for treatment. Special offers give you easy access to client loyalty and are absolutely worth the initial loss you may incur due to reduced prices. Always remember to grab an email address or phone number as people head out the door; that way, you can make them aware of more special price offerings in the future.

Consider outsourcing some of your tasks to professionals or technicians.

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Don’t try to do everything on your own. You’re a business manager, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do the job of every masseuse, nail technician, accountant, and janitor you have on staff. For example, plumbing fixes are a great thing to outsource to a professional technician, unless you’re a plumbing expert. Haircare specialists should do hair care, and a manicure and pedicure should be handled by technicians who understand cuticles and buffers. Remember, if you micromanage every aspect of the salon or spa, that’s an easy way to lose sight of the larger goals of your organization. And that’s an easy way for your business to fail.

Helping people achieve peak relaxation and luxuriousness is a wonderful calling, so if this is your passion, you should go for it. Remember these tips—get the best pedicure chairs and other equipment without spending all of your money, offer discounts to draw in new clients, and keep your eyes on the bigger picture. Before you know it, you’ll have your own feet up on the footrest, and you’ll be gazing around at the empire you’ve built.

Kathy Heckle