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Working alone can be the worst decision you ever make.  There is a basic business model issue for nail salons that operate in salon studios.  The math doesn’t work.  This year there is a big conference going on in Utah that deals specifically with salon studio businesses in the nail industry.

Just because it’s just you in a studio doesn’t mean you don’t need to do the same amount of research, planning and organization as the big nail salon.  But you don’t have the resources of additional workers to help.  The cost of doing these things is not split between the revenue generation of a few workers.  This drives up the prices you need to charge to be profitable.

Something as common as a sink that is required to operate a salon costs more per service if it’s just you than it would be if you divided that costs between a few employees who are all generating income for the business.  The cost of business liability insurance and the cost of licenses is not split between as many services.  All these things drive up the cost you need to charge making it tough to compete.

Then there are the product costs that you can negotiate lower with higher volume purchases.  If you have a tiny studio then you need to either order product that is going to sit for a while which ties up cash or you need to pay a higher price which drives costs up.  You might be saying to yourself.  No. I negotiate a lower price that is lower than most pay for liquid. But ask your self would your supplier go even lower if you bought ten times that amount.  Of course they would.

The list of issues goes on and on.  Beauty Suites are great for other types of beauty businesses such as hair and estheticians. It simply doesn’t work well for the nail industry.  but there are some benefits.  The question is do these positives out way the negatives?  Being in a beauty mall particularly one that doesn’t have many nail technicians gives you a large pool of industry professionals to trade referrals of clients with. People with the right personality in large beauty malls that network with the entire building should be able to get enough referrals to sustain their entire business. Being in a studio helps allow you to control the drama.  You can close your door and work with your client and not engage in the trials and tribulations of everyone else and their problems.  You also can offer a more personalized experience to your customers. Operating in a beauty mall doesn’t require as large a start up costs as opening an actual salon. You can offer any service you desire especially the most popular nail services.

The biggest downfall is because of the small size it makes it very tough to grow because of the intimate working conditions and lack of space to add more employees.