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7 Steps On How To Set Up A Nail Manicure Business From Anywhere

7 Steps On How To Set Up A Nail Manicure Business From Anywhere

Running your own business and being self employed can be immensely satisfying. An old friend once wisely said- being self employed is self development on steroids! You’re feeling excited at the idea of starting your nail care salon and working through the multitude of steps of how to set up a nail manicure business. Which you can set up from anywhere really. Offer mobile services, a store front or work from home. The choices are many!

Being Prepared Is Essential In Succeeding

Starting any kind of business in today’s competitive market is a challenge. However, if you can create a successful business on your own, you will also enjoy many benefits of being self employed!

The freedom of being your own boss, the ability to have complete say over matters related to your business and much more make being an entrepreneur very rewarding. With this in mind, here are the basic steps on how to set up a nail salon business plan for starting your manicure business either from home or as a shop front.

Create Your Business Plan. Research Research Research

When it comes to starting a manicure business, there are a number of steps to ideally follow in order to be properly licensed and prepared before flinging open the doors to new customers. Let’s take a look at what you need to do in order to open a nail manicure business in your home.

Part 1 – Before You Do Anything

It’s great that you have decided to open a manicure/pedicure business but in order to do it legally you will need to do some homework. This will take many forms. The best way to make sure you have every aspect covered is to make a checklist of all the steps, forms and documents you may need to set up your nail manicure business is to learn how to write a business plan for a nail salon.

Create A Business Plan

Creating a business plan can be as simple as roughing your ideas out on a price of paper. However if you are serious, as setting up a business can take a large startup capital, you would ideally sit down and write down a very detailed business plan. Create an Excel spreadsheet titled Opening A Nail Salon Checklist to keep detailed notes on every aspect of your business. That way, you can find all your information at a glance if you have forgotten something.

As well, make your tax agent your best friend. A good agent will help you structure your business correctly from the beginning , saving you from major possible headaches later on.

Structure Your Business Correctly Right From The Start

The benefit of having your business accounting properly structured is for future sale. At some stage you may decide to sell your asset which you have worked hard to build up over time. Potential buyers can see your books at a glance, the profit and loss statements over time and feel confident they are buying a viable business. You”ll find your business easy to sell.

Otherwise You Don’t Know If You Are Making A Loss Or A Profit!

On the other hand if you don’t bother keeping accurate records, you have no real idea of how well your business is running, what the profit margins are, cost of goods bought, and monthly running costs etc. Plus any potential buyer who expresses interest will quickly look for issues and may even lose interest as you cannot adequately show the profit margins! As mentioned if you don’t feel confident in creating a nail salon business plan, as your tax agent or local small business body for advice.

Check With Local And Regional Government Bodies…

For example, you should check with local and regional governing bodies. They will be able to tell you if your state/province and city/town will permit such a business. If they do, you will need to obtain regulations related to this and adhere to them.

Check What Licenses And Training Documentation You May Need…

The next step for you will be licenses and training. You will need to have the proper documentation to show you are qualified to perform this service. You will also need documentation that states you are legally permitted to provide this service in your city/town and state/province. If you plan on having staff performing some services they will require proper licensing and certified training.

Business License…

In addition to these forms of licenses, you will need a business license. This is controlled by your local community government. Registering for sales tax permits, your business name and all income and employment tax requirement will need to be completed before you start your business. This includes phone/fax/internet services if required as separate from your personal use.

So, as you can see learning how to write a business plan for a nail salon is actually a useful life skill to learn. This way you won’t be left with nasty surprises you didn’t know were lurking, or don’t have the necessary capital to cover. Whether you are looking into how to become a nail tech at home, running a small home business, or an actual shop front, a business plan is a Must.

Some Points To Think About

Insurance and license regulationsPerformance reviews
Produce sourcingOSHA standards
Document organizationSalon Decore / Ambience
Inventory managementCustomer service
Employment Rules and RegulationsCustomer Satisfaction Policy
Training of StaffChoosing the Right Location
Hiring/firing staffFinancial Loans

Part 2 – Supplies Required

One of the most frequently used items in your manicure/pedicure business will be nail polish remover. Acetone manicurist solvent will be next as it is used to remove tips, acrylic nails and wraps. Cuticle scissors, nail clippers, orange sticks, nail files, emery boards, nail buffers, finger bowls, hand towels, moisturizer and electric nail filers will all be required. Remember to buy quality LED lights as they speed up drying time for acrylic nails. You can read about the benefits of using a nail dryer here.

Buy In Bulk / Wholesale To Save Money…

The items you will use most frequently should be purchased in bulk and all supplies should be available to you with wholesale pricing through a supplier of these items. You will need to set up an account and establish a business relationship with a supplier or a couple of them.

Make Sure You Have A Range Of Supplies To Cover Customer Needs….

Depending on the services you intend to offer, other supplies you will need will include nail polish in many different colors and shades of colors. For acrylic nails you will need nail tips, glue, powder, acrylic compound and brushes. These items will take up much of your inventory as you will be required to stock a lot to satisfy the individual tastes of your customers. Here are some of the most popular UV nail dryers…

Furniture And Equipment…

Then there are larger pieces of equipment and furniture you will need for your nail salon business. Chairs, desks, blow dryers, UV nail dryers, lamps and related items can be purchased at a salon supplier. If you are converting a room in your home you may not require as much furniture but you will need those that are designed for the type of business you are starting.

Products To Think About

  • Salon stations
  • Comfortable Salon Chairs
  • Rolling Foot Stools
  • Telephone
  • Cash Register
  • Product Supply Carts
  • Laundry Equipment
  • Towels
  • Reception Desk
  • Comfortable Chairs     For Customers
  • UV/LED Nail Dryers
  • Acetone
  • Acrylic Powder Kit
  • Nail Polish
  • Gel Polish
  • Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Essential Oil Diffuser
  • Moisturizing Lotion
  • Nail Buffers
  • Cuticle Pushers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Toe Separators
  • Cuticle Nippers
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Pedicure Foot Files
  • Different Sized Bowls

Part 3 – Location Is Everything – Where To Locate Your Salon

There are many options available when you start a business related to where you should locate that business. Storefront locations are great if you can find a space in a high traffic location but rent and utility costs may make this a difficult option to choose. The same goes for a rental space or kiosk in a mall. If you don’t have the startup capital you may even be considering how to become a nail tech at home.

Share The Cost By Setting Up In An Established Hair Salon…

A more affordable location may be to set up a few nail stations in an established hair salon. There will be cost sharing or a split of some kind instead of rental costs. Depending on the arrangement you make, there will be a cost involved. Operating a nail salon out of your home may be the best option as it will be the less costly unless you require many renovations.

How Much Do You Spend…?

The final choice will have a great deal to do with what amount you are prepared to spend in order to establish an address for your business. It also has to do with how much competition exists in your community and surrounding area. Operating a mobile service may be an even better fit for you. Again, this all depends on your personal expenses and what you can afford.

Part 4 – Advertising And Promotion


In order to get the word out that you have started a business you will need to spend some time on marketing and promotion. This will take many different forms. For example, advertising on radio, television and in local newspapers is a good start. Your budget will dictate what medium you will use the most although it is best to ‘mix it up’ a bit to reach more people.

Posters And Fliers Work Well To Let People Know You Are Setting Up A Nail Business….

Posters, signs, flyers and coupons sent through the mail or posted on parked vehicles will also let people in your community know you are in business. Be sure to check with your local government to see if posting items on the street or on vehicles is okay or if it violates a local or regional bylaw.

Create A Website- Everyone Uses Their Mobile Devices To Search These Days…

You should also launch a website as part of setting up a nail business and connect to potential customers through all different social media platforms to help build your client base. Connect with businesses that compliment yours such as hair salons, women’s clothing stores and others to cross promote each other.

Some Advertising Ideas

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Youtube marketing
  • Local/Community Newspaper Ads
  • Business Cards / Flyers
  • A Board
  • Local Contest /Giveaway
  • Signs
  • Referrals
  • Email Existing Data base
  • Yelp Ads
  • Buy One Get One Free
  • Phone Book Listing
  • Website / Online Directory Listings

Part 5 – Cleanliness And Hygiene

In order to keep fungal infections from forming on your equipment and getting passed on to clients you will need to keep things clean. Any and all equipment that comes in contact with another person in your salon will need to be clean and sanitary. Disinfectants, autoclaves, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal soaps should be used.

The same goes for washroom supplies. This means toilet paper, soap, paper towels and access to hot running water is required for yourself, any employees and your clients/customers. The salon itself will require daily cleaning so you will need brooms, mops, cleaning solutions, sponges, scrub brushes and towels to keep everything sparkling clean and safe for use.

Part 6 – Costing Your Services

The main source of cash flow for your business will be what customers spend on the services you provide. As each market is different, the demographics and population base will have an effect on what you can charge for any and all your services. Competition in the same community or a nearby community will also have an impact on what you can consider fair rates.

Decide On Your Nail “Menu”…

Before putting together a price list it is a good idea to have a full ‘menu’ of what services will be available at your nail salon. Researching what other nail salons are charging for the same or similar services is a good way to gauge where to start with your pricing schedule. For example, manicures may range from $10-38 depending on the type.


Pedicures can cost between $16 and $95, again depending on the particular type. Acrylic nails average $25-$60 for fulls and about $18 + for fills. Gel nails can cost between $35-$95 for fulls and from $22 to $75 for fills. Nail wraps average around $45 + for fulls and $30+ for fills. What your running costs are will also have an impact on the price you charge your customers.

Some Service Pricing Ideas

  • Manicure $15-$85
  • Pedicure $25-$95
  • Acrylic Full Sets $30-$120
  • Gel Polish $20-$95
  • Acrylic Nail Fills $18-$60
  • Gel Removal $5-$20
  • Mani/Pedi Combos $40-$175
  • Gel Nail Repairs $3-$40
  • Silk Nails $10-$55
  • Gel Full Sets $45-$95
  • Gel Top Coat $5-$25
  • Gel Powder Fills $30-$75
  • Acrylic Nail Removal $10-$50
  • Kids Services $10-$30

Part 7 – Opening Your Doors For Customers

Now that you are finally ready to accept customers you will need to ensure that the atmosphere of your nail salon is relaxing and inviting. This can mean a lot of different things to different people. A water feature may produce the calming sound needed to put everyone at ease. Maybe a radio or music player of some kind will do the trick.

If you have a lobby or waiting area you will want to have it furnished with comfortable chairs, tables, lamps and such. Reading material, a coffee bar and other amenities can be added. You will also need the administrative tools necessary to keep your business running smoothly. This includes appointment books, standard office supplies and details.

Final Thoughts On How To Set Up A Nail Manicure Business

As we’ve discussed, opening your own business is both challenging and rewarding.

Many businesses fail these days only because the owners who established them either did not do their homework before opening or did not follow trends.

Changes in business come and go all the time and the better prepared you are to deal with these changes, the better chance you have at success.

Taking your time to research the how and what you need on how to set up a nail manicure business will go a long way to beginning a business for the long term.

Keep detailed records in your opening a nail salon checklist so you know exactly what your business is doing at any time. Keeping detailed records is an essential aspect of any business. You need to be prepared to understand the numbers and spend time in this important area of how to set up a nail manicure business.


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