December 19, 2022



Your time is precious.  So what if we told you when it comes to nails that short and sweet interactions can’t be beat? In fact, they should definitely be incorporated into your booking schedule and here is how.  We want to let you off the hook. Longer services doesn’t necessarily mean better. Depending on the needs of your client and the makeup of your clientele, a thirty minute nail service might be all you need to earn with ease. So let’s have at it shall we?

A nail client and their nails will have their own life cycle. As a pro, you already know that much of that cycle will consist of regularly scheduled maintenance services. An estimated 50%-75% of your workload will consist of maintenance clients because their original shape/structure is still sound. So imagine that your client service patterns might alternate between a new client wanting a full set and a returning touch up client. Knowing what maintenance services can be completed in a short amount of time is very useful. A quick thirty minute service might be a basic fill plus gel polish over the top for those who wear full nail enhancements. Another couple of services like gel polish or dip powder on natural nails would also fit an abbreviated time frame. As the nail look becomes more complex, more time gets put on the clock and you add more digits to the price.

So why do so many nail professionals schedule every client on the hour? One could argue the answer is because that’s how we’ve always done it.  If this is the case, let us point out some nail tech time card awareness. If you were a hairdresser and half of your clients came in only needing a trim, would you schedule those for a full hour appointment? Assess the situation. If your work day is only 8 hours (not including breaks) your maximum capacity is 8 clients booked on the hour. Your optimized schedule for a five day week would be 40 clients. Now if you’re willing to do something a little different and book on the half hour, the number of potential services increases. Your willingness to take a risk on your ability now makes it possible to increase your potential weekly income based on 60 clients, a mix of full set and maintenance clients. Make every minute at work count. Profits increase by booking efficiently without being a slave to the salon. Make every minute at work count.

Let’s pretend that your minimum rate is $60 per client. Multiply that by 40 clients (8 clients daily x 5 days) on an hourly booking = $2400 per week. Now if you are booking by the half hour, an average load would be 60 clients (12 clients daily x 5 days) multiplied by $60 = $3600 per week. Wowza, that is a $1200 increase to your bottom line. Remember there is value in the work even if the final product is easy to create. Your chosen profession in nails has always been about you and your quality of life. Your time is yours and you get to decide how to spend it. Do you want to be tactical in the salon and leisurely at home? Would you prefer to work three or four days a week instead of five? This is entirely in your control. Do not block out 60 mins for a fill. Why? Technically the client pays for your expertise. The price of your services should be based on that. The service of the fill has its own price. Any nail art/spa treatments are priced on top of the maintenance. A lot of salons like to simplify their menus by offering niche nail/spa packages. It’s up to you. In the salon, a 30 minute fill is very possible. We hope that it will soon become your scheduling norm. When you do a 30 minute fill, open up time to do another 30 minute service or you have the option to check out early which increases your rest and relaxation goals.

This kind of nail tech math gets us so excited. We want to see you take charge of all aspects of your work. It is 100% possible to make good money. You can have a very comfortable life. There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of being able to take care of yourself and support those you love. If you get your maintenance skills down to 30 minutes, you can breathe a little easier and not stress about taking time off for a few weeks of vacation or unexpected sick days. This is what we love about a life in nails, 30 minutes makes all the difference in the world.

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube which originally aired on April 21, 2022.

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full talk here: