Welcome to the Precision Nails Blog

As a salon owner and licensed manicurist, my perspective on the nail industry could not be more practical. While some may be offended by the opinions expressed, please understand that I want to share information and stimulate discussion. Whether you want your nails done or do nails professionally, I hope you find this blog both useful and interesting.

Materials on this website may not be reproduced, redistributed, transmitted, copied, cached, or otherwise used, without prior written consent of Jaime Schrabeck. To request consent, contact Jaime at consulting@precisionnails.com.

Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Do you Have a Video for That?

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, May 2014

What good is an app if it’s difficult to learn, and there’s no time or incentive to use it? The learning curve with any new technology can be steep. Even older technology can be frustrating when it’s new to you and not likely to be part of a regular routine. Like most people, I’m more competent with my favorite and most frequently used apps: STX for salon management, Quicken for accounting, Pages for word processing, etc. I cannot imagine functioning without them. Granted, I don’t know all their features, but that doesn’t diminish their usefulness for my purposes.

What’s missing in my repertoire is the capability to produce quality videos. Capability may not be the right word; I think I’m capable, I just haven’t been willing apparently. Despite the time and effort I invest in researching articles and presenting classes, the question often arises: “Do you have a video for that?” No, but thanks for asking. If producing videos were a priority, they’d exist already. Writing this article about technology gives me a reason to do something that I've successfully avoided for years. I’m not obligated nor should others feel entitled, but I am willing to share.

Capturing video will be relatively easy in my new salon location; there’s better lighting, more space and time to experiment. The challenge lies in creating a professional and educational presentation, something worth viewing. The most efficient way would be to adapt familiar technology to this new project. Thus, anything I learn in the process can be easily assimilated into my existing knowledge. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t be likely to accomplish this.) The most conducive would be Keynote, my favorite presentation software. The structure and text already exist for the many different classes I present. These presentations can be adapted by adding video, customizing the slide timing and exporting to Quicktime. Sharing to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter would generate interest among viewers.

Which topic(s) would interest potential viewers? The obvious choice would be my most popular service and class: waterless spa pedicures. I say that without any hesitation, but just to be sure, I posted that question to Facebook. As expected, the consensus supported my choice. So waterless spa pedicures it is!

Having chosen a topic, I need balance between breadth and depth in exploring it. When writing articles, I like the constraints of space; word limits force me to be more concise. For example, the monthly topics for the Stylist newspapers have been determined by the editor, and it’s up to me to craft a corresponding 800-word article. Weeks before the deadline, I draft my thoughts in Pages. Neglecting every writing class I’ve taken, I never use outlining. Instead, I force myself to write complete sentences, even if they’re not perfect. Ideally, I generate approximately 1000 words to be edited at a later time. Some sentences require revision, while others may be deleted entirely. The process gains momentum when random sentences coalesce into coherent paragraphs. Reading paragraphs aloud assures that my writing conveys my intent.

Likewise, when producing video, time limits affect the content. That’s just as well because viewers, like readers, have limited time and/or short attention spans. For Youtube, the default length is 15 minutes. In practical terms, that means I cannot demonstrate an hour-long service from start to finish in real time; it needs to be broken down into component parts, or edited to significantly shorten the time. Depending on the topic, it may not be reasonable to focus on only one nail, skip steps and/or provide extensive background information.

Another limitation to consider is video quality. Let’s be realistic; I’m not a professional videographer, nor do I plan to hire one to provide free content online. My new camera equipment and limited skills will suffice; how hard can it be to push a button? If I can’t figure it out, the manual’s available online.

My biggest concern in producing a video is satisfying myself. There’s a reason why I haven’t posted the video, or written the book, that everyone wants: once released, I can’t take it back. Is perfection too much to expect? Probably, knowing that it’s not likely. At some point, I need to be confident that whatever I’ve created is ready to share. Until then, I can procrastinate in pursuit of perfection.

Deadlines can be very motivating; for this project, the deadline will have to be self-imposed. With that said, my first video will be available by May 31 on the PrecisionNails YouTube channel. This date coincides with Premiere Orlando where I’ll be teaching five different classes (topics for future videos). If I happen to post earlier, it would demonstrate that the process went faster/better than expected. As always, I welcome viewer and reader comments; we’re all entitled to our opinions, humble or not.

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What Makes a Nail Salon "Green?"

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, April 2014

What makes a nail salon "green?" Depending on who you ask, it could be the salon building, the environment in which professionals provide nail services, and/or the services and products themselves. There isn't enough space in this article to explore all the possibilities; however, certain examples are worth presenting to encourage other salon owners and beauty professionals to do extensive research before investing themselves in this growing trend.

Before I proceed, let me qualify my position. Beauty is subjective; the rules governing the beauty industry are not. Even if we could agree on "best practices," the laws in our respective locations take precedence, no matter how expensive, impractical, unscientific, and/or obsolete. All salon owners and beauty professionals must comply with the minimum standards/regulations of relevant federal, state and local governmental agencies.

Beyond compliance, being "green" doesn't necessarily make a salon any more viable or the salon experience any better/healthier/safer for clients, salon workers or the environment. For example, let's consider LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of a building. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), not a government agency, launched LEED in 1998 to rate and recognize "green buildings." A building project must "satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification" (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum). According to the USGBC website (www.usgbc.org/leed), LEED can:
  • "Lower operating costs and increase asset value"
  • "Conserve energy, water and other resources"
  • "Be healthier and safer for occupants"
  • "Qualify for money-saving incentives, like tax rebates and zoning allowances."
On the surface, this recognition would seem worth pursuing for a salon building, if only for the marketing opportunities. Speaking of which, congratulations to architect Richard Best, who "crafted the world's first LEED® Silver Certified nail salon" (www.richardbestarchitect.com) in Studio City, California. Most nail professionals have never heard of Richard Best, but easily recognize the salon's co-owner, Robbie Schaeffer. His efforts to launch ROB|B, the first OPI concept salon, were documented in 100+ posts to "Blueprint of a First Year," a NAILS magazine blog.

In an article dated December 15, 2011, Richard Best attributed his accomplishment to a collaboration between "An architect with sustainable design expertise and an ownership willing to walk-the-talk of green design and operations … An Eco-Dream Team was borne. . . . Forward-looking corporations and business owners – like The Rob B OPI Concept Salon and GS & MS Properties recognize the fiscal benefits of choosing to 'go green' with their buildings and operations, and they capitalize on green business branding which appeals to many of their clients and makes for happier, more productive workers."

I find Richard's statements amusing, especially in light of two specific blog posts Robbie wrote. In a post titled "Going Green" (June 22, 2007), Robbie announced his intentions to pursue LEED certification for his new salon, but questioned the architect's "green" credentials: "I don't think our architect, Richard Best, has ever built a LEED-certified building before, but he's jumped in headfirst with researching the requirements." A year later, in a post titled "So Close, Yet So Far Away" (June 25, 2008), Robbie lamented ongoing construction delays: "My architect, Richard Best, is MIA; he gave us a week's notice that he was leaving for Dubai to appear in a reality TV show. (I seriously couldn't even make this stuff up.) Lee Stucker, my contractor, has been forced to pick up the missing architect's slack."

A building may be "sustainable," but that doesn't mean that the business occupying the space will be. The salon located at 12246 Ventura Boulevard is no longer ROB|B Salon; currently, it's Pure Nails & Organic Spa with new ownership. The most recent developments haven't been addressed in the blog, though many readers would be interested in knowing what transpired and what lessons were learned.

As an individual tenant in a multi-tenant building, my new salon isn't eligible for LEED certification. That's not a problem because the more I learn about it, the less impressed I am: "Critics complain that the system can be gamed to garner the wonderful-sounding public relations that LEED certification often generates" (Daniel Brook, "LEED Compliance Not Required for Designing Green Buildings," Scientific American Earth 3.0 Special Edition, September 2008) and "Any building or rating system that does not make all energy use data public, and show substantial savings relative to comparable buildings, does not deserve to be called environmentally friendly, regardless of how many supposed "green" features are included" Henry Gifford, "A Better Way to Rate Green Buildings," www.energysavingscience.com.

Even without certification, I can be proud of what I've accomplished in my new salon with minimal investment:
  • Prepared the space within two months of lease signing.
  • Did not change the existing wood flooring; the previous tenant is a flooring contractor, and his products and workmanship are beautiful.
  • Did not change the existing paint colors; they already matched my desired color scheme and the previous tenant left paint for touchups.
  • Created private rooms with customized, temporary dividers.
  • Invested nearly $1000 in EcoSmart LED bulbs to replace old bulbs in the recessed lighting. They were easy to install and should last 20 years.
  • Installed the newest model of the Mitsubishi Jet Towel Hand Dryer.
  • Donated excess building materials to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Reduced my electricity costs to less than $100/month (using approximately 500 kWh in a space of 1100 square feet).
Salon owners and nail professionals need to be both innovative and practical when "going green." In my first Stylist article four years ago (April 2010), I wrote about the benefits of providing waterless spa pedicures. Conserving water (12-15 gallons/pedicure) remains one of the most significant benefits. Upon request, California American Water supplied an audit of water consumption in my previous salon location. During 8+ years (August 2005-September 2013), Precision Nails used approximately 15,000 gallons of water for a total cost of less than $1000. During that same time, my employees and I performed more than 11,000 waterless pedicures, saving an estimated 135,000 gallons of water. Note that the salon had two client rooms and pedicures comprised about 40% of my business.

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Managing the Effects of Aging on Ourselves and Our Business

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, March 2014

While we beauty professionals focus on working with clients, marketing our salons, learning new skills, socializing with colleagues, etc., we likely neglect the one thing that happens regardless of what we’re doing: aging. Even if we were content to “age gracefully” (a phrase with an indeterminate/flexible meaning), there’s still action required to make the unavoidable more tolerable. No, I don’t mean saving money for a face lift. We should be devising strategies to manage its effects on our selves and our businesses. Otherwise, we won’t be prepared for this process that will certainly bring changes, some expected, others not.

Within the beauty industry, it would seem that the greatest concern anyone could have about the aging process is his or her appearance. As the media so effectively reinforce, who doesn’t want to be more beautiful and youthful? Undoubtedly, our industry plays a significant role in creating and meeting the demand for “anti-aging” treatments for skin, hair and nails. However, products and services that supposedly target a specific age group or beauty/health concern don’t interest me unless there’s scientific research to support their effectiveness. My professional credibility would suffer if I hyped questionable products/services the way that some do. I’d rather disappoint a client with the truth than mislead with false hope. Clients deserve the truth, even when it hurts.

Speaking truth, if the aging process were limited to looking old, it wouldn’t be so scary. (Apologies to those who are very afraid of wrinkles, age spots and hair loss). There are plenty of beauty fixes available, depending on your resources. It’s unfortunate that the supremacy of beauty distracts from a more important factor in the aging process: overall health. If priorities were different, we’d be obsessed with improving the health of our bodies and minds. Spend anytime around older people and you’ll realize that most of them are more concerned about their physical and mental health than their appearance. For those afflicted with diseases associated with aging (cancer, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.), their quality of life has been severely compromised. No matter how good someone looks, what’s the point of living longer if those years are miserable/painful?

We can take actions now (improve our diet, exercise our bodies and brains, stop smoking, get adequate sleep, invest in health insurance, eliminate toxic relationships, etc.) that will have both immediate and long-term benefits. There’s no reason to wait when we could live better lives now and in the future.

Within our businesses, we need to acknowledge how aging could affect our abilities. Working safely to protect ourselves from injury should take precedence, no matter how old we are. For example, I wear disposable gloves to reduce my exposure to germs and chemicals. Furthermore, I avoid eye strain with suitable lighting and physical strain with good posture and ergonomic movement. When newly licensed and much younger, I filled my schedule to work 60 hours a week, which was neither ideal nor sustainable. I cannot work those hours anymore, either physically or mentally. With time and experience, I learned to limit hours to match my energy. Mastery of my schedule gives me the great advantage of efficiency and organization.

The longer I provide beauty services, the more I’m interested in exploring how to best serve clients and prolong my “quality of life” in the salon. I don’t plan to retire anytime soon, so it’s very important that my clients enjoy their services and I enjoy my clients. I can’t be complacent with the ones I currently have, or obsolete for potential clients in the future.

Thinking about the future raises some important questions for all of us: Do we need to adapt to clients as they age? Imagine having a clientele that was limited to people your age, plus or minus five years. Forget that, I’m bored just thinking about it! In my experience, a more diverse clientele provides greater opportunities for professional growth, meaningful interaction and financial success. At my salon, any “accommodations” for older clients already exist because they’ve always been a consideration. When you treat older clients with respect and kindness, it reassures younger clients that they will be valued later. And they’ll feel comfortable referring their older friends and family to you.

There’s no need to replace my clients when they get older, unless they’re unable to receive beauty services. As long as they want my professional expertise, I’ll do my best to make their nails look beautiful.

What if our clients replaced us with someone younger? We wouldn’t want clients to discriminate against us based on our age. Younger, less experienced manicurists will always be entering our profession. If we don’t stay current with our education and/or our skills diminish, we will lose clients to them. After more than twenty years as a licensed manicurist, I still expect progress in the quality of my work, and greater efficiency in the means (equipment, tools, products, procedures, etc.) of achieving it. When I cannot meet my own expectations, I’ll know the time is right to retire.

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Meeting Tax Obligations

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, February 2014

We may think that obtaining a beauty license makes us professional, but nothing demonstrates our commitment to being professional like paying our taxes. Granted, none of us aspires to this industry because we want to give the government its due, but it’s one of our greatest responsibilities nonetheless. Regardless of our personal motives or career goals, the government does not value our “artistry,” “technical expertise” and/or “client relations;” beyond basic consumer safety, it’s main concern is financial. Whether we work alone or with others, through good economic times and bad, our tax returns represent the financial health of our salon businesses, and our success as beauty professionals.

Before proceeding, let me clarify that I’m not a tax professional, nor should anything I write be taken as legal advice. You’re responsible for your own tax obligations, and I strongly recommend that you seek guidance from a qualified professional to ensure your compliance with federal, state and local tax laws and regulations. That being said, I hope you find the remainder of this article informative.

At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relies on our voluntary compliance to accurately report our income under penalty of perjury. The effort this takes varies according to your employment status; an employee completing Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) using information provided in a Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) has a fairly simple task. As a salon owner with employees, I have a more complex task, which includes a Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business, Sole Proprietorship). Beauty professionals who have incorporated their businesses, and/or have business partners have different forms to complete. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, the more complicated the circumstances, the more important it is to engage a tax professional.

Timely payment of taxes due should be easy by having the appropriate amount of money withheld from paychecks or making quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. That may sound condescending and insensitive, particularly toward those who may struggle to pay their taxes, but it’s not meant to be. Money is one of those subjects that's hard to discuss without the risk of someone feeling uncomfortable or inadequate. Our relationship with money is very personal and private, typically not something we readily share with others. We all could benefit from knowing how to better manage our personal and business finances.

Paying our taxes impacts many aspects of our financial lives. For example, filing successive tax returns determines our ability to obtain credit and qualify for loans, and the amount of future retirement benefits through the collection of Social Security taxes, known as FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and/or SECA (Self-Employment Contributions Act). The legal consequences for NOT filing tax returns or falsifying information are civil penalties (underpayment tax penalty and interest, which can accrue indefinitely) or criminal prosecution. With the exception of tax attorneys, most people want to avoid any involvement with the IRS.

I've written extensively about being professional; frankly, I’m tired. Not of doing nails for my clients, but of explaining to other manicurists and salon owners why they should do them legally, and to consumers why professionalism matters. Is it really that hard to do the right thing? Given the proliferation of salons and individuals who could generously be described as being “unprofessional,” it's obvious that you don't need to be professional to make money in the beauty business. If many consumers don't seem to care whether or not a salon and its service providers hold valid licenses, do you think they care if taxes have been paid? Probably not, and that’s unfortunate.

When we’ve filed and paid our taxes, there's no certificate to display on the wall, or any other acknowledgment of our commitment to the beauty profession. A tax return is different from the licenses issued by our state governments which allow us to provide services for compensation in the first place. And while I don’t tolerate unprofessional behavior, I don't spend my days obsessing about it either. Setting a good example is enough work. It's really up to you to develop a clientele and associate yourself with colleagues and businesses who support your efforts to be professional, including meeting your tax obligations.

I could probably strategize more tax savings, and invest even more for “retirement,” but I’m very comfortable with my financial position. It’s mid-January, and I’m just days away from submitting my numbers. I’m never more grateful for technology than tax time, thanks to software and other online resources for making my finances more manageable. Writing my last estimated tax payment check, I’m optimistic that my trusted tax professional has done his job to ensure that I don’t dread Tax Day. Something to consider: doing your taxes may be distressing, but thinking about your death more so. Estate planning - yes, you should be doing that also. You know what they say about death and taxes...

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ignorance Is Not an Excuse

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, January 2014

Preparing for regulatory changes in the beauty industry would be so much easier if only we were all governed by the same rules and knew what to expect. If that’s our excuse for not being involved and informed, we need to get over it. Within any given state, the same rules apply to all, and even then, many licensees remain ignorant. We shouldn’t waste our time bemoaning the fact that rules vary by state (federal laws excepted) and that national licensing doesn’t exist. No matter how much we complain, the sovereignty of states to govern and protect their respective residents/consumers takes precedence in the absence of federal authority.

As salon owners and beauty professionals, we focus primarily on providing services to our clients, investing in products and continuing education to stay current. We don’t have much time or other resources to devote to governmental affairs seemingly beyond the salon. That’s unfortunate given the power of government to control how we work.

We often hear that it takes "political will" to achieve regulatory change. This common, but rather ambiguous, term has been given this “dynamic” definition in a very interesting research paper (presented to the 2008 Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association):

"Our ideal-type definition of political will requires that a sufficient set of political actors with a common understanding of a particular problem on the public agenda genuinely intends to  support a commonly perceived, potentially effective policy solution. This definition includes four  different components, which we deem necessary conditions:  
  1. A sufficient set of political actors
  2. With a common understanding of a particular problem on the public agenda
  3. Genuinely intends to support    
  4. A commonly perceived, potentially effective policy solution."
    (Post, L., Raile, A. & Raile, E., "Defining Political Will," p. 5).
If political will doesn’t seem relevant to your work, consider this. Many of the greatest challenges facing our industry are regulatory in nature: unlicensed activity, employment law, health and safety, education, etc. Can we expect legislators and bureaucrats to address problems without some guidance? How are they to know that a problem even exists? What evidence will they gather and which experts will they consult? What are the consequences, intentional or not, of the proposed solutions? When we allow changes in our industry to happen without our influence or support, it’s not likely that we’ll welcome them. Conversely, when we tolerate inequities, incompetence and obsolescence in our governance, we’ve failed ourselves as professionals.

Apathy does not solve problems; in fact, it can create even more. Not long  ago, some legislators in Indiana and Florida (among other states) wanted to deregulate the beauty industry. The potential consequences of such deregulation motivated beauty professionals and consumer advocates to lobby against this, but what would have happened had they failed to act? No matter how obvious or necessary something may seem to beauty professionals, what we consider “best practices” will not be reflected in legislation/regulation without active participation.

In past articles, I’ve been very vocal about being proactive, rather than reactive, to government, particularly at the state level. To learn more about how your state board operates, visit its website, sign up for email notifications and read the rules, meeting agendas/minutes, reports and public notices. Doing this research doesn’t cost anything (except time), but it won’t change anything either unless you use that information.

It may seem hard to believe, but an individual can influence the governing process. If you really want to make a difference, you need to be seen and heard at board meetings, and not just once. With consistent effort, your concern can evolve from a a public comment during a board meeting to a regulatory change, with the necessary steps in between. For example, I want California’s Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to enforce its laws prohibiting mobile services, or change its laws to protect consumers and establishment owners from unlicensed activity. After I made a public comment, the issue was placed on the next meeting’s agenda, prompting the board’s staff to research other state’s laws and make its own recommendations.

When issues concern me, even if they’re not directly related to my work as a manicurist and salon owner, I will freely express my opinion. For example, proposed legislation (in California’s state assembly) to authorize advanced skin care licensing does NOT have my support, as I’ve made clear in this statement to my colleagues:

As an advocate for the beauty industry, I want you to be aware of proposed bill AB 1153, introduced by Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman District 13. If successful, this bill would give California’s Board of Barbering and Cosmetology the authority to license "master estheticians," requiring an additional 600 hours of "practical training and technical instruction" beyond what's currently required (1600 hours for cosmetologists, or 600 hours for estheticians).

More important, if this bill becomes law, it would redefine and expand the scope of practice of “master estheticians” to include body treatments (wraps, scrubs, etc.), currently unregulated services that your business may offer. In effect, this law would require that establishments like yours would have to use licensed "master estheticians" to provide these services.

If you’re concerned about the potential impact of this bill on your business, please contact your legislator to express your thoughts.

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Making Changes for a Better Future

Article Published in Stylist Magazine, December 2013

It’s likely that you’ve already read many articles about having passion for the beauty industry. This won’t be one of those articles. No amount of desire or enthusiasm can compete with the reality of actually doing something. You may want to improve your business, but what does that really mean, and are you capable of making the appropriate changes?

As the holiday season approaches, many salon owners and nail professionals convince themselves that it’s too late in the year to make any changes to their business. No matter how frustrated or desperate they may be, they worry that any change would be too disruptive, especially to their clients. Instead, they’ll continue to struggle and wait for a better time to resolve their problems. That’s ridiculous; there truly is no better time than the present. Stop worrying about everyone else and consider yourself first, not your business, but you as a person. If you’re abusing your body, that’s a problem. If you can’t pay your bills, that’s a problem. If you’re neglecting your family, that’s a problem. If you dread being at work, that’s a problem. More important, they are your problems to solve, sooner rather than later. Why wait until the new year to make resolutions when you can change now?

Change in itself won’t solve your problems unless you understand your contribution to them. Taking responsibility and owning your mistakes can very difficult when it’s so easy and very tempting to blame others. If someone were truly a victim, I could sympathize, but would still expect some decisive action. Failing to act only reinforces a sense of powerlessness. It’s in those moments that you may become a victim of your own learned helplessness. Being passive is not the way to do your best work or operate a successful business.

It’s not possible to control everything, but positive changes/improvements/progress can result if you act according to your priorities. Some specific examples come to mind when I reflect on what’s happened in my life during the last year. I entered this year planning for the possibility of one major professional change (moving my salon), but was quickly faced with the reality of an even greater change: my sister’s decision to move her family back to Clovis, three hours away. This impacted me both personally and professionally, but not in a negative way. We no longer share a household (I’ve since moved to a new residence) and she’s reverted to her “every other week” schedule at the salon. This was a big change, especially for the clients whose standing appointments had to be rearranged starting in August. To their credit, her clients were very flexible, understanding that family was her priority.

In the meanwhile, I had to consider the future of my salon business and my own priorities. Professionally speaking, working directly with clients remains my greatest source of satisfaction and income, but changes were necessary to make it more convenient and enjoyable. Confident that I’d want to provide nail services for years to come, I was willing to commit to a long-term lease (7 to 10 years). While I employed 2 other manicurists who work hard, I was no longer willing to staff a salon 6 days a week, or work more hours myself to meet the terms of a retail lease. That was neither reasonable nor necessary given the “by appointment only” nature of my business. When it became apparent that modifying my lease and the interior of my existing space wasn’t viable, the search for the ideal space intensified.

Having viewed more than a dozen options, many of which could have worked had I compromised, I discovered my current space and negotiated a ten-year lease. Needless to say, I won’t have to change salon locations for a while. Moving the salon to this larger, more accessible space required an investment of money and labor, but I purposefully avoided many of the costs associated with my previous space, such as installing flooring and painting walls. The new space already had beautiful hardwood flooring and walls painted in my color scheme. For the most part, the electrical work involved changing light bulbs to eco-friendly and cost-effective LED lighting. I did invest in new power leather recliners and the latest version of the Mitsubishi Jet Towel hand dryer, which have made the salon seem even more luxurious.

Other then a few minor hiccups, the transition to the new location has been relatively smooth. For example, a few clients have arrived late having first visited the old location. Overall, the reaction has been incredibly positive. Clients tend to be very amenable to change when it’s viewed as progress. Even the change in salon hours (from Monday thru Saturday, to Tuesday thru Friday) hasn’t been a problem because it doesn’t affect standing appointments, the core of my business. My salon business has evolved as I have, and how it currently functions has eliminated the problems I once perceived. Instead of making new year’s resolutions, I can set goals for the future based on what’s working and enjoy the benefits of changes already made.

By Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.