Does your Salon need to fine tune?

It is always crazy to me, how and where inspiration hits. I know I have sang this tune before, yet…if you truly open yourself up to the world around you, you can learn so much.

Here I am 35 years in this industry. I have been writing articles every week since about 2008. Yet, almost weekly new ideas spin through my head. The only difference between then and now….is I have to write the idea down or I’ll forget. LOL

Todays title comes for two reasons. One, I’m loaning my shoulder to a dear friend and during our last conversation I was reminded of the DVD I made back in 2003 or 2005 titled How to fine tune your nail training skills.

The front cover had a picture of a keyboard with a red rose and beautifully manicured hand. The DVD is about the little things that matter in your application and filing. It is not product related except it was acrylic. There was nothing mentioned of a brand.

I sold quite a few of them in my day. And, gave quite a few away to the nail schools. It wasn’t too long ago I met an instructor from a school on the East Coast of Florida who told me she recognized me from the video. She was awestruck LOL

However, it was her comment about my instruction of the fine details which helped so many of her students which made me smile.

It’s always about the fine tuning. The 2nd reason this article came into play is because my husband and I were in Lauderdale by the Sea on the East Coast of Florida and we went to a new sushi restaurant. New to us, it turned out it’s a chain primarily in Miami. “Sushi Runner“. If you live down that way, you MUST try them. Delish!

They only had a couple of people working, and right as we walked in two big parties walked in with us. I was okay with that because we weren’t in a hurry. And, taking into consideration the shortage of help and larger parties, our waiter did okay. If I was in a hurry, I might have been pissed. That wasn’t the case…he was fine.

However, it was the little things I noticed which of course I had to share with my husband. The simple…little things which I believe is more noticed than the main course.

He greeted us and sat us. He went right into an apologetic chorus of how short they are in help and they had those two big parties. It wasn’t a big deal. He was making it a big deal. We didn’t need to hear all that. 

Then he gave us the menu and didn’t ask if we wanted anything to drink. He said “I’ll be back in 10 minutes”. I was actually impressed with that because I thought maybe they determined how long it would take to process their menu. Brilliant! My husband didn’t agree. He didn’t think it was that rehearsed. He’s probably right!

In any case, we did sit for a while and when he came to take our order I just asked him directly “be honest with us. We are here for the week. We can go next door and eat and come back another night. Is it going to take a long time for us to get our food?”

He assured us we would get our food in a timely manner…and we did.

After about 15 minutes he finally asked us if we wanted anything to drink… and this is the moment of epiphany. He’s busy right? Then he has to think busy and always be one step ahead. He brought our beverages (beer) and then asked if we wanted glasses. He should have had the glasses and assumed we would take them. It’s a gamble but one that would more than likely be a win, every time. And, he wouldn’t have had to backtrack to go get a glass which, I wanted. “THINK busy”.

What nobody has known is I sprained my ankle a couple of weeks ago. I’m instructed to wear a cam boot and put as little pressure on that foot as possible. Keep it up and iced. Well, that ain’t gonna happen.

Until it did. It turns out the week after I did is, is the week my husband and I try to enjoy a little RR. I bring my computer and any work projects but I do allow myself some RR time. It was perfect. I did nothing except sit on the couch with my foot up… working…..or not!

The little things moment comes in when I realized people really are compassionate. We have been separated by the media for so long, we have forgotten who we are and how it’s the little things that truly make us smile. From holding the door for me, letting me go first or in front of them, being patient as I hobble along. and even just talking to me as we pass in an aisle or on a sidewalk. Crazy, crazy gentle, kind and nice. Just those little gestures changed my thinking for a moment on humanity. That’s a win win situation.

So let’s think about these “little things” in relation to our Industry.

  • toe flossing
  • cjs towel wrap
  • bringing a glass of water in a wine glass
  • dimming the lights on final massage
  • Acknowledging your client as they walk in the door
  • Walking an elderly client to her car
  • Saying “thank you”
  • Learning how to “not waste steps”, “not waste time”
  • Be prepared

These seem like simple little things and they are. Yet they pack a big punch.

I again want to remind you of the importance of “scoping”. Going to other Salons and “feeling” how you are treated. Looking around to find the comfort in your surroundings and experiencing how the staff treats you. In addition, pay attention to your every day surroundings. What happened to you that you did like AND what happened to you that you didn’t like.

Customer service is universal. Being kind and attentive is universal. Going that extra inch is universal. If it can happen to you….you should be able to pay it forward to others, especially your clients.


We still have 4 events left for the year plus educational events

San Juan Puerto Rico at the Nails expo

Deb’s Pro Nail Retreat in upstate NY

Fun Fancy Nails event in MA

Premiere Beauty Show in San Antonio Texas

Hoping to see you!

CJ Murray, President

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