I started my career as a manicurist in 1997. I have been a mobile/traveling nail technician for two years before I opened my first nail salon in Euclid, a small town about 15 miles east of the City of Cleveland.
As a small nail salon owner. I was lucky to pick the right spot for my nail business. I was able to build a large customer base and employ 8 new nail technicians in just 6 months. My nail salon was the go-to salon for a lot of people who lived in Euclid and surrounding cities.
Even though there were other nail salons around and have been in business before mine, I was able to draw customers from them due to four main factors: customer service, salon cleanliness, and good products and service. These factors are essential in any service business and I was able to implement them.
My salon was open 7 days a week and we were busy most of the time.
This gave me an added bonus that I was able to do nails everyday to sharpen my skills as a nail technician and also as a small business owner.
I was and still am a perfectionist, at least I think I am. I was always striving for the best ways to create the best possible set of nails for my customers. Looking back, I think this is the main inspiration that I instilled onto to my employees, many of whom later went on to be nail salon owners themselves.
Any business owners would expand their business when things were going well. I did the same thing. I started to acquire under-performing nail salons around Cleveland. I was confident that I was able to turn them around and make them profitable. I was in my late thirties and I thought I had a great chance to own multiple nail salons.
At one time, I had five nail salons that were about one hour drive from each other.
I was wrong. Things did not turn out the way I anticipated.
I could not be able to be at all five nail salons at the same time. It was the first time I had more than 20 nail technicians working for me and they were not at one location so I could keep an eye on their work performance.
I expanded so fast that I did not have time to create a sound management system and employee job description in place.
In two years, I owned 5 nail salons. To add more interesting things to the mix, My wife gave birth to two beautiful boys who were eighteen months apart.
Things at five nail salons were starting to stall. I spent a lot of money on marketing but did not get good returns because my managers did not know how to work on retaining new customers or followed up on referrals and my nail technicians did not provide top-notch service and it is crucial for first-time customers to decide if my salon was worth their repeated businesses.
My cash reserve started to shrink quickly and I saw there was no quick fix. I had to make a decision soon.
Either I was going to turn my business situation around and it would take all of my waking hours to work on it and did not have time for my family with two very young boys or I would take a financial loss so I could spend my time fulfilling my responsibilities as a father.
I chose the second option.
I sold all four nail salons that were far away from where I lived and kept one that was closest to me. Now I could go back to be a nail technician working at his own nail salon and come home after my salon closed for the day to my family.
I was able to work as a nail technician, run one-nail salon business and spend time with family. I would not be able to do that had I still owned and tried to make it big with several nail salons.
I was able to gain more experience in nail skills and on managing a small business.
Time flew. Now all my kids are over eighteen years old.
I have more time to do what I want to do with the rest of my life.
For more than two decades, I learned valuables skills and gained great experience in the nail business. I had great customers who later became great friends because they knew that they were not only the people who paid me for the services I provided but I also treated them the way I wanted to be treated. This philosophy allowed me to gain trust from my customers.
Looking back on those years, I feel something was missing. I did not feel fulfilled.
I realized that with all the skills of a nail technician and the ability to run a successful small business I gained over the years, I only served a small group of people.
At the end of my career now, I still want more people to reap the benefits of my twenty plus years of being involved in a nail business.
In other words, I did not want my knowledge and experience to disappear when I am no longer around. Because of this thinking, I was thinking ways to keep whatever I acquired in my profession had and learned during the previous two decades of my life. I wanted to do something to record what I know about my nail skills and my business experience. However, a diary seemed like a lot of work to write down 20 plus my years, the same as anybody. A diary was so personal and nobody would want to read but I and it would go with me when my time comes.
I never thought that I would be writing blogs someday. Blogging to me was something foreign, only for people who did not want to do real work. Then I came across a blogging platform.
But blogging to me now is like writing a diary or a journal for the online world. In contrast to the traditional physical diary book, a blog is publicly available on the internet where anybody can read it. So it dawned on me that if I write a blog about my nail skills and experience, it might be helpful to someone around the world and that someone does not have to come through my salon’s door or to me in person.
I could help more people than I could ever have before with and preserve my nail knowledge at the same time.
What a revelation! Even though it was late but better never.
Like many other middle-aged men, my email accounts were mainly used for internet banking and buying things on ebay, not even from amazon. I had never had any Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest accounts.
I was before the online generation.
Now here I am. You are on my website, reading this.
I have come a long way since February 2019.
Now I own a blog. I made myself learn about SEO, keyword research and practice how to write for the internet, google specifically and many other online skills that I never thought I would ever care, need or want.
Why? Because I want my blog to be found and read by as many people as possible. That is how I would be able to help even when I am not physically able to perform the work anymore.
I used to spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing seasonal and yearly campaigns to draw customers to my brick-and-mortar nail salons. Now I am also trying to draw people in to read my blogs so I can help them. However, advertising and marketing online require a whole new skill set. However, I am learning them to make sure my nail skills, my experience, the content of my blog do not get buried by the ever-growing online world.
For the first four months and one week, one of my blog posts were read by over 1,000 people. It is a tiny number in the internet term but I was ecstatic, I only have to write one article about a specific topic about nails and many people came to my website to read it. I could not physically talk a thousand times on one topic in four months’ time but now I could do that online.
What a feeling!
It took me four months to write this about me/us page because I did not know what to write for it, even though it was about me. I am not a writer in any way, shape or form so it took me this long to finally know how to write it down.
So that is how this blog came into existence. It serves two purposes: first, it is a virtual place where I can keep my nail skills and experience and secondly, I hope many people will find them helpful.
If the later happens, it would be beyond my wildest, earthly dream.
The beginning of 2020 was shadowed with a historic, global pandemic that took away a couple of months of the year. However, it seemed to me that the online world where people can connect was still going strong. People were still searching online for knowledge.
And that gives me hope to just keep going.
Thanks for reading.