[Business] What Baywatch Taught Me About Business: Price Increases & Self Care

Price Increases: They’re Personal
But Not for the Reason You’re Thinking.

When was the last time you raised your prices? Be honest. No judgment here.

There are MANY good reasons to raise your prices: inflation, changes in your service menu, environmental upgrades, increasing overhead, ANY professional development you’ve invested in…The list goes on.

The trouble that many Nail Professionals face when it comes to pricing their services properly is one of the heart. We serve. It’s a joy to serve. We develop relationships & attachments with our favorite clients. It can be difficult asking for more from people we love. We often see it as selfish to prioritize helping ourselves before helping others.

And that may work for Baymax, the personal healthcare assistant, but for Nail Pros? Well, the flip side of that is likely more true.

According to Alison Pena, The Affluence Catalyst, everyone operates from three main perspectives in their professions: Purpose, Love & Charity. While everyone uses a little bit of each lens to make business decisions, there tends to be one lens through which a person will operate a majority of the time. Knowing which perspective is your dominant lens makes creating a thriving business doing what you love insanely easier.

Most service providers, like us Nail Professionals, who thrive on one-on-one relationships operate from Pena’s perspective of Love. Love Lensers (that’s not a technical term…) make empathetic, heart-based decisions. Love Lensers require a high level of self-care, which comes in many forms. For example, I’ve found that I need at least 30 minutes to ground myself every morning—it’s more important for me than coffee.

My husband needs LOTS of space & time to explore different ideas if he’s to effectively help people create their best recorded music.

My first salon mentor takes weekends & Mondays off from the salon—GASP! No working on Saturdays?!

My hairstylist spends an hour at the gym every morning, like, before dawn.

My Embodiment Coach takes off work the first day of her cycle—EVERY month.

The common thread here is that we are all people who serve others–& we all do it very well.

But it wasn’t always like that for all of us.

Sometimes, our mindset is trained to think that to serve was an all-or-nothing arrangement. We “Yes” to every client, even if we didn’t vibe. We frequently worked consecutive 12-hour days without proper breaks & don’t charge for late cancellations or add-on services that used a *teensy* bit of extra backbar product.

I’m sure you can guess what happens pretty quickly. (Hint: It starts with “B” & ends in “urnout”.)

What we don’t learn until later is that we need to take good care of ourselves in order to take good care of others, thus positively earning (& CONTINUING to earn) the money those people are giving us.

Warning: I’m about to drop some knowledge I learned from *dundundunnnnnnnn* BAYWATCH.

According to that pinnacle of 90’s American television drama, a lifeguard is taught, in the event they are swept toward rocks during a rescue, to use the victim’s body as a shield between her body & the rocks.

Now, whether this is true or not, I remember my seven-year-old self being absolutely shocked & saddened that someone who is meant to save lives would knowingly main the person she’s supposed to be rescuing.

But think about it: If the lifeguard were to be hurt by crashing into the rocks, who’s going to save her AND the drowning victim?

No one. No one gets saved.

Yes, the same principle applies in the salon. If you don’t take care of yourself, it can become hard to focus on your tasks & services. You may drift off during conversation & not hear that bomb she just dropped in your confidence. Clients can feel when you aren’t present with them you know. You may even start to resent your clients. They’ll feel that, too.

All those little details build up & affect your bottom line. Clients may tip you less (even though you DON’T work for tips. More on that another day!). You might not be able to retain clients or secure prebookings. You may even lose clients. I know I did.
So, what does this have to do with your service prices?

Making sure you are properly compensated for your time, backbar & expertise is a MAJOR factor in self-care. If you feel like you aren’t making enough money per client because you’re struggling to remain “competitive” (WTH does that mean, anyway?!), you will struggle to fit more clients into one day. You will work longer hours. You will feel resentful if she doesn’t tip you well. Or, you’ll stop investing in your personal & professional development. Or start buying inferior backbar products. Either way, something will give.

When you DO feel properly compensated for sharing your gifts with your clients, you create space inside your salon & your life to nurture a more caring environment & attitude. It becomes a lovely, self-feeding loop that feels REALLY good.

Allow yourself the space to care for yourself. You are a caring person & when you receive good care from yourself, you will be able to give better service to others. My friend & fellow CND Education Ambassador, Barbara Abeyta, says, “I fill my cup so I can serve from my [overflowing] saucer.” Way classier analogy than a botched Baywatch rescue, don’t you think?

Bonus: Properly pricings your services will allow you to make thriving investments without feeling guilty for taking care of yourself. Shift your perspective if you need to: when you invest in your monthly (weekly? bi-weekly?) massage, or take that yoga class, or “splurge” on that fancy haircut with the delectable scalp treatment, know that you are also investing in your clients’ wellbeing, ultimately creating a stronger foundation for your business (& personal) relationship.

If you know your current service prices don’t allow you this necessary space of self-care, don’t worry. We’ll explore how to determine & handle price increases in the very near future. Until then, please leave your questions & comments here. I always love hearing what you think!

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