Student shares tips for starting business

Senior Ximena Ubillo shares her experience in starting her nail tech business 


Photo by Silvia Martinez

Ximena Ubillo does a client’s nails.

Q: What was the initial financial investment your business?

A: When I decided to start my business, my first investment was at about $1,000. With that money, I was able to buy the basic materials and furniture in order to start practicing. I invested a portion of all my paychecks.

Q: What are some marketing strategies that you have set in place to help spread the word about your business?

A: To promote my business, I decided to create a Facebook and Instagram page dedicated to booking and pictures of my work. There, I occasionally post sales or giveaways. At the moment, I am working on getting business cards and a new logo.

Q: How do you decide what to buy and how do you deem a product worth buying (quality wise) while still staying within your budget?

A: At first, I decided what to buy based on what I saw on YouTube. I would watch videos helping beginner nail technicians. This helped me see what the people in the videos were working with. Now that I’ve gained some experience, I go to a nail supply store and decide to buy based on the materials that I find myself using the most, materials that are trending or in season. To see if a product is worth buying, I look at reviews or see if it is a popular product that many high-ranked nail technicians recommend. However, some things that are better quality are pricier so to stay within my budget, I get half of what I wanted to get one week, then, the week after, I go back and get the rest of the things I needed to get. 

Q: How do you ensure that you’re making profit?

A: To measure the amount of profit I’m making, I give myself half of my earnings at the end of every month. Then of the other half left, I take half of that and use it to buy nail supplies. The rest of the money then goes to my savings. I only give myself ¼ of my earnings for nail supplies to ensure I am not buying unnecessary supplies and leave myself with no money. 

Q: How did you decide what to price your services?

A: At the moment, I am still working on what to price my services. As of now, I am basing my prices on the amount of time I take with the client. I also base it on the type of technique I use, for example if it’s a simple set with no designs or decals, the technique I use will be quick and simple meaning the price will be less. I also try to base my prices on my talent. If the nails come out good and acrylic was laid correctly the price will be higher. Before, my prices were low because I had just started and was still developing my skill. I also take into consideration that I do not have my license yet, so I am still not considered a professional nail tech. Once I am licensed, I will be able to work at a salon or simply charge more for my work.