Off traveling again I can’t wait to meet with my distributors in the Far East, if you ever want to see what real competition and entrepreneurship is like, then visit China! China without doubt is becoming a very important territory for all exporters, the Chinese customer is becoming more educated all of the time and we are finding unparalleled levels of growth for our upscale signature brands. Price is not the only factor as far as this developing market is concerned and the end user is becoming more and more discerning. This leads to the nail technician and salon owners becoming increasingly interested in which brand of product they use and even more importantly they retail.
One of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make as a nail technician is which brand to invest your time, and even more importantly, your money in. You might think that the difference between one brand and another is simply down to how the product performs or even whom you trained with, but in today’s world I am afraid it can be more complex than that. You need to get your products from a company that will supply the products you believe will produce the results you want, at a price you can afford. It is no use buying a product that will destroy your service, profit margin or make you charge a price that is either uncompetitive for your area, or indeed for the economic climate. Having chosen the right product at the right price, you then need to make sure that the level of support in terms of delivery, product availability and something that is especially important is the level of technical support that is offered. Without this technical support you are on your own and believe me it is a tough old world out there on your own.
The product supplier also needs to be working hard to support you in terms of marketing, product posters, samples to give to customers, ideas on how to grow your business and ideas on how to compete. You can’t just buy your products from any one you need, to be looking for companies who care about the nail industry and are not just looking for a quick sale and a fast buck.
You also need to have a little understanding on how your product supplier fits into the nail industry, who are these people you are giving your hard earned cash to; who are these people you are trusting with your future, your chance of prosperity. I have seen many companies come and go in the nail industry in the 30 years that my company has been supplying products. Companies with big marketing budgets who go broke, small companies without the resources to supply and support their customers. I have seen them come and I have seen them go. I have been in this business so long that I think I am the only founder left in the industry from the original companies that started all of those years ago. Many, many companies have sold to other companies and this is one of the main points of debate today – do you really know who you are buying from and what their long term plans are for the business? You need to be sure that the supplier selling their products to you is going to be in business in the future. Whether a company goes out of business in these tough times or sells their business to new ownership who have different ideas about the type of distribution they want to get a return on the investment they have made in buying the business. All of this could affect how you get your products, what they cost and who else may be getting the brand and indeed, in which part of the industry they fit.
So when you are choosing whom to buy from, take a minute and think about the full implications of the investment before you make an informed decision about where to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask your supplier what their plans are for the future before you entrust your future to them.