Doing Nails in a Small Town

Prices and value of nail services can vary GREATLY based on location. In 2008 Troy, MI I performed $50 classic pedicures and $25 manicures before I thought it would be a good idea to booth rent in the middle of no where. I only pursued this venture for a few months before realizing it was a complete mistake! Small town prices are similar to the “chop shop” prices which as I’ve said many times before, professional manicurists should not try and compete with.  The most I could charge for a pedicure was $25 and $12 for a manicure.

Benefits of a small town:

  • Low competition
  • Low room rent and less overhead


  • Charge sometimes less than half of average city prices
  • Full set in city – $70 VS. Full set in small town – $30
  • Slow foot traffic

Tips for Success:

  • Lower your standards. This is especially difficult for me but it’s necessary to complement the low cost of work. Cut out steps in your classic pedicure, use cheaper products and reduce the time in order to make up the difference. The easiest obvious step is to cut the massage. Next, try only exfoliating the foot and not the entire leg.
  • Make your own products
  • Create upgraded or add on services 
  • Make sure your paying fair booth rent – it should not exceed the cost of one client’s service per week. Ideally, if the pedicure is $30, the rent should be $30 per week. If the pedicure and manicure together are $50, then this is the most you should pay per week. Or if it’s a percentage, I would not pay the landlord more than 20%. This is considering you supply everything yourself and the landlord supplies some major equipment such as the pedicure throne, nail table and chairs.
  • Make sure you and the landlord sign some type of 1099 agreement 
  • Keep accepting payments simple


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