Saturday, November 14, 2009

Smart Customers Who Think Ahead

This Past week was very busy for us here at the Clipper Shack. Mike had several scheduled Nipper Sharpening Training Sessions. Mike enjoys the hands on training sessions because it is done by using the one-on-one method of training. We really get to meet a lot of interesting people. Our customer base comes from many very diversified ethnic backgrounds. We love learning about our customers cultures and stories of perseverance. Recently we had a very nice Latin man from South FL come for training and he told us some interesting facts on Nipper Sharpening in his area. He told us that in his location of South FL, the Nail Salons / beauty salons and Nail Techs seem to like the better quality nippers, He said they have tried the cheaper nippers but they were not satisfied with how they work even when they are new. So most all of the Nail Techs buy the $18 to $25 nippers. The nail techs want to have their good nippers sharpened but finding someone who "consistently" can sharpen them was hard to find. (this prompted him to start his nipper sharpening side job business) He decided to purchase our nail nipper sharpening systems and he came to Ohio for his FREE hands on training session. He did a fantastic job. He was here about 4 hours learning how to first identify what is wrong with the nippers BEFORE he began to sharpen them ( this is a big key to nipper sharpening) once he was really good at understanding how to identify problem nippers , he would correct and sharpen them using the nail nipper sharpening system,. This man did his homework, He went to beauty and nail salons in his area and asked permission to bring their nippers with him to his Training Class, he got the girls to give him their damaged and dull nippers. ( he kept them all marked and named so that he could return the correct nippers to the right nail tech ) By the time he was finished with his FREE hands on Training, he had fixed and repaired and sharpened all 30 pairs of nippers. He was thrilled. Not only did this give him great confidence but also he also made $7.00 for each of the 30 nippers he sharpened while he was here for his FREE Training Session. This also gave him a real idea of what types of problems he would see in the actual field. Our south FL customer told us that in his research he discovered that their was only one other guy in his area that could sharpen nippers consistently and that he was charging $8.00 a nipper. This other nipper sharpening guy would ONLY sharpen the nippers he sells to the nail techs. So the South FL guy decided he would charge $7.00 and he would sharpen all brands no matter where the nail techs purchased their nippers. I think his business strategy will pay off for him. I also think that doing his homework ahead of time and asking to bring the dull and damaged nippers with him for the FREE training was a great idea. He knows alot of about is area. Not all nipper sharpeners get to charge $7.00 a pair.

Knowing your area will help you determine your price you will charge for your services.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nipper Sharpening Price Perspective

While Mike was attending the Wolff Show in October he had the chance to meet up with several of our west coast customers. Mike had a nice visit with one of our Asian Customers on Sunday morning. He had purchased his Nipper Sharpening System 8 weeks earlier and wanted to meet Mike. He drove 2 hours to Fullerton CA on Sunday morning just to meet Mike and let him know how happy he was with our Nipper Sharpening System. He and Mike talked about the nipper sharpening business in his area of CA. He told Mike that he had Practice on the Nipper Sharpening System for 2 weeks, and he watched the instructional DVD many times while he learned the skill of nipper sharpening before he began his new adventure in the nipper sharpening business. He also told mike that in 6 weeks of being in business he had already sharpened 800 nippers. He said in the beginning he was slow but as he kept using the machine and (re-watching) the instructional DVD and also using the Nipper Sharpening Check List, he has really gained speed in his sharpening abilities. Mike asked him how must he was charging for his nipper sharpening services. He told Mike that he is charging $4.00 a pair for the cuticle nippers if they only have a few to sharpen but would sharpen nippers for $3.50 if they give him over 10 pairs at a time. He told mike that he has not yet started to sharpen Podiatry nippers but he thought in the future he will charge more for Podiatry Nippers because they are harder to do and also because the podiatry nippers are of better quality in his area. The conversation got Mike and I thinking, if you think about it,the man had sharpened 800 nippers in 6 weeks and even at $3.50 a pair he has made $2800 in 6 weeks. He already has paid off his $1,295 investment in the purchase of our Nipper Sharpening System, plus he has even made some profit in only 6 weeks. Then within a few days after returning home from the CA Wolff show, Mike had a Training Session with a customer who had owned our Nipper Sharpening System for about a year. He came for advance FREE hands on training for Podiatry Nipper Sharpening. While he was here the two men talked nipper sharpening. He said he does not do alot of nippers ( about 4 to 5 pairs a week ) He said he does not sharpen or even try to sharpen in the foreign Nail Salons but rather decided to only sharpen for the nail techs in his beauty salons. He said he charges $7.00 to $8.00 for cuticle nipper sharpening. He then decided to come for advanced training to learn podiatry and orthodontic nipper sharpening. He felt he could build a small side business and charge a higher dollar $8.00 to $10.00 for podiatry and tissue nippers. However, even at 5 pairs of cuticle nippers per week and using his price of $7.00 a pair that totals $1820 for the year with his Nipper Sharpening System. He has already paid off his $1,295 investment and made a little profit for the year that he has owned the machine. I do think that the nipper sharpening price does determine how many nippers you will or will not be sharpening a week. As well as how dedicated you feel like becoming to build that end of your business. And also what type of nipper sharpening business you want to have. Some sharpeners only use the nipper sharpening skill to help keep other sharpeners out of their salons and out of their sharpening areas. While other sharpeners seem to want to make nipper sharpening a division all of its own. And then there are other sharpeners who branch off into "high end Professional nippers like Podiatrists and Orthodontists. I know with our own mail order sharpening business, nipper sharpening has tripled since the recession has hit , More people are getting them sharpened instead of purchasing new nippers. We have seen a big increase in our mail order nipper sharpening. We charge anywhere from $5.50 to $7.50 depending on if we are running a special or not.