Have an artistic streak and love the satisfaction of creating a beautiful set of custom press-on nails?
Then starting a press-on nail business (which you can do from the comfort of your home) may be the perfect business for you. The best part of this is that you can buy all of the equipment you need to get started for less than $500.
This article will provide a step-by step guide to start you own press-on nail business, including (i) a detailed supplies list, (ii) how to set up your press-on nail business, (iii) how to figure out how much to charge, (iv) how to get customers, and (v) how to create custom press-on nails like a pro.
A description of each of the 6 steps is below. You can skip ahead to any one of them by clicking on the desired link below.
- Step 1: Establish Your Press-On Nail Business
- Step 2: Create a Business Plan
- Step 3: Get Supplies For Your Press-On Nail Business
- Step 4: Market Your Press-On Nail Business
- Step 5: Learn How to Create Press-On Nails Like a Pro
It’s a lot to cover so let’s get into it!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
Step 1: Establish Your Press-On Nail Business
If you want your press-on nail business to be more than just a glorified hobby, you need to actually set up the business. This includes selecting your name and logo, establishing your website, and setting up your business entity.
Name and Logo
The first thing you want to do is select a name and logo that you like.
Having trouble figuring out a name? Try Shopify’s business name generator. It’s free.
As for a logo, you can go on canva and check out some of their logo templates and start from there. It's a free option, but you will need to customize the logo templates to your liking. If you prefer a more ready-made solution, you can outsource this task.
One solid option is to go on Fiverr and hire someone to create your logo. There are tons of people who do this, and I have seen pricing as low as $5. For that price, you can probably try a bunch of folks and pick the logo that suits you best.
Or you can go with Looka. They are an AI-powered platform that will provide you a professional looking logo at reasonable prices. You can choose from hundreds of logo designs (based on parameters and preferences you select) before settling on one you like. You can also customize to your heart’s content. Check them out here.
Note: You want to make sure your name and logo are original to you and are not going to infringe someone else's intellectual property. If you are unsure, you can check the USPTO's trademark search tool as a starting point.
Set Up Your Press-On Nail Website
When it comes to your website, it does not have to be incredibly fancy or cost a lot of money to set up, but you should definitely get one if you want to sell your nails online (which you absolutely should).
There are a lot of resources available to help you with this. In fact, this YouTube video shows you how you can set up an e-commerce website for free. Note: it is really long (over 2 hours, but if you want a thorough step by step guide, this is it).
Set Up Your Business Entity
If your business is going to be a corporation, LLC, or some other business entity, you should establish that as well. Setting up a business entity can give you a range of benefits, including liability protection. You can hire a lawyer to help you, or you can use many of the online resources that can help you set up your business entity.
I like Incorporate because they can get you up and running quickly and easily. They also have some great resources to educate you on what type of entity to choose and which may be the right state to choose for your new entity. If you want to learn more, check them out below.
You should consult with your accountant and lawyer before taking this step, so you understand the tax and legal consequences of setting up this type of organization for your business.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
A business plan is essentially a roadmap for your business.
It organizes your thoughts relating to your business into an actionable plan. Some things to include in your business plan are budgeting, identifying your target market and competition, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, and growth projections.
Don’t stress too much about getting it perfect. I would use it more as an organizational tool at this point – after all, they call it a business plan for a reason. You should develop a plan to make the business work.
Don’t know how to get started? The Small Business Administration has a great tool to help you write your business plan.
Step 3: Get Supplies For Your Press-On Nail Business
As you can imagine, getting the right supplies for your press-on nail business is essential. I am not going to provide every possible thing you could buy – I am limiting the list to the essentials. Much of what you ultimately need will depend on the types of nails you are going to create.
The Basic Equipment List
- Full Cover Acrylic Nails
- Nail Art Display Stand (As a bonus it comes with 48pcs of White Reusable Adhesive Putty and 100pcs Coffin Fake Nail Tips)
- Plastic Tip Stand for Practicing On False Nail Tips
- Nail Glue
- Nail Files
- Decorative Boxes (To Package Up Your Nails When You Ship Them to Customers)
- Clear Mounting Tape to Stick Your Nails to the Inside of the Box
- Mailers (For Shipping)
Now, of course, you will need the obvious essential items that you should already have if you are into creating custom press-on nails, like nail polish, nail polish remover, rhinestones, other decorative items, etc. If you want to buy any of the above items, check out my equipment and supplies page for links to all of the corresponding Amazon product pages.
Step 4: Market Your Press-On Nail Services
When you are just starting your press-on nail business, you may want to practice your skills with family and friends. If you do an excellent job, they will often be willing to give you word of mouth advertising. Continue to do a great job for people and the word will continue to spread.
You can also become a bit more organized around your marketing to grow your business. Some of these options cost a bit of money, so you may want to hold off until you have turned a profit and saved some funds from your business.
For online marketing, you can do the following:
Get a great website that draws traffic to your business (you can hire an SEO expert to help you do this)
Blitz social media outlets – you can go on facebook groups, pinterest, and instagram (all of which can be fine ways to get the word out about your fabulous creations). You can also open up a shop on shopify or etsy to market your products.
Finally, you may want to do some “boots on the ground” marketing. Walk around your neighborhood and leave flyers. Talk to folks and see if they would be willing to give your services a try.
Ultimately, you want to experiment with various marketing strategies – you may be surprised at what works best.
How much should I charge for my press-on nail services?
If you do a simple search on etsy for custom press on nails, you will see a range of prices between $15 for basic press-on nails to $50 or more for really high end nails, with Swarovski crystals, etc. What you charge will ultimately depend on what types of nails you want to create, but this range should provide a good idea of what you should be charging.
Try to be at least competitive (or even undercut your competitor's prices). You may need to experiment with different pricing to find the sweet spot.
Step 5: Learn How to Do Press-On Nails Like a Pro
If you haven’t done press-on nails before, you can certainly learn online (and practice, practice, practice).
There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to to do this. Below is one video you can look at to get started.
So, there you have it: 5 simple steps to start your press-on nails business. For more great ideas on starting a business in the beauty and make-up industry, check out my articles on how to start an eyelash extension business and how to start a microblading business.