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Small Business Thoughts While Having a Pedicure

I did something a week ago that all males should do often – got a pedicure. As I relaxed my legs in warm water, I wondered why the nails/manicure/pedicure industry does not lure more male customers.

male pedicure

According to a research company, IBISWorld’s Hair & Nail Salons Market Research Report [1], this industry had a revenue of 42 billion, employs around 1.5 million people in over 1.06 million businesses. That is a huge number and if men do not frequently get pedicures, then this industry may be losing out on half of the potential customers.

I must admit, I was shy when I entered the nail care place. I had the same feeling when, decades ago, I went to a  Parikmakerskaya (Barber Shop) in Moscow staffed predominantly by women. Until then, growing up in India, I had only seen male barbers and that is why the experience was new.

Fast forward to my current experience.  The pedicure experience was good, no stares from patrons for being the only male there, and I was comforted that there was no silence but a constant stream of conversation around me.

I looked to see if there was any marketing or promotional material that I could use to persuade other men to have a pedicure too. I began to think between the foot scrubs I was getting  that this may be a lost opportunity for this industry. The U.S. population is almost half male and entrepreneurs like the Grooming Lounge [2] in Washington, D.C. have done a good job catering to this market.

Some tips for small business owners in the pedicure industry:

  1. Reach out to potential customers through your existing customers. Maybe a sign that says, “Your partner or spouse will love us too. Bring them in!”
  2. A sign outside the window that says, “Pedicure for men available” may make shy men come in confidently.
  3. A coupon or offer that can be handed over to the men  in your existing client’s life.
  4. Educational blog posts or videos on how men should take care of their feet (see a good example at Groomin Guys.)
  5. Label your price list to include Men. Example: Men/Women Pedicure.

These are some basic thoughts and readers may have other ways this industry can promote itself to new customers. Your thoughts?

Pedicure [3] Photo via Shutterstock