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Nail technician or virtual assistant?

(13 Posts)
Pearl2015 Sat 20-Jun-15 19:18:51

I am currently on maternity leave with my 3rd dc (other two are at primary school) I have a business studies degree and worked in admin for 2 years before having dc and have worked part time in admin ever since. This is not where I saw myself! At 18 I wanted to be a nail technician instead of going to yin but my parents were horrified so I went to uni. I studied business hoping that I would then set up my own nail business lol. After uni I just fell into admin. I have the option to not go back after this maternity leave as my dh has a new higher paying job. I would still like to work though and have thought about either training as a nail technician or set up a business as a virtual assistant. Which would be higher earning?
Pros of doing nails are: it's what I have always wanted to do, maybe I could do it from home or travel to people
Pros of virtual assistant: I have admin experience, I could do it after dc in bed and during nap time, no set up costs as I already have all equipment
Cons of nail technician: it will cost me approx £5,000 to do the courses (Nvqs) and buy equipment which is money I do not have so I would have to take out a loan, my family will be disappointed in me for some reason
Cons of virtual assistant: I am not passionate about admin

RubberDuck Sat 20-Jun-15 19:25:19

As someone who has spent WAY too much of my life in Customer Service (again, falling into it after uni) and only now retraining to do the thing I wanted to do in the first place (computer science) - don't do a job you hate, just because the money is better.

If there's any way you can make retraining work financially, even if things are a little tight for a while, do it.

RubberDuck Sat 20-Jun-15 19:27:28

Re: virtual assistant - there will be set up costs. You'll need to advertise to get the work and it'll be a long hard slog to get the client base. Or you might decide to go for a franchise so the name is well known to make life easier, which will also cost money.

If you are going down the financial comparison route, make sure you compare fairly.

SurlyCue Sat 20-Jun-15 19:33:12

Nail tech. Its what you want to do. Yes it will cost to set up but you will earn it back doing something you love. Life is too short to make a conscious decision not to do the things you want to do.

Pearl2015 Sat 20-Jun-15 19:34:22

That's what worries me is that I'm looking at it from a money point of view. I've done a bit of admin in my spare time for a friend and I got £15 an hour (advanced excel stuff) and it was easy to fit in around dc and there were no overheads. The nail technician I would have to pay about £5,000 to get me going and I'm not sure how well it would work around dc. But it's my passion and I'm getting older.....

Pearl2015 Sat 20-Jun-15 19:36:15

I have no coatings for the nail tech job so not sure how much I could make.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 21-Jun-15 13:16:32

Are you part of any local 'Mummy' Facebook groups? Would be a way to work out what your local competition is the nails and the price they are charging.

Could you do both? Do the VA stuff during the week whilst studying of an evening? That way there is less concern about costs as you'll be earning.

Setting up and running a VA business will be good practice for setting up and running another local business. It will help you build a network of local contacts.

Do check to see if there are any local grants/schemes to help people set up businesses. I really like Enterprise Nation (cannot easily as on the app) they offer lots of tips etc about setting up.

Good luck.

Pearl2015 Sun 21-Jun-15 18:57:17

Thank you, that's a good idea to try and do both

ThePhoenixRising Sun 21-Jun-15 19:06:59

Agree. No reason you can't do both and the VA stuff can help pay for the nail training.

For the VA work get yourself up to date with social media stuff - nothing too complicated but a lot of small business owners don't have the time to learn and outsource to VAs.

Being able to work your way round twitter, buffer and canva would be a good start.

A lot of small business owners use VAs to chase non paying clients as well. Don't limit yourself to word/excel support. There are lots more interesting things it can cover.

Pearl2015 Sun 21-Jun-15 20:42:56

That's a good idea to try some more interesting stuff for the va work, being a va would fit better round the children and potentially earn more money, if I could somehow make the work more interesting maybe I would be happy to do the nails as a hobby as I do worry how it would fit around childcare as other half works nights.

emsyj Sun 21-Jun-15 20:57:53

I can recommend signing up for the '' forums and taking a look at thenails boards for advice about courses, start up costsand potential earnings. You may find you want to expand into other beauty services too.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 21-Jun-15 21:35:32

Look at for an idea of what sort of tasks you could help with. The fees paid on there aren't great but it will give you a sense of what is out there.

There might be a daytime market for nails once all yours kids are at school. Until then I would imagine not being able to do nights might be an issue.

Good luck.

EddingtonTPindura2015 Fri 03-Jul-15 18:43:55

Sadly you are not passionate about VA, that's what I would do, easy option you are set, what are you waiting for?

As for disappointing family, I think it's high time you learn that you should be doing things for you and not for them?

Granted they may have wanted you to be something but if that is not what you want, you just go ahead and do it because you want to please them?

I see a lot of people fall into that trap, I don't think you should, not saying disrespect them, but make them respect what you value too in my opinion.

Good luck with it all, please keep us posted.

Freelancer is another site where you can advertise your services as a VA, you will see it's a service in demand.

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