Salon Smarts: Cost Cutters
When running a salon or spa, taking care of your clients is your primary focus. Everyday business operations are not the most creative or fun tasks and many beauty professionals avoid this aspect of their job. But paying attention to how you work and making small changes can put more money in your pocket! Cutting costs doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Here are some simple, everyday things to do that can really add up for big business savings!
Things to do with supplies
Buy in Bulk - One of the easiest ways to save money is buying larger quantities of items that you use regularly in the salon or spa. There are almost always cost savings for case pricing. Towels, perms and foil are a few products that get bundled together. Inexpensive items like birchwood sticks, toe separators and files are a smart choice for bulk buying. You can end up reducing online shipping costs because you are reordering less frequently. Or, buying in bulk can help you qualify for free shipping if there is a limit.
Keep an eye out for sales and stock up on items when prices drop. Many brands have regular programs for cost savings. For example, Zotos offers a mail-in Perm Rebate several times a year. Also, take advantage of email programs and social media to scope out the best deals. Watch for popular "Buy More, Save More" coupons that allow you to stack savings when buying larger quantities of beauty supplies.
Comparison Shop - Just because you get your hair color from one distributor doesn’t mean you should be buying mixing bowls and brushes from them. Check around - a simple internet search is a quick way to compare items. Shopping with dedicated companies who are focused on licensed professionals can mean you have better access to pro deals, knowledgeable customer service to help you understand the best products for your clients, and a satisfaction guarantee for what you buy.
Pro-Sized - Developer, shampoo, acetone, and lotion are just a few of the products that tend to be cost effective when purchased in professional-use sizes. There are less packaging costs for the manufacturers, which then get passed along to you.
Pay Attention to Products - Make sure to measure or weigh out products as precisely as possible. Just using a little bit extra of something for every client can really add up. Also, look for products designed with no waste in mind. Hard wax beads might be more efficient since you measure what you need instead of heating up a whole can of wax. Roll foil that you cut yourself to customize for each client might serve you better than precut sheets. Use color keys to squeeze out every last bit of product, switch to efficient pump tops that reach to the bottoms of bottles, purchase funnels to transfer every last drop of product.
Get Creative - Look for alternative uses. Cut towels can be used instead of cotton for perms or neck strips. Instead of throwing them away, these can be washed and reused. Just make sure your creative use follows cosmetology protocol for your state.
Reuse - Disposable items are convenient, but costs can really add up when you are tossing items into the trash. Try out reusable gloves or disinfectable files.
Things to do in the salon
Energy Efficiency & Utility Smarts - Unplug energy-consuming appliances and equipment when not in use. Even when an item is off, like a computer, it can still draw electricity, running up your bills. Install automatic shut-off lights in bathrooms and storage rooms. Make sure to use energy-efficient light bulbs. If you are responsible for your own appliances like washer/dryers and water heaters, double check their ENERGY STAR ratings and see how much per year they cost to run. Have a plumber do a walk through; they could point out helpful tips like a running toilet or dripping faucet.
Water Wisdom - When offering clients a beverage, opt for glasses or ceramic mugs instead of paper products. Instead of having individual serving-size bottled water in your spa or salon, investigate large water bottle services or get a filter and fill pretty pitchers of your own purified water.
Style Smarts - Have regular check-ins with stylists to make sure the proper amount of shampoo, conditioner and styling products are being used. Excess use is just money being flushed down the drain!
Time is money
Plan Ahead - Make sure you have a good planner and scheduling system. Review these periodically to see if you can manage time more wisely and add one or two more clients in a day.
Speedy Service - Keep tabs on all the latest technology and product advancements. Being able to speed up services, without taking away from your client’s expectations, is a win-win for both of you. They get out of the salon quicker, and you might be able to book more services in a day. For example, use LED light instead of UV to reduce cure times on gel manicures. Using hair coloring products like TCA The Color Accelerator when coloring can save at least 15 minutes in processing time for each color client.
Delivery - Ordering supplies online and having them delivered will save you gas and time, which all adds up to more money in your pocket.
Don’t know where to start? Pick one or two ways to cut costs from the suggestions above. All of these can easily be implemented, with minimal fuss and effort on your part. But the rewards can be enormous over time!