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Challenging times in the salon or opportunities to be had

05 Dec

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea’s. B2MR

In these hard economic times. Is it a challenging time to be in the hair salon and industry or are there Opportunities to be had?

Are these extra challenging times for salon owners and stylist’s? Is the manufacturing company the distributors making to much profit? Or have times changed and we as professionals need to face up to the challenges of our changing industry? Honestly look at and review the way we do business what we offer.

I do think that manufacturers have a responsibility to the industry and for maintaining a professional image. But we also have to be aware that development of products promotion costs and they like us are in business to make money and turn a profit.


Think about the number of handlers all adding their bit on from manufacturer to end consumer. We in the salon are not all saint’s some times the mark up is 100%  on retail products we only pay sales commission of say 10% Hum! is that fair ? To  both stylist or consumer? Would it be better to mark up less turn over more? Discounting retail products and indeed salon services does it work? Or does it just cheapen the   experience? I see so many salons offering cheap deals 30% first service or last minute walk in discounts why would you do this? There needs to be more consensus between salons rather than competing with each other on discounts.


Think about this shared recently by some one I greatly respect.

If all salons and staff offer great service and standard of work in essence is all the same quality then which one will a client go to if they are all the same?? What would you do? Remember all the same ! THE CHEAPEST OF COURSE.  why do this discount thing maintain standards and fee’s.

Let look at an example of mark up and handlers.

Think about that tube of hair colour pigment. Produced on Italy cost pennies, other ingredients pennies, putting into a tube pennies, packaging shipping tax so on. Manufacture mark up? Distributors mark up? Then we the salon get hold of it that 3oz tube of colour say for $10.00

Maybe if used mixed correctly 3 colour applications one tube at how much per colour say $40.00 = $120.00 My point is many salons are just as guilty not all. This time of year there are many deals to be had with products gift packs ect. Do those deals get passed onto clients as a christmas thank you for your custom? From the time of manufacturer to getting to the salon at least 3 and maybe up to 5 different companies and distributors have handles said product and put their mark up on it! just sharing a thought. Everything is relative hair products to some degree you get what you pay for to some it’s packaging. It’s image, smell, marketing. The end consumer our clients also drive this some like to pay more than others some even buy because they like the bottles in the bathroom.

It’s a contentious subject with more than one way of looking at it. I do agree that the manufacturers double dip all the time. Marketing themselves as the cavaliers working with and for the professional.Yet flooding the market with cheap shampoo and indeed nasty over the counter hair colour. But for years the hair industry has allowed the professional manufactures and indeed colour companies to set the rules. Celebrity endorsement certainly does not help this but it’s the face of business it’s the way thing work.We have to acknowledge this and change how we think what we do and how we offer our skill and service’s.

We have to be ready to weather the storms: How? think out side the box challenge your self embrace change!

These are hard economic times for everyone this is a global issues and not just in the hair industry.However I also maintain that a culture of blame and pointing the finger  exists at the moment for it’s far  easier to attribute blame than do some honest sole searching about. What we do and charge. I still think clients can and do pay for exceptional service from knowledgeable skilled professional.What they will not do is settle for second rate service from unskilled professionals.

We must have an eye on the  big picture that being bigger than a quick buck or up sale of any given service.  Consultation, communication, informed skill.

A trip to a salon should be an experience worth talking about from start to finish. Many salons lose clients after the first visit why ! Because the client did not feel special and did not feel it was value for money! Now who can we or should we blame? I’m not every one every thing is totally wrong but we need all of us to take responsibility for our selves our actions be willing to make and accept change.


As very wise industry professional and  speaker educator. Pointed something out in a webinar recently on this very subject. A very talented knowledgeable lady called Karen.

The boom years. Those crazy years of pre christmas salon madness are a distant memory a thing of the past. Those booked from October to Christmas doing colour. selling product making a great profit. I was part of that now era! It’s past. wake up ! We have to work at our business cherish our clients their custom and the relationships we build with them.  For some of us seasoned in this industry as am I maybe a great challenge. But you know we have to be prepared and able to change embrace change work and do things differently.

This industry is for many still very rewarding and lots of very successful stylist and owners still make a very good living from it.
To all I say this .Negativity is very destructive and it’s alive and well and at work in the world today.Don’t become part of that world and culture
Challenge your self and your staff listen to your clients ask them what they want to see !! embrace the challenges and work to make the changes take control of your business and your life.

Work with you staff to offer the very best of service make it personal to each and every client, deliver an experience that they will talk about with others!

I hear so many businesses complaining about lack of new business or walk in clients.they get opportunity for exposure through things like Groupon then complain they made no money form it!

Groupon gives you a platform for exposure of your business how make the most of the new influx of clients is up to you the salon and staff.

Case point

I think that the concept of Groupon is a good way of attracting new clients.Recently my daughter purchased a facial at a local spa where she lives through a groupon offer.It’s quite an exclusive looking  place so she had alway been put off but the thought of high price’s.

She was pleasantly surprised when she went the service was out standing she thought that the prices were fair and reflected the standard of service the experience. She has not only been back a few times for other services she has recommended  to a number of her friends who have all loved it  .My point being one coupon netted maybe 6 or7 or seven potential good long term new client’s who also have connections.

It’s the coupon’s that will get the clients through the door the question is are you doing enough to keep them coming back for more? Most salon’s experience is that over 25% of first time new clients to the salon do not return. That is a huge amount of lost business what are they doing wrong? What are we doing wrong?

Enjoy the festive season .Mike B2MR


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