Becoming a salon studio owner is the pinnacle of independence and success for most cosmetologists today. Salon professionals finally have the opportunity to own their own business, without the crazy overhead costs associated with opening a brick and mortar location.
The ability to be your own boss, set your own hours, and run your salon your way, is truly a dream come true. Becoming a salon studio owner comes with lots of choice though.
What will you charge, what products will you use, what will the ambiance in your salon be, and more.
Still sounds great, right?
While it’s exciting to make all these decisions, it is crucial to start thinking like a business owner- in addition to the superstar role you already have behind the chair.
If your long-term goal in the industry is success and a six-figure salary (and let’s be honest, we all want those things,) the first step is to get smart about your money and expenses.
Understanding the back end of your business can be the difference between thousands of dollars in your pocket by the end of the year.
Below are five ways to reduce your expenses, without compromising your work or salon environment.
1. Back Bar Product
Oh, you mean the shades hidden in a cabinet that you never use? Yes, those.
Don’t fall for the trap!
You might love all the fire reds and coppers but never profit on these colors, because you specialize in blondes and the majority of your clientele prefer those ashy tones. Start looking at your backbar products as “money on the shelf” and purchase things you know you will get your money’s worth for.
Instead of focusing on the eye-catching new packaging or latest and greatest trend, purchase products that will benefit your type of clientele the most. Having a variety of color options for new clients is beneficial, but do not spend money on product you do not need simply because it looks attractive on your storefront shelf or on social media.
Pro Tip: Contact the brand you are interested in and ask for samples.
Explain your type of clientele and ask what part of their line will benefit your salon the most. This way you can try the product, prior to committing to liters of it on the shelf and dollars out of your pocket.
Many brands will gladly let you explore their product! Not to mention, most have new user kits and will give you one heck of a deal!
Frequently, “lunchtime” consists of eating in the breakroom from whatever looked best of UberEats that day, while a client is processing.
It’s fast and easy. But want to know what’s easier?
Bringing your lunch.
“Who wants to take the time to pack a lunch?” Yes, we’re all guilty of talking ourselves out of the time-commitment it is to prepare meals for the week, however, think about how much money you could be saving!
Spending $10-$20/day on lunch and coffee can add up. Investing in a coffee maker and homemade lunch can easily put $50-$100 bucks back in your pocket at the end of the week.
That may not seem like a lot but think of it as a tip—and who doesn’t like $50 tips?
3. No Show Appointments
Who hasn’t been victim to no-show clients before?
The beauty of being your own boss is also controlling your schedule and your clientele.
Make sure to consistently confirm with your guests, especially when they are a first-time client, or make appointments online.
Plans change and just because someone confirmed a week ago, does not mean they won’t cancel or fail to show up at the last minute.
Confirming the day of still gives you time to fill that seat, by utilizing social media to market an available appointment time.
Of course, there are always people who confirm but still not show.
In the event this unfortunately happens, have a backup plan and consider implementing a no-show policy. Requiring deposits for appointments is not unusual and implementing this standard can be very beneficial when you have other clients that would be happy to fill the spot.
Time is money after all!
4. Friends and Family
You’re finally a business owner and suddenly everyone wants to be a part of your squad.
Your friends and family no longer need to get their hair done at home and can come into the salon for the same service and price.
It was easier for you to charge less (if anything at all) by doing hair at home. It is not a professional environment and hairdressers can feel guilty about charging salon prices in an uncomfortable setting.
Things have changed, you’ve upgraded, and so should your prices.
Do not be afraid to charge friends, family, and anyone else what you are worth! People in your circle won’t mind paying to support your dream. After all, you are now giving them a true salon experience.
Think of it as working at someone else’s salon, would they let you lower your prices or offer services for free?
Not a chance.
To be a successful business owner, you must think like one. Just because you are charging your inner circle your standard prices, doesn’t mean you can’t provide them with a few perks. Consider throwing in a free blow dry or deep condition to their first treatment with you.
You can also implement an enticing referral program. For every 3-5-10 people referred, the client receives a free service increasing in value, as referral numbers increase.
Also, don’t forget to utilize the resources and tools your salon suite brand offers.
For example, Total Salon Studios offers an entire network of business resources for their stylists. Their dedicated team helps new salon suite renters with business needs such as marketing and branding.
5. Professional Liability Insurance
We might not talk about it, yet we pay for it yearly without asking any questions.
Did you know that many salon franchises will automatically draft your insurance fee, because they have partnered with an insurance company? Most stylists and new studio owners think that this is part of their lease and they must purchase liability insurance through the landlord, but this is not the case.
Professional liability insurance can be purchased on your own terms and there are many low-cost options available.
Why pay $250/year for a professional liability insurance policy, when you can get insured for $159/year for the exact same or even better coverage?
Don’t let cosmetology insurance scare you. Higher costs don’t always mean higher quality when it comes to these types of policies.
To help you find the best option, check out our comparison of some beauty insurance plans for salon/studio renters— Elite Beauty Society
Once again, if you want to be a business owner and your own boss, you must start thinking like one. Don’t let these five things go unnoticed in your salon and rob you of your hard-earned money.
Now go do what you do best, changing lives one style at a time!
Sanita Rizvic is a licensed cosmetologist, former Paul Mitchell educator, Salon Owner and Brand Manager for Elite Beauty Society. She has taken on Elite Beauty Society with one goal in mind, elevating beauty pros to achieve their ultimate success potential through content and liability protection.
“Whether you are renting a booth, work in your own beauty space, or traveling as a freelance beauty professional, Elite Beauty Society has the resources and support to protect and grow your career wherever you go. Our insurance provides peace of mind and assurance that no matter where your career takes you as an artist, we’ll be there to help protect your license.”
For more information about Elite Beauty Society, please visit: Elitebeautysociety.com