Three ways to dodge rising costs

Beauty is on a precipice. Costs are rising, while salon prices are not, and it’s putting many businesses at risk. But those with robust product controls and a flexible charging model backed by technology and in-depth data are finding themselves more insulated from the crisis. 

  1. Eradicate expensive waste:

Toby Dicker, owner of The Chapel, who used data from his Vish colour management system to inform if, how, and when he would respond to rising costs, also uses it to keep costs down. 

“We are seeing increases across the board, from rent to supplies to energy. Everyone is in the same boat. Our supplier has just announced a double-digit rise coming in January, but even before that we’d decided to up our prices,” he says.

“But my focus is on usage and waste. If we can keep colour costs down to around 6-8% of sales then I’m happy with that. I watch my Vish data in real time, and if someone’s usage is creeping up I can swoop in and deal with it swiftly.”

  1. Share the burden:

Karine Jackson in London has avoided menu increases thanks to technology. In her salon, all product is itemised by Vish and charged separately from service so any rise in costs is automatically transferred to the client.

“We haven’t had to increase our prices because when our suppliers increase theirs we amend the base charge in our Vish system,” says Karine, owner of Karine Jackson in London. “Charging for colour is a much fairer system. A client with long, thick hair can use up to three times as much colour as one with short hair. In our experience clients prefer being charged fairly for amounts used and because we haven’t put our prices up overall, they feel they get better value in the long run.”

  1. Stop paying twice:

Joshua Proud, co-owner of Proud Salon in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, with his wife, Kareen, converted to a time-based approach to charging, paying hourly rates for the stylists and separating all product costs, to be itemised as extras. Separating colour from the service charge stripped it out of the commission system.

“When Tom (Vish general manager) touched on separating the product it was a lightbulb moment for us,” says Joshua. “No one can expect to be paid commission on what is a cost to the business.” 

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