An important factor in successfully managing a hair salon is keeping tight control of your overhead expenses. It’s so easy for those small day-to-day expenditures to get out of hand, especially during the busy season, but with a little planning and persistence, everything can be kept in check.
Here are some suggestions to help control your salon’s overhead expenses:
Try not to overstock inventory. Do your research and know what retail products your clientele will purchase to avoid having a surplus of merchandise. To do so, track previous purchases and follow spending habits of your salon’s retail. Most software will provide the information you need, and some will even allow clients to pre-order products when you know they should be running low or to hold products for them for their next visit. This way you always have what customers need without having to overstock.
Limit the number of workers your salon employs to just what’s needed and then hire accordingly as your business grows or during traditionally busy seasons. You don’t want to cut back so far that it affects customer service or that you are in a bind if someone calls in sick, but do streamline the process and make better use of the staff you have. There are many scheduling systems out there that enable clients to schedule appointments and will automate confirmations and reminders, which will free your staff up to service the clients in the salon.
Better Use of Downtime
To make the best use of your crew, capitalize on their downtime. Assign small daily tasks for everyone to complete such as dusting, taking out the trash, folding towels, etc. If your staff can manage more of the daily cleaning, for example, you can eliminate the need for a cleaning crew, or at least limit how often they need to come in.
While it is a good idea to have stylists that specialize in specific areas, it is also important that most of them have the necessary skills to meet most every customer’s need. To do so, make sure your staff keeps up on continuing education so they can all offer the latest services and trends and then have in-salon training sessions to help newer stylists learn and grow. After all, an efficient, well-trained staff is a profitable one!
Less Office Work
You can also improve your salon’s bottom line by reducing office work or eliminating overly redundant employees. For example, consider using salon scheduling and management software to help eliminate the need for as many receptionists. Since more customers are expecting to book their appointments online, especially with the younger clientele, make sure you’re ready with a reliable system that’s easy to use and manage. Spa Software will also make ordering product and balancing your books much easier and therefore take less time.
As the owner or manager, part of your job is to explore products and services that might save you and your staff time. To be effective in this area, pay attention to the trade publications, attend hair shows and educational events, and always keep an eye out for new time-saving technology.
Do you have any other ideas about ways to keep your salon profitable and your overhead low? Please do share!