All aspects of running a business feel particularly uncertain in the current financial climate. And as our industry continues to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many salon owners and hair and beauty freelancers are wondering how to continue increasing their profitability whilst keeping their businesses afloat. Here, we’ll share five ways to improve your salon profitability in 2023 with guidance and tips to help you continue growing as a business during turbulent times.
Is your salon profitable?
There are many things to consider when running your salon or barbershop. Keeping staff and clients happy can be a task that takes up most of your day on its own! Salon business owners need to take stock of their finances and start, wherever possible, building a savings buffer for the future.
Salons can earn an average profit margin of 8.2%, which is actually higher than the general business average of 7.7%. Of course, salons that are well managed can earn well above this average. A 10% profit margin is usually the minimum aim, though the better you can manage your salon finances, the higher this can be.
Start by dedicating some time towards interrogating your outgoings, incoming and overheads. It is essential, to be honest with yourself and leave no stone unturned – You want to work with the most realistic data. If you’d like to create a comprehensive financial plan for your salon, check out our guide: How to Set a Salon Financial Plan That Works.
How to improve profit & make more money in your salon…
1. Grow your client base.
The number one way to generate more profit is simple…You need to get more clients into your salon and keep them. The cost of acquiring new clients is high, and you will likely need to focus your attention on marketing or special offers to get new faces through your doors.
Here is an example of how just one new client can generate a healthy profit…
- Imagine you have a new client who books in for a cut and finish for £40.
- If they returned for five further appointments that year, you’ve generated £200.
- If you aimed for ten new clients that month, all of whom remain repeat clients, this could end up at £2,000 worth of new revenue.
- If you achieved this every month, that’s a boost of £24,000 over a year!
- On top of this, you could also make more from upsells, cross-sells and retail revenue.
Salon booking apps
It may also be worth considering introducing new booking methods to make it as easy as possible for new clients to make appointments with you. If you don’t have one already, set up an online booking feature on your website, or consider using a salon booking app service. Not only will a salon booking app take care of clients making their appointments, but some systems also allow you to send text or email reminders to your clients whilst working as a client information database.
Expand your salon services
Expanding your salon offering can also help to attract new clients. For example, have you considered testing out the demand for vegan salon treatments in your area? You may want to survey your existing clients to gauge interest in new services and garner feedback on what treatments you could also be offering.
For more ideas on increasing your client list, we have a dedicated article on attracting new clients to your salon.
2. Increase the amount of money your clients spend per visit
Along with increasing the number of clients you have on your books, the next best way to improve your salon profit is to increase the amount of money your existing clients spend per visit. It’s well known that your most loyal clients are more likely to spend more with you. So again, building a relationship with everyone who visits your salon is vital.
Salon retail add-ons and upsells
If you want to boost your profits from each treatment, consider what you are upselling. Services such as a nourishing hair treatment at the backwash or a moisturising hand massage during a manicure can add extra profit to your takings.
Don’t forget the importance of salon retail as a revenue stream. For beauty salons and spas, the industry average is 5% of revenue coming from retail sales. If you think you could increase your retail sales, set yourself a target and train all of your staff on how they can help achieve it. Consider putting time into how you merchandise your salon retail offering to make it as attractive as possible to your clients.
Revisit your pricing
Finally, look at your pricing. Does it need to change? You may have upgraded to better, more expensive products or your reputation has been growing. Have the confidence to raise your prices if you need to increase your profit and the demand for your salon is there.
If your clients are all delighted with the services they receive, they should be more than understanding. If any clients aren’t willing to pay more for your expertise and talent, it’s likely that you will attract new clients who are.
3. Encourage your clients to visit your salon more often
Just as you want to get as many repeat clients as possible, you also want to maximise the number of times they come to your salon. The more they return to you, the more profit your salon will make. There are a few simple ways to start doing this. Ask every client if they want to book their next appointment before they leave, and don’t underestimate the power of introducing client loyalty schemes.
Introducing new treatments and services
Adding new treatments to your salon can also give your clients a new reason to return. If they already love coming to you for their hair doing, for example, they are more likely to come to you if you offer other beauty treatments, too. If you have the space and investment available, why not look into introducing a lash technician nail technician or explore the viability of popular new treatments? Check out our guide on introducing new treatments to your beauty salon for more tips.
Hold a client event
We also recommend considering holding a client event in your salon to get the word out there and encourage people to bring family and friends. If people can see your beautiful salon, meet some of the staff and see how dedicated you are to providing a fantastic salon service experience, they are much more likely to try out your services.
4. Reduce your salon overheads
The other points we mentioned are about attaining more revenue to add to your profit. But, equally important is to trim away anything that is eating too far into your profit margin.
Every year you should analyse all of your overheads and identify any points of unnecessary spending. Always check that you are getting the best deals for your fixed costs, such as energy bills and insurance.
Break down each area of spending by percentage so you can keep track of any areas that are creeping up. For example, staff should cost no more than 60% of your turnover. If this number starts to creep up, consider why – do you need to train your team on retail sales? Or do you have too many unfilled appointment slots?
Don’t over-order stock.
Last but certainly not least, be aware of how much stock you order. Over-ordering can seriously disrupt your cash flow and make your storeroom untidy! Order what you need monthly and do regular stock checks to ensure your spending is as efficient as possible. Discover our offers section, whereby you can browse special offers and promotions across an extensive range of products from your favourite brands and make big savings.
5. Utilising social media
It is essential to make sure your salon business/work is getting in front of as many people as possible. We recommend leveraging the power of free social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram to produce content that will make people stop what they’re doing and pay attention to you. We have lots of content regarding social media for salons which you can read here. Check out our guide: How to use TikTok and Instagram Reels as part of your salon marketing strategy.
Will you be trying any of these approaches in 2023?
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