Save your salon MONEY |

5 mins

Save your salon MONEY

With the cost-of-living crisis threatening beauty businesses across the UK, Lollie Hancock asks the experts their top tips for cutting costs as we head into winter

The cost-of-living crisis is looming over the heads of many business owners as the UK faces rising bills, inflation and uncertainty about how to cover these costs.

To help you know what to expect and understand where you can make easy cuts to save money, Hollie Power, co-founder of Salonology, and salon business expert Liz McKeon have shared their top tips and tricks to get through this difficult time.

Know your numbers

It’s easy to focus on the amount coming into your bank, but it’s extremely important to know exactly what your outgoings are as well.

“When prices go up, it’s time for a good old deep dive into your bank statements,” advises Power. “While we always want to keep a sharp focus on what’s coming into our banks and work on increasing that number, we can also take a good look at what’s going out.”

Remember that, as much as your clients are providing you with business, you’re also providing your suppliers and the brands you use within your salon with business as well. Your relationship with product houses should be mutually beneficial.

“Despite prices rising, most companies still want your business and would be willing to renegotiate terms, interests and costs,” explains Power.

Taking the time to go through your statements can be daunting, especially if you’ve been avoiding looking at the numbers, but it’s important to know exactly what is going on.

“Allocate an afternoon, print your bank statements for the last 12 months and work through them, item by item,” suggests Power. “Can you rethink suppliers? Are you spending too much on last-minute orders when a more organised stock management system could avoid it?

“By knowing what is coming out, we can be more in control and more prepared for the months ahead.”

Review your marketing

Marketing is essential to running a business – especially in times when you need more clients to help stay afloat.

“No matter what is happening in the economy, you cannot afford to stop marketing,” explains McKeon.

Marketing can be expensive, but McKeon points out that you can streamline what you’re advertising to make your marketing investments more cost effective.

“Establish your unique selling point and market this like crazy,” she suggests. “Get strategic about your marketing activities so it doesn’t cost a lot but becomes more lead generation than brand awareness and drives new clients into your business.”

Don’t forget to use your team to market your company as well – no one knows your business better than them. “Train all team members to increase conversions with all new clients, so they want to come back to your business more often for all your services and products,” adds McKeon.

Get your team on board

Your team can help in more ways than just through marketing the business to clients.

“If you have a team, make them aware of how these price hikes impact your business,” says Power, but she adds that the conversation doesn’t have to be a negative one.

“Instead of making ‘turn the lights off’ sound like a chore, make it a challenge. Create an eco-warrior mentality where the team are encouraged to recycle where they can, be aware of water and electricity usage and take responsibility for their own spaces,” she suggests.

“Crown a team member the ‘Eco Specialist’ and get them to take responsibility for staying on top of it in a fun and different way.”

Instead of stopping some of the extras you offer your clients to make their treatment feel a bit more luxe, see if you can make changes so that you can continue to offer them in a more cost-effective way.

“I have heard salon owners declaring they’ll stop heating beds, using so many towels and serving luxury drinks in a bid to cut spend, but this could be an error,” explains Power.

“Clients come to us for the full luxury, professional experience, and it’s not an area we should scrimp on.”

Change, don’t stop

There are many alternatives you can look into to ensure that your clients are still receiving the luxury experience they know and love. “If you’re finding washing and tumble dryer costs are eating up your profits, look for a local laundry who will do it for less,” suggests Power. “Use hot water bottles rather than plug-in bed heaters.”

Don’t forget that as a business owner you have access to offers and bulk buying options the public don’t. “Bulk buy your coffee extras from places like Costco and Booker so you’re not rushing to the pricier supermarkets,” suggests Power. These wholesalers also provide cleaning supplies and other items that will be useful within your business, so the membership fee is usually worth it.

Have your say

No one understands how hard the current situation is on beauty businesses more than your peers – here’s what beauty salon owners and therapists had to say about making cuts to save money.

“Only switching on things when I know I’m 100% using it that day, instead of ‘just in case’.”

“I’m trying to be more cost conscious by not wasting products or consumables and am setting the heating on timers. I’m also shopping smart by bulk buying teas and coffees for the salon and cutting back on fresh flowers every week.”

“I’m not turning on the wax pot until I need it and using hot water bottles for heat instead of heating.”

“I’m being savvy with electric and gas and cutting back on buying products for the sake of it, just to try them out.”

“I have a full-time job that isn’t beauty related, but I’m now hoping to earn money on the side through being a mobile nail technician.”

“We’re condensing down our opening hours to save on energy bills, but still providing the same therapist availability, just over five days instead of six.”

“I have a smaller wax pot to heat up for facial waxing and underarms, then I only have to heat the big one up with I have a client in for a Hollywood.”

“Be sensible with ordering, set budgets and review your prices.”

This article appears in November 2022

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This article appears in...
November 2022
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