Articles > Best of 2020 > 10 Salon Business Tips To Read Before 2021
Last updated: December 30, 2020

10 Salon Business Tips To Read Before 2021

Pricing Tips and Strategies For Hairdressers Charging What You're Worth Color and Haircutting Services
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Instagram via @sabrinathehairwitch

The Top Ten Business Tips We Learned In 2020

WE DID IT! We made it through 2020—and there’s a lot to celebrate, like a NEW YEAR ahead of us. 👏 We have to admit that we learned a lot in the past 365 days, so below, we’re sharing BTC’s top 10 business tips that we’re taking with us into 2021. Keep scrolling for tips on rescheduling, revamping service menus and how to boost revenue from retail! 



Finances First: 

1. Get Financially Organized

Start the new year off on the right foot by taking “financial inventory” of your business. Stephen Gomez, a business coach for salon and spas shared how:


Gather four months of business data (Stephen suggests leaving out abnormal business months like December) and break it down into specific categories:

    • Service sales (overall business and for each stylist)
    • Retail sales (overall business and for each stylist)
    • Client volume (overall business and for each stylist)
    • Gift card sales
    • Expenses (line by line)
    • Service mix (a percentage of each service offered = 45 percent balayage, 55 percent haircuts, etc.)


Then, divide each four-month total by four to get the average of each category.


Why is this important?

Stephen broke it down like this: These averages are a concrete guide to determine where the salon stands financially and how social distancing is impacting the salon’s bottom line. Use these numbers to make smart decisions about how the salon will operate moving forward. 


Revamp Pricing & Services

2. Consider Expanding Your Service Menu

Are you properly booking (and charging for!) every service that makes up your appointments? For example, when you book out a full highlight, you need to consider add-ons, shadow roots and extra foiling time—THIS is your real estate! Rochelle Golden (@rochellegoldenhairstylist) shared how her salon House Of Gold breaks down additional costs that are often paired with highlights.


  • Shadow Root = 30 additional minutes of real estate (95% of clients)
  • Tipping Out The Ends = 30 additional minutes of real estate
  • Extra Foils For Bright Results = 60 additional minutes of real estate


What Does This Mean?

“So what I used to schedule two hours for is now easily taking me three precious hours of real estate within my day,” shares Rochelle. “So why can’t we create a full service for three hours, pricing it exactly where it needs to be to ensure your time is fully profitable?” Genius idea! 


3. Pricing Roadmap: Client-Friendly Communication Idea

Let’s talk about pricing transparency! Chicago stylist Sabrina Yamani Yamga (@sabrinathehairwitch) shares IG posts that break down her color transformations into a comprehensive visual for clients. These social-friendly diagrams manage client expectations and explain what each individual service costs, what’s included and the total cost.


But remember when you’re sharing quotes online to remind clients that everyone has a different starting point so prices will vary!


Peep Sabrina’s Pricing Breakdown Below!

Pricing Tips and Strategies For Hairdressers Charging What You're Worth Color and Haircutting Services
Instagram via @sabrinathehairwitch


4. Give Clients The Option To Choose Services 

Offering partial services doesn’t just benefit scheduling, it also gets clients involved in booking their appointments. BTC Team Member and Hairology Studio owner Josie Vilay (@josievilay) explains why: “Giving clients an option to choose which service they would like to book, it really helps them understand how the salon is operating moving forward and avoids saying no to everything.”


Here’s an example: A Level 10 client now has months of regrowth and warm Level 8 ends. Depending on which service is more important to her, offer to touch up her roots at the first appointment. Then, book a second appointment at a later date to lighten the ends.


Pro Tip: Partial services also help clients who have been financially affected by coronavirus by letting them choose which services they can afford before they come in for their appointment.



5. Charge For Every Service—For Real.

How does multi-salon owner and business guru for John Paul Mitchell Systems Robert Cromeans (@robertcromeans) ensure his team receives higher paychecks? They honored the service menu. “If you do a haircut, a single process, a smudge root—these all have costs,” he said. “We’ve been shy to charge these rates. Discounting without permission is theft. If you give the client a deal, you’re stealing from yourself.”


Real-Life Example:

The chart below shows how much this ticket SHOULD be if you charge for every service. The clients you want in your chair are the ones that understand these costs and are willing to pay them. If you aren’t charging for all product use and for the services you’re offering, you’re short-changing yourself. Divide the total for the service by the amount of services you did to get the average cost per service.



6. How To Price Specialty Blonding Services

When was the last time your specialty blonding service prices saw an update? Of course, factors like location and experience contribute to pricing but here’s a helpful guide Lo Wheeler Davis (@lo_wheelerdavis) recommends for partial highlights, full highlights and a total blonde transformation:


If she wants partial highlights…

  • Average price: $200+
  • Average chair time: 2 hours


If she wants full highlights…

  • Average price: $300+
  • Average chair time: 3 hours


If she wants a blonde transformation…

  • Average price: $400+
  • Average chair time: 4 hours


Smart Scheduling

7. Book The “Outer Corners” First

Try using a scheduling method that books the first available and last available appointments FIRST, suggests @rochellegoldenhairstylist. This prevents dead space, ensures that all real estate is accounted for and saves time to book longer appointments. 


“We’ve got time for sale—we can’t waste it by putting Betty at 12:30pm,” shares Rochelle. “Offer her your first and last available. Doesn’t work? Give her three hours after your first to save room for a large appointment!”


8. Is Your Salon Using This New Check-In Process?

Many salons are using The Safe Entry System—a digital business tool that screens clients, safely stores their information to support contact tracing and sends alerts if a case of COVID-19 is reported in the salon. Click here for all of the deets on this timesaving, stress-reducing (our two fave words!) system to help you through the pandemic.



Boost Retail Revenue 

9. Make Retail Area Accessible & Obvious

Clients, especially men, can feel insecure talking about their hair care needs, so asking permission to look at products or check out a certain area of the shop, can be a huge turn off. Below, Victory Barber & Brand™ Founder Matty Conrad (@mattyconrad) shared his tips to make your retail space more inviting AND noticeable:


  • Make sure the retail area is visible. If your current setup is behind the reception desk or hidden in a back corner, make it more attainable by bringing it in front of the reception area or in an open access location. Matty also advises having enough products on display so guests KNOW that is a retail area. “Have products organized and merchandised so that the client knows this is for sale,” he says.  


  • Include variety. Even though Matty’s shops are stocked with all things Victory Barber & Brand™, giving clients the choice about which grooming products they prefer is important. Don’t worry about stocking up entire product lines, instead, choose specific products that your clients will ask for (beard oil is always a must!) and give them the opportunity to find a product they will love. 


  • Have pricing be clear and visible. Allowing guests to check out prices themselves again will help ease any anxieties of thinking “can I afford this?” or having to ask any questions. 


Pro Tip: Always make sure the retail area and products are clean and dust-free. “Nobody wants products that have been sitting there,” says Matty.


Don’t limit the brands on your retail shelves. Instead, give clients variety so they can choose a product they will love. Photo via Instagram @truenorthbarbershop.


10. Don’t Push Products On Clients, Educate Them Instead

Where’s the best place to talk about products? For Matty, it’s behind the chair. “When styling, talk to clients about why you chose this product, what it is doing to help create their style and educate them on how to use these products at home,” he explains. 


After giving clients all of the information they need to recreate their style, Matty will take them to the retail area, but that’s where the sales pitch stops. “I tell them, ‘If you want to check out any of the products used today they are right here.’ Then I walk away, I always let them make the decision about purchasing and I don’t pressure them or tell them this is something they need because I don’t want them to regret it later. It’s all about their experience and pushing them into a sale can make them uncomfortable and not come back,” says Matty.