Energy prices may be stabilising but the relentless hike in costs continues forcing many salons to radically rethink how they price for services or face financial ruin. But those with robust product controls or a flexible charging model are finding themselves more insulated from the crisis.
“Normally we increase prices by promoting our stylists, but this year we introduced a 15% increase for all services before the run-up to Christmas,” says Toby Dicker, owner of The Chapel, who used data from his colour management technology to inform if, how and when he would respond to rising costs. “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.”
But alongside these increases, Toby has a firm control over stock and how it is dispensed.
“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.”
Karine Jackson in London has so far been able to avoid menu increases thanks to technology. In her salon, all product is itemised by Vish and charged separately from the 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 didn’t put our prices up overall, they feel they get better value in the long run.”
Alchemy & I in Berkhamsted has a slightly different pricing model structured around additional allowance charges captured in Vish, which is helping to partly offset increased costs.
“We are able to see with Vish the exact figures that impact our costs, level by level or by stylist,” explains Sean Butt, general manager at Alchemy & I. “We can input those costs in our Vish to ensure we always make a profit on our services.”
The balancing act of covering costs without alienating clients has become ever more precarious, but those salons using technology to manage what is often the second or third biggest bill for the business have found they are better shielded and their clients more satisfied.
To learn more about Vish, including information on its Color Bar App as well as Vish Front Desk, visit http://getvish.com
Vish Ltd. is the industry’s leading colour management software, which includes a suite of systems that effortlessly revolutionises how salons and stylists run their colour business. Based in Toronto, Canada, and available for use worldwide, Vish was created to help salon owners and colorists solve the universal problems facing the hair colour industry – colour waste, ambiguous pricing, and profit margins. Data-driven and intelligently automated, Vish is integrated with multiple point-of-sale systems, giving complete ease to the entire team.