Ask any owner or manager of a hair salon about colour waste, and most will say it’s a nightmare — rightly so. Hair colour services bring in a wide range of unexpected situations. When errors happen, they quickly become costly. Something “as small as” unbalanced colour scales can have a colourist or assistant mix up far too much of a formula, leading to massive waste, increased costs, and lost revenue. According to research, the average salon throws away 25-40% of its colour inventory and loses 10-15% of its colour service revenue.
The industry-wide issue comes about in conversations with an alarming frequency, and with demand for colour treatments being at an all-time high post-lockdown, product costs will increase dramatically and possibly threaten profit margins. The question is: how can salons recoup these costs?
Making every drop of colour count
Without effective systems, salon owners are left to manage their colour business with guesswork, estimates and manufacturer benchmarks. You can hear more about the hair industry’s two fundamental colour management challenges on a Phorest FM episode featuring Joshua Howard, CEO of Vish, the industry’s leading colour management software available for use worldwide.
The reality is, formulas get hard to track, replicate and adjust without accurate notes and records. As a result, any extra foils, colour-tubes, hair colour, papers and plastics too often end up in our waterways or landfills. Upon reopening, Vish projects salons across the industry will be using up to 175% more colour on each retouch, many absorbing these costs, cutting into their already thin margins.
At its core, Vish serves to preserve the environment while helping salons get complete visibility on waste, consistency in colour services, and guaranteeing a profit margin. With a pricing structure broken down into two parts, product costs and service costs, salons can be transparent and charge for extra products used, without changing service prices.
“Initially we thought we’d see pushback from clients, but once they understand that they are being charged only for product used on their head, and not what the average person uses, they were happy to pay the difference,” says Bruce Brothers from Goldie X Bob Hair Salon in Colorado, USA.
How salons and teams around the world are benefiting from solving colour management issues
Helping reduce on average 80.8% of salons’ hair colour waste and increase colour service revenue by 10-15%, it’s easy to understand why Vish quickly becomes salon owners’ best kept secret to saving thousands of euros every year.
According to Salon Today, Hope White, owner of Salon Thirty-One, gave Vish a try and estimated they could probably recover an additional $100,000 a year (approximately €85,000).
In June 2019, Behind The Chair spent a day with Andrea Swanson, owner of Taylor Stevens Salon in Illinois, USA, and discovered how her business went from wasting $2,000 a month (approximately €1,700) in colour and lightener to reducing her colour product inventory by 29% in their first year of using Vish.
Calculate your potential savings here, and you could start planning re-injecting savings into the business, in ways such as:
- Funding a retirement plan for stylists
- Opening another location
- Giving staff a raise
- Remodelling the salon
- Starting an academy
- Offering high-end benefits to clients
- Offering continued education and advanced courses to staff, etc.
Those are just a few of the success stories from salons who embraced the usage of the system. You can hear from a few more owners in the video below, and follow @vishsalons on Instagram for more!
The Vish ecosystem in action
Vish’s colour management software system is comprised of three components: a Bluetooth scale connected to the Vish app on a tablet, a cloud-based dashboard, and a front desk app.
Main benefits for salon owners
- Separate product & labor charges: Stop absorbing the cost of the product used during the service and charge only what was used.
- Eliminate waste & bloated inventory: Ensure exact formula composition and weight for each customer, reduce your supply costs and automate the re-ordering process.
- Ensure consistent pricing: Eliminate the guesswork and maintain a profitable service business.
Main benefits for stylists/colourists
- Stop absorbing product costs: Charge for the professional service you provide.
- Forget the paperwork: Automate the entire process – recording formulas, finding past formulas and updating the front desk on product used.
- Increase customer satisfaction: Deliver consistent colour service outcomes and spend more time creating.
It’s estimated that the average six-chair salon will see €5,000 and €10,000 in additional product used to service clients after the lockdown period. “Passing extra product costs to their guests, rather than absorbing it themselves, increases profitability in a time that every gram counts,” explains CEO Joshua Howard. “Preserving this revenue will help salons bounce back from hard times and continue to build a strong colour business.”
Click here to see how Vish can help your salon save money post-lockdown, and download Are You Prepared? to learn how Vish can help you build a winning pricing strategy in the post-COVID era. Data driven and intelligently automated, Vish also integrates with point-of-sale systems, including Phorest Salon Software.
Got feedback? Let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord! (Pssst! We’re on Instagram too!)
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow
We live our Vish but Phorest needs to add a separate service charge category for the client color fees. Right now it has to be tracked as either a service or as a retail item since there are only 2 categories and it messes with reports and throws off the KPI’s. Reports are highly innacurste and basically useless right now. I have to go through and manually refigure everything which is annoying. The issue could be easily fixed with the addition of a service charge category
Hi Christina, it sounds like custom fees may be of some use to help with this! https://support.phorest.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020736840-How-do-I-add-a-Custom-Fee- If you are adding extra fees to client color bills through hotkey services/inventory, then the above should remove the need for this. You can call it the fee ‘Vish Color Fee’ or something like that and have it set to be applied manually to the sale, meaning you can simply add it at the POS to any transaction that requires it. It should essentially be the same process for you in the end, but without the reporting issues! Hope that helps! Any other… Read more »