Cut Costs in Your Salon or Get More Clients – Which Works Best?


I was talking recently to an accountant who does the books for his wife’s salon. During our chat, we discussed their urgent need to improve profits, so I asked him; “What’s the single most effective thing you could do to quickly grow your profits?”

Because of his profession I was sure he’d know the answer, but I was wrong because he said “we’ll have to find some new clients.”



It’s also a ‘Big Mistake’ because I’ll tell you right now, the single most effective thing you could do to quickly grow your profits is to cut costs in your salon.


You’ve got to be clever about it and avoid making inappropriate cuts that send out the wrong signals to your clients and staff, but the good news is I’ve yet to come across a salon that can’t easily save thousands without affecting the quality of the service they provide.


It’s one of the main ways I help my salon coaching clients and it’s also why I can confidently give them a guarantee that working with me doesn’t cost money… it makes money, simply because I know where to look for the savings.


Now I accept that every salon is different and the potential savings vary from business to business, but even the simple exercise of changing your utility or credit card suppliers can save you hundreds of pounds.

Piggy Bank Salon

For example…

I recently did a like-for-like comparison on my card processing charges (that I thought I was on a good deal for) and found that by switching my provider, I’ll be saving £700 next year and that’s just one example!


What savings could you find if you started looking?

In terms of making a BIG difference quickly, you’ve got to look at all your costs. I always start with wages and stock, because they are by far your biggest expenses and move on from there.

By the way it also pays to realise it doesn’t make any sense to start chasing new clients until your costs are well under control. You have to cut costs in your salon first.


Why not?

Because chasing extra turnover rather than cutting costs is like driving your car round in first or second gear all the time.

It’s inefficient and stressful … it just sounds and feels wrong!

You get your salon into fourth fifth and sixth gear by getting your costs under control, so that every new client you attract makes you a healthy profit.



You may think as long as your turnover holds up, you’re doing okay, but if your costs are out of control, you’re not… and you’d better do something about them, before it’s too late!


Simon Lotinga is a salon consultant and author with years of experience in running and owning salons. Have a question for Simon? Leave a comment below or contact him on – #letsgrow


  • Hi Simon that is a good article, tell me what would you do if your costs were under control? I know many a business that has cut to the bone, but still have problems.

    Some costs we find mount up although from the craziest of places, for example we give every client their nail file & buffer and don’t use sponges but rather a hard to find product. We found by analysing what our consumables were and sourcing alternative suppliers for them we could save in excess of 30k a year.

    The supply chain can vary in cost to a great extent, even silly examples as wholesaler one versus wholesaler 2.

    Have a look at you supply chain and see how you can source a better deal

    • Simon Lotinga

      Hi Padraig

      Your costs should only take up 67% – 70% of your turnover and if everything’s cut to the bone and you’re nowhere near that target you’ve got a bigger problem that only a big picture rethink is going to solve.

      I’ll explain more about this in next weeks article if that would help.

      • Hi Simon that is a very high figure that would depress me greatly on a service based industry.

        I am sure for many salons a more in-depth look at how you identify markets and how to give an offer to the market and still maintain a high margin could be very good resource. Why not ping me in on G+ when you are set to go.

  • Pamela Laird

    Hay Simon, it seems not that long ago i was trying to figure that out and i can honestly say a re-assessment of your costs encourage your profits to head in the right direction. Small savings here and there soon mount up.