How to: 

Manage Your Salon Inventory For Straight-Up Success


As a cosmetologist, it’s hugely important that you diversify your income streams. Don’t get us wrong, the services you offer can bring home a majority of the bacon, but if you can set up unique ways to stream in cash—even when you’re not sitting in front of the chair workin’ your magic—you’ll be on your way to a simplified way to amplify your profits easily.

While there are tons of unique, creative ways to do this (and we highly encourage you to check into every possibility), today we’re breakin’ down one of the most basic (and most overlooked) ways that cosmetologists like you can maximize profits, serve your clients better, and set yourself up for success.

Today, we’re talkin’ salon inventory.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not here to tell you that you should switch into salesperson mode the second someone walks into your salon, spa, or shop (that’s like, the ultimate way to turn off new customers and definitely aren’t trying to ruin your personal sales style).

But we do think you should recognize the absolute insane potential that well-stocked, well-run, and well-managed inventory can bring you.

That’s why were’ diving deep into some must-know tips for managing your salon inventory.

Why? Because a professionally managed inventory is a key to success—and success is key to padding those profits! (And *cough cough* like we said, serving your customers better, too).


First Things First—What Is Inventory Management?

The nice thing about the term inventory management is that it’s exactly what it sounds like—the process by which you track, stock, and manage your entire inventory.

In the cosmetology world, there’s a lot going on, and often, inventory for your back bar and your retail sector (AKA what you’re planning to sell to your clients) isn’t always top priority.

We definitely get that, but by keeping track of inventory and managing it properly, you can boost your profits efficiently and (eventually) almost effortlessly.

The goal of inventory management is to take the guesswork out of what you’re purchasing and keeping in stock. You’ll want to track what’s hot, what’s not, what’s running out, and what you need to order more of next time around.

Inventory management shouldn’t be an extra task that takes up time and has no real benefit. It should be a step that takes you closer to success.

All in all, your methods for managing your inventory are up to you, but ultimately, you’ll want to make sure whatever style of management you choose is increasing your profits, reducing your order stock, saving you time, and helping your clients.


The Steps to Inventory Management Success

Keep Your Budget in Mind

Look, we get it. Ordering product is just straight-up fun. Seriously, we totally understand how amazing it feels to add all your wish-list items to a cart and stock yourself up with everything your heart desires.

But profit margins exist. Cost exists. And in the world of finances, it’s not always possible to purchase everything we want all willy-nilly. That’s why it’s crucial to have a budget (like, a hard, set-in-stone budget) in your toolbelt before you start ordering inventory.

Acquaint yourself with the numbers, prioritize what you need, and don’t go over budget. Do this before you start shopping around.

That way, you’ll know what kind of flexibility you have—and it should hopefully keep you from over-spending.

Avoid Spoiled Products At All Costs

No inventory management system is perfect—sometimes, products just fall through the cracks. But just like food, beauty products have expiration dates, and the last thing you want to do is sell or use a spoiled, expired product on a client (that’s not a cute business look, FYI).

Do a regular, manual check of the products you have in stock on your back bar as well as in your retail section.

Not only is this crucial to keep your clients happy (and safe), but it’s also an effective tool to ensure you’re not wasting product (AKA losing money).

Remember that More Inventory Doesn’t Mean More Profit

Ordering more product doesn’t always mean you’ll make more money. Try to resist the urge to overstock.

Why? Because ultimately, overstocking can tie up your cash flow and bleed your business—meaning all those tied up funds can’t be invested elsewhere in your business.

Plus, overstocking means more time needed to manage that inventory. Do you really want to spend more time than necessary managing your inventory stockpile? (We sure wouldn’t want to).

Invest in a Solid Inventory Management System

The upfront cost of an inventory management software or system might sting a little, but in the long run, having something on-hand to automate and manage your inventory with little-to-no effort will probably pay off big-time.

Think about this way—your time is money. The more time you’re spending working on manually managing inventory, the less money you’re making. Use software that makes the process easier and more efficient for you!


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