Five Wasted Expenses

In Your Salon

Becoming a salon studio owner is the epitome of a dream come true for most beauty professionals.

It is truly amazing how far the beauty industry has come.Salon professionals finally have the opportunity to own their own business without the crazy cost of overhead.

A private space for only you and your clients? Priceless.

You come and go as you please, use the products you want, set your prices, and build the environment the way you want.

Sounds like a dream, right?

Although all these things are possible, when it comes to becoming a salon studio owner, it is crucial to start thinking like a business owner in addition to the rockstar role you have behind the chair.  

If you long for that six-figure salary (and let's be honest, we all do), the first step is to be smart about your money.

Understanding the back end of your business can mean less expenses and more money in your pocket.

Here are five ways to reduce your expenses without compromising your work or salon environment.

Back Bar Pro​duct

Oh you mean the shades on your back bar that you never use? Yes, those.

We're talking about the ones you gave into purchasing at Cosmoprof or Salon Centric because they had great packaging or were on sale at the time.

Don't make this mistake!

Example: All the fire reds and coppers that you absolutely love but never profit on because you specialize in blondes and your clients just love their blonde hair.

Start looking at your backbar products as “money on the shelf” and purchase things you know you will use.

Always try to keep the lowest number of products on your backbar because we all know manufacturers are always looking for ways to re-formulate their products which leads us to purchase even more product.

Having a variety of color for new clients is beneficial, but do not spend money on things  you do not need just because it looks attractive on your storefront shelf or on social media.

Pro Tip:  Contact the brand you are interested in and ask for samples. 

Explain your type of clients and ask what part of their line will benefit you most.  This way you can try out the product prior to committing to liters of it on the shelf.

Many brands will gladly let you explore their product! Not to mention, most have new user kits that with one heck of a deal!


Frequently, “lunchtime” consists of eating in the breakroom from the restaurant that delivers next door while a client is processing.

It’s fast and easy. Want to know what’s easier?

Bringing your lunch.

"Who wants to take the time to pack a lunch?" We've been guilty of numerous Panera orders.

However, think about how much money you could be saving!

Spending $10-$20/day on lunch and coffee can add up. Investing in a coffee maker and homemade lunch can easily put $50-$100 bucks back in your pocket at the end of the week.

That may not seem like a lot but think of it as a tip—and who doesn’t like $50 tips?

No Show Appointments

Are you a victim of no show appointments?

The beauty of being your own boss is also controlling your schedule and your clientele.

 Make sure to consistently confirm with your guests, especially when they are a first-time client, or make appointments online.

Plans change and just because someone confirmed a week ago does not mean they won’t cancel or not show up at the last minute.

Confirming the day of still gives you time to fill that seat by utilizing social media to market an available appointment time.

This ensures that you are not wasting your time in limbo mode wondering if someone will show up or not.

Of course, there are always people who confirm but still no show.

Consider implementing a no-show policy. Requiring deposits for appointments is not unusual and implementing a policy can be very beneficial when you have other clients that would be happy to fill the spot.

Time is money!

Pro Tip: I always like to follow up with a quick email template to make sure I know exactly which services they are getting in addition to sending out a text the day of as a reminder.

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Friends and Family

You’re finally a business owner and suddenly everyone wants to be a part of your squad.

Your friends and family no longer need to get their hair done at home and can come into the salon for the same service and price.

Think again

It was easier for you to charge less (if anything at all) by doing hair at home. It is not a professional environment and hairdressers can feel guilty about charging salon prices in an uncomfortable environment.

Things have changed, you've upgraded and so should your prices.

Do not be afraid to charge friends and family what you are worth! People in your circle won’t mind paying  to support your dream. After all, you are now giving them a true salon experience.

Think of it as working at someone else’s salon;  would they let you lower your prices or offer services for free?

Not a chance

To be a successful business owner, you must think like one. If you want to do something nice for your friends and family, include a deep condition or a free blow dry with their first service.

You can also implement a great referral program. For every 3-5-10 people they refer, they get a free service increasing in value as referral numbers increase.

This can be a great incentive for talking about your new studio and referring new clients.

Also, utilize the resources your salon suite brand offers.

For example, Total Salon Studios offers an entire network of business resources for their stylists. Their dedicated team helps new salon suite renters with business needs such as marketing and branding. 

Pro Tip: Ask your friends and family to come in for a "photo shoot day" in exchange for a service.

This can be phenomenal for building a social media presence and practice. Schedule it out a day in advance.

Get them to dress for your theme and you style their hair and do their makeup, take them to a great background and use natural lighting for photos!

Professional Liability Insurance

Woah, insurance?

The one thing nobody really talks about. Yet we pay for it yearly without any questions asked.

Did you know that many salon franchises will automatically draft your insurance fee because they have partnered with an insurance company?

Most stylists think that this is part of their lease and they must purchase liability insurance through the landlord, but this is not true.

Professional liability insurance can be purchased on your own terms and you do have options for much less! 

Why pay $250/year for a professional liability insurance policy when you can get insured for $169/year for the same or better type of coverage?

Don’t let cosmetology insurance scare you. Higher costs doesn’t always mean higher quality when it comes to insurance. 

To help you find the best option, here's a brief comparison of some beauty insurance plans for salon/studio renters:

Once again if you want to be a business owner, you must start thinking like one so don’t let these five things go unnoticed in your salon.

Now go do what you do best, changing lives one head at a time!