A new year brings new beginnings and there has been a tiny light shed amongst American salons with the hope of a new vaccine being delivered. However, what is still to be determined is the lasting effects that Covid-19 will have on the salon industry, particularly in rural areas.
Currently, we are amidst a recession worse than 2008, where only 2.9% of salons closed across the United States. As our economy dives deeper into this recession, the industry is expected to see a salon closure rate of around 20%, according to Kline Research. Bearing this in mind, that still leaves us to question what this means for the fate of our industry.
“While we can’t truly know what will happen, we are beginning to see a major shift in the way salons operate,” says Kim Badiuk, Chief of Operations of SalonScale. “We are starting to see more suites open up for independent business owners and a higher rate of decline of commission-based salons,” she says.
Due to reduced capacity at salons, stylists are finding themselves looking for other means to provide steady income. This is one of the contributing factors to more independent ownership in the past year and the attribution of declining commission-based salons. In addition, clients are impacting this trend as they find it safer to be with suite renters versus open salon concepts due to lower exposure risk. With the independent movement growing substantially we are likely to see a 4% increase in suite ownership vs commission-based by the end of 2021. However, Badiuk advises caution when shifting into sole ownership.
“What most stylists don’t realize are all the expenses you face as a salon business owner. Hair color, aside from rent, can be your biggest cost and if you don’t know how to manage and control it, it can reduce the amount of profit in your business. By having a predominantly independent market, we also lose the ability to help grow the future generation of stylists and help foster community in a time when we need to stand together the most,” she says.
SalonScale is a hair color management software and has quickly become one of the leaders in back bar business solutions. Using your mobile device, paired with a Bluetooth scale, SalonScale will weigh the cost of your bowl as you are mixing in real-time to give you an accurate idea of what your color appointments are costing the salon.
“Our industry is one of the few that does not charge for their time and their product separately. Having the ability to know what your color costs are, stylists and owners are now able to charge their clients for the product used, cover their expenses, and generate more profit in their business,” says Badiuk.
Since March 2020, many stylists and salon owners have made the switch to integrate SalonScale into their business amidst lockdowns and forced closures.
“I worked fewer hours, and still profited more at the end of each month,” says Alanna Karst, a suite renter in the rural midwest. “It just makes sense as a business owner. It’s the only tool that is helping me stay accountable and ensure I am sustainable in the long run, she says.
SalonScale users have reported between $1,500-$4,500 per month of increased profit in their salons within months of integrating the platform in their business. Currently the company is offering salons a chance to get started with no payment commitments for the first three months.
“At the end of the day, we are in this business to help the salon industry to be sustainable, and we will do whatever it takes, to show our support,” says Badiuk.
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