Stylists and colorists are no strangers to hair trends. Whether it’s unicorn hair or mullets, they know exactly which looks are trending and who should wear them.
But what about pricing these services?
Recently, the most popular trend in pricing is a time-based or parts and labor model that provides transparency, which benefits the salon owner, stylist, and client.
But in order to properly price, you need to know your services inside and out—including highlights, balayage, color correction, and everything in between.
The intelligent color management software helps salons mix and record precise color formulas, reduce color costs, and boost salon revenue.
Most importantly, it gives owners the opportunity to transition to parts and labor pricing, offering them more opportunities for profit.
Evolving & Improving
When Ash Fortis opened XO Hair Lab four years ago in Chesapeake, Virginia, she didn’t know what she didn’t know.
“I worked in a traditional commission salon environment my first couple years as a stylist before becoming a booth renter, then a suite renter,” she says. “Before opening XO Hair Lab, I opened a booth rental studio, which operated on an entirely different business model.”
It was when she opened XO Hair Lab, a salon and spa, that her eyes were opened to the realities of ownership. Her profits were swallowed up by taxes, business expenses, and payroll, and she was worried she wouldn’t be able to pay herself.
To learn more, Ash dug deep into her business to find impactful areas to save. One of those areas was her color bar.
Revenue in Real-Time
“I knew I needed a better understanding of my color profits and how they affected my P&L,” Ash says. “I wanted to know where I was losing money, undercharging, etc.”
After doing some research, she found Vish, and realized she could not only be saving money, but bringing in additional profit on her color services.
Vish measures color usage accurately. By leveraging data and analytics, owners can set accurate prices, reduce their color costs, and take the guesswork out of color management.
The Vish Dashboard helped Fortis extract key findings. “I saw that we weren’t charging enough for color and I was able to create a baseline of where to start building out a new pricing structure,” she says. “We weren’t pricing correctly for our salon or our clients.”
By measuring color to the tenth of a gram, Vish can easily separate color and labor, isolating the variable cost of color from the stylist’s time and level of expertise.
Now, XO Hair Lab colorists weigh their formulas and re-weigh the color bowl when they are done, which refines the formula so they can recreate their mixes with precision at the client’s next appointment. The result? Exact data on how much color is being mixed and full transparency around color usage with clients.
“The reports in Vish help me identify who is consistently re-weighing their formulas and what their product costs per service are,” she says.
A decrease in color costs means an increase in color profits for her entire team. “It’s been about a year and a half, and each month I’m seeing an extra profit of $4k-$5k,” Ash says.
Leveraging the Data
With color costs down and profits up, Ash continues to keep her eye on the bottom line and incentivizes her team to do the same.
“I offer incentives like gift cards to keep them motivated to consistently weigh their color,” she says. “It’s also helped them become more efficient and hit commission and bonus goals.”
Ash shares the reports Vish provides with her team so they can all see their product cost per service and how much product is dispensed, highlighting why it’s so important to be consistent in measuring their color.
The result? An additional $44,000 in gross profit in the first six months of 2022 versus the first six months of 2021.
Through leveraging the data in Vish, Ash was able to create a customized pricing structure that combines time-based pricing with the parts and labor model. She recounts how it’s been very well received by clients.
“Our color bar is out in the open, giving clients the visibility to see the iPad and scales, prompting an honest and transparent conversation about how we are ensuring we charge accurately for color.”
Transparency with her team has also been a key to Ash's success.
“I explain how much training, team parties, commission, taxes, etc. cost,” she says. “And then they understand that the profits aren’t going straight to me. I also include Vish reports in our quarterly conversations, showing them how a decrease in product costs per service translates to more profit.”
Now that Fortis has seen what Vish can do for her business, she’s ready to take the next step.
“In the coming months, we’ll start utilizing Vish Front Desk, the third element of the three-part system,” she says. “All service details captured at the color bar will be automatically sent to Vish Front Desk to be added to the total ticket. So when a guest checks out, you can charge them for the actual product amount used in addition to the service fee.”
Ash can choose to charge clients the wholesale price she paid to recoup her expense or she can mark it up like retail to make a profit.
“We’re going to charge at cost to start, then we’ll adjust the pricing accordingly as we master the system.”
Learning all that Vish can do for her business has been an eye-opening experience for Ash, and she looks forward to exponential growth in the years to come.
“We’re more intentional now when we mix color,” she says. “And when we capture every formula accurately, we ensure that if a stylist is away, anyone on the team can access the client’s profile to recreate the color with confidence and consistency, making us a true team environment.”
What Can Vish Do For You?
So you’re ready to update your salon service and pricing menu. Vish delivers the accuracy and visibility on color costs and color usage needed to take control of your color business and experience powerful profits. Visit getvish.com today to learn more.
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