SalonScale’s Founder & CEO Alicia Soulier has owned a hair salon in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for ten years. In 2017, she came to a realization that would have her creating an industry-shifting enterprise.
“I realized there was a leak in my business,” Soulier says. “I took a close look at my color bar and realized coloring hair was getting more expensive with the trend towards balayage and other fashion colors. It was like watching money being poured down the drain.
“I had a light bulb moment,” she continues. "I literally couldn’t finish my client’s hair because I had to start working on the solution to my problem – an app and a Bluetooth scale that would let me calculate the exact cost of color being used in my color bar.”
By early 2018, her new business, SalonScale, the bright idea to emerge from that lightbulb moment, had its public launch in Saskatoon. Since then, SalonScale has received tremendous support as they’ve grown and expanded the business.
“As soon as we started testing our idea in the market - investors, distributors, advisors, and customers started latching onto our concept,” Soulier says. “We are so grateful for the support we’ve received in our early days that have brought us here today.”
SalonScale’s vision is a sustainable ecosystem of salons around the world through the development of an app and Bluetooth scale that work together to give salon owners the tools they need to weigh and track the color being poured at the color bar.
“By giving salon owners the ability to know what color is being used and how much it costs, they can better manage their business by ensuring everything is paid for. With this level of accountability in the business, it makes a significant improvement to the bottom line, and increasing the chance of
long-term sustainability,” she says.
To create this long-term sustainability, SalonScale encourages an important discussion around pricing.
Charge Like a Skilled Tradesman
“It’s not enough to add an extra 10 to 20 dollars onto the bill for the customer in your chair that you spent longer on than anticipated, and where you use twice as much color. You have to charge parts plus labour to create fairness for you as a business owner, your staff, and for your client.” Soulier says.
All of the major trades like mechanics and plumbers charge an hourly rate plus parts, and it makes sense to Soulier that it’s time that hair stylists start doing the same.
“You have a billion-dollar industry that still guesstimates color costs. Your plumber or your mechanic would never charge based on instinct. They know the cost of their parts, and they know the cost of their labour, and so should every stylist that dreams of success,” she says.
Soulier says the relationship-focused hair industry is often a barrier to success for salons because talking about pricing and what your worth is to your clients is often difficult and awkward. It’s this problem that SalonScale is hoping to alleviate.
“SalonScale gives you the information to help you have honest conversations around your pricing. It will ensure that a customer pays nothing more or less than what is used, which sets you and your clients up for a long-term, sustainable relationship, and ultimately sets you up for success,” she says.
To learn more about how SalonScale, visit www.salonscale.com/.