August 2009

Salon Profits with New Services

By Craig Black

We all know the economy is being battered from all sides and it is getting more difficult for salons to survive. As smart business professionals, we’ve cut our expenses to the bone, pushed customer service to the limit, and yet it seems difficult to make any forward progress.

Any rainy day fund we still have is being washed away by the economic monsoon. That pressure you’re feeling, which sometimes borders on panic, is you being pushed out of your comfort zone. All of the familiar solutions that have worked in the past; specials, add on services, and discounts are no longer bringing the reward they once did. At this point we start to ask ourselves what am I missing? What is the solution? And is my business going to survive this?

Okay, that’s enough gloom and doom. I’m writing this article to give you hope and encouragement, and also, to lead you to what may be the answer to the problem, how you can make more money. If after a long, tough week, when you’ve had a little too much chardonnay and you start thinking about using Aunt Martha’s cookie recipe to open a bakery in the back of the shop... don’t go there! Instead, pursue the most likely path to success, by advancing forward in the profession you know so well.

What if you were challenged to generate extra profit for your salon? How would you begin? Your first instinct may be to consider the usual suspects. By that, I mean ideas such as raising your prices, working longer hours, hiring additional staff or adding a new service. Each idea has its merits, but they all have definite limitations and are not likely to generate a big return for the average salon.

Keep in mind that anything you must do yourself is inherently limited by the time required for you to perform the service. If you incur more payroll by hiring it done, then it will return only a small net profit, if any profit at all. What you really desire is not just extra income, but extra profit. You want to keep some of that money for yourself, right?

Let’s look more closely at the idea of adding a new service. It’s true that some services are more profitable than others, and our instinct may be to stop doing one thing to do another. You might think, “If I do more chemical services and fewer haircuts, or if I do some high-end service, such as hair extensions, I can generate more income.”

This may raise your income slightly, but you are still just exchanging one service for another and possibly increasing the supply cost per service at the same time. You are on the right track, but not quite there.

To find the answer to producing added profit, let’s approach this challenge from a different direction. Ask your self this question, what features would a new service need to have in order to measure up?

To make significant extra income with a high level of profit, here are the features a service should have.

To do all these things, we may need a service that has never been offered before in salons. In fact, we need to create a whole new service category. While it may seem unlikely, that any one service could incorporate all those features, such a service does exist, it’s called “Laser Hair Enhancement.”

The laser hair enhancement service fits perfectly in a salon setting. No one knows more about hair than the salon professional. You are the person they will turn to when they have concerns about thinning hair and for the first time you will have a solution for the problem. It’s not complicated. Some foundation knowledge is necessary to provide a good client consultation. This training is provided with the laser equipment.

How big is the market for a service that provides a solution for clients with thinning hair? The desire for thicker hair is universal; it transcends every age, sex and race. It is estimated that 70 to 80 million men and women in the United States suffer from a significant amount of hair loss today.

Laser hair enhancement has a huge potential market, uses no supplies and only takes a minute of your time to provide the service. The equipment requires no installation and is as easy to use as a hair dryer. The new service can produce significant additional income with just a few clients in your program.

If you are serious about wanting to create more income for yourself, you may need to move out of your comfort zone and explore new options and opportunities. Laser hair enhancement is the first truly new service offered to our profession in a very long time. There has never been a better time to add laser hair enhancement to your salon and begin to reap the profits.

Craig Black is president of Salon Lasers, Inc. a distributor for Hair Enhancement Laser equipment. For more information on this subject, visit his company website, or call 866-646-9050.

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