The answer to the question of how to make more money as a hairdresser is unclear (pun intended). Increasing your income as a hair salon or hair salon owner isn’t just about providing great service – after all, there is no shortage of great hair salons and salons. It’s also not just about raising prices for services, because your rates are affected by the market.
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Making more money in the salon business requires a skillful combination of salon marketing, sales, excellent service and business management. It’s about attracting business from new and existing customers while keeping costs reasonable so you can make a profit.
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In this post, we’ll look at how you can do that. We’ll highlight tips that will help increase your sales, improve business efficiency, and get more out of your efforts so you can increase your profitability and ultimately put more money in your pocket.
Since we’re talking about how to make more money as a barber, it’s worth looking at the numbers in your market and finding out what the average barber shop owner or barber salary is. This will help you measure your income so you can determine if you’re being paid what you’re worth or if you need to raise your rates.
The national average salary for a barber in the United States was $26,510 in 2010. But everything has changed dramatically (and for the better since then).
According to Glassdoor, the median annual income in New York City in 2023 for a small business hairstylist is $54.5K, although the top of the curve could climb more than 6 figures. In other US cities, the average income of a salon owner is $34,400.
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No matter where you are on the salon owner/hairstylist salary spectrum, it never hurts to find ways to earn more.
To that end, here are some tips to help increase your barber’s sales and profits.
Up-selling and cross-selling are classic techniques in the beauty industry. “Up-selling” is when a stylist encourages a customer to purchase a higher-end version of a product or service, while “cross-selling” focuses on adding additional services or products to the sale.
They are quite effective for increasing transaction sizes, but these approaches are often underutilized due to concerns that they may annoy customers. However, when done well, they allow salons to not only maximize sales, but also provide greater value to their customers through referrals and expert advice.
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Knows treatments and products well. The key to any strong upsell/cross-sell offer is to explain to the customer why your recommendation fits their needs. Why should a client go for deep conditioning instead of a conventional treatment? Why should they choose product ABC over product XYZ if the former is more expensive?
Answering these questions effectively requires deep service and product knowledge, so make sure you and your team are aware of the ins and outs of your offerings. Know the ins and outs of all your treatments, who they’re for, what benefits they offer, and why they’re worth it.
For products, it is a good idea to ask the suppliers for more information. Take advantage of their resources or see if they can provide training at your salon.
Choose the right moment. If you’re going to cross sell, the engagement has to be genuine. This means that timing is of the essence – if your promotion is taken out of context, the customer is more likely to give up.
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For example, trying to sell a customer a higher level of service as soon as they sit down at the table is not a good move because those first few minutes in your salon or booth don’t give you enough time to determine the customer’s needs.
It’s best to upsell or cross-sell after you’ve had time to research their hair or when you’ve gotten a feel for the customer.
Never recommend a product or service that is not suitable. It will always do more harm than good if it doesn’t meet the customer’s needs. It gives the impression that you care more about making money than satisfying your customers. Needless to say, pushy or aggressive sales tactics are also a big no-no.
It’s clear that making appointments easier will lead to increased business. When bookings can be made anytime, anywhere, you give your customers more flexibility (for which you get points) and can fill your calendar much faster.
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According to this article, 58% of in-app customer searches after completing their first booking are for the same service provider. Translation? This means that if your customer orders from you, they are more likely to come back and add more services from your menu.
Convenient booking options clearly influence your customer’s decisions to make an appointment, so it’s important that you meet this need.
The ease of booking also has huge benefits for you as a stylist. Admin is a difficult but necessary part of the job, and an online booking system helps keep it to a minimum. Not having to constantly rush to answer phone calls creates a much better customer experience and allows you to spend more time on profitable activities.
One example of a business that offers convenient booking options is Citrus Salon in Georgia. Citrus Salon has an online booking portal that allows customers to schedule appointments at any time.
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Be aware of utility costs. Utilities like water, electricity and internet are essential, but there are ways to keep costs down. Small steps like making sure all the lights are off at the end of the day will make a big difference to your bills!
Saves time. The time-money line is particularly relevant for service providers such as hairdressers. The more hours you have in the day, the more time you have to serve customers and make more money.
To this end, always use your time well. Identify any tedious or time-consuming tasks and automate them (hint: scheduling meetings falls into this category). Another tip? Be aware of the money-making tasks that only YOU can do, and then make sure you spend most of your time on those things.
Another way to get a higher salary as a hairdresser or salon owner? To hone a certain niche. People are willing to pay more for expert-level services because they are perceived as more valuable.
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After all, someone who has years of experience in a particular market is in a much better position to provide quality service compared to someone who dabbles in various fields but is not an expert in anything.
So, if it makes sense for your business, see if you can identify a specific market segment or area of expertise to focus on.
Not sure how to find your niche as a stylist? According to entrepreneur and salon owner Kate Whitledge, chances are you already have:
“Once you’ve given your stylists enough time to discover and develop their strengths, choosing their niche comes down to what they’re most passionate about.”
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If there’s a particular service or style that you particularly like, it’s likely to be a good niche for your business.
Emily Lynn is one example of a stylist who has found her niche. Emily’s focus is on bridal beauty services and she makes it very clear.
She uses the home page of her website as a place for portfolio images, as well as a list of wedding publications she has appeared in. This gives potential clients confidence that she is an expert in the field and can exceed their expectations:
As a salon owner or hairdresser, you probably already have a salon menu that includes classic or even specialty services: haircuts, blowouts, coloring, etc. If you need to increase your income, consider expanding your offerings with seasonal or fashion services. .
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Hairdressing is a trend-driven industry, so it’s important to keep up with the latest styles and techniques. An example is balayage hair coloring, which has rapidly grown in popularity and is now a regular item on salon menus. Vegan, organic and sustainable products and services are also making headlines.
Besides keeping your salon fresh, expanding your services is an easy way to increase sales. By adding more offers, you can expand your pool of potential customers. It also creates more opportunities for cross-selling and bundled services.
Making more money as a hairdresser depends on your ability to generate repeat business – especially when it costs about 5x more to attract clients than to keep them.
To that end, you may want to create a loyalty program that encourages customers to return. Here are some tips on how to do it.
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You have a number of options for receiving rewards. This is very limited where customers can only earn rewards through booking services. Consider giving them credit for the different ways they interact with your brand. Getting customers to follow you on social media, leave reviews online and refer new customers is essential to your growth
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