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Ideas to Reinvent Your Color Profits Before Reopening

If you run a tight salon business and have a talented team, the scope for maximizing profits may seem limited. But Alexander James, owner of Alexander James Hair and Beauty – Halesowen and Alexander James Solihull, two boutique salons in the middle of England, chose to use his downtime during the Great Covid Crisis to scour his salon set-up to see if and where he could bolster profitability. As he cast his eye across his empty salon, it came to rest on the color department.

‘Lockdown gave me the time and space to really think more about efficiencies. It’s difficult to monitor color efficiency when you are busy behind the chair all day or in a separate salon, so I was intrigued when I heard about Vish. It promised to reduce waste and boost profits. I just never imagined by how much,’ says Alexander, who opened his first salon in March 2017, with the second following in August 2018.

‘Our waste is down by more than 50 percent, saving us up to $700 USD each month.’

It’s not totally unexpected. Data collected by Vish since it launched two years ago has revealed the industry as a whole squanders around 40 percent of its color.

Simple onboarding training ensured the whole team embraced Vish with little drama, especially as it freed them from taking copious formula notes on each client, and did all the math for them. The formula they mix is weighed as they dispense the color, recorded, and automatically sent to the salon front desk, where it is stored. After the service, the stylist weighs any leftover product. The Alexander James team have been particularly efficient at reweighing – doing so after 90 percent of services – which allows Vish to refine their formulas, making them more accurate to give the best results. Next time the client visits, Vish can give the stylist the exact amounts needed to recreate the perfect formula with no waste.

Being able to see where every ounce of color goes, Alexander can pinpoint who may be a little profligate with color and target training to rectify. Doing so has brought down amounts dispensed by the teams across both salons by 42 percent , which impacts on product costs per service. These have since dropped by 30 percent – from $19.70 to $13.86 USD – in one salon and by 20 percent– from $16.11 to $13.00 USD – in the other. Alexander also restructured charges and commission so stylists did not collect commission on the actual color product costs, as is usual.

‘Previously when we charged for a service such as highlights, the stylist would get commission on the whole bill or ticket,’ he explains. ‘But using Vish allows me to itemize the bill, as it links directly with my POS and allows me to show color as a separate, additional cost, which is passed on to the client. I then changed the hourly rate for the team to compensate for any loss of commission.’

Nearly all his clients accepted the change, with many thicker-haired clients recognizing the fairness of the new system.

‘I had Vish installed just in time for the first lockdown to be eased when all our clients were returning with months instead of weeks of regrowth. Vish meant we didn’t have to swallow that enormous product cost and cut our profits,’ he adds. ‘I was so relieved.’

Alexander is introducing further efficiencies that also protect the planet, such as joining the Green Salon Collective which deals with all salon waste in a sustainable way. And has proven to his team and his clients through Vish that maximizing profits doesn’t compromise service, he has them all 100 percent behind him.

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