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Being her own boss rather than managing someone else’s salon has worked out fine for Joanne Blend, owner of Blend Salon, located deep within the historic Cathedral Quarter of Derby’s city center. Opened in 2011, Blend has a cool vibe with a reputation for delivering excellent color work. The team has been as loyal as the clientele. But Jo could understand when a couple of stylists on her team started to seek greater control of their lives and careers. Rather than lose them to a competitor salon, she offered the option to rent chairs.

“Self-employment has become increasingly popular and I can understand why, especially after the past few years,” says Jo, who is a Redken artist and has worked on Big Brother and The Clothes Show. “I was a bit nervous but I was confident I had the systems in place to make it work.”

Exemplary salon standards and systems

As a Redken Color Specialist who does live Instagram tutorials for the brand as well as filming Redken videos for global distribution, Jo has built education into the salon’s very DNA. It means the high standards guests expect at Blend are protected. Jo also has Vish, which she introduced into the salon in mid-2021, after discovering just how much oversight and control on pricing and color usage it provided.

Improving profit while reducing costs

Vish provided the detailed data Jo needed to restructure her prices and inject a secure level of profit into every service. Each color service has a product allowance, with any additional color dispensed automatically captured in the system and passed on to the client. Suddenly the team could see how much waste there was and the repercussions of overmixing and application, which would then result in price increases for clients. Post implementation, the salon was no longer funding color that was thrown away unused or missing additional services like toners. This immediately brought down costs by £8k.

Managing with efficiency

But the real power of Vish for Jo was that it has made it easy to keep an account of all color dispensed by those renting chairs, enabling her to easily manage employed stylists alongside self-employed.

“Having an electronic record makes it totally transparent and easy to pass the cost of the color allowance per service and any additional product dispensed on to the stylist,” explains Jo. “It means we can all use the same color line supplied by the salon, which ensures greater consistency across services. The stylist doesn’t need her own color stock making it easy for both parties. If I didn’t have Vish to monitor color use, everyone would have to buy their own color and it would take up so much more space.” It also provides another revenue stream for the salon as Jo has implemented a slight color markup.

Visibility with Vish

Blend has eight chairs for the eight-strong team, but the salon also has a very intimate culture. There is no receptionist and each stylist looks after their own clients, but Jo has no worry about anyone on her team forgetting to add additional color costs to the final ticket, as she and her manager have total oversight and can view it all in Vish.

Vish has given Jo control over color, shining a light on what was once a blind spot in her salon. Vish’s accuracy and precision combined with her superb education program have ensured a consistently high level of service at Blend and a guaranteed level of profit for Jo. 

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