When times get tough the first thing to do is cut costs, but salons have been seeking ways to cut costs for years and there isn’t much slack left. The onslaught of continued high energy prices, crippling inflation and, as of last month, another hike in interest rates are causing misery in salons already struggling as clients spend less and prolong time between visits. But one innovation is helping cut costs, as much as £15,000, without affecting quality.
Vish colour management system has eased the cost of living crisis for hundreds of salons by slashing colour waste and facilitating a pricing structure where clients share the burden of colour costs. Top salons, such as Tuckwell & Co in Nottingham and Charlie Miller in Edinburgh, have been able to reduce colour waste by as much as 40%.
“The average salon stylist wastes hundreds of grams of colour each year by over-mixing,” says Tim Howard, one-time salon owner and now chief innovation officer at Vish. “Most salons have a set amount of product for services, such as 25g or 30g for root retouch, without taking into consideration the hair type, length or porosity. And should they need more colour, they often mix the exact same quantities to keep the formulas consistent and avoid impossible calculations. They end up binning eye-watering amounts of colour, all of which has been paid for by the salon.”
With almost every manufacturer upping the unit cost of colour, waste has become increasingly painful to witness. The average salon is now throwing away almost £15,000 in wasted colour each year.
But salons using Vish have seen colour use plummet as waste is halted, proving the most effective way to cut costs. Stylists can replicate any quantity of formula using the tech, which remembers and refines mixes so there is minimal waste, while owners can see who is using the most colour and act to ensure they become more efficient when mixing. The technology also makes it easy to transfer price increases by manufacturers by amending unit costs within the system. Vish then itemises exact amounts used to the gram and costs it out.
Karine Jackson has avoided hiking up her own prices because colour and service are separated and any additional costs incurred when her manufacturer ups its prices are automatically transferred to the client.
“Charging for colour is a much fairer system. A client with long, thick hair can use up to three times as much colour as one with short hair,” she says. “In our experience clients prefer being charged fairly for amounts used and because we didn’t put our prices up overall, they feel they get better value in the long run.”
At Proud salon in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, product is separate and itemised. As well as reducing unit costs, it also removes it from the commission structure.
“Separating the product was a lightbulb moment for us,” says owner Joshua Proud. “No one can expect to be paid commission on what is a cost to the business.”
Whether inflation goes up or down remains unknown, but one thing is certain, Vish is a solution for easing costs, cutting waste, and managing colour efficiency.
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