There are so many things to consider and learn when you’re opening a new salon. One of the biggest decisions, beyond hiring qualified and competent staff, is what kinds of supplies you’ll carry and use on your clients. You’re in the beauty industry. Part of being in the business is being an expert in products. You’ll want to choose product lines that appeal to a wide clientele and that support your salon’s brand. Here are some things to consider when deciding what supplies your salon should carry.
Something for Everyone
It’s likely you’ve already considered the kind of brand image you want to convey. You may be a high-end salon or one that caters more to families. However, you will still have a variety of clientele, so you should carry product lines that appeal to different kinds of people. Choose a budget-friendly line for those who like the idea of buying salon products, but who may not wish to spend an arm and a leg for product on top of the cost for salon services. Also, go with a pricier line for those who believe that the sky is the limit when caring for their new hairstyle. Though product isn’t your main focus, it can certainly bring in a nice revenue addition. Finally, when looking to include product lines that appeal to all of your customers, don’t forget to offer a selection of products for various hair types in each line. For example, curly gals will want something to help enhance their curls and keep away frizzies, while those with dry or brittle hair will appreciate a deep conditioning treatment.
But Not Too Much
While you want to offer variety, you don’t want to overwhelm your clients with choices. Also, you only have so much room for product display and inventory storage, so have to be realistic in how much you can carry. Choose three or four product lines to carry. This should keep things manageable and also send the message that you are particular about the brands you recommend. Selling only a few lines will help you to form stronger relationships with your brand representatives and assist in meeting minimum order amounts. Carrying fewer lines also lets you and your staff become experts and evangelists of your salon’s chosen brands.
Be sure to take time to thoroughly research any brands or specific products you’re considering for your salon. You’ll have an easier time selling and recommending them to clients if you truly love the products, and your customers will gain trust in your recommendations. Have your staff test out potential lines to make sure everyone is on board, and take their feedback into consideration. Send samples home with your most loyal clientele to get their opinion. This is a good way to test products with your market, as well as to build relationships.
When you and your staff get to know your particular product lines, you can truly share their benefits with your clients. You’ll want to research and educate your staff on the lines you sell in order to be able to share the unique benefits of each with your customers. It’s not enough to say that something smells good or works well. You will need to be able to explain why each product benefits hair health or prolongs color life, along with other unique benefits.
One of the quickest ways to lose credibility with your clients is to offer a product they can get elsewhere for less money. It used to be accepted by many that salon brands sold in retail stores were not as good as the genuine ones in salons. Those days are gone. It’s a known fact that large brands do not sell directly to the salons, but to distributors. Those distributors are, indeed, capable of selling these lines to big box stores for less because these chains can buy in bulk numbers. They’re not supposed to engage in this practice, but they do. It’s known as “diverted marketing.” So don’t offer the same line your customers can pick up for less at Walmart. Choose something that offers unique value and that they cannot find just anywhere. You’ll create a ore exclusive image, while building trust.
Follow these guidelines when asking what supplies should your salon carry, and you’re sure to choose lines you can be proud of that will appeal to your wide range of clientele.