Increase your color sales and grow your bottom line. That’s a simple formula. But there are additional, subtler advantages to stimulating haircolor service, too. Consider, for example, that color provides extra room for growth because it isn’t overly time-consumptive for any single employee. In fact, with single-process color, the actual formulation is the only step in the process which requires the advanced skills of an experienced technician. The application, rinse and blow dry can all be done by apprentices or assistants — giving them practical floor experience, and freeing time for more advanced stylists to service waiting guests. Haircolor lends itself quite well to team service. There are many ways to increase the profitability of color services in a salon, some of which are more obvious than others. Points to consider:

Market to the Chemically Dependent Client
Color is not a one-time service. When a guest discovers an appealing color, she or he becomes locked into a long-term appointment series. Color guests are in search of a look, an image to set them apart. Having one’s roots show is undesirable for the fashion-conscious guest! A salon’s level of appeal to guests is driven by this marketing function.

Use Your Knowledge As A Tool
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Specialization is valuable; niche markets are continually being created and filled. If your color staff is the most talented in the community, get the word out. How well-versed in concept and procedure is each technician who formulates and applies color, and how effectively does each communicate color maintenance to guests? Professional relationships and trust are in many ways built upon the sharing of knowledge. Helping guests achieve their desired image, telling them what they need to know and when they need to come back will encourage retention.

Create Color Specials
New and old guests love to hear the words “discount,” “special” and “promotion.” It means a bargain for them, and can lead to significant increases in business for a salon if marketed and conducted in a systematic, organized manner, and if guests are retained beyond their initial visit.

Tap Into The Power Of Recommendations
“Don’t just get a cut, get a whole new look.” “Compliment your new cut; a few highlights around the front will take this new cut to the level.” Talking about it gets them thinking about it. “What are we doing with your color today?” is the best line for guests not scheduled for color. But, be sure you are ready with an answer for what you think you should do with their color today!

Optimize Time/Payroll Investment
Color services may consume hours of the customer’s time, but require very little time from technicians. Formulations require advanced education and training, but it isn’t necessary to pay the salon’s “best” technicians to apply color. Most salons employ staff apprentices, part-time students or other team members new to the business who need low-impact floor experience. Color application requires a novice’s technical skill, but offers the potential for great growth in people skills.

Make It Team-Foucsed
Color can be a team sport. It should be a team sport. Many salons already sell color as a multi-step service involving more than one technician. When a guest asks for or about color, stylists are at ease with recommending other technicians to fill the need. Often, the stylists themselves initiate the color discussion, offering the services of teammates who have available time. The guest’s sense of security inevitably increases, as more people become involved in the service. From the initial recommendation to the rinse, three or four service providers may easily become involved. With the guests’ sense of security comes loyalty to the salon.

Remember That Haircolor Is Here to Stay

Learn to take advantage of it. The buying patterns of salon guests in recent years show that haircolor is and will continue to be one of the industry’s most sought-after services. It is a significant revenue leg in haircutting salons, full-service salons and day spas–and the only source of revenue (excluding retail) in the growing field of color-only salons.

Keri Manuel, Co-dean, Vanguard Business Academy

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