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The salon the supplier change & challenges

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017Hairdressing, hairdressing business, Professional hair salon products, Sales.Selling. Service.staff. Supplier., The Hair Salon, The salon and The S wordComments Off on The salon the supplier change & challenges

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The salon the supplier change & challenges

 

 

Our Industry has been going through enormous change over the past years and continues to do so.  The impacts for the multi nationals buys up the smaller bespoke manufactures. Social media influences on the consumer. Quality of products. Consumer demands. Salon business models. Stylist training and education. Freelance, mobile, chair renters/booth renters salon suits.

Every one of these factors has and is effecting what was the successful salon business model. Also effected and impacted by the above the traditional supplier and distributor, who now have to compete with direct sales from the manufacturer who is trying to cut out middle suppliers and go direct to the salon, offering on line direct sales. Is all this change really for the good of all parties What does the future hold for any one, who can survive all the changes and challenges. How do we stay ahead of the game.

I think we have to start with looking at the culture of change that has taken place in the way the manufacturer treats both the middle man supplier, the salon owner and stylist. All have very different needs and wants expectations, all have been I think neglected by the large many of the large manufactures not all, but lets keep this generic rather than pointing fingers the good ones know who they are. The bad ones don’t care any way.

The Manufacturer supplier/distributor relationship has always been a tuff one, sales funds education, education promotes sales, sadly this area has been hit and cut back on, the margins that thew supplier and distributor have to work with are less as the manufacturer strives to cut them out and go direct. The fact that the manufacturer also has direct online sales in many cases and produces products from hair colour to shampoo and conditioner for the home market sold directly into stores for the consumer who will always look for the cheapest deal. unless educated on quality.

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The supplier plays a key role to many salons and business operators although the traditional salon business model is struggling at the moment with the onset of freelance, mobile and  chair /booth renter salons.

The salon owner finds it a constant challenge to get staff /stylist to recommend retail products even though it should not be seen as selling its should be part of the consultation process, with stylist explaining the benefits of professional products for longer lasting colours and better condition from far superior products. this has and is a hard nut to crack, staying informed on new products as they come to market deciding on what really will make a difference in the salon to services or retail. Also for the salon owner business taxes and every increasing rents for pre location are getting really almost un-afforadable, high rents put pressure on any business in the salon its the volume of clients and how much each client is spending that dictates the bottom line, it becomes a case of do you charge high prices or stay lower and try and cater for everyone. This of course can also impacts salary commission rates this in-turn can impact the type of stylist the salon can attract, experience, training skill set, the old adage pay peanuts get monkeys. many pressure much to consider how do you find balance, what is fair for all parties.

The equation is number stylising station, days open, hours open, number of stylist to keep all stain open all business hours, number and type of services rates, hourly rate per chair multiple day number staff, you start to get a picture of whats possible, over booking, taking short cuts, is very short sighted never forget w are a service industry. All of us.

Training and Education again many of the big manufacturers have moved to a on line platform for training, if they bother offer anything at all, stylist need education and product /technique training, they need to feel that they are being inspired, they need to be encouraged to have brand loyalty. They need to have product knowledge both for application of services but also features and benefits of retail products.

Stylist also need to take some responsibility for the way things are going within the salon structure. A culture exists of expectation that the salon will supply an endless stream of new and walk in clients. Often communication skills and indeed ability to deliver a consultation are sadly lacking. Often strait out of college or an academy barely qualified having done what is considered by man as very basic training that they can expect to earn a good salary expecting to be busy with out any on going career development, not to mention many lack communication and asocial skills, many young people don’t really relate to the fact that hair dressing is a service business. Disillusioned they turn to chair rental or go mobile or freelance, none of these models will bring any greater success much less wealth.

Many stylist think the grass is greener, that they should get the lion share of the bill, that salon owners make huge amount of profit this is not the case the margins are very tight. Stylist need to step up and understand that client retention and recommendation are their responsibility not that of the salon.

The salon owner needs to lead by example, needs to share their vision, work to create both “Brand and customer loyalty” always focusing on the salon “Target market” and customer demographics’ charge for service according to this, stay current with both new products and techniques, encourage in house training. Have an open door policy to new idea’s run inspirational in salon competition,target based, have an education fund. Be consistent with the message being put out through out the salon, don’t tolerate bullying or negativity. monitor what other local salons are doing but don’t be tempted into discounting to compete, its a race to the bottom, bottom that no one wins remember you are catering for a certain market.

We must never forget that it is the salon client the consumer who has all the power, Why you may ask your self, This is easy they have choice, Choice to stay with a salon or stylist , choice to leave they have choice of what products to buy and who from, our challenge all of us is be the person they trust and want to support work with this is building customer loyalty and trust an essential for success across the board.

 

 

 

We all have to take responsibility for choices made decisions taken. We also need to embrace change and adapt to the new way of doing business. We also all from Manufacturer to salon owner and stylist be responsible for the role we play, always remembering that with choice some consequences, always being ready to adapt to change in market forces and expect the unexpected there are no guarantee’s staff do quit and move on. We are only as good as our last service and no one is indispensable. there is no place for “Ego”  Team work, shared values and vision, supported by trust honesty and respect these are the keys to success survival and continued career enjoyment.

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The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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