I always say every dollar counts. And in this business—really, in every business—it’s the truth.

If your goal is to increase salon revenue, one of the most important things to stay on top of is your budget—specifically, your budget for supplies, budget for rent, and/or payroll. These are typically the top three expenses that can drain your business. 

If you are an overspender, especially with supplies, it can really kill your profits. And in a service-based business, the profit margins are very small to begin with. With that in mind, I wanted to give you some tips to help you cut costs and some ideas on how you can increase your revenue. 

How to Cut Your Costs and Increase Salon Revenue 

1. Get More Conscious About Your Retail  

Let’s talk about retail supplies. This is the one area that most people tend to overspend. I have seen so many stocked shelves in salons, yet they’re selling minimal amounts of it. 

It’s so easy to see something you like and just buy it. It could be a new tool, a new makeup line, a line of essential oils. But before you start to get spend-happy, make sure that you are selling what you are carrying first. Think of all the money that is sitting on your shelves in inventory. 

Here are some of my best tips:

  • Only offer one or two product lines that support your brand. 
  • Every quarter, you should pull your average sold per product. If a product hasn’t sold in 90 days, move it. Either swap it out with your vendor for a product that sells or offer it at a promotional price. (You can send a marketing email through Schedulicity notifying your clients of the sale!) 
  • Please, please don’t go to the beauty supply store every week to purchase supplies. Order them once or twice a month. Get on a consistent schedule. When you go to the store the temptation, the struggle is real. It’s like being a kid in a candy store. 

2. Go Through Your Expenses Every Quarter 

Comb through your expenses every quarter (or at least twice a year) to see where you can cut. A lot of the time, you sign up for a subscription that you never use. How about Amazon orders? If you have to purchase paper towels, coffee, and all the extras needed for your business, maybe you can order in bulk to cut down on your costs. 

3. Maximize the Value of Your Current Clients

Now let’s get into how you can increase your revenue. The most important thing you can do is start to pay close attention to your current guests.

Are your clients coming back? Are they sending referrals? 

Having a solid referral program that you believe in can really change the game for you. I recommend that you offer a dollar amount as opposed to a percentage off. Also, your existing clients should receive a better offer than the new client they bring you. So: offer a $15 gift toward their next experience and the new guest a $10 gift toward their first experience. 

Creating beautiful referral cards is also key. Make them brand consistent. And be sure to hand 3-5 cards out to every single guest. No one better represents your business than a raving fan. So why not reward them and arm them for it?

4. Perfect Your Upsell  

Let’s not forget about those add-on services. It’s so easy to fall a little flat when it comes to offering them, but keep in mind your clients are looking for you to take care of them — which means this is an ideal moment to increase salon revenue. 

Let’s say you notice a client has dry skin. Talk about your best facial mask treatment. Barbers: A hot shave and a hot towel go a long way. 

$20-$25 per service can really add up. If you add just four add-on services a one week, that’s an extra $100. Do it every week, and that’s an extra $5200 a year! 

Don’t leave money on the table and, of course, always take care of your guests. 

5. Stay on Top of All Your Numbers 

As Marcus Limones always says, “If you don’t know your numbers. You don’t know your business.” 

I always keep that close to me, even in my own business. Keep an eye on your numbers every day and every week. Take a closer look at those expenses, and see where you can cut costs (here’s a great explainer on “trimming” salon costs from the team at Square). This alone will make a huge difference in your profits at the end of the day.


About the Author: Nina Tulio is a former salon owner and stylist that has been in the industry for 23 years. She now owns a consulting business and travels the country educating salon owners and stylists on how to grow a successful, sustainable business.