If you are not already selling retail items at your salon, you are likely missing out on revenue and profit which you could be earning. Salon clients are looking to you for guidance on retail beauty products just as they are looking to you for guidance on professional salon services. Therefore, having to send these clients to another retailer because you do not stock retail products not only hurts your bottom line but also disappoints the client. So, if you are not stocking retail products or you are not stocking these products optimally, now is the time to fix that. Although stocking products intelligently does require work in order to implement the system that works best for your salon, you will find that it is well worth the trouble when your income is higher and your clients are happier.
Deals With Wholesalers
One of the first, and most important, parts of selling retail items in your salon is obtaining good deals with wholesalers. There is very little reason to buy something at the same price for which you will sell it unless you are simply testing a product at your salon to see if there is adequate demand so that you can turn around and inquire about wholesale prices in the case that the product does prove to be popular. However, a good wholesale deal does not only mean getting the item for a good price. You will also want to ensure that the other aspects of your wholesale purchasing agreement are favorable and fair for your salon. This includes hashing out what the delivery time will be, who will pay for the delivery, what the policy is for damaged and unusable products and how the wholesale price will be adjusted in case you are very successful with certain products. If you happen to sell a lot of a specific product and find that you are regularly increasing the amount you require from the manufacturer or wholesaler, you should be further discounted as is customary. If you find that you are so successful with certain products and have very predictable sales, a buying contract is another way to further negotiate lower wholesale prices. However, this step should not be taken unless you truly have predictable sales and have had predictable sales for a long time because you do not want to get locked into a contract which requires you to buy items which you are then unable to sell. Finally, you should seek deals with numerous wholesalers or manufacturers as you do not want to be unprepared in case one of them is unable to continue providing your salon with products for any reason.
Inventory Management And Strategy
After receiving your retail items, you should always remember to practice good inventory management protocols. This includes practices like “FIFO” (first in first out) and regular physical audits. To explain, first in first out means that the first products of any category which arrive at your location should be out and in the front rows of your shelves while newer, later-arrived items should be further back or not yet on your shelves and kept to later replace sold inventory. This prevents older items from becoming damaged or unusable over longer periods of time. There is nothing worse than pointlessly losing inventory (and money) because you were careless with your inventory management. Also, while inventory management software is never a bad idea, using this type of software does not eliminate the need to do regular physical audits at your salon to ensure that the inventory that your software indicates should be in your salon matches the inventory which is actually there.
Sales Management And Strategy
Another important part of retail item management at your salon is your sales strategy. Will you do paid advertising? Will you incentivize buyers by offering discounts under certain conditions? Which items will you put in the most visible parts of your salon? The items with the highest profit margins or the most popular items? Because, the most popular items will not necessarily be the most profitable and vice versa. However, at this point you will also have to consider volume. It would be a shame to put an item which you only sell one of per week in the most visible part of your retail shelves just because you make a 30% profit when you would actually generate more income selling a less profitable item at a higher volume. Also, don’t be afraid to test out new products with minimal investments. You can even try offering free samples to gauge whether or not a new product is worthwhile. Also, if you can scour blogs, social media and search results software, you may be able to find (and sell) a popular retail item before your competition is even aware of its existence. If you find a very new and popular item, it may be worthwhile to private label that item in order to create more brand recognition for your salon.
While many salon owners and employees may see themselves more as service providers than business owners, salons are a business and well-rounded businesses always have the best chances at success. Therefore, ignoring the selling of retail items at your salon is a mistake. Since you already have clientele who patron your salon, why not offer them as many products and services as possible? You already did the hard work to get them in the door, so don’t miss out on sales opportunities just because you may be wary of inventory management and sales. Begin with confidence, understand that you will make mistakes and learn and create the best salon environment you possibly can.