Posted on May 11, 2020
Sola Salon Studios
As the country looks toward reopening, companies in all industries are having to reexamine what their business will look like post quarantine - and your salon business is no different. We are facing the dawn of a new horizon. You have come so far and waded this quarantine with so much patience and strength. We know the world (and your studios) will look and feel very different as we reenter this new normal. The conversation has changed, the sanitizing protocol has increased, and both you and your customers will now be wearing masks and other PPE. The effort that you are taking to keep yourself and your customers safe is a huge undertaking in both your time and resources. The purchase of disinfectants, masks, extra towels, capes, gloves, face shields, phone sanitizers, contactless thermometers and more can be overwhelming.
On top of that, you are considering the fact that you’ll need more time in between guests to sanitize your studio, and without the opportunity to double book if that is what’s customary for your schedule, you may be looking at a decreased number of clients in a day.
“For us in the beauty industry, we take pride in our education and training. We are professionals who have learned proper disinfecting procedures prior to COVID. They have been enhanced tremendously and PPE has been added to the mix, as well as new procedures put in place. With the added time and extra equipment needed to continue to provide a high-quality level of service, we shouldn’t incur all of these expenses. Either way raising your prices or adding a fee should most definitely be happening. It’s just like adding an extra fee for extra hair color used!” - Ashley White, @ashleywhitestudio
You might be thinking – is now the right time to raise my prices? Should I be charging a COVID-19 fee? What will my customers think? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, and only you know what is best for your business and your clients, we laid out some pricing options to help you find one that feels best for your business and ensure you are staying safe and profitable during this time. Huge thanks to our Faces of Sola for sharing their perspectives and for showing us that there are many ways to look at this issue.
A Blanket Price Increase To All Services 💸
Add anywhere from $1 - $10 dollars to each of your services. In some cases, your clients may be so thankful to get in with you they may not notice! And if asked, simply explain that the increase is due to the additional effort and cost it now takes for you to operate your business safely. Your clients are loyal, and they want to do what’s best to help you get through this time. A small increase on each service can amount to a large increase week-to-week to help you adjust to the financial burden you've had to bear.
“I will be raising the price of my services. I have already informed my clients that due to COVID-19 we have a slight price increase starting in June, just to give them time to prepare for it since we are scheduled to return to work May 16. This will help me offset all the extras precautions we have to take and to ensure safe 1-to-1 appointments.” – Tahesa Nelson, @hairbytahesa
Remove Services That Aren’t As Profitable 🙅♀️
Did you offer children’s haircuts at a discounted price or fit in blowouts here and there where you could? This is a good time to consider the amount of time each service takes and know it's ok to cut out the ones that may not be as profitable anymore. Time in your studio is limited. Make sure you’re getting the most out of it while you’re there.
Add A COVID-19 Sanitation Fee 🧼
You are no longer double booking. You are taking extra time to clean and are purchasing more supplies than ever before. If it makes sense for your business, consider adding a “COVID-19 Sanitation Fee” to each customer's bill. You can create a new service in SolaGenius that can be easily added and itemized to every ticket. When asked about the extra charge, simply explain the steps you are taking to keep you and your customers safe so you can continue providing the excellent service they have become accustomed to.
Revamp Your Menu To Bundle Services 💇♀️🎨
Decked out in full PPE, customers will be looking to get their services as quickly and efficiently as they can. If you typically offer services a la carte, it may be a good time to consider bundling the most common services together. As your menu will be completely new, now is the time to pad the pricing a bit in order to cover some of your new COVID-19-related expenses and give your customers more value.
“I will temporarily change the names of services so that it will combine my most popular services together with a set price. In the past, I have listed my services a la carte, though I sent out an email campaign asking for my clients to tell me what services they will need when rebooking and many of them have said "the works!" This inspired me to group my most requested services together with extended time, combine the prices of my service, and add an additional sanitation fee within that total price so it is all very smooth and I'm compensated fairly.” – Amanda Fagan, @amandaffagan
Charge For Masks 😷
Most states are requiring everyone to wear masks when they are in public and Sola will not allow clients or beauty professionals into the building without one. If your client arrives sans the proper facial protection, not all is lost. You can stock up on a supply of disposable masks and charge a small markup to ensure you keep your studio stocked. You can even order masks on The Sola Store.
“The only thing we are charging extra for is $2 if they do not have a mask. This is by law no matter where you go in our city. We will have them, and if they [clients] do not have or willing not to wear one we will have to refuse service.” – Joey Figueiredo, @stylistjoey
“I have asked all of my clients to bring their own PPE and if they cannot, they will be given a mask at arrival for a $5 fee to be added to their service. I’ve made them aware of this necessity and they have all agreed.” - Morgan Abernathy, @colored.in.choas
Require Clients Book and Pay Online 💻
There are many online payment options that you can utilize such as stored credit cards in SolaGenius or payment through an app such as Venmo or Zelle so you don’t have to touch a credit card of exchange cash at the appointment.
“I will also require that all services be booked online so they have a payment method on file and I don’t have to touch their debit card. I want contactless payment.” – Carlisha Nunnally, @sgnaturalhairstudio
No matter how you tackle your pricing strategy when you reopen, keeping yourself and your clients safe is our #1 priority. Many of your fellow stylists are going through the same exercise with their business, so be a sounding board for each other! Ask your neighboring Solapreneurs what their plans are and where they have or have not had success.
Alone we are strong, together we are #SolaStrong 💙🙌 You got this 👊