4 Things to Consider when Pricing Salon Services

Pricing salon services correctly is vital! Even just a one percent improvement in pricing can result in an eleven percent increase in operating profit. (Harvard Business Review study)

Did you know that “price” is one of the 4 P’s of Marketing?

  • Product – includes both goods and/or services
  • Price – the cost assigned to a good or service
  • Place – where the item can be purchased, how it is distributed, etc.
  • Promotion – marketing, advertising and other activities that lead to sales

Also known as the “marketing mix,” each of these is impacted by both internal as well as external factors. For instance, when pricing salon services, you have to consider internal factors such as the cost of products and time needed to complete the service as well as external pressures such as local economics and demographics, and competitor pricing for the same or equivalent services.

To further complicate the process of pricing salon services, there is more than one way to develop your salon’s pricing model.

  1. Cost-based pricing – pricing salon services based on all of the costs incurred (supplies, products, and percentage of equipment, furnishings, rent/lease, taxes, etc.)
  2. Value-based pricing – pricing salon services based on what consumers are willing or expect to pay – consumers’ perceived quality or value

Pricing salon services without considering all potentially relevant internal and external factors is important. If the cost of services at your salon is out of alignment, you might find it difficult to effectively promote and sell them. Conversely, if underpriced, you could be leaving money on the table or undermining profitability.  Here are four things that should impact pricing salon services.

You might also like: 5 Things Successful Salon Professionals Do

4 Things to Consider when Pricing Salon Services

Costs – For your salon to be profitable, a myriad of costs should be reflected in pricing salon services overall, as well as individually, including both direct and indirect costs.

Individual / direct costs:

  • Time – how much of your time is needed for the service appointment
  • Products and supplies – all products or supplies consumed to complete the service

Overall / indirect costs:

  • Education – the cost of education to become and to remain a beauty professional (past and future), and to continue to develop new skills
  • Equipment and furnishings – what did it cost to furnish and equip your salon, and what future investments will you need to make?
  • Promotional – advertising, marketing, graphic design, collateral, etc.
  • Operational – overhead such as lease/rent/mortgage, payroll, licenses, utilities, taxes, cleaning costs, and other expenses required to operate a business

Knowing your numbers is so important! If you only price services based on time and products used, you may not be charging enough to offset operating costs, let alone enough so that you are setting aside money toward the future (education, repairs and remodeling, expansion, etc.) In addition, remember that most costs change over time, generally increasing year over year in many cases.

Demand – Some salon services never go out of style, others may change seasonally, come and go as trends, be more or less popular based on regional demographics, and so on.

If demand for a specific type of salon service is high but your pricing is lower than perceived value and/or competitor pricing, you could be leaving money on the table.

Conversely, if there is little or no demand for a specific salon service it might be time to take it off the menu and see if there is a more desired service that could be added.

Competitor Pricing – Do you know what competitors are charging for the same or generally equivalent salon services? How does that impact your pricing – and should it?

For consumers doing research, price is often one of their first impressions. Prospective customers will mentally compare your prices with those of other options they consider to be relevant (within the area they are willing to drive, in neighborhoods to which they are willing to travel, the type of salon brand that fits them, recommendations they may have received from others, etc.)

Value – If your salon services are priced higher than your competitors, how can you differentiate them so that clients perceive that the value they receive from doing business with you is (a) “worth it” and (b) superior to services of your competitors?

Price perceptions work both ways! Conversely, if your salon services are priced lower than many of your competitors, what are you doing to ensure they view the quality of your services as equal to (or even better than) the services they could receive by paying more elsewhere?

How are you gauging customer satisfaction? Low levels of client satisfaction in general, or relative to a specific aspect of your salon, represent opportunities for you to increase satisfaction and, in so doing, improve and increase the value which clients place on your salon services. High levels of client satisfaction might be a signal that you could improve profitability with a price increase across the board or on those services which client perceive as having the highest value.

Wrap Up:

When pricing salon services, your MRK Beauty Consultant can be an invaluable resource! They have a wealth of knowledge about salon services in general as well as in your area, including competitor pricing. They have the know-how to help you improve and increase client perceptions of value based on services, outcomes and the overall client experience.

If you are a beauty professional in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana, we invite you to get in touch with your regional consultant and find out how MRK Beauty can help you grow your salon business from where you are today to where you want to be.

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Digital Marketing with Hashtags and Keywords for Stylists, Salons, Salon Suites and Booth Renters

If you have ever wondered why some websites – and even some social updates – show up in results when you are searching online, it is because they contain the “keywords” you used when searching. You do not have to be an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to infuse basic SEO tactics into your website and social media.

Two of the ways you can do this are with hashtags and keywords. When you include hashtags in your social media posts, they can be found any time someone searches for entries under that hashtag.

Digital Salon Marketing with Keywords – How does it work?

What are “keywords?”  Simply put, anything that a real person searches for on a search engine, whether a single word or a phrase, is considered a keyword. For example, here are the search results when “MRK Beauty” is typed into a Google search:

find MRK Beauty online


Include keywords in your digital “real estate” such as your salon’s website and your social media profiles. Specifically, keywords like your name as a beauty professional, your salon’s name, your city’s name, the name of the business park where your salon is, and so on – any type of keyword a real person might type into Google when trying to find your business or a business like yours.

Adding these keywords to your web pages, blog content and social media posts makes it find-able when people search online using the same keywords. For instance, when you add the word salon (or salons in your city (inserting your city’s name) you now have keywords in your content that real people might search for online. Here’s how it works:

Someone just moved to town, they aren’t happy with their current stylist, or they are searching for a salon for some other reason. When they go to Google (or Bing or some other search engine) and type the words “salons in <your city>” or a  similar variation, your social posts, web page and other online content becomes find-able because you included the same key phrase.

Digital Salon Marketing with Hashtags – How does it work?

Think of the way hashtags work as similar to a digital file cabinet filled with file folders. Each of these file folders is titled with a single, specific hashtag, and all the web and social media content that has that hashtag is the digital content you would find in that folder.

hashtags in salon marketing

When you include hashtags in your social media posts (and even on your salon’s website), they become part of this find-able content. This can help introduce your salon services to new clients and help you grow your list of social followers or drive traffic to your salon’s web page.

Hashtags are your FRIENDS! They make it super-easy to come up with engaging social media content. Here are common salon hashtags you can use by day of the week to :

  • #SelfieSunday – a selfie – perhaps showing how you prep for the coming week or a selfie from an education or industry event
  • #SundayFunday – be human! Share an image of how you enjoy down time
  • #SundaySale – specially priced services or products
  • #MemeMonday – salon-related meme
  • #MondayBlues – haircolor, nail color, etc.
  • #MusicMonday – what tunes do you have on in the salon?
  • #MondayMemories – client throwback!
  • #MindfulMonday – how do you get your mind fully ready and present to serve clients?
  • #MotivationMonday / #MondayMotivation – share an inspiring quote or idea
  • #ManCrushMonday – share an image with a great men’s style
  • #ManicureMonday – share an image with cool manicure
  • #TipTuesday – share a product or service suggestion that addresses common client problems
  • #TopicTuesday – pick a common to address, such as “why pro color over box?”
  • #TransformationTuesday – share a before/after client look
  • #TuesdayTrivia – share a fun tidbit about your professional or brand story
  • #TuesdayTraining – something you learned in recent education or training going on in your salon!
  • #TeachingTuesday – tips for at-home styling and care
  • #WayBackWednesday – client or salon throwback
  • #WellnessWednesday – share a beauty health tip
  • #WisdomWednesday – share expert advice
  • #WomanCrushWednesday – share an image with great women’s style
  • #ThrowbackThursday / #TBT – post an image with vintage/retro style
  • #ThankfulThursday – something you’re thankful for
  • #ThursdayThoughts – what’s on your mind?
  • #FearlessFriday – fearless hair color or style!
  • #FlashbackFriday
  • #FlashSaleFriday
  • #FeelGoodFriday – how are you helping clients get ready for the weekend?
  • #FridayVibes – how is your team vibing together?
  • #FridayFunny – humorous salon meme
  • #FF aka #FollowFriday – shoutout to new social followers
  • #FridayFunday – something fun about your salon
  • #SaturdayShenanigans – experimenting with a new style
  • #SelfieSaturday – by yourself or with a client
  • #SocialSaturday
  • #ShoutoutSaturday – shoutout to a favorite client, peer or *cough* professional salon distributor *cough*
  • #SaturdaySpecial
  • #SaturdaySale
  • #WeekendVibes
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday
  • #SaturdayStyle

What’s your hashtag?

 Your name, your salon name, your city – all of these can – and should – be turned into hashtags that you use when you post images on social media. If you are posting an image of your work, a photo of your salon, a copy of your salon’s menu of services, etc., simply add #Salon (where “Salon” = the name of YOUR salon) and #CitySalons (such as #SpokaneSalons) to your posts.