Business Advice from Eric Fisher: Reduce Color Waste
We want you to reach your goals and love what you do because, let’s face it, we love this industry. It’s the greatest industry in the world. As beauty professionals, we get to make people look and feel great every day. As a result, people look forward to seeing us. There is so much potential for success. But getting started is the hardest part. In this series, “Business Advice from Eric Fisher,” we tap into Eric’s wealth of knowledge and share advice that will help you reach your goals. Without further ado, here’s the latest business tip.
Reduce color waste
I’ve said this before, but profits are like breathing. It is important to look at ways you can make – and save – money. One thing I always suggest is to learn how to reduce your overhead and increase your profits by watching your color waste. Common dispensary practice on a busy day is to mix up more color than you may need, just to be sure you don’t run out. Or, you may run out, then go back and over mix so you don’t run out again. But how many times does that extra color wind up going down the drain…and your profits right along with it? Research shows salons waste anywhere from 25 to 40% of color inventory. That’s a lot of dollars going down the drain!
The waste-reduction solution for many salons is to measure their color carefully and keep detailed records of the amount of color used per client. This way, with a quick look at your client’s record, you will see exactly how much color you used for her last service and you’ll be able to mix up the same amount for her current service.
Another great solution is a software program. Vish, for example. Physically-speaking, Vish is simple. It includes a scale and the Vish Color Bar app on an iPad connected via Bluetooth. The idea is for colorists to use the Vish scale when they create their color formulas, which are stored in the app, and then re-measure each bowl after each color service to gauge how much product was left over (or poured down the drain.) The next time that client comes in, their formula is readily available and Vish has already subtracted the excess product calculated at their last visit. This allows the colorist to mix without wasting a drop of product. It also keeps track of every color service performed throughout the day, so managers have accurate data that can be used for planning, coaching, purchasing and pricing.
Get an empty milk jug and pour all of the leftover color into it, instead of down the drain. Do this for a week. Then multiply that by 52 weeks. That’s how much color waste is costing you! Start being vigilant with your color use. Start by under-mixing, not over-mixing. Be sure you are charging the client for the extra color you use. What other ways can you be sure that you are reducing your color waste?