Inventory management should be part of your regular salon routine to not only ensure you’re stocking what you need to execute your services, but to also make sure you’re turning a profitable return. The items you buy for retail or simply to complete the services you offer are an investment in your business – one that, if mismanaged, can leave you with money lost, customers dissatisfied, and products wasted.
In a recent Community Spotlight conversation, Hairdresser and Salon Owner, Candice Whitman, shared her approach to managing inventory while running a salon business that keeps her sane and successful.
“I wanted something that would be easy for me because I wanted to keep track of it, I wanted to know all of my numbers, I wanted to grow this thing. And I knew I couldn't do that without all of the tracking and having it be easy-to-do so that I can actually log and track it because it's not easy. Being able to put everything into GlossGenius and having it keep track of how many products I have on hand, or what my cost out of pocket was for that product, how much profit I've made on it, what my best sellers are when I go to reorder product… the reporting that goes along with it, all of those things really are the things that I was looking for.”
Check out the full episode with Candice for a deeper dive into how she determined what inventory process was right for her, but if you’re looking for some quick tips to keep your stock organized, read on below.
Inventory management is not only for beauty professionals that carry a retail product line. Tracking your back bar regularly is a task that will directly impact your ability to provide top-level service on a daily basis. Without having the proper tools in stock, it’ll be impossible to set yourself or your team up for success. That said, we suggest making it a practice to take inventory of your back bar monthly.
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen us preaching about the importance of knowing your numbers. And yes, we’re back at it again! Understanding what you’re starting with and what you’re cycling through as you perform services is Inventory 101. Are you over-ordering certain items? Are there specific products that you can’t seem to keep enough of in stock? Are you spending too much on items that aren’t returning a decent profit? With GlossGenius, you can easily run reports that will shed light on all of these metrics and uncover all the mysteries of your inventory management within a few taps.
One of the keys to inventory success is setting minimum numbers for your stock that work with your business flow. Not doing so may result in overstocking your business, which in turn can lead to product waste and financial deficits. Knowing your minimums also prevents cases where there are no products in the inventory, which leads to inconvenienced customers (read: less profit, bad reviews, and fewer repeat clients).
Ask yourself the following questions as you determine the best minimum for each product you carry on your back bar or your retail shelves:
Once you’ve determined a threshold for your stock, GlossGenius’s inventory management system will notify you when you're down to a certain number of products so there’s no doubt when and how much you need to reorder.
Understanding your expenses is vital to the holistic success of your business, but when it comes to your inventory management, having at-your-fingertips access to what you’ve spent can quickly determine what you’re able to keep in stock. Those numbers and salon reports we mentioned? You can also use those to quickly calculate your total expenses, so you have a snapshot of what’s already been spent before you shell out more cash.
On the flip side, you’ll also need to know how much you’re making – as a whole and on each product. In seconds, you can have a full spreadsheet of transaction details from your Retail Sales report sent to your email. With this rundown on hand, you’ll have insight on who purchased what, when, and how often in a convenient format that allows you to sort by the metrics that are most important to you.
Keep in mind that despite all the numbers and formulas floating around out there, successful inventory management is also about adapting. Monitoring your sales and being in tune with your client needs is essential.
Candice had three sharp insights to share around this: “One, it's knowing your market. Knowing your clientele that you serve, what their price point is that they're looking for, what types of products they're looking for. Two, really doing your homework and your research around all of that. And then, three... really spreading that word and creating that excitement.”
Furthermore, you’ll want to keep a finger on the pulse of seasonal peaks, in-store events, and popular trends. Preparing for high-volume seasons like the holidays will help you keep up with your stock levels – and making sure you’re in touch with trends your customers are likely following is incredibly important to make sure your business thrives with the times.
Ready to take stock of your beauty business? Sign up today for your free trial of our smart and stylish booking, payments, and inventory solution here.