How to have an EFFICIENT backbar in 2023

Running a salon takes a lot of versatility and stamina. Having the ability to balance the workload of managing staff, your backbar, and continuing to offer your clients the excellent service they’re accustomed to day in and day out is no small task. Burnout and fatigue are real issues that have plagued the salon industry for far too long, and that is an industry trend we DONT want to see continue, especially not for your backbar!

Your backbar is one of the most important areas of your business. Having a streamlined and well-organized backbar will save you hours of organizational stress but will also give you a much-needed boost to your bottom line. Even more good news is that you don’t have to do it all yourself! Implementing technology into your business will put more time back into your day and stop revenue from walking out your door.


Here are 3 things you can do to have a more efficient back bar this year, and for years to come: 


  1. Understanding your cost of goods sold

  2. Streamline your Inventory Management

  3. Utilize technology at your backbar

Understanding your cost of goods sold

What is the value of your product usage at each appointment?

Your backbar is only as good as the staff, and the practices that surround it. For years countless Salons have gone out of business due to a lack of transparency with their cost of goods sold and their pricing structure. Your cost of goods sold is the total product cost used to complete a service. Salons and stylists that are free pouring color at the backbar without adequately calculating the correct amount used, who then go on to charge a flat rate for product usage will inevitably be letting money walk out their door every single day. This is not a sustainable business practice that will eventually be detrimental to your cash flow and profitability.

How can technology be used to help stop this fiasco? 


Digital backbar software was created to stop free pouring and calculate the real cost of every appointment in your salon. SalonScale allows you and your team to calculate your product usage at your backbar for every session in real time, down to the cent! You’ll never have to question if you priced too much or too little for a service ever again. 


Understanding that no two manes are the same and that every client requires a different amount of product based on hair length, thickness, and density is critical. It doesn’t make sense to charge your clients based on a “one size fits all” fee. Having a variable cost pricing model will allow your salon to go from losing money on every session, to replenishing your products and still turning a profit on every client that comes into the salon.


SalonScale in its truest form was built to make your backbar more efficient and more profitable by determining your exact cost of doing business for every client that walks into your salon.


Saving Your clients formulas

Are your client’s formulas all saved in a book at the back? Or maybe a stack of recipe cards where you can’t tell it’s a 7NA or a 7N with a color smudge. 

While you mix and weigh your product, SalonScale will save the formula used to your client’s profile. This makes it easy to recreate formulas and have fewer awkward instances when your client asks for, “the same thing as last time.” 


Client profiles allow you to leave notes for next time in case you need more of less for next time. Having your client’s profile also helps to provide more accurate consultations for future appointments.   


Counting What? 

Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend a Sunday afternoon at the salon with a pen and paper counting out tabs and empty bottles of  20 Vol. Inventory has long been a dreaded task that can get done twice maybe once a year in most salons. As an industry whose business heavily relies on trends and ever-changing styles, salons have started ordering higher quantities of products to meet the growing demand for color services.


Higher quantities of products being purchased, stored, and restocked have complicated inventory processes. We like to call this “just-in-case” ordering. Not having the direct insight to what is in your backbar, how much of each product, and what’s missing; makes inventory management a necessary evil. You could have thousands of dollars of product sitting on the shelf going unused, and not even know it!

Implementing technology allows you to move towards a “just-in-time” ordering system. Where salons can finally order products when they are just about to run out in order to minimize product sitting on their shelves for long periods of time. 

With the industry continuing to rely on more and more on digital platforms for business sustainability and efficiency, those who are not implementing technology are making their systems more difficult than they need to be. 


With the growing demand and importance of inventory management across the salon Industry, we’re here to tell you that you can throw away your inventory clipboard for good, and replace it with a simplified digital solution.


SalonScales’ inventory management feature was created to streamline and enhance your salon’s inventory processes. Having all your inventory data in one place you can easily see when your stock is running low, if you have just the right amount, or if you’re carrying too much. 

SalonScales’s Snapshot feature offers you a snapshot feature that clearly displays the exact number of your stand-alone products in stock and the dollar value of your entire salon’s inventory. This Inventory reporting and analyzing simple and efficient, the way it should be.


Your backbar is the heartbeat of your business and running it efficiently will make your business more profitable in the short and long term. You have enough on your plate running a business, any chance you get to streamline and simplify your practices with technology you should be taking full advantage. Implementing technology into your back bar will give you and your team more time and freedom to spend focusing on your client’s experience in the salon without worrying if your product usage is not only paid for, but making you a profit.