Business Tips

The New B Word… Budget

By Michaella Trombley | 

Do you ever have those clients that come in and want to dramatically change their hair? You know the ones, with dark brown or even black hair and they want to go platinum blonde. It’s all fun and games until you finish your service and your client goes to pay and they see the price. In shock they pay it but you know that you will never see them again.

Realistically you know this type of transformation will take time (often multiple appointments), commitment, and it is expensive. If your client is willing to cooperate on these three levels it should be no issue at all and over time you can perform the transformation they have been dreaming of!

The problem we face in our industry is that most clients that want a drastic change – maybe a little glow up after a breakup – do not consider that this type of change takes multiple sessions, it is expensive and ultimately may not fit within their hair budget. A lot of people will see a transformation picture on Pinterest and say, “I want this”, but what they don’t see is all the behind the scenes work that went into creating this. How long have they been working on this transformation, how much has each service cost, what does it cost to maintain hair like this? There are so many more questions like this to consider.

Hair like anything you do to make yourself feel good, is an investment. When people are transparent about what the costs will be upfront they do not mind paying to maintain their hair and will often make sure this price is within their budget. To them feeling confident is worth paying a few hundred dollars for every appointment. I’m sure everyone can relate to this to some degree, maybe it’s nails, eyelashes, or even spin class for you.

We know that when big changes are going to happen with hair it is likely you will have a consultation with your client. During consultations there are three key points we like to cover, these are condition, cost, and commitment. Each point is important as it will determine whether or not this style is feasible within your client’s budget and end goal. If they have been box dying their hair black since they were 17, depending on their hair goals, it may not be possible to get the results they want and it is going to take a lot longer than they realize.

When situations like this arise it is important to really emphasize budget to your clients during the consultation. Most people may not have even thought about what their budget is, but it is great to put this idea into their minds.

Asking your client during the consultation, “What is your budget for your hair today?” Most people might not be able to come up with a direct answer, as they might have not even thought about it themselves. Based on what they say, it will give you a good indicator of what you can share is a realistic expectation during their hair appointments. It will also give you the opportunity to say for $X, I can do this service on you. This allows you the opportunity to be transparent with your client on how much it will take to achieve their goal, create a timeline together, or refer them to another stylist depending on their budget.

Talking budget with your clients doesn’t have to feel scary, embarrassing, or even awkward. When you use software that helps you separate your parts vs labor, like SalonScale, this gives you the exact price of the products you are using on your client’s hair. Easily breaking down each color cost will give you a good indicator of how much this hairstyle will cost to maintain. SalonScale allows you to be more transparent with your client and will give you the confidence to talk budget with your clients while giving accurate numbers. Your clients will appreciate the honesty and will sit comfortably during the appointment knowing that there won’t be any unexpected fees when they get to the till. Overall, it’s a win-win for everyone!


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Michaella Trombley

Michaella Trombley is a Marketing and Content Specialist at SalonScale Technology Inc. With over 3 years of experience in the marketing field, she has worked with multiple companies within the tech sector focusing on building small and medium businesses' online presence.