Before the concept of money, there was barter or exchange of services. For example, an ear of corn was exchanged for a fresh tomato. There was value determined by each ingredient of the barter. As commerce grew, it became more efficient to have a standard with which to exchange goods and money was created. Good and services exchanged today are still a form of barter; we just use money for valuation purposes.

If you ask a stylist why they wanted to become one, the last thing we hear is, “for the money!” Ask around and you will hear that stylists are who they are because they enjoy helping people or it’s an expression creativity. Yet, this can be an exceptionally lucrative business to work in.

The value of a service provider

The value of a service provider probably isn’t as great as the perceived value of the leader of your country. Perhaps it’s not as great as the head of a multi-national conglomerate or a brain surgeon. It is, however, a skilled trade! Not everyone could cut and dye hair color, or give a knowledgeable facial. In fact, there is a shortage of all kinds of trades’ people in our area of the world – their value is increasing as shortages grow.

There is VALUE in the services that we provide for our clients! It’s time to start asking for our worth and remove the fear in asking for our true value. Stylists attend more extra-curricular education than most professional people I know! With every hour of experience and every hour of education, our true worth grows! Catherine, as a stylist and then salon owner has attended enough education to earn two degrees! Your worth increases with every hour.

A look at money from the point of view of a business owner

There is a completely different connotation. Our industry has been working around a 50% commission structure for years, but as service providers we only look at our side and what we are taking home. It doesn’t stop there for the salon/spa owner.

After the 50% commission paid to a service provider, there follows:
  • vacation pay,
  • stat holiday pay,
  • employer portion of employment insurance,
  • employment portion of pension funds,
  • employment portion of workmen’s compensation. The employer actually pays out not 50% but closer to 62% in wages.
Then there is the cost of product used in the service:
  • chemicals,
  • gloves,
  • cotton,
  • caps,
  • back bar support, etc.
Let’s not forget the use of:
  • heat,
  • electricity,
  • and water.
Then there is:
  • insurance costs,
  • accounting fees,
  • computer costs and support,
  • support staff,
  • marketing and advertising costs,

And, good grief! What about the rent? Not just rent, the EXTRA rent demanded by the landlord for common areas etc. The owner of a business is lucky to walk away with perhaps 2% after everything is paid out on a service!That’s TWO DOLLARS out of every HUNDRED!

Pricing of services in a salon/spa is based on recouping costs incurred.

Each station must produce a certain amount of revenue in order for a salon/spa to maintain the status quo. A good business manager has scientifically determined the pricing within their business – respect those decisions!

And then there is money from the perspective of a client! Why do we assume what a client can or cannot pay for a service? Do you tell them how much they can spend when they go out for dinner? Or what they should pay to have their car serviced? So if pricing in a business is determined by productivity and relative costs, who are we to determine whether a client can afford the service or not! Isn’t that their business? Isn’t it their choice to enter to salon/spa and book a service?

It’s time to look in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back – first for choosing to work within this industry, and secondly, because you are worth your weight in gold! I, for one, cannot live without my service provider! Thank you!