It’s been a tight year for retail. Often as lash and brow artists, we don’t think of ourselves as part of the retail sector because we provide mostly services, but we are. This year was a bad year for the Australian economy. Consumers aren’t spending like they used to and growth is down. In fact, the last time it fell this much was during the recession in the 1990’s. Alarming stuff.
So like many businesses in the beauty industry, whether you are a solo cosmetic tattooist or run a lash and brow salon with a team of full time and casual staff, you may have found your sales are down and it looks like this trend will continue next year.
So what can you do? You may think of running a leaner operation until it recovers.
This may mean:
- Reduce staff if you have them and letting casuals go home a bit more readily than before
- Reducing wastage. How much product and supplies are you and your team going through during treatments? How can you reduce this?
- How much product are you using unnecessarily? How many lash lifts are you doing in one sachet? Two or three?
- Increasing your hours working in the business for the time being. Yes, this is the opposite of what all the business coaches and 4 hour work week books will tell you but do it knowing it’s temporary. Give yourself an end date to work towards.
- Seek suppliers for your business that provide better value. Depending on your needs this may mean buying “Just in Time” to free up cash flow or buying in bulk to get it for less.
- Go through all your regular expenses and see if you can get it elsewhere for cheaper. Can you find a cheaper electricity supplier? Internet provider?
- Call your lash and brow supplier and ask them if they are willing to give you a discount. If you have a spending history with them you may be able to negotiate a better pricing tier with them in return for an agreed MOQ (minimum order quantity). If they say no ask them if they would consider it in the future and what would you need to be spending and how often to be eligible for the discount.
- Reduce your marketing and advertising expenditure a fraction. It all adds up.
- Do your numbers. Know what is coming in and what is going out and be more conservative with your revenue estimates. If you aren’t working off a cash flow forecast sheet you need to be.
- Postponing one-off purchases. Your salon may need a repaint but could it be delayed a few weeks?
- DIY-ing some tasks you would normally outsource like repainting your clinic yourself
- Use your supplies wisely. Do you really need to replace your lash glue every week or would storing it better and replacing it every 4 weeks provide the same retention results for your clients lash extensions?
- Weigh up whether higher priced items really deliver. Do you really need a $100 pair of tweezers to lash or will a $15 pair do the same job?
All these adjustments will start to add up. It may take a few weeks and perhaps even months to notice a difference, but you will and you will be better equipped to face the slowdown.
The Lash Biz xo