Why Partners Matter
- January 18, 2023
Over the past few years, New York City has probably suffered the most with high infection rates and the toughest restrictions, but some salons have emerged stronger from the experience. One such business is Hair & Co BKLYN, where owners Shannon and Allyson King noted major shifts emerging in beauty during the pandemic and responded immediately.
“The world is a different place to before the pandemic, but two of the most important changes are the increasingly sophisticated technology giving early adopters the commercial edge in a highly competitive market and the influence of the sustainability agenda,” says Allyson King, who also runs Beauty 360˚ Consulting with Shannon. “These are game-changers that we mustn’t shy away from, because they make our businesses more attractive, profitable and competitive.”
Instead of being terrified by the mountain of new tech being marketed to salons or the demands for more environmental action, she suggests owners rethink their relationship to suppliers as a way to lean into these shifts.
“Hey, I’m like every other salon owner. I would love to reduce my carbon footprint but it has to be done without causing lots of additional work, and in a way our team will follow without Shannon or me standing next to them,” she says. “We’ve done it by building a partnership with Sustain Beauty Co so we can explore options without risk. Others might find different partnerships work for them.”
Partnering with Sustain Beauty Co has not only provided Allyson and Shannon with some great gadgets aimed at lowering their environmental impact and bottom-line, it has also introduced them to other interesting innovations that are not part of SBCo’s business.
“I’m not crazy about tech, but some of the more recent arrivals that SBCo told us about got me very excited,” says Allyson.
The most recent tech to the salon is the Procare 24*7 foil cutting system, supplied by Sustain Beauty Co, which has free’d Hair & Co’s apprentices from hours of manually cutting foils. It provides in seconds exactly what the stylist needs and no more. It also means there is less waste, which means lower costs.
But SBCo isn’t just keen to sell its own products. It sees value in helping salons sustain and grow their business through recommendation. It was through SBCo that Allyson heard about color management pioneer Vish. Installing it just as salons reopened led to a massive drop in color waste and cost-per-service that translated to an immediate uplift in revenue for Hair & Co. But the real growth came from the link between Vish and the front of house, allowing a complete overhaul of the salon’s charging structure. Guests are now billed for labor and color used (and priced by Vish), rather than a flat fee, guaranteeing profit at every appointment.
A third benefit of Vish is its ability to cut inventory costs. By monitoring usage, Vish identified max and mins, which Allyson fed into their Phorest POS. Now, the salons’ weekly inventory replenishment is automated, saving serious man hours. Sharing this insight with one of her 360˚ Consulting clients enabled them to reduce inventory from $60k to $30k.
“That’s money they are saving by not running a bloated inventory,” she adds.
SBCo also nudged Allyson towards REACH.ai, a new AI system that mines the salons’ POS for non-returning clients and sends them texts or emails specifically set to fill any vacancies or cancellations. Previously, Allyson spent hours each month going through the data and manually contacting the missing clients. Now it is all automated and highly targeted.
“I know it is working because initially I had it set to my cell and within the first couple of days I got three calls,” she says.
The partnership between Hair & Co and SBCo has facilitated change at the salon group, allowing Allyson and her team to adopt new systems and respond to the new demands of guests, while staying highly competitive. It’s helped keep the business cutting edge while cutting costs and boosting profit.