The Silent Profit Killer

Barry Eichner
Dirty salons can take a hit on profits

A dirty establishment in any industry is a silent profit killer.

Unfortunately, many salon owners are completely unaware of the impact it may have on their business. Any way you try to style it, a dirty salon is either losing money because of the lack of controlled costs, failure to oversee operations, or simply neglecting the importance of creating atmosphere for their clientele. Plus, it’s just straight up gross.  

If your salon isn’t clean, I can guarantee that it’ll cost you to lose clients to your competitors in the long run. Most clients won’t create a scene in your salon over the dust on your shelves, hair on the floor, or the dirty brush used to perform their blow out; they simply don’t want to appear argumentative or rude. It’s different than a bad experience with a cut or a color – you’re sure to get feedback and have a chance to correct that situation. Similarly, if a client feels staff has treated them poorly, they generally bring that to your attention quickly. But no, with a dirty salon, they’ll just leave, run for the hills, and never return.  

It’s not so much the actual dirt – but more what the dirt represents.  

Clients generally perceive dirty as laziness. In the beauty industry, laziness is deadly! It implies that you’re not concerned with:

•    Sanitation for your staff and clients
•    The client experience
•    Presentation and brand reputation
•    The overall success of your business

In an industry where the devil is in the details, the way you present your salon to clients shows them how your salon will help them present themselves to the world.  

Just think about that message. If you’re in a dirty salon, you are effectively telling your clients, “We do not care what we look like, and we do not care what you look like.”  

Cleanliness is next to wealthiness! If you’re taking the time to make your salon look beautiful, it will send the message that you’ll take the time to make your clients look beautiful. And everyone wants to be beautiful.  

Operationally, if a salon is dirty, it’s a pretty good indication that the overall systems of the salon lack organization. It’s a symptom of a greater disease:  disorganization. If there’s no focus on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly cleaning checklist, then there is probably no focus on similar systems for:

•    Inventory control
•    Back bar ordering
•    Supplies ordering
•    Training programs
•    Marketing campaigns
•    Retail sales programs
•    Package sales programs
•    Rebooking
•    Upselling

If there are no systems for the above, your profits will erode quickly. In addition to the lack of cleanliness in your salon, being out-of-stock on back bar inventory and supplies can also create a loss in service. This will also lead to staff frustration and increased expenses for last-minute rush orders. 

Want to see if your salon is giving away profits? Look around your salon. Do you see anything on my “Ewwww” List?

Barry’s Top 10 Ewwww List!

•    Hair in the shampoo bowl
•    Dust on the stylist stations
•    Dust bunnies on the floor
•    Stained towels
•    Hair in the brushes
•    Dirty restrooms/powder rooms
•    Dusty retail shelves
•    Fingerprint-smudged glass doors
•    Splattered wax on the wax warmer
•    Stained sheets on the waxing bed

If you have anything on my Top 10 Ewwww List, you’re unknowingly giving money away.  


About the Author

Barry Eichner

Barry Eichner, founder of Barry Eichner Consulting, specializes in articulating a spa's online presence through web site development, search engine optimization, blogging, e-mail marketing and social media. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy, implementation, and consulting of beauty based businesses. Find out more about Barry by visiting

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