It seems like we always focus on our service prices. Price increases, charging what we’re worth, etc. Yes, all important. But, let’s consider going the other route: where can we reduce our backbar costs? Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years as a buyer, service provider, and business owner when I had money to spend, and well, when I definitely didn’t.
1.) Put Essential Products on a Subscription Plan.
Maybe it’s gloves, gauze, wax sticks; but get those items on shipment automation. Surprisingly, I don’t say this because usually there’s a discount involved with subscription purchases, but because it prevents us from buying a temptation when we intended to buy a necessity. Just yesterday I went online to order my son some pants (a necessity) and guess who now has a pair of cute shoes on the way? This way, you 1.) don't have to remember to order the essentials, and 2.) dodge the bullet of temptation.
2.) Pick a Day to Buy
This also goes hand in hand with Point 1. Maybe you already have an “office” or “non-client day” where you clean, work on your booking site, etc. (ours is Tuesday). Or maybe you don’t and these tasks are squeezed between clients or on the couch at night. Regardless of when you do it, designate a day for ordering back bar goods. How frequently these days happen may depend on how many clients you have, or whether you’re solo or not, but pick a day and stick to it. This allows us to eliminate over-buying due to lack of time. It also pairs with number 1, which is to cut down on the impulse buys. Here’s the scenario: we forgot to spend some time looking through drawers and cabinets to see if we needed 2x2s and swabs. We’re preparing for our first client and realize we don’t have 2x2s. It’s fine, we’ll make it work, but we sit down to quickly order the product and we see they have cool new cryo globes. Throw those in the cart. So now, we’ve ordered $20 of the necessity (2x2s) and $25 of the want (the globes). A micro example, buy you get the idea.
3.) Take Advantage of Sales From Your Go-To Retailers
We all have our favorite retailers (don't tell me if yours isn't us!). At some point, all of them will have sales. Take advantage of it. Even if you have to budget for these sales, do it. For example, I have a separate part of our savings account that I designate for one specific supplier. That way, I can place a bigger order when they have sales or max out their bulk promos. It reduces the cost of each item and therefore, saves money.
4.) Make a Shopping List
Separate it into 3 columns: Needs, Wants, Wishes. (There are a bunch of pre-made templates on Canva). Once you spend some time on this list, you may not need to revisit it often. But, it will help sort out your priorities. For instance, I thought cute mini seltzer waters were a 'Need' (clients need hydration!) but after breaking it down, I could buy water glasses for way cheaper. Sadly, the seltzer went in the 'Wishes' category. This prioritizing will, ideally, remind us when we see that flashy new device that it must stay in the 'Wish' section until we have some extra cash. Which, maybe the extra cash comes from the money you saved from #3?!
The main take-away from all of this is to be more intentional. Plan and think through it and not be so indulgent to our whims. For me, it's easier when it comes to business than personal life. What's the saying, a dollar saved is a dollar earned? A plan and organization can go a long way in achieving this.
In savings and skincare,