Pricing Lessons from Uber for Cosmetologists

Ivan Zoot provided a detailed roadmap in Modern Salon to teach cosmetologists how to gradually increase their prices. He uses the model of Uber which charges more for rides during periods of peak demands and less at other times.

Charging like this is known as “demand based pricing.” As Zoot points out, supply and demand dictate the prices in most industry.

For instance, the price of gasoline goes up when demand increases in the summer. And airlines rarely charge the same price for tickets, managing to tweak the seat prices.

Zoot suggests that cosmetologists learn from these industries and charge a higher price when the salon is really busy.

His top five tips for doing this include:

Analyze your salon’s traffic to figure out what days and times are busier than others

Then start charging a slight higher price during these times. Also look at the time of year. For instance, you might be unusually busy before holidays. Those times of year are the perfect time to add a surcharge.

Limit the periods when you offer child and senior discounts

You may offer these discounts at specific days of the week or during certain times of the day. Zoot argues that it is foolish to charge a discount when your salon is really busy.

If you offer discounts or coupons, reserve them for slow days or times

Doing this will help you to build up traffic during slow times.

Prominently post the details of your price in the salon

No one likes surprises. If they know, your clients will likely be happy to pay more or less. Also use a menu card or flyer to explain your pricing.

Use social media to explain your pricing program

Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram are great tools to use to explain your pricing system. These tools also work very well to trumpet slow times throughout the work week.

Zoot concludes by pointing out that implementing demand based pricing will make it easier for you to increase your price when the time comes.


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