Keeping Treatments Simple


I went into a Subway for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It’s never really appealed to me, but I was in a rush and thought I’d give it a go. It’s worth saying at this point (as back story) that I am a 44 year old, confident, intelligent person (my words and some may disagree).

Finding myself confronted by a strange, large menu in a fast moving queue, surrounded by younger people (some in groups), I have to say, I felt intimated.

I was asked by the person serving (who had a thick Eastern European Accent I struggled to understand) what I wanted, who rolled her eyes as I said I wanted the Italian Sandwich I saw on the board on the front of the shop, the one with spicy meat.

After a bit of to-and-froing she established that I wanted one called a Spicy Italian (how apt). She then sent another quick-fire question at me about which bread I’d like. At this point, I was confused, didn’t want to ask what they had and just said standard bread would do. Then she asked me about toppings, with a large display of various pots of peppers and salad, etc. and then creams and sauces.

I just wanted to get out. And, to add insult to injury, I can’t say I even enjoyed it that much.

Salon Offerings

I’ve seen similar choices in beauty salon price lists with treatment options, upgrades and embellishments that clients (like me above) will be intimidated by.

I say this as a relatively non-beauty person AND having seen a client in my own reception being confronted by a therapist with eight choices of facials with weird and wonderful names, to which the client replied:

“I just want a facial!”

I know salons are not sandwich shops and the ambience (I’d hope) would be different, but keeping it simple pays dividends and the odd one or two clients that complain about choice, can not be a reason to invest time, energy and money into with little return in salon income.

Take manicures.

I’ve seen salons that offer multiple brands of manicures. Then GEL nails on top and some even offer acrylics as well.

How can a customer decide which is best for them, if you can’t even decide which brand you think is best?

“You can have any colour as long as it’s black.” Henry Ford

Those two colours you stand side by side and say are very different reds, are probably close enough that a client wouldn’t even notice.

Before you question that logic, how much do you know about colours, styles, parts, etc. from another industry such as house paint? Or cars?


How much extra in colours, training, products, machinery do you spend to offer treatments to make your treatment menu look stronger?

Compare that with how many of each treatment, product, or colour you sell month/year. It should help you determine which salon brands to carry.

For manicures, in our salons we have colour charts and measure which colours get used. From this, we have managed to restrict our colour menu down to 40 colours and it hasn’t impacted our sales of manicures. In fact, it’s probably made it easier for people to choose.

If you are a salon owner, you probably love what you do. The clients, the work, the industry, etc. BUT, to run a successful beauty salon, you also need to think about profit.


About Author

Working in Hampshire (UK), I have a beauty business with four salons. I'm the guy that sits in the office doing marketing and numbers. My experiences are based on these skills.

1 Comment

  1. Great article Craig – I do agree with you on this – KISS Stagegy – very hard to do but something to work towards!
    You need a certain amount to look authentic too! And some price differences give clients more affordability options too.

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