You’ve put in the long hours already, you’ve hustled, you’ve built a solid clientele, and now: it’s time to make more money. At this point, you’ve got a lot on your plate and you probably think you’re too busy to worry about strategies for increasing your income. Think again.

If you’ve been in the biz for over five years, making more money isn’t about working harder, it’s about working smarter. Most stylists appreciate new clients, but now that you aren’t desperate for them, you can spend a little less time and energy trying to find valuable clients in a sea of average ones. Now you can focus on increasing your income by improving your relationship with those high-value clients you already have. Here are some tips that will help you work less and make more money.


  • By now, you understand what your money-making services are and you understand who your most valuable clients are — you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Take your most popular services and come up with a few ways to increase the value.
  • The most effective way to do this is to offer “all inclusive” services. This combines your regular services with luxury add-ons that you can charge for upfront instead of trying to upsell throughout the appointment.
  • This method is all about branding. Create an all-inclusive service and offer clients an experience. In an article by Modern Salon, stylist Lo Wheeler explains how she used therapeutic oils, toning glazes, and treatment masks to create a lavish experience her clients are happy to pay for because it makes them feel as great as they look. These types of add-ons add high value with minimal cost to the stylist.


  • Focus on is getting your existing clients to book more often. This shouldn’t be a time-consuming effort — it’s about creating a pre-booking culture. Want to know the real reason clients book last minute? It’s a habit. They walk out of the salon and think, “I’ve got so much time until my next appointment, I’ll worry about it later.” Then, when the time comes, they’re stressed because they can’t get the right time on your schedule and they end up putting off their appointment for the next few weeks. Train your clients to make pre-booking a habit instead.
  • Start by educating them. Help them understand the value of regular appointments and give them a recommendation for how often they should visit. Whether it’s maintaining the health of their hair or keeping their roots in check, give them an incentive to book their next appointment on time.
  • Make pre-booking a part of your regular routine. During every check-out, ask clients when they would like to book their next appointment. Let them know you’ve been busy lately (you can bend the truth a bit) and tell them you want to give them priority booking. This doesn’t have to be awkward. They do the same thing at the dentist and the auto body shop. If clients are worried about forgetting an appointment booked weeks in the future, let them know you’ll send them a reminder a few days before.
  • Remember, this is about working less — use business management apps like StyleSeat to send out automatic appointment reminders for you.


  • Retail has a much higher profit margin than salon services do, but some stylists feel uncomfortable being too “salesy” with their clients. Here’s the deal: If done correctly, clients will be grateful for your expert advice, not annoyed.  
  • As you style your client’s hair (or perform any kind of service), walk them through each product you use, how you use it, and why you are using it. Client’s love custom recommendations and they will be more likely to make a purchase if they know you are catering your product choices to their specific needs. Why do you think people love getting makeup recommendations from experts at Sephora? They want to feel unique and they want to feel like this new product is going to finally make them look and feel the way they want.

Say something like this:

“You have really beautiful thick hair — it probably takes you a while to style huh? I’m going to use this smoothing serum to make your hair more manageable and it’s going to give it this great healthy shine. It will cut your styling time in half so you don’t have to rush to work every day”

  • After you make your client look fabulous and educate them on all the products you use, leave the products on the counter next to you — with the labels facing forward of course ; )

Looking for tools to help you run your business? Try StyleSeat here.

For more business tips, check out these articles:

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