Cost estimation problems and solutions are two important areas for
businesses. If a clients asks for an estimation, it is a guess, based on the information received. When the job starts, the work can go longer and costs change. Sometimes, clients cannot understand this and it can lead to uncomfortable conversations.
I have mentioned before that when I first began hairstyling, I had a client ask for an estimate of the
cost for a colour. Her hair was a bed of tight, black curls that she wanted blonde. As I applied the lightener, I realized her hair was not four to 5 inches as I assumed, but at least 18-20 inches. Based on my 4-5 inch estimate, at the time the cost would have been say $80. But, for hair the length of 18-20 inches, the cost should be about $140. The client became extremely adamant when I tried to correct my mistake. She realized I was a newbie and took advantage. That was life-changing experience because I was at a commission-based salon. All my money went to the salon because I failed to make a correct estimation.
“Over the years, this scene has played out again and again. The difference is that experience prepared me to avoid getting shafted. I became better at cost estimation problems and solutions. Often, people ask how much it will cost to get dreadlocks. When I say I cannot estimate it unless I actually do it, they can get a bit annoyed. However, from a stylist’s view, the cost for dreadlocks, or most services depends on the following:
Size of the person’s head
In my experience, most people with small heads, usually have lots of hair. There are outliers that have fine, thin hair. Most people with bigger heads, usually have a normal amount of hair, but there are also some with fine, thin hair too. This affects the cost because having a bigger head means more time. The opposite is also true that your head may be smaller, but because of the amount of hair, it can still take a lot of time.
Length and Amount of Hair
Hair length and amount affects price in time taken. If the hair is fine and thin and about 12 inches in length, it might take the same amount of time as fine, thick hair of about six inches to complete.
Experience of the Stylist
The experience of the stylist makes the cost vary. Therefore, someone with more experience will usually charge more than a beginner.
Texture of the hair
Using the dreadlocks example again, sometimes people say, “I have a small amount of hair and, I only need the top of my head done”. My reply is usually, “I have to do the work first”. Hairstylists are not being difficult when they say this. Sometimes a “short” for someone is the middle of the back. It takes more time and product. If I had said a price, it would have changed enormously.
These were just some cost estimation problems and solutions we have in the salon. At some point, you will be wrong about texture if you did not feel the hair. You will also be wrong about the length of super curly hair if you do not stretch it to its full length. We strive to be as correct as possible but every individual head brings a different scenario.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design
Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.