The Business Part of Business

The Real Cost of a Haircut

What’s The Real Cost of a Haircut? If it’s $9.99 you probably don’t want it.

Then again … if you don’t know what the phrase “cost of a haircut” really means … well … this can get interesting.

I have a client who’s been cutting hair for so long she actually knows Vidal Sassoon. She’s one of those folks who charges hundreds of dollars for a trim—even for men. And she’s looking to stop being in the haircut business.

It’s not that she doesn’t love what she does, or how much she makes doing it. It’s because for her the real cost of a haircut includes the amount of time she loses every time she gives one.

In other words, even people who cut hair have to contend with internet-induced business change.

And we’re talking big business change here. Is my client concerned that even in her rich-person-and-celebrities-based book of business the fact that Angie’s List is the Internet’s go-to if someone searches for “cost of a haircut”? Or that a haircut is supposed to cost so much less than hers do?

Actually, no. In this case—again, as in so many cases of Internet-driven business change—she’s realized that her future isn’t in what she’s good at, but in teaching others the thing she does. Her cost of a haircut is that she can’t afford to give one, not even at her high prices!

The Cost of a Haircut

Recently, my client had a problem pricing an on-site class for a salon full of hair cutting professionals. Her problem stemmed not from the prices of her services, but from a “perception vs. reality” distortion field. Here’s how that played out before we helped her:

Do you see the problem? Our hero thought she was reducing the price of her work from $400 per haircut taught to $250, but her prospect saw a price of $500 per person for a day of training—and he was paying (her!) for six people to be trained.

Perception is reality.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but other times the cost of a haircut has nothing to do with “the cost of a haircut”. How’d we solve this? My client established a “day rate” for her time. Now, she makes $2,000 per day and her multiple-trainee clients are happy to pay it. Win/Win. And simple, too.

Not quite sure what the cost of a haircut should be for your business? Let’s talk!