Setting up a winning pricing structure is imperative when offering natural hair or braid salon services. While it’s true that there is quite a bit of competition in the industry, it’s also true that different customers are looking for different levels of quality and service. Ensuring that your pricing matches the level of quality and service you provide is key to winning loyal customers and growing your business or brand. But some natural styles can be more involved than others and therefore need to be priced more carefully, like braids.
In this natural hair blog, we’ll discuss which factors to consider when deciding how to accurately charge for braided styles for adults with extensions. (For example, box braids, feed-ins, cornrows, twist extensions, faux locks, etc.)
First, do your research
The first step you can take in deciding how to accurately price your braiding services is to do your research. Seek out other salons in your general area and get an idea on what they are charging for similar styles. Be sure to look at natural hair or braid salons or professionals who match your level of expertise. You may see a wide range of prices when it comes to braids, so you’ll want to match up more closely to those whose business set-up and experience level matches your own. For example, if you’re certified from a braiding school, you may be able to charge more.
Consider your speed
You’ve probably heard the saying time is money, and this rings especially true for braiding styles. While some experienced stylists can do braided styles in their sleep, others could take up to half a day on one customer. In order to price your braiding service correctly, you need to take your speed into account. After all, you really can’t afford to spend half a day on one client if you’re not factoring that into your cost. If you take your time with really quality work, that should be acknowledged! If you’re unsure how long different styles take you, spend the next two weeks timing yourself. Then, average out your time. Consider what you’d like to make per hour and you can add that to the cost of the service, plus your other expenses (which we’ll discuss in more detail below).
Tallying up your expenses
We’d guess that time is not the only expenditure you’ve incurred running your business. In order to price effectively you need to consider what other expenses you are coving. For example:
● Are you supplying the hair products?
● Do you have to pay a booth suite rental fee?
● Are you traveling to clients' homes?
● Do you have to pay gas or parking fees when meeting at a client’s home?
● How far are you willing to drive to meet a client and are you factoring that time into your rate?
Charging enough to cover your own costs is imperative. After all, offering to meet clients at their home, supplying the products, etc., are all conveniences that are passed onto your clients, and those are conveniences that you can charge for.
Set a goal If you have a set goal in mind for how much income you’d like to bring in from your braiding styles, you can always work backward from that in deciding how much you plan to charge. Do keep in mind, the more money you want to bring in, the more high-end your business will be, and the more you’ll need to reflect that in your brand and level of quality. If clients feel that the return they’re getting for their investment isn’t meeting their expectations, they’re unlikely to return and your business is unlikely to grow. However, if you’re offering a top-notch service and feel you can charge enough to meet your goal, figure out how many clients or hours you’ll need to spend braiding to meet that goal.
For example, let’s say you want to make $500 a week with braiding. You could work 2 days a week for 7 hours, or 3 days a week for 4 hours a day with an hourly rate $40 to meet your goal (which includes a bit of additional income for expenses).
If you’re looking to make $1500 a week braiding hair, you’ll likely need to work a full 40-hour week at $40 to meet the mark.
If you don’t feel like your braiding skills are up to par with that hourly rate or you feel uncomfortable charging that amount, adjust your goal and start a bit smaller.
If your competition is the local African braid shop who is charging half the amount you need, try not to worry about it. Focus on your skills and quality level. There are more than enough customers to go around and each has their own requirements. Cost aside, some will still prefer to work with your brand if they like your work.
Use this simple formula Considering all of the factors above, we’ve put together this simple formula you can apply to your own business to figure out how much you should be charging for your braiding services:
Take your weekly goal and divide it by the number of hours you’ll work per week to get your hourly rate. For example: $2000 a week goal / 40 hours a week =$50 per hour.
Now, multiply that hourly rate by how long it takes you do one style: One style that takes 5 hours at an hourly rate of $50 = $250.
Then, add in the cost of your travel and products. Let’s say it’s $15.
That would bring the total cost of your service to $265.
Apply this formula to all of your styles and you now have an effective pricing stru