Salon Inventory Management | Make The Most from Salon Back Bar & Retail

Salon Inventory Management | Make The Most from Salon Back Bar & Retail

Running a salon is no easy task! From large salons with multiple locations to salon suites, salon inventory management keeps your excess product spend low and is key to owning a profitable business.

Hiring management helps to balance inventory costs. This is true especially when using salon inventory management software. Which salon management software is the best?

In this blog, learn about salon inventory management software and the best salon systems that help owners create the most cash flow.

What is inventory in a salon?

Inventory in a salon are the products you buy to resell to clients and what the business needs to perform salon services. With hundreds of salon software systems available, the choices can be overwhelming.

Here’s the deal: Some salon software companies provide comprehensive all-in-one solutions for appointment and inventory management. Meanwhile, others focus on specific areas. Such as minimizing color waste, managing retail products, and tracking orders.

But here’s the real kicker: Streamlining your operations doesn’t just prevent the business from losing money; it also supercharges those retail sales. So, roll up your sleeves and get down to business by tracking inventory and retail products.

Why? Well, it’s all about slashing waste and maximizing your service income. Who knew managing inventory could be this affordable?

Writing a great business plan will help to set an inventory budget and put your business on the road to success.

What is too much inventory?

Hey, we all get a bit excited when we go to a hair show. Overspending is easy to do when opening a new salon or introduce new product lines.

Carrying too much stock causes owners to lose money. Additionally, buying too much inventory risks running the clock down on an expiry date for expensive salon products.

Setting an inventory budget is a smart salon owner move.

Buy only what you need, especially if you are just getting started! Too much retail inventory or color on hand can lead to staff waste and products that collect dust.

How much inventory should salon owners keep on hand?

The amount of inventory you should keep on hand largely depends on the services you provide. Depending on what the retail sales business model is your salon, this also dictates proper stock levels.

What are salon retail sales business models?

A salon retail sales business model describes the way your salon sells retail to a client. Product sales can be accomplished by selling retail in person or online.

Online product sales are generated through a multi-link like the social media software, Later. Additionally, selling online is easy with a great website.

Salons can handle costs for retail inventory management through online stores. Examples would be Salon Interactive and with professional salon affiliate programs.

Order Your Salon Backbar Inventory on a Budget

When you are struggling to keep back bar stock levels in line with business cash flow, it’s time to dial in on inventory levels and reduce costs.

Keeping track of the amount of professional products you are using is a smart small business move. If you have automated orders set up for frequently used stock, get an accurate count before ordering more inventory.

This will help to reduce costs and give a better understanding of future product expense.

Automated orders shouldn’t be a salon business practice unless you are conducting regular audits. Human error is common with salon professional inventory management.

New salons should keep inventory control in mind as you order physical stock. Start inventory tracking on retail products and backbar products as soon as you start ordering inventory.

Get a free trial, and do your research on the best salon inventory app that fits the salon’s budget.

What is a backbar in a salon?

Back bar in a salon describes the area in which shampoos and hair treatments used on clients in salons. Backbar products also includes hair color, perms and styling products that are used while clients are in the salon.

Back bar products do not leave the salon, they stay in house. Using a salon color inventory system will help to understand how much on hand quantities you need to keep stock levels within your inventory budget.

What is backbar use?

Backbar use is the amount of products on your salon inventory list that are used to perform services. One salon owner may generate reports on backbar use every week, whereas others run reports monthly.

Keep inventory counts for your back bar products under control for greater profitability. Salon management software provides the best inventory management costs predictions.

Security cameras in the retail area and in the back bar may give you a better idea of what is going on.  Glean insight on product loss and theft if you are struggling to understand where you’re unnecessarily spending money.

Read our salon security camera reviews for help with a higher level of inventory management control.

Different Ways to Track Your Salon Inventory

Salon inventory management can be done by hand or with salon management software. Many owners have a difficult time with order management without salon inventory management software.

A large salon business can save time and better predict costs with comprehensive salon software. A comprehensive software will track sales, house client information, hold a salon inventory list and set alerts when stock levels get too low.

Small businesses such as a booth rental salon or a salon studio suite may not need as much inventory management technology to run salons. A great indicator of whether or not to buy salon inventory management software is to assess how much time you are spending on reordering back bar and retail inventory.

It is easy to let salon service products stock levels soar when you aren’t getting an accurate count of how much product you need to make salon sales cost effective. Check in with how much inventory is needed to service new clients and existing customers.

How much hair color inventory should a salon keep in stock?

Hair color inventory is one of the biggest expenses in a salon business. Over time, salons learn how much on hand quantities of hair color to keep in stock and which inventory is needed on a quarterly and yearly basis.

New hair color customers tend to be the most difficult to keep the right inventory on hand to serve their needs. A great consultation a week before the hair appointment will help to save time and will allow you to get the right service products to meet their hair color needs.

Digital hair consultation software like The Hair App gives stylists a clear picture of what salon products to buy and the different hair colors to purchase for new hair clients. A consultation greatly reduces miscommunication and allows salons to stock the color inventory needed to best serve new customers.

Salon Inventory Software

Salon inventory management software is one of the most helpful tools a salon owner can have. The decision on which salon inventory management software to buy depends on what the specific needs are of your salon.

Inventory software programs like Salon Scale are wonderful tools, but they may not cover everything you need to run your business. Choose an inventory management system that will help you cut costs and programs that offer assistance in all areas of business where you need better automation.

Start by outlining every aspect of business you would like to be included in a software program. Think about where you can save time, cut costs and what reports you need to increase sales.

salon management software

What kind of salon inventory software should I get?

If you are happy with your appointment scheduling and accounting software, you will only need to add in inventory tracking software. Examples of comprehensive software that manages all of your business needs are Rosy, DaySmart and Boulevard.

Color management programs that specialize in waste management are Vish, Color Bar Manager and Salon Scale. What works best for your business should be determined by getting a free trial from these companies.

There is NO right or wrong answer as to which software is the best, it’s a matter of cost, your needs and personal preference.

Do haircolor management apps really save salons money?

If you have a high volume of business, yes color management apps save time and money for busy salons. If you aren’t a high volume business but you tend to overspend and waste color, a management app may be beneficial.

The cost of these apps can outweigh the benefits in a salon suite or very small salon. Most of the time they are worth having!

How do salons get their inventory supplies?

Salons get their supplies and order inventory through independent and corporate product distributors. Ordering inventory can be accomplished online or by going into stores that sell professional hair product inventory like Cosmoprof.

How do you inventory a product?

Salon inventory management programs allow you to enter the products you carry, set stock levels and create alerts when inventory gets low.

Scan or manually enter products into your system and set alerts for aging products by entering the average shelf life into the software system.


When customers buy retail inventory, you can program your software to update inventory count as purchases are made. This is a much better idea for ordering products from actual retail sales rather than guessing which product lines will perform.

Stock management in a salon isn’t difficult

Automation and systemization to salon’s business is key to making life easier for managers and owners. If inventory management is taking up time, you are spending money on labor costs that could be better utilized in other areas of your business.

Why is salon product inventory tracking important?

Salon product inventory tracking is important to assess the cost of doing business and to understand where you can get better inventory control. If you don’t know how much product you are using, there is no way to accurately price services or keep ordering under control.

If you are not tracking inventory, it is a guarantee your business is losing money!

What are the benefits of salon inventory management?

The benefits of salon inventory management are tracking product usage to save money. Without managing inventory, it’s difficult to understand where your money is going and where you can save.

Why Is Stock Management So Important?

Stock management is important because it prevents you from overspending on salon products. Tracking how much product you use and sell will give you an idea on what type of budget you need to set for monthly product spend.

Theft in the salon

Let’s say you have a stylist who you suspect may be stealing from you.

Documenting how much product inventory you have and comparing reports against what you actually have, is a great way to determine if someone is stealing from you. Installing a salon security camera also will help reduce theft and keep staff accountable to record inventory as it comes in and goes out.

How do you stock a salon?

Stocking a salon involves assessing which retail products and back bar items you use most frequently and buying them to put in the salon. Most stylists run through the same chemical treatments and shampoo, often.

Buying enough of your frequently used products to keep a good stock will help you understand and predict a budget.

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