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One of the most common questions people ask when they first set up in business is “how much should I charge?”.

Pricing is always a challenge, get it wrong and you could find yourself working for very little profit, but get it right and it could be the foundation of your successful hair extension business.  Here is our guide to working out how much to charge for hair extensions.

Decide on your brand

Before you start calculating how much to charge, it’s important to think about how you’ll brand your business. What sort of extensions will you be doing, and who will your customers be? What sort of experience will you offer them? Micro rings in an upmarket salon will have different costs to you than tape weft extensions in your client’s home, so it’s important to know what you are planning to do before you start advertising prices.

Different clients also feel differently about money. A high-end client might find a higher price reassuring and worry that a low price means they will get poor service. Other clients simply can’t pay thousands and might look for someone more affordable, or who offers a payment plan. The key is to know who your clients are and understand what matters most to them.

Consider your costs

The price you charge your clients has to cover all the costs associated with your business and leave you some profit as well. To make sure that happens, you need to know what the costs are.

Hair – the obvious one is the hair extensions you’ll be using, and since every client is different you’ll only really know what they will cost after you’ve done a consultation. If most of your clients are very similar you could charge an average price, or you could calculate all the rest of your costs and quote a price for fitting, with the cost of hair to be added.

Location – a salon will obviously have costs like rent and utilities but a mobile technician will have costs as well. For example, fuel to drive to your client’s home, wear and tear on your car and any special clothes you choose to wear.

Kit – have you invested in buying things like clips, brushes and other equipment? You need to make sure the cost is covered and that you’ll be able to replace them when needed. Consider how long you expect them to last and divide the cost over that time.

Insurance – how much does your insurance cost each year?

Website and marketing – even if most of your marketing is on social media there will be costs attached. Think about everything from website hosting to buying business cards and running adverts.

Client experience – will you offer your clients a cup of tea or glass of champagne, perhaps a goody bag of aftercare products? Make sure you’ve included those in your calculations.

Training – possibly the most important investment in your business! You need to consider how you’ll be able to get a return on that investment. If you have paid a lot of money for a big name course then you might have to charge your clients more to cover that expense. While you definitely want to make sure any training you do is fantastic quality, a more affordable option like our courses could give you more flexibility.

Calculate your rate

Once you’ve added up all your costs you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed! Divide the annual amount by 45 to get a weekly amount (taking holidays, illness and other emergencies into account), then divide that by the number of clients you expect to see in a week. This is the amount you need to charge each client to cover your overheads, so you can never charge less than this.

Next, you need to take your time into account, including travel time if you have a mobile service. How long that is, depends on the type of extensions you are offering, how far you are prepared to travel and whether you include extra time to provide an unhurried experience for VIP clients. Once you have an idea of how long you’ll spend with each client, think about how much you want to earn per hour.

Now you just have to add your overheads, the charge for your time and the cost of the hair, and you should have a good idea of how much to charge each client for their hair extensions.