Must-have Reports (and Practices) to Grow Your Business

Growth— it’s all in maximizing the appointment book.

As a salon owner, you know that to grow, you need to watch the numbers closely— but it’s intimidating to wrangle them all into an action plan you can stick to. Which numbers matter, how often do I pull them, and… where do these live, exactly?

There are 4 main areas an existing salon will target for growth, broken down below. Within each category, we note the numbers you’ll want to watch in each. Our recommendation is that you get on a set schedule (so pencil it in with yourself now) for the 15th and 30th of each month to review these key indicators, all at once. Every owner has their preference, but we’ve found that bi-monthly review is proactive, yet spaced out enough so you have time to go deep when needed. Download our Reports & Key Indicators Worksheet to monitor your progress.

Your go-to reports will vary based on your software, but here are the top numbers we recommend salons look at (We show SalonBiz examples throughout). We’ve also sprinkled in some tips along the way.

1. Growing Transactions

To stay healthy, you’ve got to consistently grow how many services you perform. The most effective methods for growing transactions are a focus on:

It’s your insurance policy for staying busy, and it ensures guests come in more often. If you pre-book the average $60 haircut guest, they generally come in 2x more a year. That’s an additional $120 per guest, per year on average. Per 500 guests, that’s $60,000. It adds up.

REPORT TO ASK FOR:  % of guests that pre-book
AVEDA BENCHMARK:  60% of service guests

Maximizing the Appointment Book
Master the art of the shuffle- see a bunch of 15 min. gaps sprinkled throughout the day? Move guests around to decrease these and you open yourself up for walk-ins or wait list requests. Move Saturday guests into the week where possible, because you know you’ll fill those appointments. Many guests are happy to move up if you just call and ask. And when you’re pre-booking, first offer up the times you historically have a hard time filling (“We can take you the first Tuesday at 1:00, does that work?”)

REPORT TO ASK FOR: Productivity
AVEDA BENCHMARK:  Booked 75-85% of scheduled work hours

Retaining Existing Guests
Once a guest hasn’t returned in 90 days, chances are you’ve lost them. There are steps you can take with these clients to encourage them to come back in, like offering a free glossing service when they book their next color appointment. Pulling a list of who these customers are identifies whom you target and with what message (usually via email or call campaign, which are most cost-effective).

REPORTS TO ASK FOR:  Guest Retention, List of Guests not re-booked
within 90 days

AVEDA BENCHMARK:  50% New, 70% Existing (returning within 90 days)

Asking for Referrals
You’ll always need new guests, and referrals are the place to start. You want to measure how many referrals your team is delivering. Look at their individual numbers in one-on-one coaching sessions, and look at the big picture bi-monthly.

REPORT TO ASK FOR:  If you run a referral program, pull using a promo code to see how many are being redeemed. Otherwise, ask for a referral-specific report if your software provides.

2. Service per Service Ticket

In addition to monitoring your number of services, you want to watch the dollar amount spent on services, by each guest, per visit. This indicator is specific to the cost of services, retail excluded (we’ll get to retail later).

REPORTS TO ASK FOR: SPST by Service Provider (for individual coaching sessions), SPST for overall location, % of Clients Booking Color
AVEDA BENCHMARK:  There is not an AVEDA benchmark for this as it varies by guest and location, but they key is to work on growing it over time. There is, however, a benchmark for color — 50% of guests should receive color services. See hair color, below.

You’ll increase your SPST when you focus on:

Great Consultations
The more you know about the guest’s needs, the more you can provide solutions — often in the form of an additional service they haven’t tried yet. Which leads us to …

A monthly front-desk focus for add-ons can make an impact with minimal effort. For example, simply asking “Would you like to book a brow wax with that?” can increase a $50 ticket to $70. That’s a 40% SPST increase.

Hair Color
We said there’s not really a benchmark for SPST, but hair color is a related exception. 50% of guests should receive hair color, and the biggest impact you can have on SPST is increasing that percentage.


If 50% of your guests aren’t receiving color, you’re leaving money on the table.

So where to start? Try IDing guests that are in for cut but have never had color before. (Simply color-code their travelers, for example). Role play the conversation with your stylists (“Have you ever thought about color? We could try a few subtle highlights around your face and see how you like it”). Watch that percentage rise.

Appropriate Price Increases — Your review process should go into detail about what numbers a service provider needs to reach to achieve a price increase. When service prices are increased appropriately due to demand, your SPST will reciprocate.

3. Retail per Client Ticket

Next, monitor how much is spent on retail, by each guest, per visit.

REPORTS TO ASK FOR: RPCT by Service Provider (for individual coaching sessions), RPCT for overall location
AVEDA BENCHMARK:  $10 beginning (or non-Concept); $13.50 mid (or Concept); $16.50 senior (or Lifestyle)       

You’ll increase your RPCT when you implement:

  • Conversations around home care, initiated by all service providers.
  • Product Activities that educate clients on benefits and use, like stress-relief treatments. Consistency is key, because the more clients try, the more they will buy.
  • Purescription Pads to provide written product recommendations and later reminding.
  • PurePrivilege events, held when you have lots of customers (request a report to show busy appointment times to help you make good planning decisions).

4.  Adding Staff

If you don’t have enough staff, you’re not productive enough for growth. Don’t wait for a walkout before you hire new service providers. Hire proactively throughout the year.

REPORT TO ASK FOR:  Productivity
AVEDA BENCHMARK:  Booked 75-85% of scheduled work hours

A common mistake we see salon owners make is opening a second location without fully maximizing the productivity of the first. It’s important to keep all chairs productive at all times, per this benchmark. Don’t even think about a second location until you surpass this number consistently.

5. Payroll

This list wouldn’t be complete without keeping a close eye on your Payroll to Sales Ratio. It’s the place where you can lose the most money the fastest, so never take your eye off this one.

REPORT TO ASK FOR:  Payroll to Sales Ratio

There will always be other numbers of interest, but monitor these regularly and consistent growth is within reach.

Want more information on using and pulling the reports shown?
Contact SalonBiz.


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