· By Carlee Workman
How to Keep Up with Your Lash Inventory
Keeping up with your lash inventory is just one of the many facets of running a successful lash business.
Without product, you can’t run your business! But even more than that, if you are constantly out of stock of your most-used items, it cuts into how much you’re able to earn each month.
If you aren’t already tracking your lash inventory or if you find yourself desperately waiting on packages so you don’t run out of products, keep reading it! I’ll share my tips for keeping up with your lash inventory and why it’s vital to your business.
Why you should track your lash inventory
Inventory, or having products to run your business, is quintessential to being a lash artist. There are tons of reasons why you should be tracking your lash inventory, including:
Tracks your spending: I talk about this in my post How to Determine Your Prices as a Lash Artist, but I’ll reiterate it here. If you want to determine how much you are earning per month, you need to track how much you are reinvesting back into your business.
This metric is referred to as Return on Investment or ROI. Tracking this ensures that you are appropriately setting your prices. For instance, a $100 set might sound like a fair price, but if you realize you are spending over half that in just products to complete the set, it might make you rethink how much you are actually taking home after supplies.
Prevents unhappy clients: There’s nothing worse than being unable to accommodate a client’s request – especially if it’s within reason! Tracking your lash inventory ensures that you do not run out of products, meaning that your clients can trust you’ll always have a fresh stock of whatever they need. Plus, this ends up earning your more revenue.
Let’s face it, if your client is in need of a lash cleanser and you’ve run out of stock, they’re going to go buy it from somewhere else. Save them the hassle and increase your revenue by staying on top of inventory! (P.S. I talk more about the importance of retail items here.)
Reduces stress: Running a business is hard, trust me! Never miss an opportunity to reduce your stress. Why, you might ask? Because you’ll run into a ton of scenarios that are entirely out of your control. You can lighten the load by setting yourself up for success and planning ahead.
Since the pandemic, shipping times and supply shortages have made it hard to rely on consistent deliveries. When you keep up with your lash inventory and always have backups ready to go, there’s no stress from being out of stock and waiting on packages.
How do I track my lash inventory?
Organization is highly subjective! I know some artists choose to use spreadsheets, and others set reminders on their phones. Either way, it’s always beneficial to take time every one to two weeks and go through your drawers to see what needs replacing or restocking.
For me personally, a spreadsheet is the easiest way to keep everything organized. Having a digital log allows you to see where you are spending money and how often you are going through certain lengths or curls.
In the same vein, you should also keep a record of how many clients you lash a month. That way, if you see an influx of clients, you can order ahead and prep accordingly.
How often should I replace products?
Some lash products need to be replaced, even if they aren’t empty or used fully yet.
The most important product to replace consistently is your lash adhesive. Because of its ingredients, lash glues expire very quickly, with a shelf life of approximately 4 to 6 weeks. After this, the glue changes in consistency and performance, lessening your retention and rendering it useless.
Because of how often you’ll need to reorder glue, many artists choose to keep their lash adhesive on a monthly subscription. When stored in a dry and cool place, an unopened glue can last up to 6 months.
A good rule of thumb is to always check the product’s packaging. While it is not required by U.S. law, most cosmetic manufacturers include a shelf life date on the product box. See example below:
In this case, the product is best if used before 12 months. After that, it should be thrown out and replaced.
The Back-Up System
Most lash artists have a backup for everything – including tweezers. Having a functional backup system is key to making sure that you’re not under or over-stocking your inventory. As we mentioned earlier, lash adhesive, for instance, is only good for 6 months if unopened. That means that you should be constantly rotating your backup products as well.
In practice, it looks something like this:
- You have an opened glue you are using and one backup of it.
- Each month, a subscription glue arrives to your salon.
- You throw out your opened glue, open your backup, and the glue that just arrived in the mail becomes your new backup.
With this method, you will never have an unopened product expire since you are constantly rotating your backup!Want to learn more about lash extensions? Meet us at Club Lash Reality! Our Classic & Volume Lash Trainings are coming to a city near you. We’d love to see you there! Can’t make it? Connect with us on Instagram and Facebook! You can also check out our blog for more educational lash content like this post.