Your salon schedule determines when you work, how quickly and how much money you’ll earn. Part One covered two tips to manage your schedule (work your ideal schedule and choose a scheduling system), so these three tips complete the list:
3. Determine the Time Needed for Services
Ever find yourself running behind schedule despite your best efforts to work fast? Clients expect you to perform services within a reasonable amount of time, but those expectations may not match your capabilities. If a service routinely takes you 75 minutes, no amount of wishful thinking will help you finish in 60 minutes. (Conversely, if a service takes significantly less time than what’s scheduled, reducing that service time would be warranted and wise.) When you allow yourself the right amount of time, you’ll produce quality work at a steady, comfortable pace. In the future, greater mastery of your skills and efficiencies in your procedures will reduce the time you need. But for now, focus on your current circumstances and be realistic about the time you need and use when pricing, advertising and scheduling your services. Don’t over promise what you can accomplish. At the time of scheduling, confirm the amount of time you anticipate the service(s) will take so as not to disappoint any client who might expect faster service.
4. Develop and Enforce Scheduling Policies
This tip will be expanded upon in next week’s article, but suffice to say that strong policies make all the difference in whether clients respect your time or not. You wouldn’t dare open a clothing store without a return policy, so why do beauty pros operate without scheduling policies? After all, you depend on clients to keep their commitments. If clients arrive late, cancel or reschedule on short notice or miss appointments, you cannot afford to lose your time and money.
5. Schedule Appointments in Advance
You’ve heard the advice to work by appointment and pre-book clients for their next one before leaving the salon. That’s not good enough if you want to secure client loyalty for the long term. Why waste time negotiating appointment times when you could make a more permanent arrangement? Not only do standing appointments save time, they also relieve the stress associated with either having too few clients on your schedule, or so many that you cannot find time for your best clients when they want services. Clients who reserve standing appointments will provide structure and stability, so only offer standing appointments to your best clients (reliable, cooperative and appreciative). Book a year in advance, if possible. It’s as easy as saying: “I really enjoy doing your [hair, facials, waxing, nails, etc.], but as my clientele grows, convenient times will be harder to schedule. I’d like to reserve a specific day and time just for you. What days and times work best?”
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