Addressing Time Drainers in the Salon

By: BCN Communications

Category: Professionals, Students

There are few dull moments in the life of a bustling salon. While it may look like an always-glamorous, dream job to the rest of the world, it is still work. Being able to balance technical skills with great communication as well as business know-how is true talent that goes beyond the normal 9-to-5.

Though being behind the chair may not look like or feel like a traditional workplace, it definitely needs to function like one. A significant challenge encountered by employers is a lack of efficiency, leading to decreased productivity. Salons are no exception. Because the salon environment is not your typical workplace, it can be more susceptible to inefficiencies that can impact the overall business.

Awareness is a big ‘first step’ to tackling any problem head-on. With that in mind, here are five time drainers that many stylists and salons face:

Constant Availability

There is no rule that says you should be available all the time, especially at the cost of your business, your health, or your sanity. Clients should be your number one priority but avoid taking on more than you can handle.

Overextending beyond your ability to provide services to your clients and do a good job is a quick path to burn out. Besides, it really doesn’t matter how many clients you work on if your quality is compromised. Organize your schedule carefully (and realistically!) to ensure that you are operating to your potential but within healthy limits.

Following the System

If you lack an efficient system and solid structure in your salon, it will be difficult to make the most of the workday. Remember that the key to productivity isn't merely getting many things done, but getting the right things done. So, not only is it enough to get rid of the time-wasters, you need to have an efficient system in place.

This can be as simple as taking time at the end of the day to restock & prepare your space for tomorrow before you leave or as extensive as developing the processes that support key salon functions, such as inventory, dialogue, and scheduling. Creating and honoring a plan that works for you and your team saves time and makes for a smoother day.


One of the biggest time-wasters in salons is the gossip that happens among employees. This toxic chitchat is a common occurrence. Not only do these negative conversations eat away at the morale of the team, but the quality and efficiency of the service also suffer. Simple tasks take more time to complete. Moreover, gossiping while working with clients is extremely unprofessional and hazardous to both your reputation and your numbers.

Chronic Multi-Tasking

Again, it’s not about doing all the things, but rather, doing the right things. Juggling lots of activities does not necessarily mean that you have high productivity levels. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

When multi-tasking, it might appear as though you are extremely busy, which you are, but that's about it. You are just busy, but you are not getting anything truly finished. Or, maybe, you are getting some things done, but at an ‘ok’ standard versus your standard. It’s always better to focus on one task at a time, give it your best work, then tackle what’s next.

Late Arrivals

Last but not least, many salons complain that one of the biggest time drainers are the clients who are always late. When clients don't show up for their appointments on time, it can disrupt your entire schedule and leave you racing to catch up.

Encourage your clients to show up on time and if they are continuously late, have a system in place that would help solve the issue, whether that means an adjustment in how you book and confirm them or, in extreme cases, an additional fee.

Tags: Time Management, Professional, Stylist, Student, Career, Clientele, Coaching, Salon, Salon Owner, salon culture, Salon Management