By understanding and committing to the principles of good management, your business can succeed and even flourish. Are you doing all you can do when it comes to smart scheduling, customer relations, employee management, and analyzing the numbers behind your business decisions?
Typical Salon Expenses (as percentage of gross service income)
Depreciation Cost 4%-6%
Source: Successful Salon Management for Cosmetology Students
Maximize Your Schedule
Think of your appointment book as a sheet of cookie dough. You cut the cookies as closely together as possible so as not to waste any of the dough, right?
Sahar Slosser uses that same idea when scheduling her customers at Anatomy Day Spa and Boutique in San Diego. That way, she earns the highest possible income for herself and her employees, while offering maximum availability to her clients.
Slosser blocks out each day’s schedule in 15-minute increments. She organizes them into blocks of one hour and 15 minutes, enough time to accommodate her longest and highest-revenue service. Then she trains her staff to schedule appointments according to those blocks, fitting the shorter services just before or after the longer ones.
For example, Slosser’s shop opens with its first block at 9 a.m. and the second block at 10:15 a.m. “If a client calls and wants to schedule a massage for 10 a.m., we say, ‘Well, we have an opening at 10:15. Would that work for you?’ The client agrees, and we still have a full block open at 9 a.m.,” Slosser explains. “Otherwise, we would lose that opportunity for the higher-revenue service.”
Saturday schedules are especially important. As clients call during the week for Saturday appointments, Slosser trains her staff to book these plan-aheaders for morning sessions. When the procrastinators call mid-day Saturday, she still has openings for the afternoon, because she has maximized her morning. She remains open seven days a week, further maximizing the return on her facilities investment.
At nails-only salons, blocks could be organized according to the time needed for a full set, with backfills or simple manicures worked in before or after the longest service, Slosser suggests.
To make the system work, look at the steps involved in each service and break them down into increments of 10 or 15 minutes. Be sure to factor in a few minutes to clean your table or scrub out the foot tub between clients. This will help you manage your time better, stay on schedule with your service, and let you see how to make each step more efficient.
“One thing your clients are going to love about you is you get them in on time and finish when you tell them you will,” adds Cromeans.