I really appreciate it when clients arrive early. It gives them time to put their purses down, put on their sweaters (I keep my AC set to "snow"), check their e-mail/voicemail/text messages or whatever it is they do on their phones that they can't live without looking at for more than five minutes, and stand in front of the polish and glitter racks drooling for a moment while they try to decide what they want on their nails.
What I appreciate less is when people show up an hour early. Ten or even 15 minutes early gives them a chance to do all those things I just said, and is perfectly reasonable to give me a chance to get an early start if I'm ready while not making me feel like I'm being rushed if I'm still finishing up the client before. But an hour? or even more?
I have a small, intimate studio salon. If I were in a large salon with a separate waiting area where people could just kick back and read magazines until the receptionist told them I was ready for them, then I can see people hanging out just because they had nothing better to do. But showing up an hour early in my current set up sort of wigs me out.
First, I feel like I'm running late. I know I'm not. They know I'm not. But the client I'm currently with doesn't always realize that I'm not running late. Then my current client feels uncomfortable, there's a sense of intrusion and conversation gets kinda awkward.
I have no idea why people want to show up an hour early and sit around waiting on me. But sometimes they do, and I wish I could explain that being too early is almost as annoying as being too late.