I have been doing wraps for over 20 years. The products I used to use have changed and the new ones are adding about 10 minutes to my appointment time. I used to be able to get a rebase done in an hour — complicated client or not. Now almost everyone is taking 10-15 minutes longer, so by the end of the day, I am really behind. More clients are asking for nail art now, too. I do my scheduling at the beginning of the year for the whole year. All my clients have standing appointments, so making adjustments in my schedule is next to impossible. How do I fix this? Should I do 1-1/2 hour appointments just in case someone wants nail art or the application requires extra time? Obviously, that would cost time and money. Also, I’m not comfortable with charging someone extra because it takes me longer to do her nails because she is harder on them than others. I am a one-person salon and I don’t take walk-ins, so there isn’t anyone to cover for me.
Raise prices or run late? This is a million-dollar question! The risk of running late is going to cost more in the longterm due to the potential loss of salon clients. But time is money and if the service is taking more time, lengthening appointment times will cause you to complete fewer clients per day.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Call the manufacturer of your wrap product to find out what they recommend for rebase timing. If they say it can be done in an hour, ask to talk to an expert on their education team and have her walk you through the exact steps and timing. You may find you can eliminate or refine a step to get back on time with the new product.
2 If that doesn’t work — if this superior product actually does take more time — then it’s time to raise your prices. This involves doing some math. If it used to take one hour and now it takes 1 hour 15 minutes, this is 25% more time. So raise your price by 25%. (For example: old rebase price=$30/new price=$37.50) This way you can do fewer guests and still maintain the same income.
You’ll need to justify this price increase by announcing you have chosen to use the “top product” for the service you are performing. Explain that due to this superior product and long-term benefits to the client, your service price has increased effective immediately.
3. Consider offering additional services and make your schedule more flexible. Ideally any additional services would be pre-planned during scheduling over the phone. Nail art, paraffin treatments, soothing elbow exfoliation treatments, etc., should be discussed when booking, along with the additional cost. You might say: “Mary, many of my clients are enjoying enhancing their polish with nail art. If you would like to schedule this for when you come in, we will need to plan for an extra 15 minutes in your appointment time and the prices range from $7.50 to $15 depending on the design you choose. Would you like to schedule extra time?”
If you book on the hour with standing appointments, the previous option may not be possible for you. Above all, your priority should be to stay on time and not run the risk of a bad reputation or loss of clients.
— Kristi Valenzuela, director, front desk division, Summit Salon Business Center (www.summitsalon.com)
Editor’s note: Check out Confessions of a Nail Tech on Facebook for more great nail tech questions like this one.