Reader to Reader: What is your biggest time-waster in the salon?

January 02, 2011

What is your biggest time-waster in the salon?


My biggest time-waster is a toss-up. It’s between late clients and clients on their cell phones during their service. - DIANA GASIOR, Designer Nails By Diana, Hopkins, Minn.

I have a real problem with my time being wasted by clients picking out a nail polish color. I have about 125 different polishes. I think that too many choices makes for a whole lot of wasted time trying them all on. I limit the girls to 10 tries because that’s all the fingers they have! I should really encourage my clients to come a bit early if they are not sure what color they’d like. After all, if you have five clients a day taking just five minutes extra that almost adds up to a half-hour lunch break. - MARY WOLCOTT, Polished Spa & Boutique, Warsaw, N.Y.

The biggest time-waster for me is the otherwise amazing computer system used to book our appointments. We have a staff of client coordinators who book our appointments for us, so all employees input default times for each service they provide. Every time a client books a service, the pre-designated amount of time is blocked out on the books. Times are the same no matter if the client wants nail art and a high-shine buff or a simple look with a quicker gel top coat. Once a client becomes a regular, I can estimate how much time each one should be booked for. But even if I went back and adjusted the times for every appointment booked by our front desk, I’d still be left with some 15-30 minute gaps in my day. - LAURA RUSSELL, Dolce Salon & Spa, Scottsdale, Ariz.

My biggest time-waster is clients who are late. I can’t do anything with that time. If I step away from the table to refill something or get something to eat and the client walks in while I’m away then I’m just that much more behind on my schedule. So I sit there and waste my time waiting. - KATHERINE FAHRIG, Panache, Creve Coeur, Mo.

I think my biggest and most frustrating time-waster is the client who spends 28.9 minutes standing in front of the wall deciding between the red-orange and the orange-red polish. I mean come on! - MELISSA BROWN, Kyle Elliot Salon & Spa/Sole Sistas Mobile Nail Spa, Midlothian, Ill.

My biggest waste of time would definitely be when my clients go to someone else in the salon first and I’m left sitting waiting for them to finish because they have gone over their time. It throws off my schedule for the entire day. - MARE HORAK, Nails by Mare in Aramis Salon & Day Spa, Ormond Beach, Fla.

I would have to say my biggest timewaster is guests who are just so relaxed they don’t realize they are wasting time. While I am finishing up with my client, my next guest is waiting in the comfy reception area and then when I am ready for her she realizes she has to go to the bathroom. Waiting for guests to finish their cell phone call is another time-waster. - LINDA TABELLA, Melanie & Co. Salon Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?


As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?


What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?


Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.


Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits?

Load More