As a stylist, one of your biggest challenges could be scheduling. How do you know if you should squeeze a client in for a blowout at your styling station while another client is waiting at the shampoo stations? How many clients should you plan for in one workday, and what should your hours should be? Here are some tips to help you stay organized and keep everyone satisfied, including yourself.
Know how long tasks take you.
Go over your recent history and pay close attention to how long each type of appointment generally takes you. There will always be variations, of course, but if you're able to confidently estimate how long a simple cut will take you versus a color, you'll be ahead of the curve. You'll know how many clients to plan for in a day and what types of appointments you have time for. Be honest with yourself in this step. It won't benefit anyone if you think you're faster than you really are and end up with a backlog of clients in the waiting room.
Know when to say no.
It's perfectly fine to add in last-minute client appointments if you know there's open space in your schedule for the day. In fact, if you're able to accommodate these last-minute requests, you'll probably gain the loyalty of your client base because they'll know they can trust you to come through for them when needed. However, you need to have a life outside of work too. Have regular work hours and stick to them as much as possible. Don't squeeze in a client who you legitimately don't have time for. You could end up rushing through their style or even being late or less careful with clients who already booked an appointment ahead of time, which is the worst-case scenario for everyone.
Dealing with no-shows.
The thorn in every stylist's side is the no-show client. We've all been there; you've done everything you could to create the perfect schedule, and now you're sitting around waiting for someone who clearly isn't coming. While you can't avoid every no-show situation, you can do your best to prepare for and prevent these issues. Have a policy for no-shows and make it clear to your clients. This could mean charging them for their missed appointment or refusing service to them after a certain number of missed appointments. In order for this to work, you have to follow through, so make sure your policy is one you're comfortable enforcing.
One of the most effective ways to prevent no-shows is to call for confirmation of every appointment. Your clients have busy lives too, and if they've forgotten to write down their haircut appointment with you, there's a good chance it could slip their minds altogether. A confirmation call saves you the lost revenue and time and also saves your client the embarrassment of being the no-show. That two-minute phone call could be what continues your positive relationship with that client, so be sure to plan for these calls at some point throughout your day.
Finally, allow for some fluidity in your schedule. Be aware that plans change, and be flexible where you can. This will reduce your scheduling headaches and make you more relaxed and confident in your work.