SITUATION: I have a stylist who has been with me almost 9 years and came with experience. Our work day is 9-5 and she says that because she's a senior stylist and on commission that she should be able to leave when she finishes her scheduled clients for the day. So, if her last client is at 3, she can leave even if she's scheduled till 5. According to her, that's how everyone does it. So, if you run a salon of 6 and they all leave when they finish clients, what happens?
SITUATION REVIEW: This can be a sensitive topic between salon owners and salon employees. If you’re the owner, your number one priority is to be as profitable as possible during business hours. This requires having staff available to take last minute appointment requests. On the other hand, from an employee who is a commission-based, this down time can appear that they are working for free and are losing time and money.
SOLUTION: Both viewpoints are equally valid. The overall goal should be finding a balance for both the owner and employee.
The real culprit here is service providers not having full appointment books. To remove this situation altogether, the overall objective should be to create a plan of action to generate more customers coming into the salon or spa and filling those open appointment times. Bringing more customers through the door is a team effort and should not fall on one person’s shoulders. I suggest you come together as a team and create a plan of action. There are a variety of action steps that you can take, like creating a marketing campaign, referral program, promotions, community involvement, etc. Let’s face it- when a salon or spa has full appointment books, both the employees and the owners are happy. Everyone is generating revenue!
In the meantime, while you’re increasing your customer count and filling those open appointments, why not create a rotation schedule amongst the service team? The rotation could be based on seniority or simply looking at a calendar and selecting days when each team member can go home early if they are not booked. When you discuss the plan with your team, make sure you reiterate your shared goal: to increase the salon or spa’s customer count. Turning away customers is one sure way to sabotage that goal and hurts the entire team.
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY: Coming together as a team and developing a growth plan of action to increase customer count will result in increased revenue for the business and the service providers. In the end, this makes everyone happy.
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Patti Wanamaker currently serves as an Academic Trainer for Milady. She is responsible for developing and delivering academic and business programs for the Cosmetology Industry. Her intimate understanding of the salon/school/beauty industry comes from 21 years of hands-on experience, includes 8 years of salon/spa ownership, co-owner and co-manager of three salon locations with an annual sales of $5 million. She has 13 years’ experience as a multi-faceted, training specialist within the industry. Her experience in all three areas of the beauty and wellness industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that are not only inspirational, but that get down to business, the business of empowering industry professionals to a new levels of success.