- You need to know how to manage a growing salon business without being overwhelmed.
There area lot of nuances of running a business. You have to invest a lot of time and energy to make your business functional. Owning a salon business is no exception.
A busy salon is a good sign of a growing and vibrant business, but when it gets too hectic and you’re at risk of providing quality service and customer care, you may need to have a plan in place.
Of course, you never want to turn away business, but there is a healthy balance you can achieve to make sure your people and customers are happy. Being busy is never a bad thing, but as a salon owner, you never want to run the risk of overwhelming your staff, providing poor customer service and putting your people at risk of burnout. One of the important guidelines for creating a great customer service strategy is to make sure that you are not overwhelmed.
While we are going to show you ways to manage stress and business, we also want to show you how you can better keep your finger on the pulse of your salon and people to prepare for busier times and chaotic moments that are inevitable.
How Salons Become Overwhelmed and Busy
Here are certain events that can trigger a salon and its people to become overwhelmed, busy and burnt out. By identifying these moments and circumstances, you will be able to prepare staff and your salon to handle these moments efficiently while also providing excellent customer service.
1. Clients or Stylists Are Running Late/Behind
Inevitably, clients and stylists will run late, and it’s something that can be hard to control. But salon owners must have a plan in place to handle delays and late clients so that business can run smoothly. While delays on the stylist’s side can cause longer wait times and rushing through services for the clients, a delay on the client-side can cause significant delays for other clients, as well as income loss for the salon and stylists.
2. Overbooking and Scheduling Oversights
No one is perfect — and neither is technology. Overbookings happen all the time and they can definitely create some headaches.
3. Stylists and Staff Call Out Sick
It’s critical for stylists and your people to stay home if they are sick — especially these days. However, when stylists or people at your salon have to stay home, this could cause your salon to become overwhelmed.
4. Product Shortages
Imagine this, your stylists are handling business, as usual, but an important product or salon supplies that stylists use are nowhere to be found. This can cause significant delays, and it can also create a frustrating situation for your clients and stylists.
5. Technology Malfunction
Is your booking and scheduling software not working? Or maybe your salon’s Wi-Fi went out. Technology malfunctioning can definitely cause a headache and delays.
Tips for Staying Calm When Your Salon Is Extra Busy
As much as you plan for things to go perfectly, the inevitable will happen and you will most likely find yourself having to deal with chaos. Here are some practical tips to help you stay calm and keep business running as usual.
1. Practice and Instill Great Communication
Even if your salon as a whole isn’t slammed, your stylists might be. Encourage constant communication or make it a point to walk around and touch base with your stylists. If you show your stylists and people that you care and listen to them, you will have a salon that’s always in sync, which can also help you through the busiest times.
2. Set a Schedule, Double-Check It and Identify Areas of Flexibility
At the beginning of every day, print out your schedules or send them out to your team. As a salon owner and manager, you can identify slow periods or availability throughout the day, which can help you to balance the workflow as the day progresses. If you have a few cancellations or spots of availability, identifying these opportunities at the start of the day can help you determine whether or not your salon can handle walk-ins or other delays.
3. Keep Your Salon Clean and Organized
Clean and organized salons are optimized and efficient salons. If you and your people take time to routinely clean and organize salon styling stations at the end of or the start of every day, your salon will run so much more smoothly. This is also a reminder to make sure you are checking your product stock levels so that you’re always prepared for what’s to come. Running out of stock midday can lead to delays, missed opportunities, upset clients and stress.
4. Don’t Skip Breaks
When salons become busy, it can be easy to forfeit your own break or your people’s breaks, but we advise you not to. Breaks are not only mandatory by law, but they will also ensure that your stylists aren’t getting burnt out on the busiest days. Make sure you have a comfortable place for stylists to relax, like a breakroom or a well-styled salon seating area.
If you’re in a situation where you and your staff feel overwhelmed, it’s important to step up as the salon owner and delegate. With assertive communication, empower your people with assignments and clear direction to help everyone navigate these stressful times together. Your strong leadership will guide you all through.
6. Know Your Salon’s Limits
While it can be tempting to accept every walk-in and all business, if your people are overextended, it’s best to turn away people — even if the service is a simple wash using the shampoo bowl and blow dry. Knowing your salon’s and people’s limits is a great way to keep stress at bay because you will know how to keep the salon running efficiently.
7. Build in Time for Consultations
An important part of every appointment should be a consultation. Whether a client is undergoing a drastic change or just needs a refreshing haircut, consultations allow your stylists to feel more confident in the services they are about to provide and they help set expectations for the appointments. Building in time for a consultation helps prevent significant delays from occurring, because stylists are able to get a better understanding of their client’s goal, which in turn, provides the customer with more comfort and confidence about their upcoming appointment. All of these benefits will have you feeling less stressed about timing.
Being proactive and getting your salon off to a great start every day is a great way to ensure that you’re feeling confident, as well as your people. When you apply these techniques, you and your staff can make it through any busy streak.