Your time is a valuable resource that must be used wisely—hence the term “time is money”. There is always an opportunity cost in the way you spend your time. You’re unable to get time back once it’s spent, which is why it’s essential to develop time management skills, especially for beauty professionals.
As a service provider, clients are paying for your time and value. The more time you can set aside for clients, the more money you can make. This is why many beauty professionals will spend money on client management, scheduling, and business tools. While it will cost them a premium upfront, the investment and value received are worth much more.
The benefits of having an optimized scheduling system include:
While using a client management and scheduling software can optimize the process for you, it’s important to develop time and client management habits. This will ensure you’re getting the most out of your schedule—both on a work and personal level.
We spoke to Toronto-based Lash Artist, Emily, who uses a client management and scheduling software to manage her online bookings and streamline business processes. “It allows me to see my schedule and visualize my day ahead of time,” she says.
“Time management is the most important part of running a business, especially when you’re dealing with clients.”
Emily relies heavily on her software to ensure everything runs smoothly. It manages her client relationships and interactions by allowing them to easily book services. If a client needs to reschedule or cancel an appointment, it can do that for her.
However, sometimes unforeseen last-minute cancellations or lateness can happen. If this is the case, you will need to know how to work around it. Emily says, “If a client comes in half an hour late, I have to reschedule the appointment because it pushes my day back.”
Time management is all about managing your most valuable resource to the best of its ability. Client management allows you to effortlessly keep track of all your relationships and interactions with current and potential clients. Having both hand-in-hand allows you to seamlessly run your beauty business.
Having a set routine every day will keep you consistent and grounded by providing structure in your life. This is especially important for business owners when days are hectic.
Routines usually start within the first hour of waking up as it builds the foundation for your day. You can jumpstart your day by:
The best entrepreneurs build routines to keep themselves sane, productive and happy. It’s about understanding what works best for you mentally and physically. While routines usually start in the morning, it also depends on the night before. Take for example, Lu Li, Founder and CEO of Blooming Founders, a networking and events platform for female entrepreneurs, freelancers, and women in startup.
She says, “My healthy morning habit happens the night before. As an extrovert, I get energized throughout the course of the day, so my brain is still going full-speed when I return home around 10 or 11 p.m. It can be hard for me to wind down and go to sleep, so I do guided meditation before I go to bed. That way I wake up and my head is clear; I can think about the priorities of the day from a fresh perspective.”
It can be overwhelming looking at your jam-packed schedule as a whole. Instead, break it down using the time blocking method to help manage your schedule and establish how you will navigate your day. Time blocking is the practice of scheduling everything out in your entire day. This includes appointments, meals, breaks, and personal time. This method allows you to be more productive and mindful of your time.
Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, recommends time blocking instead of to-do lists because of the discipline and order it applies to your tasks. Studies have found that 41% of to-do list items are never completed so instead, it’s more effective to focus on the organization of your calendar.
When you are organizing your schedule with time blocking method, you will need to prioritize your client appointments. Block off the times you will be working, ensuring you are giving enough time to each client. Keep reading to learn how to effectively schedule your time with the time blocking method.
By having your schedule and client notes organized, you will save time looking for things that can be used towards your clients. It can improve your workflow and reduce delays between appointments. To declutter and increase productivity, you can go paperless with a client management and scheduling software. It allows you organize all your important documents, from client notes to completed forms.
It has also been shown that your physical workspace impacts your productivity levels. Working in a messy environment can keep you distracted and create negative energy. By keeping your salon space organized, you will feel in control and clearly focus on what’s most important—your clients.
If you’re overwhelmed with your schedule, you will need to reduce the amount on your plate. This can be done by starting a waitlist or scheduling further in advance. You will feel less prone to burning out while dedicating your full attention and energy to each client. If you receive any cancellations, you can move your waitlist up to fill in the open spots.
First, you will need to identify the available time you have. Set aside the days and hours you will use towards your business. You may have a wide range of times available to adapt to your client’s lifestyle.
For example, you can tell clients you’re available everyday between 10 am to 5 pm. However, that does not mean you will be working nonstop throughout those hours. It just means your client can book appointments during your available time and will be prioritized. The times you aren’t booked can be used towards something else.
Open up your booking according to the time you have available for clients. If you’re manually managing your schedule, ask your clients which day and time they would like to come in. Only book them in during the times you have blocked off. If you’re using a scheduling software, set your hours accordingly.
Instead of scheduling appointments back to back, set aside a 15-minute break every so often. According to studies, the human body operates on cycles. During each of these cycles, there are peaks when we feel most energized and moments when we are exhausted. When you take breaks between your appointments, you will experience less burn out as the day passes.
Your schedule will be relative to your working hours and the appointments you have booked. As an example, your time blocking schedule can look something like this:
9:00am - 12:00pm: Microblading appointment
12:00pm - 12:30pm: Lunch
12:30pm - 1:30pm: Classic eyelash fill appointment
1:30pm - 1:45pm: Break
1:45pm - 4:00pm: Microblading touch-up appointment
4:00pm - 4:15pm: Break
4:15pm - 5:00pm: Microblading consultation
Another thing to consider, depending on the services you provide is double-booking. Double-booking is when you reserve two different clients for the same time slot. This is most common with hairstylists. There will be durations when the stylist is not needed, such as waiting for hair color and treatments to process. For example, bleaching dark hair can take up to several hours. During that time, you can focus on serving other clients.
Sometimes unforeseen events can happen, such as appointments running longer than expected or clients coming in late. It’s a good idea to add extra time to your appointments in case this does occur. You can also extend your break time to accommodate these situations.
Keep your scheduling policy in mind if clients do come late. If the lateness cuts into your other appointments, you can reschedule at your discretion.
For some business owners, it can be difficult to block off personal time especially during the early stages. This is understandable if you are running a business on your own. When we asked Emily how she balances time between her business and personal life, she admits that it’s the most difficult thing to do. “Work always comes first. I take Sundays off to have a mental break, but even then, I’m still replying to clients. You have to do what you have to do,” she says.
However if you don’t block off personal time for yourself, you can lose the boundary between your work and personal life. You could end up working way more hours than necessary, thus extending your workweek. Overworking yourself can lead to burnouts, which will affect your health. Burnout is the state of physical or emotional exhaustion that is often caused by work-life imbalance and lack of control.
Learning effective time management skills and techniques as a beauty professional allows you to work to your full potential. This will result in a steady income, personal happiness, and satisfied clients. How are you managing your time as a beauty professional? We’d love to know.
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