Life in the Salon: A Gift & A Curse
I want to let you know that I get it.
When phones are constantly ringing, and various things are occurring at one time you can feel tugged in every direction. It is easy to get overwhelmed when running a busy hair salon.
While being a boss will always be a gift, you can get distracted, making your business seem like a curse. However, with a little discipline in your bag of business tools, you can easily conquer the distractions.
Keep reading to find out the six ways you can minimize the outside noise and stay focused when running your busy salon.
6 Ways to Get Focused and Stay Focused
1. Analyze your daily schedule and block out your most productive hours
Time is everything. So what are you doing with yours and do you realize how much of it you are wasting?
An important factor in running a business is time management. To do that you should break down your week’s productivity. Determine which days you accomplished the most for your business. Then focus on those individual days.
Map out that day from start to finish using each hour as your marker and ask yourself these questions:
- When did you wake up?
- How long did it take you to get started on the first thing on your to-do list?
- Did you stop to look at your social media page and get distracted?
- When did you stop checking items off of your to-do list?
- How much did you get done that day?
- When did your staff arrive? Did that prohibit you from getting your work done (administrative tasks etc.)?
- When did you close shop? Did you stop working when your salon closed?
After you have charted everything out identify the key hours that you got all of your work done.
These hours are when you are the most productive. You should make sure that you use these same hours to get all the work done that requires no interruption.
These work times will vary based on your business and lifestyle. If you have a salon in your home, you may be able to block out this time before anyone is up and your stylists come in. If your salon is across town, you may be able to get hours in later in the day.
Remember, It doesn’t matter when you get the work done, you need to get it done that day.
2. Set Boundaries During the Workday
Sometimes when you own your own business, it seems like friends and family think you have an open schedule.
Their perception of your freedom regarding scheduling can result in leisure behavior. This is not okay.
You need to set boundaries to eliminate distractions. Let your friends and family know your most productive hours and your salon hours and ask them to respect it. In the same way that they cannot answer personal phone calls at their corporate 9 am to 5 pm, you cannot do that either.
If you work at a home salon, you may need to invest in a home office along with communication signs. These tools will provide time away, creating set office hours blocking out interruptions that will take you off of your game.
3. Take a Break
Breaks may seem counterintuitive when trying to focus on getting everything in your salon sorted out.
However, studies have shown that the most productive workers are the ones that take sufficient breaks. A great way to put the break method into practice is to go by the rule of 52 and 17. The 52/17 rule mostly uses the same methodology behind a productive workout.
The same way you alter your morning run using a series of sprints and jogs is the same way you should structure your workday. Treat every 52 minutes of your hour as a sprint. Work with a purpose on your assignment and then take a 17-minute break. The key is to break with intention as well. Do you start a huge chore or hop on the phone to pass your time because then you are liable to extend your break and not get back to your task.
Instead, you can take that 17 minutes to check on your stylist, greet the shop’s current clients, or do both and grab a snack. Besides, a social salon owner will prompt clients to come back.
Studies show that those who socialize with the people they work with are happier in their work environment.
These 17-minute breaks are not for social media. Yes. Read that again. Social media will suck up all of your 17 minutes and probably lead you to check your emails and cheat your break.
It is essential that you step away from your work entirely so that you can charge up for next 52-minute work session. Realize that no one can hustle through 100% of the day. It is not humanly possible.
4. Build a Network of Salon Owners, Managers, and Lead Stylists
Again, this method of staying focused may seem counterintuitive, and I would never encourage you to compare your business to someone else’s.
Nevertheless meeting up with other salon owners or managers can help you to stay focused on the overall vision for your salon. Network with other people who are doing the same thing you are doing, or who have already accomplished what you are looking to do with your salon.
You can reach out to salon owners who do not cater to your clientele if that makes you feel more secure with reaching out to them. Nevertheless, fellowship with them biweekly by going out to grab the coffee during a workday. Being out with them can help to motivate you and being in the coffee shop environment an hour or so before you are about to will trick your brain into wanting to work.
You will end up convincing yourself that you can finish the tasks you have been putting off while you are waiting because there is nothing else to do in that environment.
While networking be sure to, not only soak in advice but share your wins and setbacks you had that week, as well. Doing this will not only show that you are interested in a relationship that is reciprocal, but it can also prompt your network to share with you. So many original ideas have come from conversation and collaboration.
The answer to the dilemma you have been trying to solve all month can lie in your coffee break!
5. Invest In Online Scheduling Tools
Automation is king. This day and age scheduling is a huge help, and it can take your mind off of things like bills and profit.
Because you can use them to ensure that you are taking care of all of the overhead bills on time while scheduling clients for your stylists simultaneously.
I am suggesting that you use separate tools for your bills and your appointments because there are some great scheduling tools out there and the majority of the time you can speak with your service providers about setting up automatic bill pay.
Three perks of online salon scheduling include:
- Online Salon Scheduling is Available 24/7
You do not have to stress about your salon manager missing a phone call to schedule an appointment because your potential clients have access to your calendar at all times. They can schedule an appointment whenever they want, and you do not have to worry about missing coins.
- Automatic Appointment Reminders
Every salon owner hates no shows! No-shows can be the most significant pitfall of a business that relies on a seamless stream of clients to manage workflow. Most Schedulers have automatic appointment reminders to let know via text at the time of their appointment.
The notification comes in enough time to enable any cancellations that may need to take place and allow the salon to fill in those slots with last minute appointments.
The majority of salon scheduling software will save your clients information to help you target your advertisements and create customer loyalty programs to keep these customers happy.
Keep your scheduling tool as simple as possible; do a dry run so that you are not overbooking yourself.
By outsourcing scheduling tasks you can focus on your marketing to get more customers through the door and training to ensure that your stylists are up on the latest techniques in the industry.
Administrative tasks can be some of the more distracting and draining things on the to-do list, and sometimes you may feel like you cannot get anything done if those tasks are still looming over you.
6. Hire an Assistant Manager
Hire a second in command so that you don’t feel pressure when you leave the salon.
The manager role is vital at an admin level when doing work for a salon. Checking the shop emails, handling employee schedules, and updating social media can be a beast when you have to do hair yourself, or you have other businesses to run. Stay ahead of all of that when you either hire an in-office manager or a virtual assistant using a site like Upwork. The idea behind hiring an assistant is to help you free up your day by delegating really.
Now don’t get me wrong. Every manager and salon owner should be in attendance every day for a certain amount of time so that they can see how the salon runs. You need to know how your employees and clients interact.
When you are there for small interactions, you can see when things go wrong and correct it so that everyone knows how to handles certain situations for future reference. However, it is unrealistic to think that you will not have to leave the shop at some point during the day because things happen.
Put your mind at ease by hiring an assistant and use them to take care of the smaller things so that you can focus on things an owner needs to focus on to keep the place running!
You Got This!
Running a salon takes a lot of discipline.
The majority of the time you are not only a business owner but you are also a hair stylist, wearing a creative hat as well. To keep both your business savvy and your artistic tendencies afloat you will have to work.
But by using these six tactics, you can eliminate distractions and grow your business. Always be mindful of your time. Recognize the times of day that you work best and honor those hours. Make sure your family and friends know that this is a real business for you and you don’t have freedom just because your name is on the door.
Be sure not to run yourself into the ground and practice some productivity techniques like the 52/17 rule to keep you from burning out too quickly. Talk to others who are in your field in taking their advice if you see fit, and don’t be afraid to invest in your business.
If you need to splurge $10 a month to keep your appointment books in order, it will save you from pulling your hair out so you may want to consider it.
Now take a step back, pray, or meditate to give yourself a positive environment. Keep your energy clear and keep service first.