Times Up: Knowing how – and when – to adjust your Booking Blocks to make room for New Trends

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Both stylists and clients inevitably crave change – and this is particularly true when it comes to implementing emerging trends. Whether the goal is to go a little lighter, darker – or completely alter an overall aesthetic – the switch is always a challenge. This is because it can be tricky to fit new techniques into pre-existing time tables, and trying to rush the process can lead to less than stellar results. As an educator, I encourage stylists to consistently revaluate booking times, which can help to accommodate new – and possibly more time-consuming – methods. Read on to discover why you should consistently evaluate your booking times – and schedule appropriately to create fresh, on-trend looks.

Rushed services

We’re all guilty of it: trying to fit a three-hour service into a two-hour times slot (giving clients the best possible results, in the shortest amount of time). From using heat to shorten process times to implementing ‘color-boosters,’ these time-savers rarely lead to top-notch results – but they can lead to ‘do-overs’ and refund requests. Ultimately, we want to make our clients happy, and it’s important to remember that this is rarely achieved when we are in a hurry. Also, it’s important that you remember to charge appropriately for your time. Discover how in my baseline pricing blog, here.

  • Remember: Keep it fresh. Though adjusting your booking times – plus increasing the amount that you’re charging – might seem tricky, it’s more than worth it. Keeping your client’s looking fresh, and on-trend is not only fun – but it will keep them coming back to you, time and time again. Go here to discover when (and how!) you can ‘give yourself a raise.’

Each year, I reassess salon-booking times. I’m mindful about maximizing time and profit, while simultaneously achieving the very best results for my clients. This might require that I shift the bulk of my time from the front end to the back end of the service, which can give me more time to try a new technique. For example: I’ll use a blonding color, vs. a bleach and tone; this is because, when implementing the bleach and tone, I’ll need more time at the end of the service for toning. 

Avoid errors by educating the front-line team

Sometimes, I find that I’m limited in what I’m able to accomplish, because my front-line (front-desk) team hasn’t booked my time correctly. This assessment-skill can be tricky to teach. Try having your (non-stylist) team members observe the working stylists whenever possible, because this can teach them valuable lessons in regards to booking suitable blocks of time; this is particularly true when stylists are learning to implement a new technique. When observing, request that front-line team members take note of:

  • Is the hair being cut prior to the color service?
  • Are you adding dimension to the mid-lengths and ends while the base is processing?
  • Does the new technique call for a toner, adding 20 minutes to the end of the service?

Consistent observation should render front-line team members more capable of speaking to changes in timing and pricing. If your efforts are unsuccessful, consider pre-booking your clients, which will help your front-line staff to fully master the timing of new techniques. Your extra efforts will lead to fewer re-color services, plus a decreased chance of running over – so you can stay on time, and working to your fullest potential.  

Are you apprehensive about adjusting your booking times? Tell us how adjusting your time slots has helped to positively impact your end results, plus your behind the chair life – and share any challenges that this shift may have presented to you.