In the U.K. (like most other places in the world) we were in a strict lockdown for what felt like a lifetime, the beauty industry was closed and that meant many lash artists were out of work. As much as we are all ecstatic that we are able to work again and our diaries are booked up, it's so important that you don’t fall back into old habits of never saying no to your clients, working until 9pm on a Sunday and having no time for yourself.
I think if the lockdowns taught us anything, then its the importance of being able to enjoy each day and really appreciating your life and your work! Many of us had so much more time to be able to reflect, so due to this, we thought we’d give you 5 policies that you need to implement NOW, that will improve your work life and allow you to have much more time to yourself.
- Non-refundable booking fee’s
No-shows are the most frustrating right? Siting around, twiddling your thumbs waiting for a client that’s never going to show up. Sometimes clients don’t recognise that by not showing up it's a massive waste of your time and money, as you could have filled their space with someone else. By asking for a non-refundable booking fee/ deposit (whatever you want to call it) means that you are able to take a small amount of money from them prior to their appointment. It also means that if you do get a no-show then you have at least got some income.
By introducing a non-refundable booking fee, we can guarantee that your no-show rate will reduce massively. As the customers who are apprehensive, or refuse to pay the deposit are most likely the ones who would have cancelled anyway, because if you are 100% wanting to book in, then what difference does it make if you ask for a small amount towards the cost before?
You may feel slightly uncomfortable asking for money beforehand, but don’t! Just have a clear policy stated, and make it clear that it comes off their total treatment cost so they’re not actually paying anymore. If you don’t know what to say then here’s an example:
“To secure your booking, all appointments require a non-refundable booking fee. This amount will be discounted off the total cost of your treatment. The remainder of your balance will be paid on the day of your appointment.”
- 24 hour cancellation policy
So now we’ve spoke about no-shows, its time to talk about clients that cancel 1 hour before their appointment, leaving you in the same position as now you’ve got the stress of trying to fill their slot or move around your current appointments. Yes, sometimes things do pop up and mean that your clients can’t make it, and in their head there is nothing more they could have done, as they have let you know. However, this doesn’t mean that it is any less frustrating.
This is why you should put in place a 24 hour cancellation policy. This means, that your client has up to 24 hours before their appointment to cancel. After this time, you are able to keep hold of their booking fee to cover you for any inconveniences caused. If you make all your clients aware of this policy when booking, you may notice that you will start to get more notice if clients can’t make their appointment. But, if your client cancels after this time they simply have no choice but to accept your policy. We understand it’s difficult keeping money from a client for nothing, but you shouldn’t be out of pocket either, so it will ensure that your clients start to give you as much notice as possible if they want to cancel their appointment.
- Give yourself normal working hours
Ok, so how many of us have worked until 10pm just to squeeze everyone in, or accepted appointments on a Sunday? For many of us, it’s hard to say no, especially to our loyal clients. However.. it’s so important that you give yourself realistic working hours and stick to them! Lashing isn’t your typical 9-5, but there’s no reason why it cant be. If you put in place certain hours that you work every week, then your clients will start to work themselves around you - rather than you revolving your hours around them! You will notice that your clients will respect your working hours, and people will book in earlier in advance rather than leaving it last minute and trying to get an appointment and presuming you’ll be able to fit them in.
- DINNER BREAK!
Following on nicely from working normal hours, make sure you give yourself a dinner break, and breaks in-between clients for you to re-hydrate, eat and just relax for a moment. Having clients back-to-back is a blessing, especially after the tough year the beauty industry has had, but it doesn’t mean your health has to forfeit. Giving yourself regular breaks and a lunch hour/30 mins will allow you to re-charge and therefore you’ll feel much more energised through your appointments, your concentration levels will be higher and therefore you’ll be creating better work and enjoying your day more. We are all a bit too familiar with our stomaches rumbling between clients, and instead of concentrating on our work or talking to our clients all we can think about is eating a massive sharer pack of crisps.
- Early/ late policy
Finally, the last policy we think is super important to implement is an early / late policy. If your clients are early to their appointment it can sometimes throw off your whole day. Clients may think they’re doing you a favour by showing up early, because naturally it is a polite and positive thing to do, but this could mean they are interrupting your dinner break or stopping you from drinking that cuppa you’ve been dying for all morning. The best thing you can do, is let your clients know to turn up on time to their appointment, and if they’re early then they’ll just have to wait outside or in their car. If you happen to be running ahead of appointments and you have extra time, then great! Just ask your client if they can come early, or enjoy the longer gap and enjoy an extra long break. Now, onto clients who turn up late, and think 15 minutes won’t affect anything and they can still come out with the MegaVolume set they booked in for.. (unlikely). Make your clients aware that if they are late, then it will eat into their appointment time, and you are only able to produce a set in the remaining time.
So that’s the 5! We believe that by implementing these 5 steps into your lash business, then you’ll be running a much smoother, more relaxed - well oiled business, and with plenty of time to yourself.