Are you a stressed salon manager? Managing salon bookings, attracting and retaining clients, training staff, and delegating responsibilities is just the tip of the iceberg in a salon. There’s a lot to manage, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Don’t fret. There is a better way.
The general term salon management refers to a multitude of tasks typically undertaken by a salon manager. Day to day duties usually include:
- Maintaining staff communications.
- Managing the customer salon experience.
- Receiving and managing client feedback and business reputation.
- Handling business budget and expenses.
- Creating and running marketing campaigns.
- Seeking the best affiliate marketing network to work with.
- Reviewing staff performance and training requirements.
- Solving client disputes and staff issues.
- Monitoring client behavior insights.
Coming right up are ten practical tips to streamline your salon operations so that you can set your salon operations on the right path to a thriving business.
1. Create a business plan
An efficient business plan defines and sets your salon’s goals and gives your team something to aim for. Use your business plan to assess risks and opportunities and keep track of financial projections to ensure that your budget is accurate.
Getting started with the creation of your business plan includes tasks like:
- Implementing a digital calendar to track appointments.
- Defining a set date to plan ahead for (six months, a year, or more).
- Allocating time for events, holidays, and other important dates.
- Joining a relevant industry community like the Spa Industry Association to network with other wellness practitioners.
- Planning staffing, marketing, and other aspects of your business.
2. Simplify appointment bookings
Consider implementing online booking software to make it easy for your clients to book and manage their own appointments.
This frees up staff members for other salon duties and offers your clients a seamless and enjoyable booking experience. Automating appointments, sending automatic reminders, and enabling clients to self-serve appointments saves you and your team a whole lot of time.
Intuitive salon software facilitates:
- Complete appointment booking visibility.
- Color-coded calendar categories.
- Real-time business management.
You can even integrate apps and tools like applause digital experience to measure client engagement, monitor experiences, and gather valuable feedback about your salon services.
3. Appointment prep
To effectively streamline your salon’s operations, it’s worthwhile reviewing your appointment preparation processes.
Bear in mind that anxiety before spa appointments is real. Take the time to reassure your clients before their appointment what to expect, and the appointment will run smoothly as a result.
Ensuring that your clients are comfortable throughout their salon experience with your business reinforces trust in your services. You’re also much more likely to receive positive reviews that you can share on social media to use to promote your business. Provide personalized experiences by remembering clients’ names and preferences to keep them coming back to your salon.
4. Manage your time
When you are overwhelmed with salon tasks, it’s a good idea to block out your time to deal with them more effectively.
Decide the best time slots for you – that can look like 15 or 30 minute sections, or one hour chunks of time. Assign your tasks to the time slots and diarize them. Structuring time using this method helps prioritize your time and will help with streamlining your entire salon’s operations as a result.
Top Tip: Plan admin or less enjoyable tasks at the beginning of the day, interspersed with things you like doing. For example, research interactive voice response (IVR) features of your business’s VoIP mobile number, followed by a client appointment with one of your friends to catch up.
As the owner or manager of a busy salon, delegation is key for operations.
Whilst you may not want to delegate setting up your salon’s virtual phone number to an employee, you can ask others to take care of simple salon tasks and relieve the pressure from your shoulders.
Be specific about your goals for your salon and communicate them to your team by:
- Clearly defining responsibilities.
- Training staff on daily processes and new roles.
- Creating strategies to maintain quality standards.
Always explain the reasoning behind the policies, procedures, and standards you implement to your team, as they may interpret rules differently. Ensure that your salon team understands that the quality of their work affects the quality of the client experience at your salon.
Top Tip: Lead by example and demonstrate to your team how to upsell salon products and encourage repeat business.
6. Optimize staff productivity
Implement a policy of regular staff meetings to manage your salon efficiently.
Touching base with employees ensures that they understand what is expected of them. Make your team aware that you have an open-door policy and that you’re available to discuss whatever they need to. Find the time for valuable employee brainstorming sessions to create ideas like new marketing campaigns to attract new customers and new services to offer.
Ask your team for feedback and share suggestions with the rest of the team. It’s essential that your salon team feel that their opinions matter and fosters an environment of connection throughout your business. Arrange goal-setting sessions on both an individual and a team basis to maintain momentum and develop strong relationships in your team.
Constant team communications ensure that motivation and wellbeing is high in your salon, which will transfer across to your clients’ experiences.
A great way to streamline your salon operations is to create training opportunities for your team wherever possible.
A team that is eager to learn is a team that delivers great client salon experiences. In addition, a more skilled team allows you to offer new services and increase revenue at the same time. Why not add a new beauty treatment line to your current offerings, such as Diamond spa treatments? Your team will be excited and eager to learn new skills and treat each other – which all helps to create a positive culture of camaraderie and encourages team building.
Create a company culture that is positive and productive, and one that encourages employee growth by recognizing talent and hard work. Recognition goes a long way to creating a happy and engaged workforce and loyal customers.
Investing in your team directly invests in your business and will allow you to scale and grow quickly. Think about creating and implementing an in-house training program to encourage employee job satisfaction and improve your staff retention rates.
7. Manage inventory
To ensure you’re running a profitable salon, managing your finances is essential. Inventory is one of those financial areas that can make a huge impact on your business’s bottom line.
Keeping track and optimizing your salon’s inventory effectively keeps your budget on track and means that you only store the products you need. Balance your inventory with the necessary products to meet customer demand and avoid overstocking.
Inventory management software can automatically notify you of low stock and inventory issues to manage your salon more efficiently. Look for software features to track your sold, returned, and delivered products with automatic inventory updates. Reviewing your salon’s inventory and ordering products in time ensures that you get the best deals from suppliers.
8. Consider paperless processes
Having a paperless salon removes waste and helps streamline your salon’s operations.
Cloud-based systems can take care of your admin tasks and store consent forms, and hold client data and booking information securely in the cloud. Essential documents in digital format eliminates tedious and time-consuming manual tasks and allows you to get on with managing your salon.
Business solutions software centralizes your salon’s processes by improving workflows and boosting productivity.
9. Run marketing campaigns
An efficient salon is one with full seats and happy clients.
To achieve this, run tailored marketing campaigns to promote your salon business and ensure a steady flow of clients . There are many ways to go about this; here are some ideas:
- Loyalty or membership programs.
- Personalized offers by email or SMS.
- Hair or beauty product discounts.
- Referral schemes.
- Identify market trends.
These four simple ideas encourage customer retention and loyalty amongst your client base, as well as attracting new clients. Birthday discounts, bulk buy deals, seasonal promotions, and loyalty points systems all work brilliantly to retain clients and promote repeat business.
Use digital marketing tools and campaigns to capture data on potential clients through website leads and social media platforms. Nurturing those leads effectively helps to fill empty salon seats and builds awareness for your salon’s brand.
As well as digital marketing campaigns, consider promoting your salon’s services to nearby complementary companies such as make-up artists. By working together, you could come up with some great schemes to drive more business and offer your joint clients extra value.
Streamlining your salon operations is more than just creating a few new processes.
Start as you mean to go on with simple processes that the whole team adheres to without complex datasets like RDD in spark infrastructures.
Implementing automation throughout your salon is a fantastic tool to book and run more efficient appointments, create better client experiences, market your business, manage your team, and drive profits.
Gerard D’Onofrio – Country Manager, Australia, Dialpad
Gerard D’Onofrio is the Country Manager for Dialpad Australia, an AI-equipped business communications solutions platform and PBX phone system for better communications at work. Gerard is experienced in discovering world-class developments and turning them into effective business advancements, wherever he goes. Here is his LinkedIn.