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Holiday Salon Nightmares

I’m sorry. A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. I have a life and you are a full grown adult. -- Someone Wise on Pinterest Once Said.

Habib and Tracey share some important survival skills to help you battle through the madness and mayhem that bubbles up during the holiday season. Whether you shrink away or show up for the chaos, we outline a few holiday salon nightmares and give you tips on how you can take advantage of the most prosperous time of the year.

Many holiday salon nightmares can be salvaged in advance with some simple and straightforward customer communication. You absolutely need to put all your salon policy preferences, on your station, in writing and send it out to all your clientele via email or text. Save yourself the headaches and remind all of your clients of these policies when you confirm their appointments. These strict salon policies are about mutual respect. They protect you, your time, and your clients’ time.

Literally everyone and their mother, sister, brother, cousin, and daughter wants to come in at the exact same time. It’s party circuit season and lucky for nail techs this is when all the claws come out! A great set of nails is like a superpower that guarantees clients an instant confidence boost to navigate through the tough parts of social hour. How can one person service the entire village? There are only so many hours in the day between Thanksgiving and New Years.. You care and want to take care of your clients. Is there a workaround? The only way out is through. With full awareness of your personal and physical boundaries, open up your book to extended holiday hours. Determine how many clients you can take each day. When overwhelmed, calculate your increased holiday income and meditate on those dollar signs. You’ve trained for this all year. Now is temporary overdrive time. Strategically stack your clients. Confirm standing appointments with your regulars and then fill in around those appointments with the new clients that come in with holiday rush. Prep clients to be flexible. Book appointments a little earlier or later than usual to squeeze everyone in. Assure them that regardless of when you see them; you know exactly what they need. Their nails will get done right.

It’s a shame that holiday season happens to be peak cold/flu season. Sniffles, you can forgive. Flu, fever and puke-fest levels of sickness, you cannot. The first line of defense is to keep sick people out of the salon. Protect yourself first and send them home if you have to. Make no exception because if you get sick, no one else on the books is getting their nails done for the holidays. Help your clients make the right decision. Advise they take a couple days to recover and you’ll accommodate them when/where you can during a special after hours.

Kids are human velcro during the holiday season. We love kids. We have kids. Make sure you and your clients are very clear of your small human policy. For us, during the holiday chaos, the salon should be a kid-free zone. This policy insures that everyone can focus on their salon services, both clients and nail techs alike. Kids have a way of interrupting and needing attention at all the worst times. A kid in tow runs the risks of adding extra minutes to your service (precious time you do not have to offer). You didn’t work on getting your time down sculpting nails to lose it all on a potty break, leaking sippy cup or an I-Pad meltdown. The salon is your place of business and somewhere other adults come for an environment of relaxation.You dictate the vibe you want in your profession. Leave a notice out to let your clients know your policy.

We’ve all gotten the random last minute phone call, someone on their knees begging for a last minute appointment. Should you take the call? We say yes, but charge for First Class Service. It’s call a convenience fee. If you have the bandwidth, make it worth your while. A new customer gets charged more for last minute services. It’s kind of like booking an airline ticket. The closer to your departure date; the more expensive the airfare. If you are new and get that last minute call. Take the caller on and use it to build new clientele. You might keep them on the books or you might now. Whatever the case, never turn down a potential client.

It’s typical and often expected for people to run late in general. The holidays mean more people out and about with less parking. There is more traffic than usual. There are a million excuses for it; but it doesn’t mean being late is ok. One late client can ruin the flow of your day which you carefully orchestrated and cost you dollars. We urge you to take control of the day by keeping a strict late policy of a 15 minute grace periods, after that you lose the appointment and will pay for the full appointment regardless. If you know you’re clientele, you know who will be a troublemaker in this department and who will not.

Established clients who have standing appointments fall on the day after a big holiday (for example the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas) are the most optimistic people we know. Their intentions are good. When they confirm the appointment, they really intended on coming for their service. But in all likelihood, 99.9% of the time they’re gonna pull a no show. Remind your client, that at the time of booking, that No Shows pay for the appointment in full. Keep a credit card on file. Day-Afters are the worst. Everyone is tired and cannot fend off full holiday hangover mode. Good intentions cannot fend off last minute out of town visitors or one glass of wine too many. No Shows still pay for the appointment. To be perfectly honest, we recommend taking those Days-After off if you can afford to. You definitely earned a break.

**This is an adaption from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “Holiday Salon Nightmares”.

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