Smart Scheduling in Salons

By Heather Bagby 

In the professional beauty industry, or any commission-based industry, work schedule will always be a dominant part of the conversation. Stylists want to work when it is convenient for them and when their clients will come. Summit Salon Business Center has built a scheduling strategy that will give your stylists the best work/life balance and optimize their opportunity for growth. Heather Bagby, the Senior Director of Development for Summit Salon Business Center, takes time to explain the benefits and process of having a more strategic approach to scheduling your stylists.

 “Summit Salon Business Center has designed an innovative work schedule to best accommodate your employees’ physical and emotional well-being.” Heather explains, “We call it smart scheduling, or double shifting.  We consider 32 hours full time and schedule our employees to work four 6-hour shifts, and one 8-hour shift per week.”

“Physically, our industry is quite demanding,” Heather explains. “Our service providers stand on their feet all day and utilize tools and body positions that are hard on their back, arms, and legs.  We believe working 6-hour shifts promotes a healthier work/lifestyle. Emotionally, it is a win-win. Working 32 hours per week enables your employees ample time to focus on their personal lives, without compromising their careers.  For example, a Mom can work the day shift from 8:30 to 2:30.  In most cases, they are able to take their kids to school and pick them up.”

Smart Scheduling divides your Monday-Thursday into two shifts. There is a morning shift, which typically runs from 8:30 to 2:30, and an evening shift, which runs from 3:00 to 9:00. As a salon owner, this provides a much larger time range for you to be reaching your community.

“Smart scheduling requires a project plan,” Heather explains. “Typically it takes twelve to eighteen months to implement and fully double shift a salon company. This exercise is based on fact. Salon owners need to track evening turn-a-ways and quantify the opportunities available in the later evening hours. Additionally, consider your community and your guests’ ability to enjoy all of the services needed after their workday. For example, if your guests gets off work at 5 p.m. and want a 5:30 p.m. appointment for cut, dimensional color, and condition, is this possible in your salon company? If your salon company closes at 7 p.m., the answer is no. If your salon company close at 9 p.m., the answer is yes!”

The most common reasons that salon owners can be intimidated about switching their salon scheduling is lack of control, hostage syndrome, no training program, and having an inadequate implementation plan. Summit Salon Business Center will walk you through this process with the help of a Summit Salon Consultant who will show you how to plan, implement, and, most importantly, help get your team on board.The benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort that comes with any kind of change. You will be providing a higher quality of life, maximizing salon productivity, offering hours that cater to your community, increasing profitability, and enhancing customer service. On top of this, with a 32-hour week, stylists are working 20 percent less, providing more time for other priorities in their life.


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