Beauty work can be both satisfying and stressful, but sometimes our habits create more stress than we can handle. Eliminating stress is practically impossible — especially in the consumer service industry — but you can reduce it by making smart choices about day-to-day operations. In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, we’re offering a few tips to help you reimagine challenging processes to serve managers and stylists alike.
Automate repetitive (and frustrating) processes
Of all operational inefficiencies, the worst ones to manage are repetitive, manual tasks, and salons are no exception. Just ask the stylist who stops helping one client so they can book appointments for another, or the manager who spends hours putting together financial reports from scratch every month. The worst part is the drain of context switching — constantly switching from one task to another drains mental resources, especially when it comes to productivity and happiness.
The good news is that many of these tasks are increasingly easy to automate. By using self-booking platforms or by auto-populating reports, staff have more time to focus on work that requires a human touch. In some cases, automation can be more efficient than people. A self-booking system, for example, can recommend ideal time slots, manage waiting lists, and collect payment information in advance. Managers can customize reports to present big picture overviews or granular details and then automatically email them to the appropriate parties.
Get client info out of your head, and into a centralized database
Many salons split up client information across multiple locations. It’s a side effect of rapid growth, but a fragmented database can cause problems. A schedule book or calendar might say when the client is due to arrive. Their membership file has their payment history. Hairstyling preferences may be recorded on separate notes — assuming a stylist hasn’t just dedicated it to memory. Now imagine what happens if a client’s regular stylist needs to take the day off and you’re stepping in.
Thankfully, there’s a straightforward solution: the centralized database. Putting all your records in a single, accessible location makes it far easier to manage clients and nurture their relationship with the salon brand.
When stylists view a client profile in a centralized database, they’ll see all the services the client has previously tried at their salon, providing time to prepare the right equipment. Note fields are available with reminders on personal details, such as their family members — or warnings about demanding clients. By integrating your payment system with the database, you can save credit card information and process charges once the appointment ends — removing extraneous tasks that cut into transition time.
Get out of the habit of treating inventory management like an afterthought
Beauty businesses may be in the service industry, but they still require high volumes of product inventory. Salons must replace products and supplies regularly, and even equipment may need replacing or repairs. That means that every week, someone must take time out of a busy day — or after a busy day — to see what’s running low and fill out the appropriate order forms. It stinks.
The operational efficiency opportunity here is an inventory management system. These platforms keep track of all equipment, supplies, and products at your salon. Many fields will even update automatically when, for example, a client buys hairspray. With the high-level perspective this offers, it’s far easier for managers to see what’s running low and order replacements with a single button tap.
It's easy to think the most stressful part of any job is necessary, but the task might just be an inefficiency. Boulevard can help — our salon management platform includes self-bookings, optimized scheduling, inventory management, detailed reporting, and other optimization tools. Book a demo to learn how Boulevard takes the pressure off of your salon team.