Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

I cannot be the only stylist who complains about the salon and how some clients has no regard for your time. I know I can’t. My partner was tired of hearing about this or that client. That’s why I am starting this weekly blog called The Mind of a Stylist to get some things off my chest.

In the last year or so, I realized that I am an entrepreneur, and I have to look at each situation as a business opportunity. I just don’t do hair. I provide a paid service. Maybe it’s getting older or maybe it’s listening to my partner, I realized that my time is valuable and have to treat it as such.

Therefore, I had to re-examine the way I did business. Again, it is nothing personal. It is simply business. Sometimes it is hard to see the salon as a business because we become so close to our clientele. We ask each other families and their well-being. At sometimes we know our clientele’s deepest and darkest secrets. But we have to remember it’s a transactional relationship. We get paid at the end of that service.

We as stylists have to look at how we do business especially if we want that business to grow. For years I scheduled my clients’ appointments. They would call or text and stopped to check my schedule, taking away time and energy away from my client in the chair. Every now and then I would forget to put someone in my appointment book, either double booking or leaving the salon. Yes, I made mistakes.

Again, I had to re-examine what I was doing. I researched a few salon scheduling apps like Bookr, Vagaro, and Salon Biz. But I ended up going with StyleSeat. When started using it, some of my clients were hesitant. They didn’t want to put their credit card on an app. So I relented and kept putting in their appointments in.

The busier I got the harder it was to keep up with my appointments and the calls and text messages for appointments. Then my partner again said simplify your life by sending everyone to StyleSeat, for they can see what’s your availability and they can book their own appointment. And this would protect me for if they didn’t show or late cancellation I would still receive 50% of the service they booked.

I finally relented and agreed to this common sense as I know all of us have had a day booked with clients only to have last minute cancellation after cancellation. On those days I feel like my clients called each other and said, “Let’s mess with NOLALocStar today.” They are messing with my time and money.

I’m going to give you an example of this. Client A books their appointment for Timeslot A. Client B calls about Timeslot A, but it is taken. Then Client A cancels 30 minutes before their scheduled timeslot. Essentially, the stylist loses money twice.

To help with that I require that my clients book their appointment on StyleSeat. For the ones who don’t want to put their credit card on a website, I require them to secure their appointment with a non-refundable deposit via Cash App, PayPal or Square invoice. No, I don’t do Venmo. It’s a long story, but let’s just say I had to get a whole new checking account.

That deposit goes towards the price of your service when you show up. I wish I lived in a world where your clients who book your services always show up or at least communicate that they are cancelling. Since I don’t, I have to protect myself and protect your appointment. For the clients who simply refuse to put a deposit or use StyleSeat, I treat them like a walk-in.

I am not punishing these clients, but I have to protect my business. Like the poet from Bed Stuy, Jay-Z says, “I am not a businessman, I am business, man!”

Stylists and clients, let me know what you think in the comments.

Published by

A. Kenyatta Parks

Watch us as we create web series, written by A. Kenyatta Parks that is a look at the trials and tribulations of two black lesbians living, loving & growing as they are Becoming Whole.

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