“ALL WE HAVE TO DECIDE IS WHAT TO DO WITH THE TIME THAT IS GIVEN US.”
-J. R. R. TOLKIEN, AUTHOR OF THE HOBBIT AND LORD OF THE RINGS
If your client and to-do list feel a little untame each week, there are a few ways to keep it on a shorter leash. There is enough time for everything you want to do in a day, believe it or not. You just have to make a plan for it. Set aside 15 minutes to look over your daily calendar. Visualize how you want the day to go. What are your personal and professional priorities for today? Now what universal constants can you count on? Are there any ways you can take care of yourself and avoid reactivity in order to protect your flow? This is a simple checklist to keep us in the right headspace and save some time.
Set yourself up from the start. Be ready for the day by preparing ahead of time. Create a personalized organization system at your workstation. Everything in its place, organized and clean. What works is a separate product drawer or basket depending on the service type. One is specifically for acrylic and the other is for gel. Everything within reach makes saving time a no brainer.
TRY MIND READING
A nail tech’s greatest superpower is mind reading. If only there was a way we could know exactly what our clients want and what would make them happy. Guess what, there is! Get to know your clients. Most are coming in at a certain stage of nail growth. Take note of it in your books. What are we looking at here: complicated nail art, a rebalance, a fill, or a brand new set? Request visual references for every nail art client so that you can plan ahead for their needs. For those simple color change manicure clients, don’t let them waste too much time on color selection. Leave a few trend colors out to make the decision-making process easy. Color selection alone can steal time away from service. For the client who gets easily overwhelmed by decisions, have them come in ten minutes early to look at swatches.
BE ON TIME
Punctuality is a major indicator of professionalism. Traffic or the sniffles are things beyond our control. We get that. The nail business in a nutshell is about your creativity and a mutual respect for people’s time. Get yourself to work early. When you’re prepared and organized it reduces stress and makes things more enjoyable. Playing catch up is a real killjoy. So don’t ruin your own day. Show up for yourself and your clients. Be on time. Set the example so your clients know what to expect.
The client in front of you needs to know that they are the most important person in the world at that moment. How are you embodying that principle? Do you find your thoughts drifting in the middle of a service to your phone? Are you guilty of a little distracted driver syndrome in the workplace? Cut back on all distractions. Your clients will thank you. Designate certain times to check on voicemails and texts. It shouldn’t be too surprising how much your phone is a black hole. You check your texts, then Twitter, and then a quick Instagram Live. Now you’re running 10-15 minutes behind each and every client; that’s a lot of time. Focus on this client and this moment, the money right in front of you. Stay present. Get to work. Deliver the service.
MAKE IT SNAPPY
Time will be on your side. The easiest way to save time in the salon is to work with precision and focus. There are certain points of nail service that can feel repetitive. Your mind goes on autopilot during the cuticle pushing, E-file or hand filing, doubling up on protein bond. Spending 15-20 minutes on nail prep; picking something up over and over again is throwing time down the drain. Remember to shorten your nail prep and keep things moving.
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