Lets talk double booking
I feel like double booking is a topic of conversation we need to have.
Im going to drop a pretty unpopular opinion..you ready?
I HATE double booking! (GASP!)
I literally despise it. And to be frank, it makes me happy seeing more and more people letting go of this idea that double booking is the only way to have a successful career.
Here’s the thing, being in this industry for 21 years now, I feel like I have seen the negative repercussions of running a business with the double booking model and I have felt them, first hand.
I want to say this though, if you are a stylist who double books on the regular and loves it…DO YOU baby! I’m not here to convince or tell you how to run your business.
What I would like to offer is…perspective.
Coming from someone who has worked on both sides (double booked with assistants to working solo), I want to bring up a few issues I see when it comes to double booking, and why you may want to consider the alternative.
If you are a double booker, I want you to take a second and look at this in a “big picture” way.
I want you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself this: Is this model of working sustainable, long term? How long can you keep up with double or triple booking?
I’m here to tell you, the physical stress it takes to run your business this way is absolutely not sustainable. Unfortunately, what will happen is that at some point, our bodies will say “NO MORE”
Backs will start giving out, shoulders will begin to lock up, carpel tunnel, feet and ankle issues..I can go on and on.
Ask other seasoned colorists and vets in the industry if this model of double booking is sustainable? Guarantee they’ll tell you it’s not/
Maybe you younger, greener stylists are thinking “no, not me, I got this”
Sorry to break it to you baby, but yes, you too.
You are not exempt from physical stress and burn out…you’re just too green to realize it right now.
2. CLIENTS DON’T LIKE IT
When I decided I was no longer going to double book, I personally felt relieved but was curious what my clients would think. I decided to raise my prices (pretty significantly..I had just invested thousands on education and felt it was the right time) and was terrified that I would lose some clients..which I did. But I’ll tell you this, the majority of my clients stayed and happily paid higher prices because they were SO MUCH HAPPIER!
I realized that although double booking was working for me (or so I thought), my clients didn’t like feeling like just another number, they didn’t like sitting there waiting while I finished up the other client, they didn’t like that my assistant was doing the majority of the work and slowly but surely, once I made the switch, all of my clients began telling me the same thing.
I was shocked. Over the years, any time a new client comes in and realizes they get a one on one experience with me for the duration of their appointment, they say the same thing.
“My old hair dresser would do 2 or 3 people at a time….” And they hated it.
I’ll tell you this much, more than EVER before, this POST COVID industry requires you to level up in so many ways. With the ease of social media, clients WILL find someone else to give them the experience that they are looking for, so make sure you exceed all of your clients expectations for their visit and they are likely to become loyal lifers.
3. THE CHAOS.
Yes, chaos. I feel like when you double book all day…in theory it sounds like it will be AMAZING. You and your assistant(s) tag teaming clients all day, everyones on time, no formulation issues, no re-do’s…sunshine and butterflies until it’s not.
What happens if someone is running late? When double booking you have to stick to a STRICT schedule to navigate the multiple clients…what if someone got stuck in traffic or what if YOU are running late? What IF something goes unexpectedly, like you assistant calls out sick…you get where I’m going? Not to mention, juggling all of the clients and conversations, it can be pure chaos, and I’m not here for it, personally.
4. TRAINING ASSISTANTS IS A FULL TIME JOB
Here’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned when it pertains to assistants. I love working with assistants because I personally love being able to pass on knowledge and train a newer stylist with good habits…BUT…I don’t like having to do so if I’m running my business with the double booking model. Where is the time? If I am going to bring on an assistant, to me it has to be a win-win situation. I spend a lot of time explaining and training and I feel like I can’t do that great of a job If I have a mill of clients to get through. Yes, the assistant can learn on the fly..but if my job is to train someone well…I don’t want to half ass that. ALSO…Once you have the system down with your assistant and feel like they are trained well…most likely they are then ready to be on their own and you have to train ANOTHER assistant. You are constantly training..its a full time job.
Like I said earlier, if you run your business with the double booking model, and it’s working, i’m happy for you. What I wanted to offer was a perspective shift.
I encourage you to take a look at the long term play here, the bigger picture, to see if double booking is really working for you. Will it continue to work for you?
Most likely, it’s not.
A couple of questions to consider as I close this post out.
What is your exit strategy from double booking? What is the growth plan for your business?
Knowing that double booking isn’t sustainable long term, how do you plan on sustaining your income when you do stop double booking?
These are key questions to start considering for the future and I hope you take some time to really analyze and strategize a plan that works, that’s sustainable and most importantly, that keeps it FUN!
Until next time,
Happy Hair Coloring