Top 10 Time Management Tips for Salon Owners
Beauty business expert Liz McKeon offers advice on how to get the most out of your working day.
Managers often have the heaviest workload in the salon, especially if they are also running their own column of clients. Because the demands of being a manager can ebb and flow, it's especially important for managers to be aware of how they manage their time.
In particular, those who have recently been promoted to management may find themselves struggling with their new responsibilities. Here are some great ways to help manage your day ensuring you remain on top of the important things whilst planning for the unexpected.
Tip No. 1: Plan – take time to make time
Time spent planning is not time wasted. A little time spent in understanding what needs to be done, and planning how to achieve it, will have a massive return on investment. Training and coaching staff can seem like an interruption to other work, but will pay off, in the long run.
Don't plan for every moment of your day; leave time for dealing with unexpected tasks and for adapting to interruptions and changing priorities.
Tip No. 2: Make lists
Making lists is a vital part of planning your day, based on workload and priorities. These may be to do lists or on-going lists that are constantly revisited and updated. Preparing daily ‘to do' lists can increase your productivity by 20%, can help to clear your mind, and save you both energy and stress.
Tip No. 3: Communicate
Effective communication is often one of the first things to go when a manager is struggling to manage their own time. Rather than taking the time to listen, understand and explain, their minds are on their workload and misunderstandings can occur. Management relies so heavily on communication that you absolutely must check regularly that you are taking the time to communicate effectively with your team.
Tip No. 4: Take breaks
Taking breaks is especially important for managers as they need to set an example for other staff, otherwise it might be implied that taking a break means lack of commitment.
It is tempting, when you have a big workload to skip your breaks. This is a false economy, as it means your concentration can suffer later in the day and make you less efficient.
Tip No.5: Manage your emails
A salon's manager email inbox is usually a busy place, with all kinds of emails that need answering. Put aside a certain amount of time each day to reply to all emails and social media activity. But remember, don't become a slave to email and social media. Take control and spend the core of your time on your more important tasks.
Tip No.6: Prepare to delegate
Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. If you're under pressure, think about what tasks you can delegate, and this can include the tasks you enjoy.
Tip No.7: Delegate
Effective delegation empowers your staff to work independently and confidently. Staff who are not given responsibility will be more needy and require more of your precious time. Making sure everyone has the training and resources to do their jobs will make life easier all round.
Tip No.8: Keep up appearances
If all else fails, make sure you appear to your team to be on top of your time management, even if you're not. It is so important that employees feel they can approach you for help and guidance. If you give the impression of being too busy to be approached, you risk not being made aware of important issues. You will need to adjust your mindset to ensure you deal with interruptions in a flexible open manner.
Tip No.9: Know how to deal with interruptions
The temptation is usually to react and try and deal with all issues immediately but the disturbance to your working day may not be worth it. If you find interruptions frustrating, then consider a time sensitive open/shut door policy so people can come to you with issues only during certain times. Teach yourself conversation ‘closers', polite ways of firmly ending a conversation that threatens to drag on.
Tip No.10: Know what to do if it gets too much
A bit of pressure is a great motivator, especially when you know you can get everything done by just organising yourself a bit more and working that much harder. In the long term, if your workload is so much that you just can't manage your time, then you must take whatever steps needed to correct this, or you run the danger of burnout.
Liz McKeon is a successful Business Coach, Trainer, Author and Mentor, whose expertise lies in growing small businesses from scratch and taking existing companies to profitability.