Managing a salon, spa or clinic is hard work. Not only do you have so many different hats to wear, you often need to wear them all at the same time!
There’s only a limited number of hours in the day, so it’s important to be able to manage your time as efficiently as possible.
But how do you actually do that? Here are seven time management tips for busy salon managers to work more efficiently, effectively and maintain that beautiful work-life balance!
Tip 1. Plan your day
Failing to plan is planning to fail. It may seem simple, but starting your day with a to-do list or a plan that outlines all the tasks you need to get done in the day is the best place to start when trying to manage your time more effectively.
Having a detailed plan for your day ensures you’re more efficient with your time as you’ll have a clear list of tasks you want to achieve and focus on. Prepare your daily plan the night before, or first thing in the morning with your breakfast, and be sure to start each day with a fresh list (you can carry over any tasks that didn’t get done the day before), so you know exactly what you need to achieve.
Your daily planner doesn’t need to be fancy, either! It simply needs to capture what you need to get done that day. Whether that’s a note in your phone, a to do list, or a notebook. Get started now by downloading our daily planner template.
Tip 2. Prioritise your tasks
When looking at your to do list, ask yourself what’s most important to get done that day and prioritise these over anything else on your to-do list. A good way to do this is to write out your to-do list in the order the jobs should be completed, or number each task in order of importance.
If you’re finding it difficult to choose, think about your goals, or what jobs need to take priority. Having a clear focus will help you decide which tasks are really important, as they’ll help towards achieving targets and goals. If you find all your tasks are key to achieving your goals, you should prioritise them based on the time pressures or deadlines associated with them. It’s also useful to see what you can delegate to someone else, or eliminate altogether.
By knowing exactly what you need to get done in a day you’ll focus your mind to efficiently complete an achievable to-do list.
Tip 3. Focus on one thing at a time
There’s being busy and then there’s being productive, and it’s important to remember the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand! It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look at all your tasks, or your long to-do list, so focusing on one task at a time will help to overcome this feeling.
Being busy can see you checking emails, setting your staff targets and making a phone call all at the same time. However, task hopping can be a serious productivity killer!
Focusing on one thing at a time will enable you to be fully present and get the task done properly and quickly. Break the jobs down into bite-sized pieces and take them one-by-one. By doing this you should notice you’re finishing tasks faster and doing better quality work.
Tip 4. Allocate time to each task
Another approach is to set a time limit for each task. Instead of sitting down to work on a task and thinking; “I’ll work on this until it’s finished”, try saying to yourself; “I’m going to work on this for an hour”. A time constraint pushes you to be more focused and efficient.
You could do this at the start of your day (or even at the beginning of each week if you’re really organised!). This ensures you’re spending the appropriate amount of time on each task.
It’s critical to set achievable deadlines. Allow yourself enough time so you’re relaxed and do a good job, but be careful not to allow too much time as you can easily become distracted or end up procrastinating.
When it comes to bigger projects, break them down into individual tasks with shorter time frames. It’ll make the project seem more achievable and allow you to complete part of the project even if your daily planner shows you only have half an hour to spare.
Tip 5. Work smarter, not harder
You can work smarter by being more thoughtful about how you complete a task. Always ask yourself if you need to do it, if something can be done more efficiently, or if you could delegate it to someone else. Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.
You can also work smarter by batching similar tasks together. To do this, group like tasks and complete them consecutively. Different tasks demand different types of thinking, so it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow on its current thought pattern.
Tip 6. Use technology to your advantage
This one may seem obvious and you’ll most certainly already be using technology in your day-to-day life. But there are some tools you may not be aware of that’ll be sure to save you time!
Use smart salon software
Lean on your salon management software to complete admin heavy tasks for you! Set targets for your team or your salon, manage your stock, create automatic messages like happy birthdays and appointment reminders, and manage your appointment book and more through your salon software.
Kitomba Salon and Spa Software has all the features you need to save time and improve your salon’s efficiency. To find out how Kitomba can save you time through smart automation, book your free personalised demo.
Schedule your social media content
This is especially helpful during busy times of the year when you may not have the chance to keep up with posting.
Use additional devices in your salon
Grab a couple of tablets or give your team access to see the appointment book and have access to their targets on their smartphones. They’ll save time if they can quickly check client notes between appointments and easily save photos and documents to client cards.
Project management software
Asana is a free tool that allows you to plan projects, track progress and assign tasks to individuals in your team. Keep your to-do list digital and ensure your whole team is on the same page in terms of due dates, tasks and allocated projects.
Tip 7. Learn to delegate
You can’t do everything yourself (even though a lot of us try to!) and that’s often not an efficient way to manage a salon. While it may seems easier to complete tasks yourself rather than spread them around, this is where you can see so much time wasted. Delegating tasks to your team can help them to grow and develop, and it means you can spend more time working on the business.
Allocate or create owners in each area where you require assistance. For example, whoever you put in charge of stock can receive in stock orders, complete stock takes and look after merchandising.
Giving your staff ownership over an area in the salon will make them more invested in the success of the area and the business. You may even find they discover ways to make some great improvements!
Are you ready to manage your time more effectively?
While it isn’t possible to increase the number of hours in a day, luckily there are plenty of ways to be smarter with the time you do have!
Challenge yourself by starting to use even just one of these strategies in your day-to-day life as a salon manager and see how much time you can save.
Need more time management tips? Download our ultimate guide to time management to learn more about maximising your time.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 8 March 2018 and has been updated for relevancy and comprehensiveness.