Double Booking Successfully As A Hairstylist

Double booking can double your income or double your headaches depending on how you manage it.  Double booking is the fastest, easiest way to make more money and see more guests without working longer hours, but what if one client is late, what if one is early, what if you need to throw on a last minute toner, won’t they think it’s weird, won’t the service suffer? Just the thought of double booking makes some stylists cringe and trust me I totally get it.

One of the best things about being a hair stylist is that your income potential is exponential. There is never a point where you can't make any more money.  You can pick any financial number and there is a way for you to make that. Want to make $100,000 a year?  You can do that. Want to make $300,000 a year?  You can do that too.  It all comes down to how organized and business savvy you get.

If you're wondering why some stylists get stuck financially and feel like they've maxed out their income, it's just because they've stopped making business decisions that allow them to grow.  If you're at a place where you're turning guests away (congratulations, wooo hooo!) or you're booked 3 or more weeks out, it's time for a price increase and you're likely ready to start double booking too.

For most stylists, the hesitation to double book is because we don't want the guests experience to suffer causing us to lose business. Rest assured, nothing has to go wrong and the experience for your guest totally doesn’t have to suffer.  Double booking can be as seamless as a symphony, you just need to know the 4 simple steps to double booking perfection:

Double Booking Strategy #1-Know your service timing.  Do not ever start double booking if sometimes your partial hi light takes 45 minutes and sometimes it takes an hour.  It’s crucial that you have standard timing for every client that walks in the door.

Wealthy stylists have a standard application time and standard processing time for every service they do.  If a client has extra long or thick hair or you always us a toner, that is an extra service and it’s booked accordingly.  If Nancy's partial hi-light takes 45 minutes, but Jennifer's partial hi-light takes 60 minutes, Jennifer needs to start being booked for a full hi-light instead or you need to make a service called "Extra Hi-light Time" and add that on to Jennifer's booking which she should pay for.

Until you know your service timing, it will be impossible to know when you can seamlessly double book and when it’s going to be too tight.

Double Booking Strategy #2- Start off slow.  The typical way to start off is by booking a cut while a color service is processing.  Let's say you always book 45 minutes for a standard haircut and blow-dry.  If Sally is coming for a root touch up at 9am, and you know the application takes 15 minutes and the processing time is 45 minutes, you can have Amanda come for her haircut at 9:15, no problem.  This obviously only works if you know your service timing, but when you start double booking, start with a cut over a processing color and only one per day.  Having two color services processing at once can be insanely stressful and I don’t want you to start there.

Double Booking Strategy #3-Make sure you have a system.  Where will client number 1 sit while client number 2 is getting her cut done?  If you’re a jumbled mess trying to find space for everybody, it will feel like a nightmare. 

It's really important that neither client feels like the third wheel.  The key to making sure everybody feels like they are getting a luxury experience is by getting organized. No client wants to sit out in the open or in the lobby with processing hair so be sure there is a place set aside for your processing client to rest comfortably.  I love it when the stylist's station is bare of magazines and extras and the processing area is filled with all the latest issues plus snacks, beverages and other goodies to make a guest comfortable.  Suddenly the processing area is the place to be!

Double Booking Strategy #4-Forget being nervous and get excited- We all get so nervous that our clients will feel slighted if you double book.  They’ll only feel weird, if you make it weird.  

If you say "I do have to start double booking so sometimes there will be another client here while you are. but I'll do my best to make sure you're taken care of", it sounds risky.

If you say "I’m really excited because I’m going to start double booking occasionally so that I don’t have to do another price increase this season and I’ll be able to accommodate your upcoming appointments much easier" clients will be sooooooo excited!

Hilight the perks and up your service game. Maybe at the same time you double book, you can use all of that amazing extra income to start offering fresh cookies or roll out your much needed rewards program.  It’s all about up-leveling overall,

Double booking is amazing and doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Another little secret to double booking success is hiring a kick ass assistant and stay tuned because in a couple weeks we’ll talk all about that too!