You may or may not know that I started building Flourish when my coaching only consisted of helping stylists transition from paper appointment books to computerized booking systems. This was years ago now so apps weren't even on the table, but even just transitioning to a standard computerized system can be intimidating. Trust me I know! I've had to push many amazing salon owners and stylists out of their comfort zone to follow through with their goals of streamlining their appointment books. What I will say is that if you push yourself to make the change your business will without at doubt grow and improve because of it.
You may be saying "I'm fine the way my appointment book is" or "using a computer will just complicate things", I'm sorry to say you are dead wrong. Our world today revolves around technology and those who don't keep up will be left in the dust. I have friends who refuse to pick up the phone to call anybody. If they can't book their appointment online, they'd rather find another service provider than pick up the phone to call somebody. Even my own doctor and dentist allow me to do all of my appointments online. Not to mention the marketing potential when you have an online appointment system in place. If I haven't convinced you to make the change yet, I want to to click here and check out my youtube video on the power of double booking with a computerized system. Then go ahead and click here to download my full review of the best systems and apps available today. This was a major labor of love, but the result is a simple to follow, detailed write up of my favorite systems which will help you determine exactly what will be best for you.
If you've selected your system and are ready to make the leap, here is your step-by-step guide for making it happen:
1. Select the system that is right for you-If you ask 10 people what system you should get you're likely to get 10 different answers. There is no perfect system and we are fortunate to have so many options. I strongly suggest you download the 2015 Salon Software Guide and make the choice that is right for you.
2. Determine your service timing-This step is crucial and should actually maybe be step #1. Before you can even think about truly using an online system properly, you need to develop structured service timing. If you don't yet know exactly how long it takes to do a mini-hilight or partial hi-light or tint application or haircut, you need to spend the next 3 weeks analyzing every service you do until you know with 100% certainty how long each service takes. If you are reading this and saying "well, I customize timing for each client", you are not only doing yourself a disservice but your clients a disservice as well. I survey clients who have left salons annually and the #1 reason they leave is because the service provider takes too much of their time or is inconsistent. I know we tell ourselves "oh, they love my custom service". I'm so sorry but they don't and your clientele will start dwindling and leaving you for stylists who are adopting online, structured booking systems. There will be times where you do color corrections and you'll need to just block off a chunk of time to plan for the unexpected but 95% of the time you should be booking on your standard timing.
3. Start building your services-Build in your service timing. Create your service blocks based on your pre-determined timing. I want you to get used to booking all clients with this system and resist the temptation to just book time off here and there under your clients name. This is a waste of time. Plus, if you ever want to double book this won't be effective. Want to know more about double booking? Check out my youtube video by clicking here. Some systems allow for double booking and some really don't. If you are looking to be a six-figure stylist, I strongly suggest you select a system that makes double booking easy.
4. Start building your client profiles-Here is the big task. If you use paper books right now, you'll need to look at your client contact section and input all of the names, email addresses, mailing addresses, birthdays and formulas for each client into the system. Don't have all of that information for each client? Well, stick with me because throughout my training I share why this information is so critical and how you can get it.
5. Don't give up!-This is a major business adjustment. I totally get it. Commit to doing this new system for a full year and if you decide you hate it, you can try something different. Something amazing will happen though and within a few weeks you'll completely adjust and learn to love the simplicity of online booking. This also opens the door for advanced features like automated marketing, inventory management, online appointment building, advanced reporting, the list goes on and on.
This is a completely abbreviated version of what all is involved in setting up online booking. Like I said I've spent hours upon hours helping stylists to set their systems up. It can be time consuming in the moment, but for the future of your business this is a commitment you must make. As always, let me know if you have any Q's and I'll give you my best A's.