Building a Business With Boundaries

Let me guess, you’re feeling burnt out, right? Since the “Great Reopening” after Covid, our industry has been so slammed. It’s like everyone and their grandma realized (while they were in lock down) just how much they NEED us. And I mean, thank GOODNESS, but come on, we need a little breather! I know burn-out first hand… I’ve been there, I’ve lived it, and I’m still watching my employees go through it on a weekly basis!  

Feeling burnt out is not cool. On top of that, with the added influx of appointments in our beauty businesses, we are also feeling the impact of more no shows, plus last minute reschedules and cancellations. When we are working day-in and day-out to get clients in, this can feel like a slap in the face. We don’t make money if these clients don’t come in for their appointments. It’s frustrating, for SURE! 

How do we navigate these frustrations in a professional way? How do we prevent them from even happening in the first place? 

I’ve got the answer: build your business with boundaries! Having boundaries in place from the start solves three main issues: 

  1. It tells your clients you respect your time and work, and in turn, they will respect you. 
  2. It sends a clear message to your employees that you care about them and their work-happiness, and respect their books. 
  3. It helps prevent you, and your employees, from the burn-out we’re all feeling in our industry.

And if you already have a business, it’s not too late to establish boundaries, too. Here are three boundaries to implement in your business today.

1. Establish a Policy for Rescheduling, Cancellations, and No-Shows 

Develop a crystal clear policy that covers rescheduling, cancellations, and no-shows. Not sure what to include/write? Feel free to use the following policy example for your own business. 

Policy Example

Here at INSERT BUSINESS NAME, we greatly value the time of our stylists and clients. When a client cancels at the last minute, or does not show up for a blocked appointment time, that appointment is unable to be filled. This not only effects our stylists, but also effects other clients who may have been trying to get on those stylists’ schedules. 

Rescheduling/Cancellation/No-Show fees will be charged when:

  • Appointments Canceled or Rescheduled on the Prior Business Day of a Scheduled Appointment – Client will be automatically charged a rescheduling fee of $25. 
  • Appointments Canceled or Rescheduled on the Same Business Day – Client will be charged 50% of the canceled appointment cost. 
  • “No Shows” for Any Appointment – Client will automatically be charged the full amount of the missed service(s) booked out on the stylist’s schedule. 

To avoid any charges, please give us ample notice for having to move any of your appointments.

2. Set Your Work Hours

Having set work hours is so important to prevent burn out. Something that often creeps into our work hours is responding to emails and messages. I recommend blocking out time in your schedule to respond. For example, set aside 15-30 minutes before you start your work day with clients, and another 15-30 minutes after you finish your work day. (For good customer service/experience, try to always respond within 24-48 hours.) 

Once that blocked time is up, don’t answer messages again until the next blocked out time, especially at the end of the day. Wait to respond until the following morning when you start work again. Please enjoy your life outside of work – this is key to work-life integration and happiness. 

TIP: I like to use team communication apps separate from my personal texts for this reason! I can sign on when I want or need to, without feeling the immediate need to respond. This includes social media as well! I will message clients back on the weekend, “Hey I am off this weekend! But please shoot me an email, so that I can check it on Monday and not forget that you wrote to me.”

3. Don’t Take Clients Outside of Your Scheduled Hours 

Don’t feel pressured to take clients outside of your scheduled work hours. I hear this one a lot, especially from solo-business owners. They’re afraid that if they turn a client down, the client will be upset and even go elsewhere. But if they are a valuable client, I promise you, they will respect your time.  I know sometimes it can be hard to say no, and we might feel like we’re letting the client down; however, sometimes it’s all in your approach! 

TIP: Instead of agreeing to stay late, or work on your day off, try this response: “These are the days and times I have available. If you’d like me to get you in, let me know which one works best for you!” 

I hope you find these tips helpful. Follow on Instagram @thetiffanimitchell for more tips and fee free to shoot me a message if you have any questions for your business!

xx – Tiffani

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Tiffani Mitchell is a US-based beauty business strategist empowering lash business owners worldwide through her signature educational programs, mentorship services, resources, and more.