The Top Five Policies You Should Implement in Your Barber Shop
Which to Incorporate and Why They Matter
No-shows. Wild kiddos running through your shop. Late appointments. Refund fiascos.
Think hard about each and every one of these scenarios—have these happened in your shop? If you said yes to any of these things—or these stressed-out scenarios made you think of other unbearably, stress-induced scenarios—it’s likely you’re not capitalizing on implementing policies the way that you should.
Policies. They sound harsh. They sound boring. And honestly, they sound like they’ll make your shop or salon seem uptight and wound up.
The reality? That’s not the case at all. Policies protect you from wasting your time, dealing with difficult clients, keep you from wasting money and resources, and even help to protect the people you work with and serve.
Listen, we’re not saying that every shop has to operate under strict rules that leave your environment feeling strict and sterile—but we do think that by implementing just a few no-budge policies on things like payments, age requirements, cancellations, and more, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and the huge headache that often goes hand-in-hand with repeat issues.
The best advice we can give you about implementing policies? Make sure they’re clear, known, and adhered to. That way, there’s no question about how you deal with your clients.
Late Cancellation Policy
It’s ten minutes until your fade-trim-and-clean-up-that-beard client shows up for their 11:15 am appointment. Then, you get the call. “I’m going to have to cancel the appointment for today—something just came up. You understand, right?” You look down at your calendar. You had to turn away 4 clients for that exact slot this client—now your client who isn’t planning to show up—bailed.
Maybe this is the first time your client has ever done this. Maybe this happens all the time with this particular client. Maybe you’re hounded by this issue over and over again with an entire slew of clients. No matter how often this happens to you, we’re just going to say one thing—one is enough.
Your time is your money.
That - hour block of time you set aside to take care of your client who canceled on you ten minutes before the appointment is now empty and fruitless. Setting up a late cancellation policy can absolutely save you from dealing with that type of monetary stress. The reality is, you shouldn’t have to scramble to try to fill a 3-hour block the day of for canceled appointments. If you want to take a hard-core approach to this and charge a cancellation fee a few days before the appointment, go for it. If you’d rather be a little softer about it, maybe just charge for a day-of or day before fee.
The reality is if your chair isn’t filled, your losing money—make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of by implementing a late cancellation policy. This might mean that you need to book your clients appointments with their credit card information to make for a more seamless policy procedure.
Listen, we’ve all been late to an appointment before—we’re human and it happens. But, if you have clients that are frequently late, you probably know how significantly a single, tardy client can throw off your entire day’s schedule.
The best way to go about this? Implement a tardiness policy. You don’t have to go all punctual-princess on your clients—if they’re 5-15 minutes late, be courteous and give them a grace period. But anywhere from 25-45 minutes late and you might need to implement a rescheduled appointment or a late fee on their total bill at the end of the session (if you still have time to work with them, of course).
This helps to keep your day running smoothly, will teach your clients to be punctual, and ensure that you’re giving your clients who do show up the allotted time they deserve.
No matter how excellent of a barber or creative artist you are, the fact remains that one day, someone, somewhere will want to request a refund from you. Don’t take this personally. It happens to everyone, and even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s bound to happen eventually.
Take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. Implementing a refund policy can help define that blurred line of whether a refund should be offered or not. If your shop has a breakdown in the service that your client required, the refund is probably necessary—for example, if you promised a client a tight fade but it comes out uneven by your own error.
Whether you want to offer a refund of services, a free correction of the error, or both, the best thing you can do is carefully and practically spell out a refund policy and ensure your clients know about it ahead of time.
No matter how much you love pets, the reality of having them in the shop can mean trouble for your other clients. Sure, doggos and cats are adorable—and it would be fun to have a pet-friendly barber shop—but if you want to service the widest variety of customers (AKA the people who don’t love pets), you might want to implement strong policies that let your customers know that most pets (service animals aside) aren’t welcome in your shop.
While this might need to happen on a case-by-case basis, having a general, no-pets policy is crucial to the success of your barber shop.
This one is for you, but it’s also mostly for your client’s peace of mind.
Make sure you have a clear, distinct policy in place that protects your client’s privacy and their important information. Often times, you’ll be privy to a client’s banking information, health information, preferences, demographics, and more—be sure that they know that you’re not just telling them it’s going to be kept private, but that you have policy and procedure in place to guarantee their privacy is protected.