Thursday, June 5, 2008

Scheduling Issues

Our Salon Manager, who is also a stylist, is responsible for preparing the schedule for all our technicians. Our salon has never had a full-time manager - it's always been someone who is also behind the chair. The prior manager (before I owned the salon) took advantage of her scheduling responsibilities by giving herself every Saturday off and cutting back to four days a week. You can imagine how that went over with the troops - nothing like leading by example!

Our current manager has scheduling policies to follow to assist in preparing the schedule. She also has certain staffing requirements she tries to maintain (like a minimum number of stylists on a Saturday). In spite of policies and good intentions, there are still sometimes issues with the schedule. Any time you have someone with their own column in the book preparing the schedule it leaves you open for criticism.

We've decided to tackle this issue (and others) by moving our lead front desk person into an administrative position. In addition to supervising the front desk, she will be responsible for scheduling (with input from the salon mgr). Since the administrator has no skin in the game, she can be more impartial than a technician could be. Plus it frees up my salon manager to work more closely with the team instead of being cooped up in the office trying to figure out how to staff Saturdays and vacations.

Our goal here is to put people in positions that best utilize their strengths. My salon manager is a people-person. She is a great coach and motivator. She catches people doing something well and praises them. She addresses little issues before they become big issues. The person we are shifting from the Front Desk is a great administrator. She is organized and thorough and very task-oriented. Putting people in positions where they can excel is one thing we can do to help our business succeed and grow.


  1. just a question...if I may:) How much do you normally pay for such a position...i am very small, and thinking of hiring a salon coordinator, which i know would be a bitch of a do i figure what is fair to pay?

  2. Bijou Salon - Thanks for your comment. What you pay a salon coordinator depends on a few things. First of all, where are you located and what is the local market like? You might try searching employment websites for similar positions to see what they are offering. Craigslist is another good place to look.

    The bigger factor, however, is what you want this person to be responsible for. Are you looking for someone who can take direction from you and complete tasks that you assign? Or are you looking for a higher level person who can figure out what needs to be done and the best way to do it.

    As an example, let's say every month you want to send postcards out to new clients inviting them back to the salon and offering them a discount on their 2nd service. Will your salon coordinator figure out where to get the new client information and take it upon herself to get the postcards mailed out on time every month? Or will you give her a list of new clients each month and have her do the mailing? How much direction and follow-up are required of you is a big factor in what this person is worth. Since you are small you may want to start out with a lower cost person that you provide a lot of direction to. As your business grows, hopefully she does too and becomes the self-starter you will need later.

    Just FYI my part-timer at the front desk is a college student making just over $8 an hour. She has no management or admin responsibilities, just front desk/client service. My lead salon coordinator makes just over $15 an hour, and I've got one in the middle around $11.50.

    BTW, if you are looking for someone to handle your scheduling you probably need to go higher end. A lower-level person would probably get manipulated and/or eaten alive by the staff!

    Hope this helps.

  3. Cindy I have been doing a considerable amount of research on opening up a nail salon in pennsylvania, I have business experience but none in this particular area. Do I need to be licensed to open up a shop even if I do not plan on working hands on? I am so happy for you and wish you continued success, thanks for sharing your experiences and insight!