Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

Against the clock: How to nail your treatment timings

By Katie Barnes | 11 April 2017 | Business, Feature

Katie Barnes Timings

Salon owner, educator, former Scratch columnist and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, offers advice on honing your treatment times… 

Everyone these days is in a rush and wanting things done as efficiently but expertly as possible. As a business, you want to provide your service in a reasonable time while still ensuring the best result you can.

Getting the balance right is difficult because while taking longer for a nail or beauty treatment can make clients impatient and put unnecessary pressure on the tech, providing services that are too speedy may be detrimental.

Many students and techs rush and feel pressured by themselves, competitors and customers to get their timings down but end up cutting quality for speed. It is important to offer the best quality service that you possibly can and perfection takes time and cannot be rushed. Once you have reached this stage, then you can look at where you can reduce your timings.

To do this, some important things to consider are:

  • Keeping your eyes down 

You may not even realise but you will more than likely find yourself stopping the service for a few seconds to a few minutes to make eye contact and chat to your client. If you do find yourself doing this, then you need to learn to multitask and ensure that while you are maintaining a relationship and conversation with your client, that you are constantly working throughout the whole service. Every moment you look up to make up eye contact with the client and stop working is adding time onto your service. Just 5 minutes here and there could add up to half an hour of the service. Get someone to time each time you stop and see how much this adds up to, you’ll be amazed.

  • Quick thinking

We all know how difficult making a colour or design choice can be but time is money. Don’t stop whilethe client choses her nail colour or design. Have colours displayed at the table or in reception and have your client chose before they start their service or choose before you have finished the preparation stage. Sitting and waiting while they chose a colour is wasting time. If they persistently dither with choosing, decide for them, get them to arrive early or decide before their appointments.

  • Prioritise

Take more care and time on the application stage because if this is spot on, the need for filing will be reduced, saving both minutes and your wrists! Your prep and finishing stages are important for polished looking and long lasting nails but both stages shouldn’t be taking you much more than 5 minutes when you work routinely and efficiently.

  • Record your timings

Create a pie chart breaking down the service into steps, and then allotting a maximum amount of time to complete each step. When you add up the time allotted for all the steps, the total should be your target time for the service and check if you are sticking to this. If you are taking 30 minutes to just prep the nail, you need to focus on improving this area.

Using an electric file can help your speed long term but with everything new, it takes time to learn and adapt to a new technique and skill so can add time initially.

Give yourself time to work on your timing, without sacrificing the quality. The more practice you’ll put in, the faster and more precise you’ll be. Focus on your techniques first and building a solid relationship with customers, it is a team effort from both tech and customer to get this where you want it.

Love Katie B xx