Should salons just accept no-shows?

We talk tactics on how we can earn you an extra £7k a year.

It's time to say goodbye to no-shows!

Hairdressers Journal have quoted that we lose £1.2 million pounds a year to no-shows! At a time when every salon needs every penny, now is the time to stop no-shows and last minute cancellations.

If you own or run a salon then chances are you’ve experienced that frustration of a client not turning up for their appointment or cancelling with 5 minutes to spare. Many owners  shrug and just accept that it unfortunately is a common occurrence and part of being a salon owner.  

Or is there an alternative?

Let’s say you have:

  • 4 no shows or last minute cancellations a week
  • Your average bill is £35,
  • That’s a loss of £140 per week or £560 per month
  • That’s a staggering £6,720 a year.

EVERY salon suffers from no shows, even if it’s only 2 a month, it all adds up.

How much is your rent each month? How much do your utility bills cost? Can you afford to lose even a single penny of revenue? Of course not! So why do we continue to let clients take this money out of our pockets? And more importantly, how do we ensure that not only is the diary full but that it stays full?!

Audience: the right clients

“Clients understand you have a business to run and bills to pay so don’t be shy about offering new services.” - Rob, Co-Founder at Slick

There are reasons why you would want to look at both your current clients and your lost clients.

Current clients: increase how often they come to the salon

  1. Remind them to top up their nails in between regular colour or cut visits.
  2. Offer them a blow-dry or fringe trim in between colour appointments
  3. They are great for last minute gap filling!

Lost clients: tempt them back before someone else snaps them up

  1. Maybe they are getting their hair done at home. Remind them how amazing the salon is!
  2. Maybe they forgot about you and just need a friendly reminder 👋
  3. Maybe they tried another salon and don’t like it so just need a nudge 😄
  4. We need to tempt them back with a reason to come back to you!

Click here to learn how to select different client groups

3 steps to earning £7k more a year

Analyse your no shows

Do you get last minute cancellations or no shows occur at certain times/days? Are some staff members getting more no shows than others? Are they the juniors, the cheapest or the most expensive? Your salon system will tell you this to help you find the problem.

Cancellation Policy

The NHBF highly recommends having a cancellation policy in place.

If you need help with setting it up go to the NHBF website and download the template here

It’s important to note that your cancellation policy is just that, YOUR cancellation policy, whether its 48 or 24 hours notice or 50%/100% deposit, it’s entirely up to you.

Deposits are not legally required to be refunded, it’s your decision and in accordance with your cancellation policy whether you chose to refund or not. And don’t forget, if you believe a client has extenuating circumstances, you keep full control and can refund them or move the deposit to their next appointment as you see fit.


Take a deposit

Many salons worry that clients will be put off by paying an upfront deposit for their service.

Think of it this way, when you book your hotel online and pay either a deposit, did their cancellation policy determine you choice of hotel? Did you say “I don’t want to give my card details, I'll go to the hotel down the road?”

No, you chose that hotel because of the service they offer and how good it looks. It’s the same principle for your salon. Clients choose to come to your salon for the services you offer and the great work you do. If they love your salon they won’t care about deposits or credit card details.

If you’re fully intending to show up to your appointment, why would you have an issue with paying a small deposit? The only people who question paying a deposit are those that are more likely to cancel last minute or no show.

Precisely the people you want to take a deposit from! And don’t forget this isn’t an additional fee, this is already part of their service price just split into separate payments.

There are benefits to both client and salon when taking deposits upfront; the client can spread the payments across several weeks or months and the salon cash flow improves making it easier to pay rent and staff.

A successful salon is a salon with a full diary which STAYS FULL!

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