|“Nail tech down…requesting backup!”
Yesterday, I came down with a sinus infection. It hurts. I thought I would be better by this morning, but at 5am, felt like someone had hit me in the face with a sledgehammer…so I’ve had to scramble to cancel all of my appointments today. Rescheduling them will be a nightmare since I am fully booked.
If you’re a “lone wolf” like me, you don’t have staff to rely on to pick up your slack when you can’t carry it yourself. In these instances, it helps to have a substitute. I’m talking about finding a dedicated professional that conducts business similarly to you that you can rely on and refer to when disaster strikes.
What you’re looking for in a substitute is:
1.) Integrity: You have to know that your backup is trustworthy and will not use your illness or injury to pull your clientele out from under you. The possibility always exists that your clients might prefer your substitute and leave you for her, but this should be the client’s decision…not something she was coerced into by the tech.
2.) Similar Professional Values: This will be different for everyone since everyone has different professional values. I value promptness, quality, atmosphere, experience, and affordability. My substitute tech is prompt, does great work, has been in the business 15 years longer than I have, and charges the same rates that I do. The atmosphere at the salon isn’t anything like mine (they’re a busy family salon and I work in a private office in a podiatry practice), but they’re welcoming, friendly, and accommodating and that’s more than good enough for me.
3.) Equals or Exceeds Your Technical Skill Level: I won’t send my clients to a tech that will do a shoddy job. My clients deserve better and frankly I don’t want to have to fix whatever the tech has done during my client’s next appointment. My substitute tech does things differently than I do, but she uses the same products and the end result is consistent with what my clients expect from me. On the rare occasion that I’ve had to send my clients to her, none have returned with any complaints…at least none that were reasonable. (“I liked her but she wasn’t you,” is not a complaint I can realistically address, lol.)
Another thing you want to consider:
Keep your individual clients in mind. Before referring your clients to your substitute, consider each client individually before you send them off. For example, I have some clients that require privacy during their appointments (either because of their religious beliefs regarding exposing their feet or because of their personal insecurities), so these clients cannot visit my backup tech since she’s not equipped to accommodate those clients. My tech is very friendly and chatty. I have some clients that haven’t spoken two words to me since their first service three years ago. Obviously, they wouldn’t be comfortable with my replacement tech. So, if a few of your clients don’t seem as if they’d be suited to your substitute, either don’t refer them out to her or explain to them your hesitation and let them decide for themselves.
My substitute is a friend of mine who works at the salon I used to work at before I moved into the podiatry practice. I was hired to replace her. When I left, she replaced me. I’m still close with the owner and the women I worked with, so I send all of my overflow clients there. I suggest finding a substitute that you have a good friendship with as well.
Sorry about the short post, but I’m loaded on decongestants and my brain is pretty foggy. I’m going to spend the remainder of my day playing Dead Island, since running from zombies doesn’t require much thought on my part.