Time Management: Make Every Minute Count
By Kathy Hosler
Why is it that some people can accomplish a tremendous amount daily, while others don’t have much to show for their efforts? We each have the same 24 hours, why are some groomers so much more productive than others?
Often it’s because they practice time management. Time is a precious, non–renewable resource. These successful, high–achievers have trained themselves to manage and to use it wisely. Here are some tips that can help you make every minute count:
- Get organized. This alone can save you an enormous amount of time and help you control every aspect of your business day for maximum efficiency.
- Your client files. You should be able to pull up a client’s record with all their pet(s) information within seconds of answering their phone call. Then you can immediately see what kind of pet it is, the type of haircut it gets, when it was in last, and more.
- Your schedule. You want your workday to be consistent, and run as smoothly as possible. Don’t be overbooked one day and slow another. Strive to get your clients to pre–book their grooming appointments and keep their pets on a recurring schedule.
- Your supplies and tools. Do you waste time searching for tools that you use frequently? It is important to keep all your essential tools within easy reach.
- Organize your grooming process (That is a big one.) If you groom every pet step–by–step, in the same order, you will streamline the process and save time. And, if you are interrupted by a client or a phone call, it is easy to pick up where you left off.
- Are you a multi–tasker? Trying to complete several tasks at the same time is not always to your advantage. Sometimes you can be much more productive when you stay focused and place all your attention on the task at hand. Distractions can rob you of precious time. Although there are always unexpected interruptions, if you keep on track you can stay in control of your time.
- Learn to say no. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Choose the tasks that are most important to you and delegate some to others. For example, think about hiring a cleaning or lawn service for your salon or your home to lighten your load.
- Do more by doing less. Some stylists have increased their productivity by eliminating time–consuming, uncooperative, and big dogs from their schedules. They find that they can do several smaller pets in less time, and it’s easier on their bodies.
- Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t allow texts, emails, and phone messages overwhelm you. Answer the important ones as soon as possible, and get to the others at the end of your workday.
To help you make the most of small windows of time, follow the ‘two–minute rule’. What is the two–minute rule? Entrepreneur Steve Olenski explains, “If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately.” He says, “Completing the task right away takes less time than going back to do it at a later time.”
How can you make the most of your time when you have a slow day? Don’t mindlessly surf the web or play computer games. There is a time and a place for that, but not when you should be doing something productive. Make bows, clean, take an inventory and order products, or go through your client list and contact those you haven’t seen for a while.
Stress can be a huge thief of your time. We all have clients that we dread dealing with. Whether it is the client or their pet that is difficult, when you see their name in the appointment book, you know you are in for an aggravating day. Is the money you make from that groom adequate compensation for all the hassle? Think about it, then decide if you really want to retain that client.
Although we usually think of stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self–imposed stress can be helpful in terms of helping us focus and meet our goals. For example, set a timer when you are clipping Poodle feet. Then, challenge yourself to do your same high–quality work while improving your speed.
The equipment and products that you use can help you increase your speed and skills exponentially. Clipper vacuum systems, bathing systems, high–velocity dryers, adjustable tubs and tables can all amplify your productivity as well as lessen the wear and tear on your body. De–matting tools and products, specialty shears, and safety products like the Groomers Helper can also help you breeze through a groom.
And how do you learn about all these time–saving products and equipment? You go to grooming shows. The education you receive there is priceless. It’s a fabulous opportunity to network with your peers and attend the informational seminars. Learning new and better ways to do your job, along with invaluable time–saving tips can take your grooming to the next level.
At the trade shows, you can see all the equipment in operation, try on scissors to see how they feel in your hand, and learn how to correctly use the products and equipment by talking with the booth representatives and the manufacturers.
Here’s another great reason to go to grooming shows—you need a tax–deductible break! You are not a machine—you can’t work non–stop. Time away from your work is necessary to let your brain and body recharge. You can’t be productive if you are not rested.
You work hard. Once you learn to manage your time at work wisely, you can play hard. Yes, really. You will have more free time to do other things that you enjoy—like take an extra day off each week, enjoy a real vacation or even be able to take an early retirement. Time—make every minute work for you.