Us barbers used to see all our clients on a first come, first served basis. Now, thanks to the growth of technology, it has become easier to take appointments. Today, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of walk-ins and appointments.
Walk-ins are great if you work in a shop that has constant foot traffic. In such a location, you will be cutting hair all day without needing to worry about whether someone will show up to their appointment. On the other hand, clients are sometimes forced to wait hours before sitting in your chair, which can be a significant inconvenience, especially in areas where a high number of working men like to get cleaned up during their breaks. Long wait times can help foster a sense of community. Since clients are sitting and waiting anyway, there is no better way to pass the time than by talking with their fellow clients and the barbers. Appointments can be just as effective as walk-ins, especially when we utilize the technology of this day and age.
It used to be the case that if barbers wanted to set up appointments, they would schedule them on a physical paper calendar. Nowadays, we can just input the information into our phone calendar or app. Appointments are much more convenient for clients and can also help barbers see what their schedule will look like ahead of time. Previously, if a client didn’t show up for their appointment, you'd lose out on the money, but now, software programs can help you manage your appointments, while credit/debit cards allow you the option to charge a deposit of nearly any amount. This deposit makes clients more inclined to show up to their appointment or at least call with enough time to cancel. Otherwise, they lose their deposit. This helps barbers minimize or completely negate their financial losses. Thanks to appointments, there are rarely ever that many people in your shop. Most clients come in and out just for services, so there is not really any time to build a sense of community.
Walk-ins + Appointments = ?
You can also use a combination of both, which is a great strategy for shops that have decent foot traffic and are located near a lot of other businesses. If someone walks in looking for a specific service, they are allotted time starting from that moment and including the time it will take to complete said service.
Whether you prefer walk-ins, appointments, or both, you need to find out what works best for not only you, the barber, but also for your clientele.