I can remember when I first started in the industry. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have kids, and I was able to work 12- to 15-hour days. Sometimes I worked six or seven days straight. Now as I reflect, I was blessed to be able to work like that for so many years. It allowed me to build a substantial clientele.
I was so used to accommodating everyone as much as possible that my clients grew accustomed to me being at their beck and call. Then, life happened. I got married and, though my husband was supportive of my full schedule, it all changed when I gave birth to my son, Phenix.
I knew I wanted to spend more time with him and that it would require sacrifices at work. Quite honestly, this was hard. I didn’t know how to cut back my appointments and make the transition easy for my clients.
I still wanted to work, just not as much. I was scared I would lose my long-time clients. Finally, when I was home on maternity leave, I sat down with my husband and we decided which and how many days I would work. I gave myself a final date and I stuck to it since I was notorious for being unable to tell clients “no.”
I had to stay disciplined regarding my final date and hours. I personally called all my clients and let them know of my new schedule and hours. I encouraged them to pre-book their appointments to ensure their desired day and time.
Yes, I did lose a few clients because their schedule was not conducive to mine. For these clients, I recommended another trusted professional I thought was best for them. I also increased the prices of my services to make up for the clients I was no longer able to fit.
- If you are in a suite environment, find someone to share your space to help cover your suite or booth rental costs. I ended up sharing my suite, which was the perfect option for me.
- If you are retiring, I would encourage you to set a final date and stick to it. Make it a reasonable time frame so you are able to personally see your clients and give them plenty of time to find someone new. I would also recommend you suggest another professional you think will fit their needs. Then, go the extra mile and make a personal introduction for them. This effort should especially be taken for long-time clients.
In the end, your clients will adjust to your schedule. This is one of the many reasons the beauty industry is great. We can control what days and times we want to work, the prices that we want to charge, and have the flexibility to prioritize our own lives. It’s surely a blessing to be your own boss.