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Does Time Equal Money?
Ever hear the phrase “time is money”? For any hourly or salaried employee this doesn’t really apply. For someone who is working solely on commission, like your favorite hair stylist or esthetician, the saying “time is money” is ABSOLUTELY true.
My name is Allison and I am the Director of Talent & Education, Senior Administrator, and Lead Stylist here at Zandi K Salons. I have been in the beauty industry for 20 years and have held almost every position you could possibly have. I have been an assistant, I have worked behind the chair as a commission based stylist, I have been a self contractor (otherwise known as a booth renter), and an Educator for Aveda as well as Paul Mitchel. In all of my experience and different roles I have noticed that no one in this industry can agree if time does in fact equal money.
One thing that has always been a struggle for me is how to plan ahead when you never really know how large your paycheck is going to be. When I was 20 years old and still living at home working two jobs I lived with both of my parents; my father who was a successful business man and my mother who was a teacher. I grew up under the expectation that you graduate high school, go to college, and start your career. I had different plans after going to college for 2 years and had to work extra hard to convince my parents that I could be successful in the beauty industry without a college degree.
Once I proved my talent for being a hairstylist they were convinced that I had made the correct decision. What a weight that had been lifted off my shoulders! However the struggle wasn’t over. Throughout my apprenticeship at the top salon in my hometown, I worked 40+ hours a week while also working a retail job part-time. About a year or so into my new career, my dad sat me down and asked me how my budget was looking. I just stared at him for a while. He finally said “Earth to Allison!” and snapped me out of the trance I apparently was in. I gave him a nervous chuckle and asked him “How am I supposed to have a budget when my paychecks are different every week?” Then it was his turn to just stare at me. After a brief pause he asked me what in the world I was talking about. I explained to him that I hadn’t even thought about making a budget because since I am paid by commission all of my paychecks are different amounts and it makes budgeting a real challenge.
I told my dad that my day could start out fully booked and within a matter of minutes everyone can call to move their appointment, cancel their appointment, or just no-show me. How am I supposed to plan a budget when my day can completely fall apart in a matter of minutes or you realize 20 minutes after someone’s appointment time that they simply chose to not show up.
Once again we just stared at each other.
When the silence broke we came up with a plan that I eventually would share with other new stylists, my students, and our ZK Apprentices. After one month I averaged my paychecks and that’s what I used as the base for my budget. Anything extra goes into savings and my cash tips were spending money. Once I started getting busier and making more money I would revamp my budget to reflect my new average. To this day I still do my budget like this.
It’s pretty unusual to find a salon that pays all of its employees an hourly rate or a flat salary. MOST of the beauty industry is commission based, which means we only get paid when we have guests in our chairs receiving services. When I was just getting started I worked 9am-8pm six days a week and still worked my retail job in case I wasn’t busy behind the chair. I went on like this for about a year before I was finally confident enough to quit my second job (my safety net). I still worked 6 days a week until I became more consistently booked; only then I was finally able to work just 5 days a week. It felt like a dream!
People still no-show or cancel their appointments without notice. It’s called being human….life happens, accidents happen, and sometimes we just plain forget things! We are all guilty of it. With COVID-19 affecting us all in huge and different ways both personally and professionally it has made the industry that I love so much even more unpredictable. As a salon we want to keep our team and our guests as healthy as possible so we have asked if anyone is feeling sick or is experiencing symptoms to stay home for everyone’s safety. This request combined with our team’s limited hours (due to compliance with the Colorado Safer at Home Guidelines) can put our team in a real financial pickle.
All we ask is that if you cancel your appointment with Zandi K Salons it is with as much notice as possible so that our team can repurpose your reserved time to accommodate other guests as best we can and help your favorite stylist or esthetician stay busy!
If you have any other questions please feel free to view our Three Snips Policy.