By Tammy Siert, Andis Global Educator
Setting policies and procedures for both employees and clients is important for the successful daily operation of any business. They establish what you want to happen, how it should happen and help you create the reputation you desire.
Although it might seem daunting to put policies on paper, the benefits far outweigh the pain of creating them. Just understand that when starting out, your policies might change as you discover what works best for your salon—and that’s OK.
The following gives you an idea of what policies and procedures to create. I recommend seeking legal advice to ensure you’re fully aware of everything for which your business is held legally responsible.
Define Your Mission
Every business needs a mission statement that will guide all its activities. For example, your mission might be to create the best customer service while establishing a safe and healthy environment for employees and clients. Your policies would then support this mission.
After you’ve defined your mission, a good first step in creating employee policies is to create job descriptions and personnel policies, such as hours, time off, vacation time and sick leave. Conduct and behavior policies like theft, appearance, misconduct and how they’re handled can follow. I’d also recommend including emergency procedures, and health and safety policies. It’s a new world out there and cleaning and disinfection are more important than ever.
Something to keep in mind is that employee policies don’t have to mimic rules. Creating encouraging policies can help foster a positive morale. For example, instead of calling your list of policies and procedures an Employee Handbook, you could call it Our Team Handbook.
Once your policies are on paper, it might be intimidating to introduce these to existing employees. To help ease the transition, I recommend scheduling individual meetings and going over the handbook one-on-one. They might even have a few good ideas or suggestions for you.
Creating client policies can be tricky but knowing what you’re legally responsible for can help you get started. Here are a few examples of client policies I’d recommend implementing in any grooming salon.
Keep updated client information: Every January, I update all client information, including phone numbers, the age of the pet and any new health or medical information to ensure proper preparation for all clients.
Cancellation fees: My salon started to charge clients a fee if they cancelled or didn’t show up for more than three appointments. If someone is 30 minutes late or more, they might be asked to reschedule or to be put on an appointment at the end of the day.
Matted Pet Release form: Requiring clients to sign a Matted Pet Release form protects your business from being held accountable for potential repercussions from shave downs (nicks or skin irritations) when the condition of the pet’s coat was poor (image right).
Senior Pet Release form: This is another form that I’d recommend requiring all clients to sign if their pet is over 12 years old. It protects your business from being held responsible for any latent (dormant) physical conditions that might arise in a pet if they become stressed from a grooming session.
At the end of the day, your employee and client policies and procedures will help you run a successful business that benefits you, your team, your customers, and of course, the pets.