Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Does Prebooking Really Matter?
Last updated: February 19, 2020

What Would You Do: Does Prebooking Really Matter?

What Would You Do WWYD Does Prebooking Really Matter
close formula

Advice From The BTC Fam On How To Make Prebooking More Successful

Question: Does prebooking really matter when most clients will just end up switching their appointment around a couple days beforehand? Is there anything that’ll get more clients to stick to their appointment date and time? One stylist reached out to us with these exact questions, so of course, we asked the BTC Community for their advice. Keep scrolling to see what they said!


“I have a question for all the stylists out there…As a seasoned hairdresser, you want to prebook your clients ahead—especially for long color appointments. But for some, they end up moving this set appointment two days before they are to come in. (It seems to be a consistent thing these days. Can anyone relate?) It screws up so much and they tie up a ton of time. But when I suggest that they make the appointment online closer to when they need it, they balk and insist, like it’s almost a bookmark for them. It really messes up my schedule. What can I say that takes care of my books and isn’t offensive and is professional? Is anyone else running into this problem with prebooking clients?”


Need some advice? DM us on Instagram and Facebook!



Prebooking Is A MUST


What Would You Do WWYD Does Prebooking Really Matter


“My business would suffer without it. I have those that don’t prebook, and they know they run the risk of not being able to get in for around two to three weeks. It is also essential for me to attempt to maintain some type of balance. I’m so thankful that the vast majority of my clients prebook.” Trinity Lynn 


“I spent 28 years prebooking. I only allow eight weeks out now. No further. I need and want flexibility in my life now. My book will fill no matter what but having people take up a slot for four months only to move it a day or two prior got annoying, so I tell people I don’t book that far out any longer. Message me about three weeks prior so we can find you a spot. It works better for me. Having a full book six months in advance means I can’t take a weekend off without rescheduling people, and it became a huge hassle on my end, too. It’s not for everyone but I love not seeing my book full for May in January. It’s too much commitment for me now.” – @camouflageandbalayage 


“Do you like being busy when others are slow? Do you like being able to control your schedule? Do you like being able to take vacation? Then PREBOOK.” – @myst.o 


“Prebooking is a must in our industry. In order to grow and know your product in demand, for yourself, for pricing and raising prices, you need to know how much in demand you are. I charge a fee if cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment. And even then, because of prebooking, they wait two plus weeks to possibly get another appointment. This way you train your clients not to change appointments unless it’s life or death and you can keep track of what your estimated earnings will be for buying supplies.”Stacey Springer 


“Prebooking is key! If you have a client who consistently moves last minute, make a note of it and stop offering that client the option. When they go to book and realize how busy you are, they might change their ways.” – @madipoppins 


“The busiest hairdressers in my company are prebooking six months in advance. I’m sure that’s why they are the busiest. People don’t move appointments that often because they won’t get another choice that’s immediate, like a doctor. Supply vs. demand. Biz 101.” – @lapomponnee 


“Yes! Typically my clients book half a year at a time. They quickly realize that once they miss an appointment and it takes four or five weeks to get back in. They’re not canceling unless they are sick, like sick sick. I’ve been booked solid for years now and I never have to wonder what my days will be like.” Megan Simmons 


“I have prebooked my entire 42-year career. It has served me well. There are the occasional clients who need to change but with prebooking you know where your schedule stands and can accommodate changes. There are the clients who call to come in at the last minute and I try to get them in ASAP but they tend to be flexible. I think that prebooking also cuts down on interruptions while you are working. It also makes better use of my working hours and I am far more productive.” Deborah Foote Bocchino 



I Don’t Prebook & All Is Well


What Would You Do WWYD Does Prebooking Really Matter


“I have to say, none of my clients prebook. Probably 90 percent call within a day or two of when they want to come in and the other 10 percent call the day of. I am a very busy colorist and always manage to get them in because they know I run exactly on time and expect the same from them in order to accommodate this booking style. I’ve also been given a lot of freedom where I work and have the ability to book down and come in earlier than the salon opens (with a receptionist and an assistant, of course) if I need to. So, without having one prebooking client, I’d say you can do quite well.” Corey Anderson McCutcheon 


“I prefer to only book a week out at a time and my clients know it—and most prefer it as well. I have a few that are diehard planners and I’ll prebook out for them. I never have a problem staying booked.” – @jessi_bates2017 


“I have always thought to myself my clients are less likely to cancel and change appointments if I don’t run off a strict book in advance system. It just works for me and I have never had any problems with cancellations. I thought I was just being unorganized or lazy with prebooking clients on the day but it just flows and works this way for me. No pressure on my clients and no worries for me.” – @bambooblondehair_


“It is great for stylists but completely depends on the type of client and how they operate. If they can’t commit to prebooking, they know to call well in advance and we promote the waitlist, too.” Crystal Bun



Require A Deposit/Instill A Cancellation Fee


What Would You Do WWYD Does Prebooking Really Matter


“Charge a cancellation fee (cancelling within 48 hours), keep track of who regularly does this and have a conversation with them. If it continues, fire them. I get stuff happens but you know the ones who perpetually do this. Keep a cancellation list.” – @jessieg_painted_me 


“For long and expensive appointments we ask for at least 10 percent in advance that this person will only get back if they make it to the appointment or if they cancel with at least 10 days in advance. If they call with less than 10 days than OK, but they’ll never see that 10 percent again. I guarantee they make sure they make it to their appointment this way.” – @thebelacolombo 


“I always take a $100 deposit. No exception! If you don’t give me a week’s notice, no refund. I’ve had no issues over the past two years with this policy.” – @sokiestylist


“I have a cancellation fee, especially if it’s a last-minute cancellation. The fee has to be paid before you can book again.” – @nat_sapphire 


“Institute a cut off for when an appointment can be cancelled or rescheduled. And either take a credit card to keep on file for a no show/cancellation fee or take a nonrefundable deposit at the time of booking, which can be applied toward their service. To book a new service after a cancellation or last-minute reschedule, take a new deposit.” – @curll.gurll 


But Know This: It’s The People, Not The System


What Would You Do WWYD Does Prebooking Really Matter


“It’s not a prebooking issue. The issue is your clients. Since you are having an issue. I would text or call them a week out before they are due and only book people that aren’t consistent on certain days. It will either work for them or they will honor their prebooked appointment.” – @stylesbytonesha 


“It’s the people who are being flaky, not the system. Have a cancellation list and then fill it when they leave it. And they can book the next available, which for me is 3 months for a long appointment.” – @jacqui.swan 


See what others had to say on Instagram and Facebook!