Why It’s Okay to Do Things Differently in Your Business
Doing Things Differently: Why I Charge for Consultations
I do business different from a lot of stylists.
I know what works for me, and my way doesn't have to work for everyone.
You might be facing a tough decision in your own business, and you might be confused by all the advice out there telling you what you “should” do. It might be good advice, or your gut might be telling you to do something completely different.
So what should you do?
Here’s a little story about a time when I went against the grain, and how it ended up being the best thing for my business.
That time I learned to trust my gut
A couple of years ago, I decided to implement a mandatory 30-minute consultation for new clients before I did anything with their hair.
At the time, I was swamped. I had just moved to Calgary and started promoting myself, and never in a million years did I expect the huge response. In no time, I was booked far in advance by people who were willing to come to a stranger’s basement to get their hair done, and I was just blown away.
The problem was, I was working like crazy to please each and every client that came to see me. After having a couple people sit in my chair who wanted an experience very different from what I provide, I realized I wanted to narrow into a certain type of clientele.
I started implementing consultations, hoping to slow down the influx of new clients and make room for my amazing regulars to get their appointments. I wanted to reward my loyal clients for sticking with me and make it easier for them to get the appointment times they wanted.
I also wanted to have a way to filter new clients before working with them, because I was done trying to be everything for everyone.
What really happened
I hoped the consultations would slow things down...but it did the opposite. My business blew up, but at least now I was attracting the right people.
At first, the consultations were complimentary, but there came a point where I had 4 consultations back to back.
That’s 2 hours I wasn’t getting paid for! I could have taken a hair painting client in that time and made money. And worse, I had to turn away a lot of those new clients either because I was booked or we just didn’t click, so I basically wasted my time and theirs.
Not good for my business, or my sanity!
Daring to charge
So I did the scariest thing I had done in a while and started charging for the consultations.
Because people value what they pay for. They’re more cautious, so now I was only getting people who REALLY wanted to work with me and who valued my time and their own. THESE were the people I wanted to work with!
I won’t lie, this decision came with some backlash. Not from clients, but from other stylists. Seriously, I got hate mail telling me:
“Who do you think you are? How dare you charge for consultations?!”
I knew it was the right decision, because I was making more money, getting more of the clients I wanted to work with, and my clients were thrilled with their experience. It was a win for everybody! (Except the stylists who were pissed at me, but I’m not here to please them.)
Is charging for consultations a common practice? Not at all. But it’s worked wonders for me, because I went with my gut instead of listening to how I “should” do business.
After this experience, I want to encourage you to follow your gut. Trust what it is saying. Just because no one else is doing something doesn't mean you can't.
It might just be the perfect thing for you and your business.
p.s. Wanna streamline your biz and zero in on your ideal clients? Check out my consultation template and appointment checklist here.