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Three Ways To Protect Your Beauty Business From Last Minute Cancellations and No Shows.

Let’s talk Last minute cancellations and cancellation fees ahhhhh I know its that awkward thing that we don’t like to talk about, BUT we need to because not having a cancellation policy in place could literally finish your business off!!!

So we will talk about Cancellation policy ,Why should you have one? Most Importantly why and how should you enforce it!

But first lets take a look at what cancellations can cost you, if you’ve never actually worked this out or as a consumer thought about this then its a good place to start on explaining why it is so important and you may be surprised.

Just as an example we will say the value of the appointment is £35 its an average for a nail appointment, one cancellation a week which was last minute and the space not filled would cost you £1820 !!!!!

Let that sink in and now we all know without a policy in place that actually this can happen more than once per week it actually can be per day !!!!!

Yes I’ve lost a full day in last minute cancellations before !!!

So let’s times that by 3 , 3 cancellations per week £5460 I mean that is a massive chunk off your wages, it is also not taking into account the fact that you have paid rent, possibly childcare and other expenses that add to that amount.

It is not being petty when we say appointment costs need to be covered or exaggerating when we suggest that last minute cancellations could be putting you out of business because that is a lot of money.

In many cases people actually just don’t consider the full picture when cancelling an appointment last minute but put it into context a person on a 40 hour contract will work out their outgoings (mortgage, shopping, childcare,holidays….) based on their 40 hour wage same as a self employed person who has 40 hours working time which is fully booked will work out their outgoings based on that income. You start getting cancellations 2/3/4 a week of even a day and your working hours can go down to 20 leaving you very short for your monthly outgoings and unable to continue your business.

In the current economic climate taking payment for last minute cancellations is not about punishing your clients it’s about preserving your business. Your time is valuable time is money after all.

Here are Three steps to protecting your business from the detrimental wage loss incurred by last minute cancellations.

Take a deposit

A deposit ensures those booking your time are fully intending on coming to that appointment they are committed and respect your business.

Taking deposits is super important for new customers I’ve lost count of the times people have contacted me and booked via insta or Fb and then just don’t turn up on the day or respond to you ever after that or just pop up a few weeks later asking to book again.

💡An online booking is a great tool for taking deposits.

Pre warn

Have a cancellation policy In wording , put it on your we site, your socials or simply explain it to you customer whilst booking! That way your client knows they will be expected to pay for your time that was reserved for them if they cancel last minute.

💡Always Have your policy visible on social media, websites and booking systems.

💡Putting your Booking/cancellation policy in place is not only good for you it lets your client know where they stand too, so what policies should you have in place.


The tough bit , Hopefully with your policy in place your last minute cancellations will be limited. However sometimes for genuine reasons people will have to cancel last minute and your policy should still be implemented but obviously this is down to your own discretion.

💡An example of why you should still implement your cancellation policy

✨You’ve paid for breakfast club your client cancels 1 hour before or the night before can you cancel and not pay for breakfast club ???

✨Will your salon rent/daily chair rental be decreased or are your fees still there to be paid!

Nope Your expenses are still there !!!

When you book an appointment you are commuting to pay for that time that has been specifically booked and saved for youg someone’s time and commuting to pay their wages. That includes if you cannot then attend the appointment. Of course if you cancel I’m good time at least 48 hours before the appointment (which is actually still short notice to fill it but at least gives us a chance)

Cancelling 24 hours or less or even minutes before the appointment is just unacceptable

We need to change the way people think about cancellations and no shows by enforcing and making it clear what your cancellation policy is

I truly hope you find this helpful, I cannot stress the difference a cancellation policy has made to my business, we all come across this people who just book incase they feel like it! This is your lively hood your business it’s how you feed your family put a roof over your head it’s important so stand tall be brave be a professional and attract clients that respect you your time and your business. You won’t look back.

💡 I cannot recommend enough the use of a booking system for implementing these policies and saving you so much time that you spend manually arranging appointments for clients I use Ovatu and have never looked back it takes a while to set up but Ive got that time back plus more!!! Here is a link if you are looking for an online system take a look you will receive 3 months trial using this link

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