As many of you have, I learned years ago never to "count chickens before they hatch". In our type of business, when you're self-employed, you'd better make darn-well sure you have money in hand (or "in bank", as the case may be) before using that money to pay bills or purchase supplies (I *do* practice what I preach; we are a debt-free family). In this day & age, especially, salon services go by the wayside when you're trying to pay your rent/mortgage & keep food in your house...
This past week, I had 4 of my clients miss their appointments. Three rescheduled due to illness, but one just forgot completely. She literally thought her appointment was next week... Yes, I rescheduled her, but it made me think. I don't do reminder calls; I feel that if you MAKE an appointment, you should be responsible enough to REMEMBER them. Some techs disagree with me, but that's the way I do business.
But, here's the thing: the majority of my clients are over 50yo. With older clients comes missed appointments for a bigger variety of reasons: hip surgery, Alzheimer's, & late social security checks, just to name a few. Yes, I have a missed appointment policy, but it's rare I've had to enforce it. Most of the time, it's really not a big deal to rebook them (& they almost always make up for the loss with an additional tip next time).
I've already had two clients die unexpectedly (one more unexpected than the other... cancer took one, heart attack for the other). I know that it's going to happen again; many times before I retire myself. Until then, I take each day as it comes; even if that means rescheduling all my clients... and NEVER "counting my chickens".