Posted on August 16, 2016
When you open an independent salon, aside from being an artist, you’re suddenly a receptionist, bookkeeper, marketing director — the list goes on.
The good news is, and salon software can wear many of those hats for you – your in-studio superpower! You can run your business from anyplace with a Wi-Fi connection — which might explain why so many stylists are now running their business from a mobile device. Salon software makes it easy!
And if you haven’t downloaded the Sola Pro app yet, it’s time to tune in! Exciting new features are in the works that will help put your salon software needs to rest. That’s because we truly believe that the right technology partner will enable stylists to spend less time focusing on the mundane business details, and more time giving guests that extra special treatment they deserve! After all, a thriving salon runs on happy, satisfied customers.
At Sola Salon Studios, or any other independent environment in which you do not have a receptionist, online booking is key! Schedulicity reports that the majority of appointments are booked between 8 pm and 3 am. And when you’re in the salon the last thing you want is a ringing phone distracting you from the client in your chair. Online booking lets clients get the appointment slots they want on their own time, cutting down on those frustrating games of phone tag. At the same time, this service gives you – the stylist – the opportunity to be 100 percent present with your guests during working hours. You’ll be able to stay connected with your clients too with features like automatic reminders that alert guests to upcoming appointments, ultimately equating to fewer missed appointments.
Depending on the size of your business, you might consider choosing software that allows you to manage physical inventory. Some programs keep track of the product on your shelves, and alert you when you’re running low. This can help you understand certain trends: Are there times of the year, for example, when everyone buys a particular product? If so, that’s handy information you can use to increase your bottom line.
Storing Client Info
When it comes to the client, it’s all about creating an experience that makes him or her feel special. Most salon software programs come equipped with features that allow stylists to track everything about their customers’ lives. Stashing contacts in one place makes it easy to send out quick texts and emails. You might consider storing client birthdays so you can blast out birthday promotions. In addition to basic contact information, there are typically places reserved for making notations on client color formulas — plus you can record little ditties on their personal lives. Jot down details about special occasions or things that your client has going on in his or her life; the next time that client visits, glance through your notes, and ask about an event, experience or trip previously discussed. This is how you’ll add a personal and memorable touch to the overall salon experience.
Marketing Your Brand
Many salon software programs come equipped with marketing tools. When used properly, this feature helps generate new business while retaining loyal clients, too. Salon software, for example, lets stylists set reminder texts to reach out to clients who haven’t visited in a while. You’ll be able to sync your social media pages to your technology partner — facilitating a collaboration that helps you create and share special offers and promotions on Facebook, Twitter, et cetera. While you’re at it, don’t forget to add an online booking link to your social media pages and your salon webpage. You can even use marketing software to design and send an email newsletter. We break that process down on our Sola blog.
Effortless checkout isn’t just a convenience — it’s an essential aspect to the overall client experience and the health of your business. With the right software, you’ll be able to keep track of every point of sale while securely managing transactions, too. Some – but not all – salon software systems provide the hardware needed to manage your POS. Clients, as you know, pay with cash, check or credit card — and, ideally, you’ll have a system in place that let’s you process credit transactions securely, directly at the point of sale.
Tracking Your Numbers
Understand your numbers is critical—it’s how you increase your bottom line. Tracking everything from services and retail to referrals and pre-booking will help reinforce what’s working for you, and it will give you insight into areas where you can improve. If you’re having issues with client retention, the reason could very well be evident in your numbers. You’ll also be able to track ongoing income and expenses, which allows a business owners to compare successful and slow months, year-to-year income and a number of other critical relationships. You’d be surprised how much you can learn when the “bigger picture” is readily available.
Choosing Your Software
You know why you need salon software working for you. But how do you find a program that’s a good fit based on your unique needs?
Ask yourself: What do I need help with? You’ll want to choose software that speaks to the specific areas you’re looking to address. So, where are you looking to improve?
Identify your needs, and seek out the program that’s best suited for you. If you can get technology working with you – and not against you – then there’s no limit to what you’ll accomplish as a small business owner.