Running a salon can be extremely demanding. You always have clients to attend to, employees to manage, marketing to worry about, financial obligations to meet, and beauty trends to keep track of. Everything is fast-paced in this industry, and that doesn’t make your job any easier.
Knowing how diverse the personalities in your clients’ list can be, how egocentric talented beauty artists can be, and how complicated math is, it is almost impossible to run a salon without some help. That is why having the right tool for salon business management can be the key difference between success and failure. But then the question arises: Which are the right business tools- or which is the right combination of tools- for a salon owner to invest in? Here is your answer:
1. Salon Software
Do you still note down appointments with pen and paper? Or do you still perform manual inventory checks? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, it is time you automate and streamline operations using the trendiest technology in the beauty scene salon software! This software is affordable, both to install and run, and it can do wonders for your salon when properly utilized. Your software will help you thrive and rise above the competition by, among other things:
i. Streamlining booking
The basic ingredient for speeding up the growth of your salon is more and more clients. Automated online appointment booking is one of the few factors that will bring you more clients. For starters, it will allow clients to book appointments any time of day, all year round. Clients don’t want to be bound by your working hours. They want salons that don’t require them to call or drive to the salon to book appointments. Secondly, online booking allows you to create automated questionnaires that clients can answer during the booking process.
Clients don’t feel bugged to answer these questions, which makes them want to answer them even more honestly. The answers they give will help you improve customer experience and, in the long run, take your salon to the next level. Thirdly, online booking allows clients to book appointments from their own handheld devices, directly from Google or social media. That convenience will get you more clients.
ii. Automating appointment reminders
Reminding customers about their upcoming appointments is the single most effective way of reducing no-shows and late coming. With advanced software, you don’t have to write reminders for every client. Manual reminders are not only time-consuming but also highly ineffective because you can easily forget to send them. Your software will customize and send periodic, automatic alert notifications to clients either via SMS or email.
iii. Improve inventory management
You will never run out of stock when you have salon software tracking the levels and usage of your inventory. Advanced software will automatically raise purchase orders on your behalf, based on your purchase history. It can analyze demand and supply trends for you and help you predict just the right amount of stock to order for a given season. That minimizes the chances of ordering excess or unwanted stock, so you don’t block your capital on the shelves.
iv. Improve financial management
Salon owners everywhere are turning to Novo as an effective financial tool to manage their income. It combines business and accounting features, such as invoicing, tracking payments, budgeting, taxes, and reporting. These features allow salon owners to keep better track of their finances, so they can make sound financial decisions based on real-time data.
With its easy-to-use dashboard and timely notifications about accounts receivables and other salon finances, you’ll have insight into your financial picture at all times. Plus, it integrates with almost every existing accounting software, making it simple to sync up your salon data for more accurate analysis.
2. Marketing tools
Your salon software can be an invaluable marketing tool, especially with regard to email and SMS marketing. It allows you to collect clients’ contacts during the booking stage, info that you can then use to reach out to clients in a more personalized manner.
Apart from your salon software, it is important to have software that helps you organize and optimize marketing and basic PR. You need a tool that analyzes your conversion data in order to help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. That helps you maximize the value you get from your marketing budget and minimize futile, ineffective marketing strategies. More than this, a good marketing tool will collect, analyze, and interpret market numbers to help you make more informed investment decisions in the foreseeable future.
3. Social Media Management Tool
I trust you have a business account on one- if not all major social media platforms- notably Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you don’t have social media presence, you are already late to the party. Your potential customers are all over social media, waiting for you to reach out. But then, having multiple social media accounts comes with its own baggage called content management. If you manage different accounts separately, you not only waste lots of valuable time but also risk losing your brand consistency somewhere along the way.
Remember: Your brand messages need to be consistent across all online platforms if you are to earn the trust of your client base.
Social media management tools step in to alleviate this problem. These tools will help you create and schedule posts for different platforms- all from the same dashboard. That guarantees brand consistency across all your social accounts, saves you time & headaches, and improves the efficiency of your social media marketing efforts.
4. Accounting tools
Business is all about profit. You have to keep track of your finances in order to streamline overhead costs, optimize your profits, stay compliant with existing financial regulations, and effectively manage your payroll. You probably aren’t a financial expert or a sucker for math, so managing your accounts will always be a tall order for you.
One way of ensuring that your finances are in order is to hire a trained professional. Another way is to invest in accounting software and program it to do the sums for you. Other important software to have include payroll software, tax software, and bookkeeping software. Even if you have a trained accountant on your payroll, you should have accounting tools in your arsenal just for precaution.
5. Videoconferencing software
Video conferencing software will fuel your salon’s growth by enhancing communication and collaboration, both internally and externally. You can, for example, use your video conferencing software to give virtual beauty consultation services or product demos to clients.
That’s one more income stream in your books. These tools will also help you hold productive virtual marketing sessions with clients or brainstorming meetings with your team members.
6. Time-tracking tools
Effective time management is fundamental for the success of any business. And, as you’ll probably agree, managing time in a creative space such as a salon isn’t the easiest thing to do. That is why you need an appropriate time-tracking tool such as MinuteDock in order to effectively quantify the usage of your workday.
That way, you will easily patch up the sections of your schedule that cause unwanted time wastage. What’s more, your time management software will help you get your pricing right by giving you a clearer picture of the ideal length for different appointments.
The tools listed above are just examples of what you need in order to speed up the growth of your salon business. It is your job now to consider what to prioritize and what to put a pin on. You don’t need to rush and acquire all these tools at once. Take your time to research and experiment before making the final decision.