- Getty Images/Motortion

Getty Images/Motortion

There was a time when a salon’s point-of-sale (POS) system just took payments and organized appointments. Today, salon management software can work to improve production by not only simplifying business processes for users, but by handling behind-the-scenes tasks like sending marketing emails and managing online reviews. While choosing management software may have been an afterthought years ago, it can be a critical contributor to a salon’s business today. Read on to learn how the right POS solution can work to improve your spa, salon or nail business.

 

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Most programs today are web- or cloud-based, allowing owners and their teams access, regardless of where they are or what device they are using, 24/7, maximizing profitability.

For beauty professionals who rent a booth or deliver mobile services, software accessibility becomes important primarily for payment and scheduling. When choosing a software system, consider how and when you’ll be doing business and charging for services.

 

Schedule Smarter

Salon POS systems handle the scheduling of clients and staff while tracking important details about both. Systems can track employee sales, tips and commissions, simplifying payroll and taxes. They can also track client purchases and past services, and make intuitive product and service suggestions at checkout.

The sophisticated online scheduling capabilities of newer platforms benefit everyone from the client to the business owner and service provider. While a client is scrolling social media after business hours, for example, she can easily make an appointment via an integrated Facebook or Instagram app. If the appointment happens to be the provider’s first of the day, an automated text might be sent to the stylist, alerting her to be at the salon earlier than she had planned.

 

Automate and Profit

Whether you rent a chair or suite, own a salon or work on a commissioned team, loyalty programs, targeted emails and referral programs will benefit your bottom line. Automating these processes can be invaluable as these business drivers are time-consuming to implement and manage.

Is a client overdue for a service? Does she have a birthday you want to acknowledge? Want to thank a new guest for coming in? Today’s software systems can recognize who should be contacted and why, and deliver the appropriate email, text or phone call to keep clients feeling looped in, appreciated and excited to come back. This proactive marketing approach can yield big returns.

Most salon management software automates appointment confirmation, relieving the front desk of time on the phone, and allowing them to concentrate on serving guests in the salon. This decreases no-shows substantially, as clients are contacted several times after booking with appointment reminders and opportunities to confirm or reschedule their services.

 

Simplify Reporting

Number crunching and time-consuming analytics are made simpler with the software systems now available. You can pull reports instantly, allowing you to easily review key performance indicators such as pre-booking percentage, customer retention and average sale per order.  

With the ability to review numbers so easily, staff performance can be appraised early and often, whether you’re analyzing retail sales or reviewing productivity. Client reports will show top-spenders and loyalists, and can also indicate who may need reengagement.

Another benefit of some software systems is the ability to pull individual client lists, as well as retail and service reports, allowing employees and independent providers the ability to coexist in one POS system.

Build Your Brand

Salon software systems can help to build your brand by following up with guests, encouraging clients to review their experience after each appointment. Additionally, the software can notify you immediately of any online reviews that may require a response, allowing you to manage and protect your reputation against any negative feedback.

 

Manage Inventory

Many systems offer innovative technology that can save time for service providers and simplify the inventory process. For example, several POS systems offer Bluetooth-enabled scales at the hair color counter that communicate and record color usage, and even formula, so services are properly charged and recorded. A stylist can know exactly how she achieved her client’s color results for the next appointment, and can be confident the products will be on hand, as inventory will be automatically updated.

Some systems even integrate ordering, so when inventory falls outside parameters set by a business owner, products will be automatically ordered with a local distributor. Also, by identifying sales trends, reports created by your software can assist with seasonal ordering or alert you to the products that may not be moving.

 

Time Savings

By automating often-tedious processes like inventory, reporting and scheduling, and doing behind-the-scenes work like confirming appointments and emailing clients with specials to fill last-minute openings, the right salon management software can seamlessly serve as a valuable member of your team. With these aspects of the business taken care of, owners have more time to devote to the creative work they love.

 

Originally posted on Salon Today