Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


With technology constantly evolving, embracing salon software will help you to both manage and grow your business in a range of ways

1 Stay ahead of the competition

“We know that our industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, and as technology continues to advance, salon businesses that don’t embrace this change run the risk of being left behind,” says Alessandro Bruzzi, chief product officer at Treatwell. “Salon software provides crucial tools to keep businesses ahead of the curve. It offers an endless wealth of features and benefits, which simply don’t come with traditional pen-and-paper management. These include booking management, intelligent analytics and streamlined operations.”

“As your hair or beauty business grows, so will its clientele, making it more and more difficult to manage this growing database manually,” says Oliver Cahill, managing director at Premier Software, part of Journey Hospitality. “A paper diary simply can’t keep up with the benefits of a digital database, which can manage client records, and store loyalty scheme information, client preferences, patch test information and more. Without software, the chances are you will lose clients in a matter of months to faster, more efficient salons that are using a management system, simply because you won’t be able to keep up with the growth of your business.”

“Clients these days continually turn to the internet to find services, so any salon that doesn’t have an online booking offering and a strong online presence will quickly be left behind,” says Avril Kealy, SEO and conversion copywriter, Phorest Salon Software. “Similarly, we are living in an age where convenience and speed is prioritised over everything else, so by giving this to clients, you become their preferred salon.”

2 Boost your revenue

“Salon software can assist at literally every stage of the client journey,” says Cahill. “From the moment a client wants to make a booking, software can show them your available slots so they can make an appointment online, without having to wait to call your salon during opening hours.

“Once that client visits your salon, an effective software system will help you upsell – with aftercare products, for example. A paper system simply can’t prompt your team to recommend these products.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic showed us that relying on in-salon service sales only is risky,” notes Kealy. “Salon software allows you to diversify your revenue in a variety of ways, such as online retail, booking deposits, video consultations, online gift cards and loyalty programmes, which all help to encourage client retention and repeat spending.”

“With an online booking platform, salons are visible to a whole new audience of potential clients, therefore potential revenue,” says Bruzzi. “Management tools can also ensure that salons don’t lose out on revenue. For example, they can provide insightful reporting and analytics that can help salon owners better organise their finances and funds. You can also track client data, including appointment history, preferences and contact information. Without this, salon owners can miss out on opportunities to reach out to their clients with special offers.”

3 Ease the pressure

“Salon software alleviates the pressure of managing a hair or beauty business manually,” says Cahill. “It can take bookings and place them in a colour-coded diary, meaning staff can easily see booked appointments, and their status. It can also set promotional prices for set periods, in advance. That means promotions will run automatically when needed, with prices accounted for, without needing to remember the new price of every treatment or retail item. Automation extends to the running of reports too – for example, you can regularly check your retail levels and your top-selling items.”

“Digital solutions can reduce pressure on salon owners by helping to streamline various aspects of their business,” says Bruzzo. “For example, an appointment scheduling feature means they can organise their days easily and know that their diaries are always up-to-date. Having a point of sale (POS) system allows owners to process a variety of different payment methods, which speeds up the checkout process, reduces errors and gives clients the freedom and convenience they want.”

“Software can also assist you with staff management,” says Kealy. “Rostering tools help you set and manage staff hours, set working days and track annual leave. You can also set challenges and goals for your staff based on the KPIs that matter most to your business, and set tiered or flat commission structures. Meanwhile, reporting tools will keep you up-to-date on exactly how your salon is doing at all times.”

4 Avoid low occupancy

“Most salon owners will know just how difficult salon life can be, especially when it seems that there’s just not enough clients coming through the door,” says Bruzzi. “Salon software can transform a business struggling with low occupancy. Finding a last-minute appointment as a client is much easier if you can view availability and book online. What’s more, salons can use insightful digital analytics to figure out which times are usually quieter. They can then implement smart last-minute and off-peak discounts to counter this and tempt clients to fill those empty seats.”

“An online salon system can open your business up 24/7,” says Cahill. “With standard working patterns, many clients prefer to book their appointments when they're at home after a long day. If you have an online booking offering, you're making it convenient for them to make their appointment when it suits them, and they'll have to reason to take their business elsewhere.”

5 Avail of added expertise

“Your team are all trained in specific treatments and skill sets, but may not have experience in other areas, such as marketing,” says Cahill. “With salon software, you can set up branded email marketing templates for different scenarios, such as for booking confirmations, promotions, or for clients who haven’t visited for a while. These tools are simple to use, and there’s no need for you to have a degree in marketing.”

“Salon software will mean all your business administration is simplified, without compromising on quality,” says Kealy. “It offers detailed reporting that’s easy to understand, inventory management that covers everything from stock-taking to making orders, and hyper-targeted marketing that is easy to customise and segment.”

“Accurately analysing and calculating the numerous facts, figures and finances within your business can be a tricky job. It’s definitely one that would require plenty of extra time, training and expertise. But salon software can automate and process every aspect of your business analytics, and present it in an accessible way. It's an invaluable tool, allowing salon owners to make informed, data-driven decisions that build their businesses for the future.” 

This article appears in the July/August 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the July/August 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland