Going Digital: Software in your Salon
May 19, 2008 12:57 PM
Computers strike fear into the hearts of many salon teams, but today's systems and software are uncomplicated and offer business-boosting solutions.
We've asked IT experts from leading salon technology providers for advice on why embracing technology is easier than you think.
What support will I receive when setting up my salon software?
Depending on the package you go for, your software supplier should offer extensive support to ensure you feel confident with your new technology from the outset. Initial advice ranges from in-salon training on installation, to comprehensive handbooks, manuals and checklists.
Where can I go for advice if I get stuck?
Any reputable salon technology provider will issue a helpline number, so you can ask for advice whenever you need it. Some even offer a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week service.
What kind of training will I get for myself and my team?
Leading software suppliers will always ensure you, as the salon owner, are fully trained in using a system before going live with the new technology. Many also offer training courses for salon teams, to help brief your colleagues on mastering the programs, as well as training DVDs or the opportunity to attend workshops or bespoke courses.
I'm not good with computers. Are these systems difficult to use?
Salon management programs have been designed with you in mind, and the companies behind these systems realise your skills are far more likely to lie in hairdressing or business management than in technical wizardry. As a result, they're kept simple and are clear and intuitive, often with large icons, easy-access charts and sometimes touch-screen technology so you don't even need to master a mouse.
Will investing in technology pay for itself in the long run?
Many systems give you the opportunity to raise your average client spend, by remembering details that help win customer loyalty, such as their favourite treatments, their birthday, or even how they like their coffee. Programs designed to record appointment and contact details can also identify clients who haven't visited the salon for some time, giving you the chance to win them back with targeted marketing and enticing offers - often through automated emails or text messages, all processed online.
What advantages does technology have over pen and paper?
Rather than scribbling sums in a notebook and wading through your notes, by computerising your stock control, you can see in seconds which retail products are selling the quickest, when you need to place orders and, with certain programs, how much profit you're making from every bottle. Other programs remove the time-consuming calculations from wages and balance sheets. And by keeping digital databases of your clients - current and lapsed - you can tailor your marketing to target specific groups, keep up-to-date with your customers' styles and ensure you're in touch as often as necessary.
Which companies offer salon software?
Ikosoft: 0845 094 2606
i-salon: 01628 488900
Kitomba: 0800 085 6122
Millennium Software: 08703 504410
Mutu: Call 0844 445 7500
Premier Software: 01543 466580
Rage International (RAGE, TES and StockIt): 0870 005 6557
Salon Advantage: 0870 240 3929
Salon Genius: 0871 424 0151
Salon Iris: 0121 314 4402
Shortcuts: 0161 972 4900
Style Salon Solutions: Call 0845 871 6456