Getting the Most out of Your Salon or Spa Software
By Lisa Starr
Did you ever say “I wish my salon software . . .” only to find out that it does, indeed, do that thing that you were wishing for, you just didn’t know it?
Here are some recommendations to help you make full use of your platform’s capabilities and maximize your investment.
Today’s salon software and spa software is light-years beyond the programs that first came on the market some 25 years ago. What began as a rudimentary tool to create a transactional database has turned into a slick, essential business component for both business management and client communications. Back when beauty industry software systems first appeared, many businesses adapted the POS portion, and perhaps used the payroll or inventory portions, but often shied away from incorporating an appointment book. It took a few years for pens and whiteout to be replaced by trust in a digital version. And many spas and salons still utilized third-party solutions for components such as marketing efforts and gift certificate creation and processing.
Flash forward to today, and it seems there is very little that cannot be accomplished by your salon and spa software, from basics like creating a transactional database, to inventory management, to payroll creation, to advanced capabilities including social media marketing. If you find yourself wondering if there isn’t a better way to accomplish something, there probably is—you just need to find it. All software, no matter the creator, has its twists, turns, and hidden alleys, it’s just a matter of learning how to navigate.
Chances are excellent that the company that created your software offers training videos and detailed “how-to” tutorials, but they’re only helpful if you use them! Sometimes it may take a couple of go-throughs before it starts to click, but these demonstrations can be very illuminating.
If you’re not tech savvy, ask someone on your staff that is for help. Often, you’ll find that your support staff can easily discover something that you’ve spent ages looking for. The difference is that they are not afraid to click away, and that’s a great thing to do when you find yourself on hold on a phone call for a few minutes; just start clicking on a topic and see where it takes you. You may discover a really useful report or capability that you didn’t know you needed.
As the salon and spa business has matured, software has done so also. But the more capabilities a system has, the more complex it may be, especially under the hood. There are always points of frustration with any software, but for your business, it’s usually easier to learn your software’s capabilities and mold your business processes around it, rather than create awkward workarounds. Remember, the purpose of the software is to streamline your business and to make it more nimble, while putting useful tools in the hands of more people.
Giving your support staff the ability to market to clients and create social media interest makes them feel empowered. Enabling online bookings allows your staff to dedicate more quality time to speaking with clients who are unfamiliar with your spa treatments, giving an orientation tour to a first-time guest, or pre-booking a follow-up appointment during checkout.
If you dedicate only 15 minutes per week to exploring a new area of your software or engaging with training materials, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can learn. Don’t be shy!