Choosing software for your salon or spa is a big decision. You’ll rely on it to help your business function on a day-to-day basis, as well as supporting your business as you grow, so it needs to have all the functionality you need.
From managing your appointment book and taking online bookings, sending appointment reminders and follow-ups, storing client details, point-of-sale, staff timetable management, stock management, marketing and so much more, salon and spa software has the potential to do it all.
However, there are five important questions you need to ask in order to make sure your chosen software fits the unique needs of your hair and beauty business, which we cover below.
1. Does it provide all the software features you need?
Start by making a list of everything you want the software to do in your salon or spa.
- Appointment book
- Client cards and history
- Staff timetables and rotas
- Automated appointment reminder messages
- Email and SMS automated and campaign marketing
- Client loyalty programmes
- Part payment solutions
- Online booking
- Repeat appointments
- Stock management
- Digital consultation forms
- Targets and commission
- Business reporting
- Payroll integration
- Security to keep client details secure
- Remote access
- Enterprise options
Once you’ve created your list, arrange the list items in order of priority, with the most important at the top. Now you have a checklist you can use to make sure the software meets your needs.
2. Is the software easy to use?
Salons and spas can be very busy places, so any system has to meet your needs and be easy to use. It’s no use ticking all the boxes if it takes too long to do your number one priority.
Make sure the tasks you do the most, like making and moving appointments, completing sales, are easy for you and your team to learn and do.
How do you find out whether the software is easy to use? Book a demo of the software so you can see it working in action and how intuitive it is.
3. Does the company have a good reputation?
When choosing your salon and spa software, it’s important you do your research into the software provider. To do this, you could ask around other friendly local spas and salons to find out which systems they use, which ones they considered and why they chose the one they did. You could also ask industry groups online, or people you know in the industry.
Ask them if they’re happy to recommend the one they use and why. You should also ask if they’re happy with the service and support they get when they need help.
4. What happens when you need support?
If you run into an issue with your software or you can’t figure out how to do something, it’s important that your software provider can provide you with the support you need as quickly as possible.
Being able to pick up the phone and call your software provider’s support team, rather than have to look up how to do it yourself online or wait for an email response, will always be the best option when you need urgent help.
Ask what kind of support the software company provides and whether the support is free (included in your package), or if you have to pay for support, as this will need to be factored into your software budget.
Sometimes software can go down, so it’s important that you will still have access to your system if outages occur. Check whether the software provider offers double platforms, which means you have software locally installed on your salon, spa or clinic’s main computer, as well as having a cloud-based online version of the software that can be accessed from any device.
This helps to ensure you’ll always have a system that works if one of them experiences issues, such as if your internet connection fails.
5. Is there a package to suit your budget?
Salon and spa software prices vary depending on the features available and the pricing structure, so you’ll need to know what features your business needs, how many users (do you have a large team or do you work solo?) and your budget.
For example, if you have a big team and want all the best software features your package will be more expensive than a salon with one or two team members, but it’s important to choose quality and value over price. You also need to find out whether there are any hidden costs associated with the software you choose, such as the costs of using premium features of free salon software, for example.
When it comes to business management software, high-quality salon software will add to your profitability by, for example, streamlining and automating processes, reducing no-shows, improving your rebooking rate and increasing retail sales. Choose software that has all the features you need, including support, for a reasonable price.
Find your salon or spa’s perfect software match
Choosing the best software for your salon or spa isn’t an easy decision, but asking these five questions will help you to find your perfect match.
If you’re looking for trusted salon and spa software with no hidden costs, book your free demo of Kitomba Salon and Spa Software.
Kitomba has been providing salons, spas and clinics with reliable, industry specific, all-in-one business management software since 2002. The tiered package and price structure means there’s a package and price to fit the needs of every business.
Book your free personalised demo and a member of our team will be in touch to organise a time to show you the software and discuss the features and package that will provide the most value for your salon or spa.
Free e-book: 100 ways to grow your salon, spa or clinic
Growing a successful business involves many different factors. As a salon, spa or clinic owner, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks, but it’s important to create a plan for growth.
In this e-book, you’ll get 100 actionable ways to grow your salon, spa or clinic across the core areas of your business! Even just implementing a few of these ideas can make a big difference.
- 6 salon software features that will improve your business
- The lowdown on free salon software: is it really free?
- 8 things to look for in an online booking platform
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 4 November 2011 and has been completely updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.