Your Salon Software Buyer’s Guide

Salon software is a great tool to help with many day-to-day tasks. No matter your business’s size or how long your doors have been open, you can streamline your operations with everything from booking appointments through point of sale to inventory management, salon marketing, and more. However, it can be overwhelming when considering which software might be best for your salon and how you run your business. 

To help simplify your software search, below are a few things to keep in mind:

Use Current Technology

Today, most salon software is available as a cloud-based service. The application and your data are conveniently managed on a series of secure servers where you can access everything at any time and from anywhere with internet access. Cloud-based software eliminates compatibility issues and is available as a monthly subscription, with automatic software updates and some level of support.

Research Who's Behind Your Software

Choosing the ideal company to work with is as important as the software's performance and feature list. When shopping for software, you’ll want to spend time researching who created, owns, and now operates the company you are considering. Carefully evaluate if they service other industries and inquire about their policy regarding who owns your client information.

Seek Salon-Specific Software

Salons have a unique workflow, so your software company needs to know and understand your specific industry. The right software should be a sure fit with everything where you expect it, making it intuitive to use when running your salon.

Find Software that Grows With You

Efficiency is usually a top priority in a busy salon. That's why salon management software with the ability to book client appointments electronically is essential. The ideal salon software grows with your salon and frees up your staff so they can provide more personal attention to your clients.

7 popular salon software features to consider:

1. Client Scheduling

With appointment scheduling, you want effortless software with intuitive and easy-to-use features. You should be able to plan multiple appointments with only a few clicks plus access your client's history, even personalize reminders. You’ll want client information immediately available with a simple click on the appointment screen, with contact information, color formulas, personal preferences, and the client’s complete history at your fingertips.

Some of the must-haves include cancellation management, enhanced workflow, double-booking, and access to your schedule from anywhere.

2. Online Client Scheduling

Letting your clients book their appointments online will help fill your schedule and save time from answering as many calls. You’ll find that the best online scheduling software offers cluster booking, minimum scheduling gaps, and a client log.

3. Text & Email Confirmations

Automated communications can help save your salon time and eliminate the need for appointment confirmation calls or individual electronic reminders. Text and email confirmations will also help minimize late clients and no-shows.

4. Point of Sale (POS)

Client checkout should be fast, simple, and hassle-free. Your POS should easily access client information, ring up sales, plus manage your cash drawer and all transaction types on any device.

If possible, look for a company with integrated payment processing for easier management and tracking. You'll also want access to advanced reporting options with detailed performance and financial reports so you can track your business and streamline your accounting and payroll.

5. Retailing Options

Between mass updates, running-low alerts, and integrated ordering, manage your salon inventory with ease with a robust inventory management system. Look for software that can upload and update products in mass. You'll also want running-low alerts, suggestive selling, and integrated salon ordering so that you can keep your inventory well-stocked without over-buying.

To cater to your clientele segment who prefer to shop online, look for salon software with integrated online retailing. You can offer an expanded range of products without additional inventory or worry about shipping—an added convenience for you and your clients.

6. Marketing

Most salon software offers features to help communicate with your clients and promote your business. Look for mass text or email messaging so you can market to your clients without having to upload lists. Also, automated texts and emails are great tools to streamline your marketing - opt for a system that provides birthday greetings, due back notices, etc.

7. Support and Training

Seek easy-to-follow tutorials and a knowledgeable support team that understands your needs and is ready and able to help. Just be sure to ask about the costs and limitations of training and ongoing customer support. The best salon software provides these services and data conversions from your existing software at no cost.

Regardless of your business size, your salon software should be easy to use and offer seamless navigation with features that help you effectively manage your business. Ultimately, your salon software should free up more time for you and your team to do what your salon does best: service your clients!

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.