Choosing the right salon reservation system is very essential to the success of your salon business. The market for salon reservation systems has exploded over the years. There are hundreds of salon booking systems out there. You may have researched salon software alternatives at different salon software comparison and review sites.
To help you find the right salon booking system for your salon, here is The Ultimate Guide To Choose The Best Salon Booking System For Your Salon.
I. 9 Steps To Determine What Kind Of Salon Booking System You Will Need
Choosing salon software can be difficult. Whether you are changing from pen and paper or other software, you can consider several factors; Should you have a cloud-based system or installed? Do you need a full management system or just a lightweight booking app? What is your budget, and how is your marketing plan?
The decisions you make can directly affect your salon's smooth and successful running for years to come, so we've put together this guide to help you choose the best salon software.
Here are 9 steps to determine which salon booking system is the most suitable for you!
1. Determine the business size of your salon
If you're a one-man-band and most of your clients are regular guests or come through referrals, you probably need a basic salon booking system to help you keep track of your schedule.
If you are a larger salon or owning many businesses, you should choose a salon software that not only keeps track of your appointment book but also tells you about your business performance. And help you manage your employees and market your customers.
A comprehensive salon software system acts as a digital salon manager to identify strengths and areas for improvement. It can tell you who your best performers are, which stocks never leave the shelves, and how much you can increase your annual revenue if you reduce the number of absent visitors or increase the price.
Usually, with salon software, more comprehensive systems come with a higher price tag. Still, if you consider your potential growth, you'll often find that the revenue increases more than enough to cover the initial cost.
2. Make out if your customers want to book online or not.
Most people are extremely busy 9 to 5 hours daily, so it can be challenging to find time to call or go to the local hair salon, spa, or beauty salon. That's why so many customers prefer to book online, as they can quickly log in during lunch break or after work hours.
Research has shown that 35% of customers prefer to book outside of business hours. That's 35% more business that you could lose!
Online booking allows customers to schedule appointments from mobile phones, tablets, or PCs, conveniently. Our bePOS service can be linked to your website or Facebook page for quick and easy access so customers can book themselves as soon as they think of you. It is especially important to have a mostly young clientele, as they tend to want to manage everything online.
Different providers offer online booking in different ways. Some will charge a fee or a percentage per booking, which can be costly if your online booking is genuinely successful.
bePOS is included with most of our plans and can be added to a small amount when not available. We only charge the set monthly price without adding an extra fee per booking, so a good month for booking never ends with a massive bill for you.
3. Determine how the system handles multiple salon rooms and services
If your salon offers a mix of hair and beauty services, such as do hair, manicure, and hair removal, you'll want to take a closer look at how the system handles multiple rooms and services.
For example, you might have several beauty professionals who can perform hair removal, but only one room can accommodate this. In this case, you will need a system that ensures that you do not accidentally book a double booking on the basis that both therapists are available. Likewise, it is quick and easy to make reservations for a client to get a haircut and colour, followed by a manicure.
Some systems target smaller salons or a select group of services, which should be fine if that's what you offer, and you intend to stay the same. However, you may have to go through more steps with complicated and unreliable booking procedures if you want to expand.
Therefore, before choosing your new salon software, you should request a live demonstration of the system and make sure it can process reservations precisely the way you need it without any workaround long decision.
4. Consider among cloud-based and locally installed salon booking system.
There are some advantages and weaknesses to both locally installed and cloud-based systems, and at first glance, it is not always clear which method is of the type. However, that's a question worth asking when you consider any potential salon software. Here's why:
A locally installed system is installed directly into your salon's reception computer and stores all your salon data. Meanwhile, a cloud-based system stores all of your customer and appointment data online and typically requires an internet connection at all times.
The most crucial factor here is your internet connection. Are you confident that your salon's connection is generally relatively fast and that your internet provider will quickly fix any problems? If not, consider what happens if you lose your internet connection on a busy Saturday afternoon. You may find yourself without access to your cloud-based system, along with appointments, customer data, and allergy tests - possibly for hours or even days!
5. Estimate the budget for your salon booking system
You should choose a plan based on your needs and number of employees; then you get it if you pay a monthly fee (or a period) in your contract period.
The latter means that if your system is paid for, it's all yours, and your monthly costs will drop dramatically. You can then choose to continue billing for additional services in progress or continue using the system for free. It will save money for a long time for many people.
You will also want to consider any costs on the system. For example, how much does your potential software provider charge for the SMS and loyalty card credit, and does it charge for each online booking? Ensure you tally all your costs to see if the low-cost system is as cheap as you can imagine.
Furthermore, it would help if you considered how the system could impact your profits. A full management system may come with higher monthly costs, but will often provide outstanding reporting, marketing, and time-saving features that will boost your earnings in the long run.
6. Determine how to market your salon
Marketing is about understanding your clients and finding out what interests them. Are they the savvy millennials who will only book an appointment after checking your salon's online reviews? Are they busy professionals looking for quick fixes and flash sales, or are they longtime professionals that appreciate getting something back for their loyalty?
Salon marketing can be done via direct SMS, email, social media, loyalty cards, or even your salon app. The options are endless! So think where your clients are and how they tend to communicate and ensure that your future salon booking system can reach them on their favourite platforms. If you have clients of all ages and genders, you should choose a salon booking system that offers marketing services in a couple of different ways.
When you have a diverse customer base, it is essential to have software that allows you to segment different marketing demographics. For example, if you want to advertise your new anti-ageing treatment, you might want to do so with customers over 50. This benefits happier customers, as they receive more personalized offers, and will also help your marketing more cost-effective as you don't waste time and money on the consortium. Contact those who cannot accept the offer.
With bePOS, customers can contact their customers via SMS and email, and there is a range of loyalty programs to choose from, including loyalty cards, gift cards, and referrals.
7. Understand your staffing situation
It's not uncommon to have so many different types of employees in the salon business. You might have several stylists recruited and some self-employed, managed, apprentice and receptionist. They will likely have other systems and structures for salaries and commissions, so you will want your salon software to accommodate this.
It will help if you consider how the system handles employee metrics and reporting, as this can be used to promote your beauty team and boost your profits.
Furthermore, you may want to limit your salon software system based on who is using it, for example, by preventing your apprentices from seeing your employees' performance metrics or your financial reports.
When you are looking for a new system, make sure it will suit all your circumstances before signing any contract.
8. Check the security and how your data is backed up.
IT security may not be on your mind as a salon owner, but several factors affect your salon. First, the GDPR requires that you keep your customers' data safe. It means taking appropriate measures to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
This is the reason why people want to switch from pen and paper to salon software - keeping customer data much more secure (and convenient!) Through passwords, fingerprint readers, and stars autosave, rather than locking sheets of paper.
What's more, small businesses are frequently targeted by hackers in cyberattacks like 'ransomware,' which lock your data and only allow you access if you pay the attackers money. Common reasons for data loss are theft, floods, and fires.
It is essential that you should check the safety of any potential salon software and how your data is backed up. With bePOS, you can manage your backups or use our secure automated backup service.
9. Is the hardware necessary for your salon booking system?
Hardware is anything from your salon's computers to tablets, tablets, receipt printers, and fingerprint scanners. If you are IT savvy, you may want to choose your kit. However, once you feel that your expertise is substantial in hairdressing and beauty, you will want to partner with a salon booking system company that can supply your system's ideal hardware.
This helps you to save both time and hassle as you won't have to deal with multiple retailers to offer front desks or multiple customer support centres when something goes wrong.
At bePOS, we offer everything from PCs to barcode scanners, PDQ machines, receipt printers, authentication, and even phone and internet contracts. We also provide full support for any hardware purchased from us, giving you a single stop for all your shop's hardware and software needs!
II. 7 Must-have Features of A Salon Booking System
In the last few years, we have seen a dramatic change in technology from manual processes to next-generation automated technologies and applications. You can see its impact on the beauty industry. Beauty workers are now using cutting edge Salon & Spa Software to improve the growth of their business. Such software helps business owners automate various aspects of day-to-day operations and have full control over them. Even, they can modify their processes to support business growth and meet customer satisfaction levels.
Whether you run your salon or large-scale beauty business, makeup salon booking system for makeup, artists can make their job easier. Appointment booking, marketing, customer profile tracking - all these processes are all easier with bePOS. You can also access it from both mobile devices and computers and add a credit card and POS processing to the bePOS.
If you own a salon, you must pay attention to your salon software's features. Here are some of the essential features mentioned:
1. Online Booking
Online booking is an essential feature of the salon booking system. Each salon must add this feature to their application. Through this mandatory feature, your clients will be able to book appointments with ease. Online booking is where you give guests access to book their appointments over the web. This option adds convenience to your customers by scheduling appointments whenever they want, from any device. The app should also have an integrated calendar so that customers can schedule meetings as quickly as they want. The booking button will take the customer to the reservation form, asking them for the following details:
Date and time
Whether it was their first visit to a beauty specialist/salon
And a message for beauties
Next is the checkout procedure, where the customer needs to provide his / her credit details and complete the order.
If the online booking rate is significantly higher, your salon/spa team will have more time to deal with other tasks and allow your salon to operate more efficiently.
Another great thing about online scheduling feature is that your customers help maintain your database. For example, if they've moved or got a new phone number, your customers are more likely to modify their information when it appears in front of them when they make an appointment. This is more likely than the customer remembers to tell the receptionist. Customers can also indicate how they want to communicate: via email, text, or both.
Online scheduling also allows you to sell membership, promote gift cards, and even recommend or pre-order products for a customer's next visit. Everything is done without the need for physical interaction or the "open" salon.
bePOS provides the appointment management feature that helps you manage all the above-complicated tasks easily. It keeps your desk running thanks to an intuitive salon & spa appointment book on the touchscreen, and you don't have to worry about double booking. You can quickly schedule, recurring, and rescheduling your appointments, which will save you valuable time. With its smart platform, you can order online, by email, text message, or directly by phone. An invoice will be created and printed automatically when the customer arrives. The system allows customers to book appointments via your website or Facebook page 24/7 and notify you in advance about them.
2. Mobile Access
Having a cloud-based salon booking system offers many advantages.
One of the essential benefits is software and 24/7 data access. This mobile convenience allows you to check schedules, schedule appointments, run reports, and check inventory anywhere, even at home.
For your customers they can schedule appointments online using any device. They are only accessed through a link on the salon's website or social media.
What's great about working in the cloud? No more compatibility issues with locally installed software - or your computer and its operating system. Instead of being hampered by IT problems, you can focus on your business.
You also don't need to worry about frustration, inconvenience, or the cost of installing or updating software when using a cloud-based application. Maintenance, updates, and patches take place behind the scenes. The software company does all of this. No network, computer systems, or third-party vendors are required to integrate them.
Search for cloud-based salon software that provides access to data. This software feature allows you to keep specific aspects of your business private. You can give your employees access to view their schedules or other related data.
3. Inventory Management
An integrated inventory management system is another critical asset to your salon. If you do retail, you will want this feature.
The system helps keep track of your inventory by adjusting the quantity each time there is a sale, return, or shipment of a new product. You'll always want to have stock, so your customers have the products they want to buy in the store.
The system will also help you avoid overbought. This is especially useful for slower-moving items.
These are the great features to consider with inventory management software include the ability to batch upload and update. You'll want low-end and integrated ordering alerts when you need to purchase more products for your retail or back bars. With the low-end reminder feature, you'll know when to order more products without having to count the number of bottles on your shelf.
With bePOS, you can manage all product and warehouse transactions to help you build an effective financial plan.
4. Treatment Management
Packages are combinations of services provided in a single package or service, such as:
Summer Skincare Package,
Hair polishing package,
Weight loss package, etc.
Packages are classified according to the number of services and the value of all services combined. Quantity-based services are often offered to individuals and on the value provided to celebrities and organizations. The payment is made in advance by the customer during the service package, which will decrease when the customer uses the service. Packages are time-based, which makes it essential to keep track of customer advances.
Especially, bePOS has treatment management features that users can add unlimited treatments, such as:
Prices and discounts
Treatment time management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the latest term that defines the relationship between a customer and a seller throughout the purchasing process. This is a powerful feature to grow your spa business, and it helps you attract more clients. There is POS software for shops with CRM features to help you connect with the spa and the salon's audience.
CRM of bePOS allows saving time as it lets you manage appointments, payment, and personal information. The system supports loyal customer care programs.
A smart dashboard in the salon booking system allows you to track the salon's performance. You can configure goals for month, quarter, or year and compare them with real data. You can also set branch or location growth, stylist or therapist performance, customer acquisition, and inventory revenue. It will help you to plan effective marketing strategies.
The salon booking system you choose can make running your business more accessible or more difficult. bePOS can help you make things simpler and more convenient by centralizing your essential business activities. The salon's software is like a catalyst for growth, helping you increase your business's profit. It enables you to keep a close eye on revenue, employee's performance, the rate of return customers, etc. It is an optimal sales management system to improve and develop your business.
7. Marketing Capabilities
Salon booking system features help make marketing your products and services more efficient. They also help build your business and retain customers. There are some ways to keep the flow of communication moving to your customers related to email marketing and text messaging.
Automated Email Marketing: Some great features allow you to set greetings automatically, such as setting up a happy birthday email to send to existing clients every year.
Mass Email Marketing: Mass email marketing lets you create, send, and track emails for your customers. This can be applied to a group selected on your list. Either way, keeping an eye on recent developments, presenting store promotions, and sharing tips and trends is excellent. All of them are great ways to keep your customers updated and engaged.
Mass Text Message Marketing: You can do the marketing directly to customers by texting / SMS; your message will be delivered to their phone. With texting features built into your salon software, you can send that message. One way to use this is through individual text prompts that you can remind a client the time to make an appointment and choose to message a larger group. For example, if your store has discounted promotional items or general news to share. Just like with email marketing, you can send instant messages or schedule them later. This form of communication allows you to send a one-time announcement or build ongoing campaigns. With the filter options available, you can also customize and sort them.
Automatic Text Message Marketing: A way to streamline communication with your customers is with automated text message marketing. Look for built-in messaging features that let you send customers birthday wishes, remind them to schedule a follow-up appointment or remind a forgotten guest at the salon, and more. Such systems should be easy to set up and then forget that it might work in the background for you.
III. bePOS - The best Salon Booking System recommended by salon owners
bePOS is a versatile cloud-based system for salon and spa management that salon owners can have a direct connection with the clients through understanding their backgrounds, purchase behaviour or their favourite treatments that, in consequence. You will figure out which products should be released or removed and which services should be improved to grow your business.
bePOS has every features that salon owners need, from basic to advanced, such as:
Online Booking & Appointment Management
Basic & Advanced Service Product Management
Discounts & Surcharge Management
Payment of Deposits & Installments
Especially, with salon booking feature, clients can quickly view your real-time availability, self-book their appointments, even pay online, reschedule with a click, and eliminate 100% of the drudgery
bePOS helps salon owners to organize and customer schedule by auto-adjusting for time zones, easy cancel (or reschedule), and automatically send reminders. Clients can also control availability 24/7 by managing multiple locations and employees, and be flexible to schedule workflow and collect customer data by asking clients to fill out intake forms when scheduling and keep all information neatly & tidily in one place.
>> To know more about bePOS features, click here.
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