Choosing the Right Salon Software for Your Business

4 months ago   •   6 min read

By Abby Huot

Barbers, stylists, nail techs, and spa service professionals have the most hectic daily schedules out of nearly every industry in the market. When you’re booked back-to-back for the day and have to deal with unexpected cancellations, double-bookings, and enhanced sanitation standards, you already have enough hassles to deal with. Worrying about your technology or software falling short doesn’t need to be added to your to-do list.

Choosing the right software and POS for your business is essential to having your books run smoothly and improve profits. Your reputation relies on your quality of service and your ability to serve your clients with ease and efficiency.

Whether you’re just starting out in your field or you’re a veteran, having the most up-to-date technology and keeping your overhead costs low are both crucial to your success.

Decide your level of visibility.

Allowing your clients to self-book their own appointments is extremely important to many business owners. This ability brings down your time on the phone for booking services and allows you to complete more appointments during the day.

While choosing the right software, it’s important to decide how much availability you want to have displayed to potential clients. In other words, do you want new or existing clients to have full access to your entire day or week’s calendar, or would you prefer they only can see available appointment slots?

SpotOn Appointments allows your clients to only see the available slots for a given day and time for each service provider within your business. This leaves the option of having control, flexibility, and scheduling breathing room into your day as decided by you and your employees. Best of all, this removes “surprise” appointments that can cause time-crunch issues to complete ongoing services and keeps you stress-free and focused.

Determine your budget.

With a wide array of software available for booking appointments and managing your calendar available on the market, it’s extremely important to research your budget. Software alone can cost anywhere from $25 – $325 per month, depending on which company you choose.

Additionally, determine any add-on services you may need included into your software fees. For instance, is there a separate fee to have email or messaging options? Some software companies charge an additional fee of $100 – $200 in order to stay in contact with your clients. Some software companies only will serve multi-location businesses at top-tier prices.

SpotOn Appointments and SpotOn Retail point-of-sale together cost as little as $60 per month to offer affordable, fast service for you and your clients, and allow you to keep in touch with them without extra assorted fees. We pride ourselves on making business easier for our clients without breaking the bank.

Customization options.

Standing out in the marketplace is extremely important. Whether you own a multi-location business or you’re an independent contractor, always research the client-facing customization options before committing to an appointment booking platform. While some companies offer a wide array of tailored options to promote your business, others are much more limited and tend to look and feel more “boilerplate.” We understand that your business is anything but status quo!

SpotOn Appointments and SpotOn Retail offer full customization of your website (desktop and mobile) as well as the ability to run promotions, discounts, and sales in your business. Photos can be rearranged with ease, changed, and made live within seconds. Everything can be customized, floor-to-ceiling, to ensure that your website is on-point with your branding with easy-to-use image and video upload options built into the platform. Our Customer Engagement team is also here to help you bring in more clients and help bring your business to the next level.

Read the fine print.

It’s no surprise to any business owner that it’s your job to go through contracts with a fine tooth comb for surprise costs and fees. Some companies promote your business to potential new clients and then take 20% of your service cost as a referral fee if they book. Other software options roll their service fees into your client’s tabs or charge your clients for appointment no-shows, then pocket that money for themselves.

At SpotOn, we pride ourselves in having no hidden fees and offering no-show/cancellation protection. You have the option to put your client’s card on hold and pre-set a cancellation fee of your choosing with a customized business policy disclaimer at the time of booking. This saves you time, lost money, hassle, surprises, and puts you and your clients on the same page before they even walk into your business.

Payment method options.

Most booking/calendaring software companies will offer credit and debit card processing. Some integrate seamlessly with payment processing companies, others require purchasing a specific card reader in order to do business with them. Some do credit and debit only and do not allow cash payments. More frustrating, some don’t offer gift card options or only offer them if you’re paying a top-tier price.

At SpotOn, we understand that your customers have a wide variety of payment needs. With SpotOn Appointments and SpotOn Retail, you can offer cash discounts to your customers, as well as credit, debit, gift card, PayPal, and Venmo payment options. We make it easy for you to close out your service and send your customers on their way.

Going the extra mile.

Most booking/retail software will do their best to offer options and functionality to make business easier for you. Storing client cards, email and text options, self-scheduling, and social media or website templates are all givens. Similarly, most retail software covers basic needs, such as inventory/stock management and other logical business needs. What if you could leverage all your options in one platform to give your customers an above-and-beyond experience?

SpotOn Retail offers your customers Shippo and DoorDash delivery to make their lives easier. Is your client home sick and out of their hair products? DoorDash delivery can have it to them in a snap. Is one of your regulars out of town for a wedding and they left something they need at home? Shippo is here to have their favorite products delivered to their hotel via USPS, UPS, or FedEx. All your clients need to do is order directly through your website.

Robot or real voice.

Imagine you’re at the end of the business day and something goes wrong with your software. What kind of customer service experience do you expect for yourself as a business owner, especially if there is some sort of unexpected emergency? When shopping for your business software, always make sure you know if you are able to reach a real human being to get help. Many platforms on the market don’t offer live customer service agents—instead, you must send an email, complete a form, talk to a knowledge base bot, and hope to hear back from the company sooner rather than later.

SpotOn proudly offers 24/7, 365 customer support to assist you with any issues or questions you may encounter along the way. We’re here to help you and smooth out any bumps in your business day. Have an issue you want to tell us about? Our support team feedback is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We want to hear from you.

The bottom line.

Do your homework. Ask all the questions that you can think of and use previous experience to help steer you away from any issues you’ve encountered in your entrepreneurial journey. Do a comparison, take notes, and look at the big picture for what your needs are as a business owner, what your employees need the most, and what feels like the best fit.

To hear more about how SpotOn Appointments and SpotOn Retail can help bring down your overhead and drive up your revenue, click below to talk to our team.

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