Opening your own salon or spa is a hugely rewarding undertaking—but also a lot of work. If you’re a sole proprietor or only have one employee, you know firsthand how running a beauty business can feel like a juggling act. You’ve got to answer the phone, perform services, take payments, maintain client records, plus manage a number of other back-office tasks and customer service requests.
Managing your appointment book and client records on paper is a cost effective way to get up and running. Getting started on pen and paper is a cost effective way to get up and running. However, as your client base starts to grow, it becomes inefficient and frustrating to manage booking appointment by phone, recording and updating appointments by hand, and manually filing receipts, preferences, and other notes on your clients. At some point, something has to give.
Luckily, spa and salon sole proprietors have a way to avoid a business meltdown as they start to scale. There are a variety of appointment software, booking software, and business management salon software or spa software systems available on the market today that can have a big impact on your day-to-day operations. Here are 4 key areas of your salon or spa that software can help you manage.
During the day, how many times does your phone ring and go straight to voicemail when you’re performing a service? And how many calls do you miss after hours when no one is available to pick up the phone? Investing in an online booking system can reduce your phone call volume during business hours, giving you more time to spend with clients. It can also help you fill your calendar by giving clients the flexibility to book appointments whenever and wherever is most convenient for them.
Tracking client information on paper can be a huge headache. It also limits how much you can do with that information in terms of tracking and reporting. Managing your customer records online can take your static information and turn it into an impressive database that can help you run and market your business more effectively.
Staying in touch with clients between haircuts or facials is essential for customer retention. If you’re a sole proprietor, you probably have little spare time to be running email or social media campaigns. That’s where a spa management platform or salon system can really come in handy. It makes it easy to send clients emails and schedule social media posts for your followers, all from one place. You don’t need to inundate your customers by any means, but posting last-minute specials on Facebook or sending a monthly e-mail blast with useful news and information will help keep you and your services in the minds of your clients.
Data Tracking and Analysis
You know the old saying, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.” So if your only measure of how you are doing is how much money is in your wallet at the end of the week, then you are robbing yourself of data that could help you to work smarter. A salon or spa management system can help you record your daily service and retail transactions into a database. You can then use this information to run reports on extremely useful metrics such as your average ticket amount, the number of clients you see on a weekly basis, or the amount of your revenue that you are creating from retail or add-on services. Once you know these numbers, you can plan how to increase them. You may discover that you’re not selling as much retail as you think you are, or that your full schedule of blowouts on Saturdays is pulling down your average ticket price. Once you realize that, you’ll be able to come up with a strategy to make positive changes that will improve your bottom line.
Managing your data tracking and reporting online will help you identify patterns and trends and take action accordingly. Slight adjustments to your timing and pricing can help you generate a lot more revenue. While you may be able to compile some results via pencil and paper, nothing beats just pushing a button and seeing the answer!
About the Author
Lisa Starr brings over 30 years of industry-specific experience as a consultant, educator and writer to Booker through GOtalk. Lisa also works for Wynne Business, a leading spa consulting and education company. Among other things, Lisa’s expertise lies in business operations and finances, sales and marketing, inventory management, human resource development, and business process improvement. She is a well-known speaker within the trade show circuit and is a frequent contributor to industryFollow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Lisa Starr