By Stephen Wiggins
Looking for the ideal software to run your salon or spa is no easy task! Here are 5 things to look for before committing:
- How Long Has The Company Been In Business? Working with the new kid on the block has its appeal, but when it comes to choosing a tool to run your business, age matters. Imagine this scenario: You choose a software that has only been around for a year and experience significant downtime while you go through training for you and your staff. After a few months, your software becomes an integral part of your business. Fast forward 2 years–the software company you chose isn’t as profitable as projected and they decide that investing in updating the software doesn’t make sense, leaving you stuck with the choice of either continuing with a software that will soon be outdated, or switch to another company and lose all the time and money you invested. On top of that, you have to go through the training and implementation process all over again, and you run the risk of losing some or all of your business data. By choosing a software that has an established history and a reputation for evolving with beauty industry demands, you can feel much more secure that your time and money investment will not be wasted.
- Does it provide a personalized solution? Many salon and spa software companies provide a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. This is less work for them, but not so great for you. For example, what if your salon offers a unique service that isn’t listed in the software’s pre-loaded service list? Or have a marketing idea for a specific set of clients that you can’t find with the software’s pre-set search fields? Also, some companies limit the type of information you can collect from your software about your clients, sales, inventory management and several other things, leaving you in the dark about your own business data. Reduce stress and increase efficiency by choosing a software that gives you unlimited data access and allows you to personalize your software to fit your specific needs.
- Was the software created by industry professionals? There are many software companies that are expert creators of technology–but how well do they understand your specific industry? Look for a company that utilizes the expertise of beauty industry professionals in addition to having established success creating excellent software. For example, our company has over 40 years of beauty industry experience. We use this first-hand knowledge in addition to feedback from our clients to evolve our software into the best solution for the beauty industry.
- What Is The Company’s Customer Service Reputation? Some software companies charge you for training and/or technical support, or limit the amount of time you can access these services. The salon software you choose is going to operate your business, so if you run into trouble, it’s important to have competent professionals available to help at any time. You want to be confident that your software provider has your back and truly cares about your issues because the last thing you want is to lose revenue because your software isn’t functioning and you can’t get the proper support. How can you establish that a company provides excellent customer service? One way is to read reviews and see what your peers are saying on websites such as Capterra. You can also go to different company websites to check out their customer service section. Ideally, a company will have several options for obtaining customer service and technical support such as by phone, email and live chat.
- How often is the software updated? Technology is developing rapidly, and you want to work with companies that try to keep up. If the software you’ve researched hasn’t had any updates in the past couple of years, question their ability to provide a solution that will help your business stay competitive. This doesn’t necessarily mean the more updates the better as frequent updates can be annoying and seem irrelevant, but you want to be sure your software is evolving.
We hope this is helpful to your search for the ideal salon and spa software. If you have any further questions about assessing salon software companies, don’t hesitate to contact us!
About the Author
Stephen is Head of Product at ProSolutions Software and has worked exclusively in the salon and spa industry for over 15 years. He teaches classes at ProSolutions’ annual workshops and is always available to listen to client requests and suggestions that make Transcend the most robust salon and spa software on the market.