Technology has transformed the way how the businesses in beauty and wellness industry operate. Such widespread has been its adaption that almost one in every four salon, in the US, is and utilizing it to run daily operations, Such has been its success that the industry now considered technology, aka salon booking system to be as integral to the process as any other salon tool and considers it critical contributor to the success of a salon. With such high stakes at play, finding the right online salon booking system becomes imperative. A well designed software will streamline your operations, improve process efficiency, reduce costs and boost revenue, whereas a wrong product will give you more headaches than solutions. So, read our all you need to know guide to know the 6 tips that will help you pick the right online salon booking system.
Ascertain Your Business Requirements
Start with the basic. Each and every business is unique and requires its own set of solutions. Therefore, the first step in choosing the right tech solution for your business commences with understanding the objectives of your business, identifying the present challenges, and creating list of must have solutions, and good to have solutions. Doing this exercise will help you objectively evaluate the solutions and save time. Do you want an all-in-one solution, where the software is your receptionist, your assistant, your accountant and your marketing manager or based on your budget you’d rather start with the basics where you first opt for limited solutions with the option of scaling as the need arises? A great example of pay as you use online salon booking system is the one from Zenoti. The modular architecture of the software allows you to opt for as minimum features as you please. As and when your business is ready to harness other advantages you can easily activate additional features of the system, and seamlessly use it from day one.
Gather market intelligence
Blindly following the market leader or going with the best rated online salon booking system is not a good idea. Instead, gather market information and do your research. Search google, read online blogs, and engage in the online forums to ascertain why the industry prefers one online salon booking system over the other. Chances are that you will not find a common answer, instead will come across various challenges that salons faced and how a certain solution has helped them overcome those challenges. This exercise will help you in many ways. Aside from establishing credentials of some solutions, it will help you expand your horizon and let you find if there are better solutions available than what you were seeking? While some salon booking software start with the basic modules and add additional modules based on growing needs of the business, others offer bundled services. We recommend preparing a comparative table to evaluate how these solutions help you achieve the desired outcomes.
Choice of Technology
The market today offers a host of options based on multiple technological platforms. While some salon booking systems are software that operate on either a desktop or a laptop, others are cloud based systems, which do not need to be installed on a local device. Although each system has its own merits and demerits, consensus is largely in favor of the latter i.e. cloud based system also known as online salon booking system. The cloud based software solutions work almost similar to the legacy device based system but without the added baggage of having to outright purchase the software, routinely maintain and periodically upgrade the IT infrastructure, and offer you more flexibility
By following the above mentioned process, by now you would have already prepare a list of possible online salon booking system to choose from. It is now time to initiate discussions with the software providers, and seek client credentials. Perusing through the credential list is absolutely mandatory, and inquire whether the majority clients are single store operators or multi store operators? If latter whether these salons are limited with city wide presence or are spread across the country or a certain geography? How many years has the online salon booking system developer spent in the industry? An experienced developer, that has handled client requirements from multiple geographies are more likely to be able to handle complex requirements as they have higher experience of creating highly customized solutions that work best with local requirements.
Accessibility & Reliability
When you spend on an online salon booking software, you are inherently trusting that the developer shall keep their software solution up and running most times. Ideally, you should check the availability of the platform over last two years, and that score should be above 99%. Granted that every systems have to undergo both maintenance and upgrades, these should certainly not be during active business hours and not for prolonged periods. Additionally, in the eventuality of a glitch, it must be seen how soon the system made up and running again.
Ease of Use
Last but not the least, you must evaluate the ease of use. Having a fully loaded online salon booking system, which is cumbersome to use is not going to yield any results. Ideally, you should seek a live demo to understand how quickly salon staff can get the hang of the software and how many features can be utilized in as minimum number of steps as possible. It must be borne in mind that your staff is naturally people savvy, not tech savvy so deploying a system which makes them spend considerable amount of time to figure out how to use isn’t going to work.
We hope that the above tips will help you in picking the right online salon management system for your business and allow you to give your customers the modern experience. In this space, we particularly like Zenoti online salon booking system for its ease of use, robust features, pay as you go subscription model and state of art user interface.