“The danger with buying from a regular computer store,” Dengler says, “is that their salesperson has most likely never even set foot inside a salon and has no idea what your needs are.”
Also, industry experts advise that you always choose your software first, then your hardware, because different software packages require different hardware to run properly. “By choosing your software first, you will be sure to buy a machine powerful enough to perform all of the software’s operations – and at an adequate speed,” Dengler says.
“Computers are the way of the future,” Colon says. “They’re like VCRs were years ago. Soon it will be common to see salons using computers. It’s more professional, and the money invested helps salon owners run their business better, while gaining more credibility with the public.”
To better understand what computer can do for you, let’s take a specific example. All good software for the nail industry should have a point of sale capability. This means you can keep track of what is going on from the moment a customer walks through the door by using your computer. Instead of a cash register, you have a cash drawer hooked into your computer.
Although different software companies offer programs with different variations, you should be able to retrieve the file of a repeat client when she comes into the salon.
If the client is new, have her fill out a card with pertinent information (name, address, phone number, birthday, type of service, favorite colors, etc.) and input the information into your computer, so you can pull the file next time.
When the client’s appointment is over, check her out by retrieving her file and typing in the date, service rendered, products used, technician who rendered the service, and her next scheduled appointment.
By doing this, you keep a permanent, updated record on each client, and you know what type of services she received last time and what she needs next time.
Your client is now entered in a large data base or basket of information. From this “basket” the computer can:
- Print a card to send the client on her birthday
- Add the client to a list of other clients who receive the same service, so you can tell what percentage of your clientele gets silk wraps, acrylics and so on.
- Add the client to a list of clients who like a certain product, so you can keep track of inventory
- Track how often the client comes into the salon, and print out a reminder card if the client doesn’t come in for a few months
- Keep track of your costs, by keeping track of what products are used on each client