You’ve been running your salon for more than 10 years. You’ve experienced all of the standard up, down, and out-of-the blue events a salon owner can encounter, and you’re still here, going strong — and using that old-fashioned pen and paper method of bookkeeping.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s a lot to be said for a good system that doesn’t rely on electricity and can be used by anyone, no matter their technical skills. But it has probably crossed your mind more than once that with the technological boom propelling business into the hyper-speed realm of data management, maybe it might benefit your salon to plug in and turn on.

There are a number of software programs on the market that are specifically designed with the salon in mind. They focus on the most important aspects of salon activity like appointment book management, product usage, client information portfolios, payroll, and more. And many are even able to consolidate the information into easy-to-read graphs and reports so you can know exactly how your business is doing in each area, and compare it to previous years.

If you’ve never looked into salon software programs before, here’s a quick collection of some of the most common programs and their most basic functions. Most of the companies have well-informed sales representatives manning hotline numbers and e-mail accounts in case you have questions. So don’t hesitate to find out exactly which program will work best for your salon.

 

Elite Salon & Spa Management

Elite’s inventory page allows you to track sales of every item in your inventory. It generates bar codes and price labels so you can create your own system of recording, and alerts you when you need to reorder a product.

Elite’s inventory page allows you to track sales of every item in your inventory. It generates bar codes and price labels so you can create your own system of recording, and alerts you when you need to reorder a product.

 For salon owners and managers, Elite Salon & Spa Management has it all. The essential functions are presented in easy-to-read interfaces, covering everything from booking and inventory, to marketing and statistical graphs, and the program comes with user manuals so salons can start using it right away.

Elite opens with a multi-user interface, where employees log on using a secure password. This allows the owner to control the level of access for employees. Once inside, employees can schedule appointments and record client info, while owners can print out statistics on inventory, sales, and payroll.

Marketing functions are also available, with options for creating mailing labels and e-mail blasts for appointment reminders, special service advertisements, and birthdays.

For more information go to www.elitesoftware.com.[PAGEBREAK]

CK Systemz Client Keeper Software

CK Systemz’s customer management window makes it easy to record clients’ details like e-mail addresses, service information, frequency of visits, and you can even upload their photos for visual reference.

CK Systemz’s customer management window makes it easy to record clients’ details like e-mail addresses, service information, frequency of visits, and you can even upload their photos for visual reference.

CK Systemz’s Client Keeper Software incorporates a patented automatic e-mail system into its other data tracking duties. The software is designed specifically for hairstylists, massage therapists, cosmetologists, estheticians, beauticians, nail technicians, beauty students, and spa owners, and it can be downloaded quickly from the Internet.

CK Systemz does all of the standards, like appointment booking, client information, and statistical analysis, but its highlighting feature is the automated e-mailing. Once a client has been scheduled, an automatic e-mail is sent the day before her visit to remind her to come in. Clients can also switch their appointments on their own, making scheduling less of a hassle for the tech.

CK Systemz also has e-mail marketing options so techs can notify their clients of special discounts or limited time services. And all of these functions can be synced into a PDA so techs can organize their data and appointments while on the go.

For more information go to cksystemz.com.

 

The Mikal Corporation

Mikal’s time clock interface works seamlessly with the payroll system to calculate hourly pay and even factors in hourly versus commission. The time clock also combines with the reporting system to give reports on dollars per hour, dollars per productive hour, and the percentage booked to scheduled sales.

Mikal’s time clock interface works seamlessly with the payroll system to calculate hourly pay and even factors in hourly versus commission. The time clock also combines with the reporting system to give reports on dollars per hour, dollars per productive hour, and the percentage booked to scheduled sales.

The Mikal Corporation has been involved in the beauty industry since 1981, and its newest salon software program, Mikal Six, has been earning rave reviews. Some of the standout features include a Cyber Preceptionist, which takes the place of a receptionist and allows clients to directly interact with the computer when they walk in. At the Cyber Preceptionist, they can check in for their appointments, view their past purchases, look at the service menu, look at staff bios, update their own personal information, book a future appointment, and view specials.

Online booking is also available so clients can book their appointments at any time and from anywhere. To encourage customer loyalty, Mikal also has multiple marketing options like new client thank you’s, referral thank you’s, appointment reminders, birthday mailings, and special service announcements, and each can be done through e-mail or through standard mailings.

For more information go to www.mikal.com.[PAGEBREAK]

 ClienTrak! Spa and Salon Software

ClienTrak! has a great appointment book interface that is simple and easy to use. It shows the schedules for each tech at the salon as well as the name of the client and service they are getting, and it is color coded so any employee can log on and clearly understand what is scheduled for the week.

ClienTrak! has a great appointment book interface that is simple and easy to use. It shows the schedules for each tech at the salon as well as the name of the client and service they are getting, and it is color coded so any employee can log on and clearly understand what is scheduled for the week.

With ClienTrak! Spa and Salon Software, you can choose from a tiered software assortment. The most basic program is called Solo and it is designed for an independent contractor or booth renter. It handles essential functions like client information, sales history, appointment booking, and e-mail marketing, but it does not have business owner-type functions like multiple employee tracking, W-2 printouts, or retail sales statistics.

The Basic program has a few more features than the Solo, mainly in the area of multiple employees, and the Professional program is for small businesses looking to achieve double digit growth. The Enterprise program is for established salons with multiple locations, and includes all of the functions possible. 

For more information go to www.clientrak.com.

 Invenstar TouchSuite Salon

The TouchSuite system comes with everything needed to get started: a touchscreen, cash drawer, receipt printer, laser report printer, barcode scanner, battery backup, keyboard, data backup drive, and TouchSuite Salon Software already installed.   

The TouchSuite system comes with everything needed to get started: a touchscreen, cash drawer, receipt printer, laser report printer, barcode scanner, battery backup, keyboard, data backup drive, and TouchSuite Salon Software already installed. 

 

TouchSuite Salon is a touchscreen-based salon software program. The system is an all-in-one purchase — the touchscreen computer is part of the package along with the comprehensive software bundled inside. The software itself carries all the features needed for running day-to-day salon activity, appointment booking, mailing, cash register, product inventory, and statistical reports.

The system really aims to be an all-in-one purchase, so owners are ready to start processing business as soon as they get it. Along with the touchscreen and software comes a cash drawer, receipt printer, laser report printer, barcode scanner, battery backup, keyboard, and data backup drive.

TouchSuite can also be networked, with multiple touchscreens linked within a salon, and TouchSuite offers leasing options to help get owners started using the program. One of the highlighting features of TouchSuite is its three-step booking. Receptionists and techs can book a client with only three touches of the interface, making appointment keeping faster and easier.

For more information go to www.touchsuite.com.[PAGEBREAK]

Millennium by Harms Software

One interesting feature of Millennium is an employee goal sheet. Owners can make salary and commission goals for each of the employees, with breakdowns on various sales and services.

One interesting feature of Millennium is an employee goal sheet. Owners can make salary and commission goals for each of the employees, with breakdowns on various sales and services.

Millennium offers a series of salon-focused software programs that have recently been acclaimed for their ease of use, technical support, and for the one-year customer satisfaction guarantee, where Harms will reimburse 100% of the purchase if a client is not satisfied with the software’s performance within the first year.

The appointment book interface books appointments in intervals of five, 10, and 15 minutes, and has an upsell popup feature where pre-written scripts come up during booking, instructing the receptionist on other services and goods a client might be interested in. This can be a notification for a service upgrade, like a standard manicure having a paraffin dip upgrade, or a retail sale, like a top coat or hand lotion. The register also has a multi-client ringup capability for speedier check outs.

For more information go to www.harms-software.com.

Rosy by Floydware

Rosy has a special pop-up feature during checkout that makes suggestions for retail sales based on the client’s personal buying history. An example would be if a client has just had a manicure and purchased lotion in the past, Rosy then might suggest the newest lotion in inventory to see if the client is interested.

Rosy has a special pop-up feature during checkout that makes suggestions for retail sales based on the client’s personal buying history. An example would be if a client has just had a manicure and purchased lotion in the past, Rosy then might suggest the newest lotion in inventory to see if the client is interested.

Rosy by Floydware is a web-based salon software that works with any operating system or hardware, and can be subscribed to online at a monthly rate. The software itself helps increase efficiency with its automated booking, statistic reports, and marketing capabilities, and the software updates everything in real time so owners can check their salon’s status at any time, and from anywhere.

The appointment booking interface can check clients in and out quickly and easily. The receptionist simply clicks an open time slot and types the client’s name and service, and when the client arrives, the one-click feature automatically opens the sales ticket, links it to both the client and employee records, and sends it to the front desk with all the amounts filled in. Personalized reminders can also pop up to help enhance the service. So techs can know if a client has a favorite polish color, nail style, etc.

For more information go to www.getrosy.com.[PAGEBREAK]

Salon Transcripts STX Software

STX Software’s e-mail marketing feature allows owners to track how well their e-mails were received. They can find out how many e-mails were opened, the amount of click-throughs, and more, so owners can modify e-mails for better success.

STX Software’s e-mail marketing feature allows owners to track how well their e-mails were received. They can find out how many e-mails were opened, the amount of click-throughs, and more, so owners can modify e-mails for better success.

Salon Transcripts STX Software provides inventory management, payroll, client tracking, e-mail marketing, and more, so owners can spend less time on business paperwork and more time with clients. The software management system books appointments, tracks receipts, manages cash, handles payroll, and helps build the business too. One of the unique features of STX Software is the e-mail marketing. Owners can send out various kinds of e-mail blasts, like thank you’s, appointment reminders, and new service notifications, and the software tracks how well the e-mails were received. Owners can find out the click rates, open rates, and other details of the blasts so they can better structure future e-mails.

Also, when the reminder e-mail goes out, the client clicks the e-mail to confirm so owners have less no-shows. The appointment book interface is also linked in with the e-mail confirmations so any changes made to the schedule are done in real time.

For more information go to www.salontranscripts.com.

Software Creations

Software Creations’ Control Center interface displays every client who has an appointment that day. When checked out, the clients disappear from the screen. Anyone left at the end of the day either did not show or did not pay.

Software Creations’ Control Center interface displays every client who has an appointment that day. When checked out, the clients disappear from the screen. Anyone left at the end of the day either did not show or did not pay.

Software Creations Virtual Spa and Salon is a web-based salon software that offers low monthly subscription rates for the easy-to-use, touchscreen system. Because the system is web-based, owners can fully operate the system anytime and anywhere using a web IP address, and the software has multiple features to accommodate salons of any size. The touchscreen system features a self check-in screen to keep the front desk from getting crowded, and the check-in system is flexible so clients can add services instantly without disturbing the sales ticket. The web-based aspect also comes in handy in terms of inventory, because owners can check inventory levels from any Internet connection.

The software can also be linked to handheld PDAs, so employees can check schedules through a WIFI connection. 

 For more information go to www.virtualspaandsalon.com.[PAGEBREAK]Salon Iris Software

Salon Iris has over 200 built-in reports such as sales totals, inventory, clients, and more. Owners can also create their own custom reports, and illustrate them in a variety of graphs and charts.

Salon Iris has over 200 built-in reports such as sales totals, inventory, clients, and more. Owners can also create their own custom reports, and illustrate them in a variety of graphs and charts.

Salon Iris Software prides itself in its ease of use, great graphical interfaces, and technical support. The software comes with all the essentials needed for salon life, and to ensure that owners get up and running as soon as possible with the software, Salon Iris includes a built-in help guide, training videos, as well as direct technical support. Technical representatives are available six days a week by phone to quickly answer any questions clients might have, and e-mail support is available as well.

The client information page has an excellent photo option where techs can store multiple pictures of clients, such as before and after shots as well as pictures of the different nail sets they have had.

Salon Iris’ inventory tracker keeps detailed records of the products in house, and gives automatic updates when items are low in stock and should be reordered.

For more information go to www.saloniris.com.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.