Tech Talk:

Picking the Right Software For Your Salon, Spa, or Shop

We know, we know—we said that fateful t-word, but don’t run away screaming (not yet, anyway).

Technology is such a scary thing for so many non-techy folks, but when it comes down to it, incorporating some banging software in your salon, spa, or shop can be immensely helpful when it comes to running your business the right way.

How? Tons of ways. Great software can help you organize customer data, assist with customer service, optimize your marketing, run your social media platforms, balance your books, and so much more. Even if you hate it, smart software does a dang good job of elevating your business.

And, look, we get it. Not everyone is tech-minded and the thought of incorporating, let alone choosing, a software program for their place of business is overwhelming. But you guys—it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve written up a helpful little tip sheet here full of questions you should be asking before you invest in software to help guide you down the right tech path.

Our best advice? Team up with some stylist or spa friends who are a little more software savvy—there’s nothing wrong with getting help, especially in areas you’re not 100 percent sure how to navigate.

For now, no more procrastination, if it’s finally time to buckle down and invest in software, start asking yourself these questions:

Have You Researched Thoroughly?

Research should be your best friend, especially when it comes to things you might not fully understand. Before you can even begin to purchase a software program (because let’s be he honest, guys, they can be quite an expensive investment), you need to read up on what your business needs, what you can do without, and you should have a solid idea of what you’re looking for.

If you’re not researching the full extent of these software programs, you’re not really going to know what to look for. So, start studying up on some of the top names out there. Figure out what they can offer you and what they can’t—and again, don’t be afraid to ask for some guidance.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Of course, part of thoroughly researching is reading the reviews. As a stylist or professional in the beauty biz, you already know just how powerful and important reviews are (it’s probably something you’ve preached to your clients before, right?). So, practice what you’re preaching.

Do your due diligence and look at the reviews on the software. What are people saying? What are the biggest complaints? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Reviews can be super helpful when it comes down to it—just don’t get bogged down in the nonsensical ones (you know they exist).

Does it Actually Make Sense?

By this, we don’t mean have you looked at the program once and you magically understood it? If software isn’t your thing, that’s likely not going to be the case with any type of program you purchase.

What do we mean? More along the lines of: Is this an intuitive program? Does it come with instructions and customer support? Are there helpful resources for learning how to best operate this software and use it to its full potential? 

There’s nothing wrong with not fully understanding software right off the bat—we can bet it’ll take time to get used to operating it in general—but some software just might not click for you. And that’s OK—because there’s a program out there that is going to make sense for you, you just need to find it.

Will it Grow With Your Shop?

Software is an investment, so it’s important to really evaluate how it will work with your salon, spa, or shop as you grow. Ask yourself this simple question—is this software scalable?

We’re not saying it needs to last you through the next 20 years (technology is always changing, so that’s quite unlikely), but we do think it’s important to grow with you and support you through booming periods, that way you’ll be in a better position to continue that growth in a meaningful way. So, definitely check out the longevity of certain programs. 

If you find that a particular software is just a short-term solution, it might be best to keep looking.

Does it Work With Your Existing Technology?

We’re talking about your other apps, your other systems, and your other software. If a new program isn’t going to integrate with the rest of your setup (if you have one), it might not be the right fit for you.

Often, quality software will allow you the opportunity to merge your data, your information, and your other tech into a single space so that everything can work together in harmony—if the software you’re looking at doesn’t allow that, think about whether or not this will be a hassle you want to deal with on a daily basis.

How Does it Rate With Your Techy Stylist Friends?

Reach out to your techy stylist friends and ask them, straight up, which software they’re using and how they feel about the software you’re looking at—let them know you’re genuinely asking for help and they shouldn’t hold back on their opinions.

Don’t have any techy stylist friends in your general area? There are tons of online forums, communities, and more that are full of stylists, shop owners, estheticians, and more who would be stoked to share their opinions with you.

At the end of the day, the s-word doesn’t need to be so scary—say it with us, out loud, software—it all comes down to just doing a little extra homework to make sure you’re on the right track.

Have a software suggestion for your fellow beauty community? Let’s hear it! Scroll down and leave us a comment so we can share your opinion with our readers (we can bet you anything they’ll appreciate it more than you know!)

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