Making Your Salon Smart:
How to Bring Your Beauty Biz Into the Future
It’s no secret that the cosmetology industry has been around for ages.
No, seriously, professional hair styling dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, barbers were as important as surgeons in the middle ages (well, they were surgeons, but that’s an article for another time), and nail techs have been around for over 5,000 years.
And that’s just the tip of the beauty service iceberg.
The cosmetology demand never ceases—it’s an industry that’s consistently sought after, and importantly, it’s an ever-changing practice that becomes more and more relevant over time.
But, just because our industry is necessary doesn’t mean that we, as stylists, can get away with living in the past.
Our industry has seen success because of its ability to evolve, morph, and grow with the needs of our ever-changing audience—our clients.
Now, it’s vital that we continue to take that step into the future.
Now, it’s time that we transform the very salon itself.
Gone are the days of a simple haven for styling, now, with the change of the times comes a need to change the very establishment itself.
It’s time to transform your space into a smart salon.
No, we don’t mean something futuristic and impossible, we simply mean a space that utilizes the latest and greatest technologies to bring your clients all the creature comforts they could ever want—further, new, smart tools can help you automate and update your business, making you more efficient than ever.
Not entirely sure where to start?
No sweat. We’ve listed out a few basic ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Here are some easy ways to start implementing smart, savvy, and techy-upgrades to your salon.
Look to the Future for Robo-Technology
It sounds like something from the terminator, but this is a real deal thing—robo technology is coming to the industry.
One of the premium examples?
Yep, they exist—and salons are taking notice.
Some start-ups are using technology to take a robotic approach to all things manicures and promising foolproof approaches to nail polish.
We’re not saying you need to opt for services like this if you have a kickass nail tech on your team, but taking some things robotic could be a turning point for your salon.
Alexa, Turn on Our Custom Playlist
Talk about high-quality customer service.
With smart services like Alexa or Siri, you can hook it up for your clients as soon as they walk in the door.
Imagine it—you’ve set up a total experience for your client based on their personal preferences.
From music to lighting to temp, you can adjust it all without even clicking a button—just tell Alexa to do her thing.
Get Friendly with AI
Speaking of AI…
We might not yet be in the age where our entire salon is run by artificial intelligence (we bet you wish you had some AI on laundry duty to wash the towels, right?), but we are pretty dang close to it, especially with the invention of tools like Siri and Alexa.
With tools like Alexa and Siri, you can connect your salon, devices, and more to Alexa so you can control your establishment with just your voice.
From playlists to thermostat to dimming the lights, hooking up a Smart Home Alexa system to your salon can bring your shop into the 21st century with the push of a button—actually, with a simple voice request.
There are tons of AI features out there that deal in super incremental stuff like lighting, temperature, security, and more.
And all of these additions can make your salon a little smarter and a whole lot more convenient for you and your guests.
You know what else?
This stuff might have a higher upfront cost, but it can ultimately save you a boatload of money in the long run.
With AI-run, smart technology, you can create custom settings that adjust on their own to monitor your energy usage when you’re away.
Not planning to be in the salon for the weekend?
Your smart hub can adjust your thermostat, make sure the lights are off, and run the cameras to keep your shop protected.
Seems crazy, right? It’s all possible—and it can all take your shop to the next level.
Update Your Tools ASAP
We don’t fully buy the whole “you’re only as good as your tools” thing because, let’s face it, you can’t have great tools and be a sub-par stylist and expect to change the world.
But, we do think that tools make a huge difference, which is why it’s vital to upgrade your old-school tools ASAP.
Trade in your antiquated curlers and combs for some high-tech tools, like curlers that use nano titanium technology or straighteners that allow for better styling at lower-than-ever temperatures to protect your clients’ hair or ionization technology brushes and dryers to create smoother strands.
Whatever the latest and greatest tool, we recommend hopping on the web, doing some research, and updating your inventory ASAP.
Automate, Automate, Automate
The biggest secret to a smart salon? Automating where you can. Whether you’re investing in some serious software that helps to automate your inventory ordering and re-stocking or simply coding a program that helps you remind your clients a few days before their hair appointments, the more you can automate the better. We suggest looking into smart salon add-ons to boost your automation!
Consider things like:
- Automated online booking software (think how Airbnb has 1-click booking that doesn’t require a confirmation)
- Text, call, email software that helps you to confirm or reschedule appointments
- Point of sale and inventory software that tracks your inventory and has scheduled re-orders available
- Automated marketing emails to draw in new clients
- Automated social media and website marketing software that keeps your online presence relevant and up to date
Go Green When You Can
Didn’t you hear? The future is green. No, we don’t mean green in the whole green is the new black sense, we mean that environmentally conscious efforts in your salon are the future. In other words, people are going to consider your salon much savvier if you’re making dedicated efforts to reduce waste, diminish your carbon footprint, and keep the environment in mind. Here are a few go-green-ideas that we think could easily launch you into the future:
- Go paperless—stop giving your new clients paper forms to fill out. Instead, have them fill out hand-held whiteboards that you then transfer to the computer.
- Responsibly recycle your chemicals and waste instead of just throwing it out!
- Recycle, compost, and more—reduce your trash as must as possible!
- Work with eco-friendly, environmentally conscious companies for the products you use on your clients.
Never Stop Evolving
This is what’s going to bring us full circle—never stop making the changes needed in order to evolve. Our industry isn’t static. As the times change, so must we. We can’t just update our salons, our practices, our technology once—it needs to be a constant state of reevaluation. Make sure you’re staying up to date on the newest tech trends and think about how they change your salon—then, don’t be afraid to implement them. The smarter your salon, the more on-par with the times you’ll be, and likely, the better you’ll be able to serve your customers.
We hope our little tidbits of smart salon advice can help you bring your shop ten steps (or more) into the future!
Remember, you don’t need to smarten up your entire salon all at once—though, if you can spring for a totally automated shop that talks back to you, we’re not here to tell you not to do it.
Small, dedicated efforts over time that help your salon continue to evolve—being relevant in the beauty industry is vital for businesses like you, so don’t slack when it comes to the smart salon craze.
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