Despite the financial and professional freedom that comes with owning a salon, there are plenty of personal setbacks salon business owners may encounter. For one, most feel like they are losing both time and money juggling a number of responsibilities. While this might be an inevitable reality for newly established beauty entrepreneurs, seasoned salon owners can’t sustain a 24/7 work schedule.
If you’re struggling to find enough time to do the things you love in your business, here are a few reasons you’re losing both time and money and the different ways online booking can help.
3 Reasons Salon Owners Are Losing Time and Money
While there are a number of reasons you might feel as though you’re losing time and money, here are three factors that may be hurting your productivity.
1. Constant Client Communications
Client communication is necessary, but a labor-intensive task that can easily take up the bulk of a stylist or salon owner’s time. This communication can take many forms, including:
- Social media presence
- Direct messaging
- Phone calls
Beyond communications that focus on scheduling appointments or consultations, many salons also need to communicate with clientele for reminders (e.g., email, call, or text reminders of appointments) or marketing initiatives (e.g., email marketing around salon promotions and events).
These different forms of communication can take a lot of time to draft and send out. Most stylists or salon owners do most of these tasks off the clock, which can be difficult if you’re trying to make time for family and other personal responsibilities.
2. Revenue Lost From Cancellations
Cancellations happen, but many salons that don’t have an established system often lose too much revenue from “no-shows.” Independent stylists or salon owners of small businesses can’t afford to lose precious time behind the chair, or the money that comes from each appointment.
According to the salon software company Rosy Software, if the average cost of a salon appointment is $100, and a stylist only has one last-minute cancellation or no-show per week, the salon can lose up to $30,000 a year. As a result, salons can’t succeed without a clear understanding of their cancellation policy, and how it should be executed.
3. Large Staffing Numbers
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons salon owners feel they are losing money is the abundance of staff that requires oversight. Hiring staff can be an exciting prospect since it often indicates business and customer growth, but it can also result in additional financial pressures. Adding people to the payroll can be expensive, especially in your business’s early stages.
In addition to the financial responsibilities, hiring staff also requires some form of leadership or management. If this is something that doesn’t interest you, this step in building up your salon operations can be difficult.
3 Ways Hair Salon Software Solutions Can Help
Online booking is one of the most effective ways to combat time management and salon finances because it enables the automation and delegation of salon operations. If you’re interested in saving time and money, here are a few benefits of implementing salon software solutions.
1. Automates Client Communication
Since communication is a large part of the client experience, it’s essential to make sure you don’t neglect your customers’ questions, inquiries, and concerns. Online booking software allows you to automate the back-and-forth communication between independent stylists/salon owners and their clients when scheduling appointments. While this is an essential part of a stylist’s job, it often takes time away from clients in the chair or loved ones at home.
While SALT Society recommends stylists use some type of automation for client appointments, they recommend only allowing clients to book a “new client appointment,” which is typically about three hours. “Allowing clients to book, but not choose a service of price point, keeps the ball in the business’s court,” says Sarah Fasolo, SALT Society’s marketing manager. “This is important because most clients have no idea what services they really need to achieve their hair goals.”
In addition, it doesn’t allow clients to choose services or appointments based on price, which can cause uncomfortable conversations with the client if the final cost is more than they had anticipated.
2. Uses Payment Capturing
Appointment cancellations don’t need to result in lost time and money for your business. Online booking software offers many features that close the gap between consistent communication and necessary information to ensure your clients are held accountable.
For example, most online booking software includes a clearly defined cancellation policy that ensures your clientele is aware of the ramifications if they are a “no-show.” This is then followed by a prompt to include billing information in case they violate that policy. This typically captures credit card information, but some online booking systems may include alternative payment forms such as Apple Pay. Stylists and salon owners who use this feature finally have the means, and the right, to charge clients who miss appointments.
3. Eliminates the Cost of Additional Hiring
One of the biggest challenges online booking software combats is the need to hire additional staff to take on administrative tasks. If you’re a small salon owner who is unsure about staffing numbers, salon software can fill the gaps in your current system.
While online booking systems aren’t free, “they typically cost a lot less than hiring someone to assist with the booking process,” says Fasolo. This can be a great option for both big and small businesses for a number of reasons.
For one, small salons typically need these systems and software to fill an administrative assistant role. Larger salons, however, can also benefit from online booking because administrative staff typically has other responsibilities, including employee management and client management. So no matter what type of business you have, online booking can provide either alternatives or support for your staff.
Is Hair Salon Management Software Right For You?
Online booking software is one of the most commonly used management software in the beauty industry. Salons, both big and small, find amazing benefits from implementing this software, but it can be challenging to know if it’s right for you and your business.
According to SALT Society, the people who need online booking the most are independent stylists. “As an independent stylist, you’re responsible for everything,” says Fasolo. This includes managing finances, ordering inventory, salon marketing, and so much more. Booking software can help give you your time and money back to pursue your personal and professional passions without worrying about the salon operations.