Free salon software
06 Nov 2011
Written by Alice Smithson
Downloading free appointment booking software for your salon sounds like a great idea, but perhaps you shouldn’t be too quick to discard your paper records. Choosing free salon or spa software could mean putting your business at risk.
Consider the consequences of installing free salon software before you hit the download button.
Is free salon software the right choice?
It’s an exciting time; you’ve made the decision to computerise, to get rid of the scruffy old appointment book and improve the way you run things day-to-day. Stop right there. Making the wrong choice when it comes to salon management software could mean ending up with a very basic system at best and disaster for your business at worst.
What are the risks of free salon software?
Free to download software for salons and spas is unlikely to be properly supported, meaning if anything goes wrong and there are technical problems, you’ll be left high and dry; with no appointment book and no record of transactions.
If the service you choose includes back up’s, you may be able to recover your data, but you’ll never recover the time you’ll lose when your software isn’t working.
Check that you can log support calls (preferably with real people!) and how quickly they’ll be responded to. It is absolutely crucial to feel confident that your software won’t give up in the middle of a busy Saturday and that, if the worst should happen, you can get help from someone who knows how to fix it – fast.
What about training?
If you’re someone who takes to new technology in no time, the chances are you’d pick up how to use your free software without too many challenges. Let’s face it though, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t feel confused by a new piece of software, especially if they’d never been shown how to use it.
If you choose to download free salon or spa software, you’re likely to have to spend a long time adding all your client data and product information into your newly installed system yourself, probably with no more than a quick online tutorial to show you how to do it.
And once you’ve managed to set the system up and get yourself up and running unassisted, will you have the confidence to use it as you’d intended? Or will you find the motivation to teach yourself is waning?
Is free salon software reliable?
As with any important business investment, getting a recommendation before taking the plunge yourself is the best way to be sure you won’t be let down. Do you know any other salon owners who have used free software that would recommend it to you?
Consider this: would you accept a free haircut? Perhaps, if you knew the person offering it or they’d been recommended by a friend or colleague. Otherwise? No chance.
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