13 Feb 2017

Written by Alice Smithson

Salon management software is an essential tool for salons looking to maximise efficiency and boost profitability, but adopting it for the first time can be a slightly intimidating process.

In time, you may wish to explore every single option available to you, but to see immediate increases in takings there are a number of basic functions to get to grips with first.

At iSalon, we use a five-point plan to guide clients through the early stages. Let’s take a closer look…

#1: Reducing No-shows

One of the most costly (and easily solvable) problems salons face are no-shows. There’s nothing more frustrating than when clients don’t turn up to their appointments and don’t call up to cancel in advance.

With iSalon software, you can set up automated SMS appointment reminders for your customers. Create your own SMS template (be sure to include your salon’s contact number) and set how far in advance of the appointment you wish to remind your clients of their booking.

We’d recommend two days as this should give them plenty of time to reschedule if need be. The rescheduling process takes only a few clicks within your new software. iSalon also lets you create a list of standby clients, who would be happy to fill empty appointment slots at short notice.

#2: Gaining Extra Bookings from Clients

Salon management software can also help you improve your average takings per client. Improving rebooking rates is perhaps the easiest way to achieve this goal.

During the payment process for each appointment, your software can remind your stylists to try to rebook the client for a future appointment.

To do this, you may wish to set up a small (5-10%) discount to encourage clients to commit to another visit before they’ve left the salon. In addition, incentivise your stylists to secure re-bookings by tracking the re-booking rates of each team member.

#3: Maximise Profits with Intelligent Marketing

Instead of offering clients huge discounts to fill up your appointment book, switch to a smarter marketing approach and target clients more effectively.

Tidy up your client database and use the data you have on past appointments and spending habits as the basis for your marketing campaigns.

SMS marketing and email campaigns should be based on different variables, such as date of last visit. You can also send out reminders to lost or lapsed clients, and test out gift cards for seasonal events, such as Valentine’s or Mother’s Day. This approach should improve brand awareness and client loyalty.

#4: Improve Retail Sales

Treatments may be the most reliable source of revenue for your salon, but product sales can be a valuable additional source of income too. Use iSalon to:

  • Set sales targets for you and your staff.
  • Set up a prompt during the payment process to ask the client if they’d like to buy any products.
  • Track sales and control stock.
  • Run promotions based on sales figures.

Don’t be too generous with your promotions – have the discounts trigger when a client spends more than £X during a transaction.

#5: Improve Appointment Management

First of all, use your salon software’s report function to view the percentage of empty space in your appointment book.

In addition, use reports to track time differences between standard appointment times and actual appointment times. If you’ve scheduled in 60 minutes for a service that tends to take around 45 minutes, you may wish to reduce the standard appointment length to free up more space in your diary.

You can also view the profitability of your various services and increase the price of (or entirely remove) any services that are losing you money.

Furthermore, introduce an on-the-day standby discount of 10-20% to help you fill empty space in your diary. Monitor the time slots that are most frequently empty (or in highest demand) and adjust your opening hours accordingly.

If you’d like to find out more about our five-point plan or have another question about iSalon’s product suite, please give us a call or send us an email.