TOP TEN TIPS WHEN CHOOSING A SOFTWARE COMPANY
15 Dec 2017
Written by Alice Smithson
Choosing the right software company and software package can be a hard decision when ensuring all your needs and wants are met. Here Darren Pick, Managing Director of iSalon Software gives his top ten tips when choosing the best brand and package for your salon.
- Explain what you are looking for in order to meet the goals of your business. Many people don’t realise that our packages can be tailored to their business needs and wants. Explain fully, and in as much detail as you can, what you feel is required to make your business as efficient as possible and allow your chosen company to explain how their package will work for you.
- Research – you can never do enough research! There are many brands out there offering similar type packages so it is best to look in depth and assess the pros and cons of each as well as what they are offering to see if it would be suitable for your business. I would also look at reviews of the brands from their clients. This is a great way to see who uses their services and of course, their honest opinion.
- Ask for an in-depth demonstration. There is no point in signing up for something that you haven’t experienced and don’t know much about. When a client comes to us at iSalon we always take them through the system, showing how things can be changed and tailored and giving the potential client a chance to have a play around for themselves. It may be a client likes the idea but is not confident with the setup and the physical package. “It’s all about testing the water.”
- Check which hardware supports the software. Although a software company predominately provides just that, check that they have hardware, which supports your chosen package or that, your own hardware within the salon is suitable for their package. There is no point signing up to something if the hardware is not supported or provided.
- Involve your team. The staff within the salon, especially the Front of House team, will be the ones using the software more than anyone, so involve them and take their feedback on board. That way you get an overall feel for the system from many different people.
- Assess the cost vs. quality. Always remember that the cheapest option may not be the best. Think to yourself … ‘What am I getting for my money?’ and put this against the quality of the package. Sometimes spending that little bit more will benefit the business in more ways than you think.
- Make sure you access the package remotely. Within the hairdressing industry we are known to travel due to the nature of our business, whether it is for shows, seminars or training. Therefore it is essential that the business owner can access the software from anywhere in the world to ensure things are on point when they are out of the salon. Our packages allow the owner to access all reports and functionality from anywhere in the world.
- Ensure you are entitled to training and support with your chosen provider. We all know that new technology or functionality can be intimidating, therefore, ensure you package includes on going training and support from your chosen provider At iSalon we have our Education Team to offer comprehensive “top up” training to salons and spas and helps salons develop a stronger business brand.
- Always chose a company who are looking to the future and of course understand the industry. Technology as we all know is rapidly moving and changing every day. Software is always changing and you need a system that will constantly keep up with the times and of course client and salon needs. At iSalon we are always developing new systems in the background to ensure our clients systems are running to the best of their ability and as efficiently as possible. The hair and beauty industry is also very creative, so it is essential that the company understands the industry as a whole. Several members of our team are ex-hairdressers or beauticians and this helps us to understand the your business better .
- Take your time. Just because you are looking for a software package does not mean you need to sign up straight away. Take a chance to assess all your research and think about your decision before making it. For instance what are the 3 “must haves” you are looking for and why? Does the vendor you are evaluating meet all of your requirements and what do you anticipate will be the benefit of these “must haves” to your business?
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