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Management Practices

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing Profitability

Jan Hillenmeyer | July 23, 2011 | 10:28 PM

Salon Today’s annual technology issue is designed to keep you up-to-date on the latest tools, software, equipment and product developments that make your business more effective, efficient and, most of all, more profitable. Technology changes almost daily and it can be difficult to stay current. With that in mind, we tapped some the industry’s leading technology experts to ask:

How does your technology help salons increase profitability?


Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJon Maple, Founder & CEO, Salon Transcripts

As a former salon owner, I understand the many ways your business can earn or lose money. That’s why every aspect of STX software is designed to maximize your operational efficiency and profitability. Here are just a few ways STX helps you be more profitable:

Effective marketing: It’s much easier to get a client to add-on or trade up than it is to get a new one in the door. STX helps you retain and up-sell your existing guests with effective marketing tools while analyzing your effectiveness, right down to the individual appointment level.

Planning: With STX automated Goal Setting, you can set individual goals and have achievements instantly updated and available as each guest completes a transaction. Everyone remains focused and motivated.

Inventory: STX makes it easy to monitor all aspects of your inventory, helping you to minimize your inventory investment while maximizing your turnover.

Time and resource management: The STX appointment builder maximizes time management by finding the most efficient appointment times – it compares guest’s requests and service histories with your employees’ requirements and availability. All of your resource availability is maximized.

Leadership: We’re your silent partner in support, education and innovation. Call on us.

 


Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJoan Jennert, Envision Sales Manager

“I find that salon owners are concerned with getting more clients and keeping current clients more profitable, but they aren’t always sure exactly how to do this or how to track their progress. They are quickly realizing that the right software is essential to success and profitability in this competitive industry. With Envision, you have the tools you need at your fingertips to increase customer retention with our integrated loyalty point system and marketing features, reduce no-shows with automated appointment confirmation, and maximize revenue from clients in the salon with our new “add-to-ticket” feature of EnvisionAccess. Using these tools together makes Envision an invaluable profit center!

Rewarding your clients for purchases, pre-booking, and referring new clients is a great way to increase client retention and guarantee future income. Why would your clients go anywhere else if they’re receiving rewards from you? Our automated email and text message appointment reminders consistently reduce no-shows. But if you do have an opening, it’s easy to announce last minute appointments through Envision’s integrated Face book and Twitter screens or email clients directly from the software. Our latest addition to Envision Access allows you to pre-book appointments and sell retail products while your client is still in the chair. With an iPod or other web-enabled device at the stylist’s station, when the cape comes off, the client already has his or her next appointment booked and their retail products are waiting at the front desk.” Visit ennoview.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityEdwin Neill, CEO, Neill Technologies (SalonBiz Software)

“We put the right tools in the hands of both the stylists and the owners. The SalonBiz iPad App is a tool designed to assist stylists in delivering an excellent service experience while increasing their revenue. It gives them a vehicle to recommend products to the client, maintain the client’s service cycle, and capture contact information without having to ask them to spell their email address more than once. At the same time, it increases client retention and retail sales while maintaining an updated client database for marketing, building referrals and automated appointment reminders.

One of the frequent challenges we hear from salon owners is that they do not feel they are effective staff coaches. SalonBiz Whiteboard is a visual score boarding tool that provides real-time updates on key performance metrics. Owners can focus on coaching the behaviors that make stylists more successful; stylists can focus on things they understand (like the number of guests in their book) to determine how to build in more appointments and more services. The display provides real-time self-assessment for the staff and creates a healthy competition among their peers-which produces immediate results. Fun, interactive tools that provide better service and build revenue is at the core of our innovation.” Visit salonbiz.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityFred Dengler, CEO, MIKAL Corp. (MIKAL Salon Management Software)

“Our AutoPilot Automatic e-marketing system is the most successful profit-generating feature we have ever developed. The system includes ready-to-email or text clients with thank you notes, birthday greetings, retail reminders, referral rewards and appointment confirmations. The messages are customizable but, when the system is set in place, all the marketing happens automatically. No more heavy lifting-- importing, exporting, interfacing, etc., and the impact on our customers’ salons and spas is tremendous. The appointment confirmations reduce no-shows. The retail reminders increase retail sales (the highest net profit area of most salons). Just one more visit from the average client generates an increase in sales averaging 18 percent. For every five percent increase in sales, our salons and spas are reporting a one percent increase in net profits. Unattended automatic marketing is where it’s at for the busy owner and with MIKAL software and an Internet connection, it is free” Visit mikal.com.

 

 

Tev Finger, Co-President, Oribe

“At Oribe, we launched a website called oribe.pro for our stylists, owners and managers to form a community and gain inspiration. One of the highlights is the Portfolio section, where stylists post their work and then compete with other stylists form salons across the country with the chance to win amazing prizes.

It’s like NAHA every day online: our stylists stage their shoots, share their work and then get ratings, comments and product tips from others in our network. It’s fantastic to see because this technology has helped stylists fall in love with their art again.

When stylists are energized, retention rates are higher. Once you unlock high retention rates and raise salon prices accordingly, you just might find the ‘Holy Grail.’

Our professional site offers so much more, for both stylists and salon owners. We love technology, we love salons and we love this industry. We make it a running goal to keep inspiring the global Oribe family through new platforms.” Visit oribe.com.

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJerry Nettuno, Founder and CEO, Schedulicity

“Customer appointments are the lifeblood of any salon and it is paramount to fill all available time slots to ensure growth and profitability.

Schedulicity takes the effort out of time consuming tasks by completely automating and streamlining the entire scheduling process for salon services. By offering online service scheduling 24 hours a day through different digital channels, salons are able to easily and effectively save time, attract new business, increase current client appointments, decrease cancellations and concentrate on providing the best possible service.

Schedulicity positions businesses at the center of evolving trends in social media, integrating the appointment process with Face book and Twitter in addition to being able to integrate into an existing website. Schedulicity’s online portal also serves as another point of entry for consumers. The service is available to salons via the web as a SaaS (software as a service) compatible with Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox, as well as Blackberry, Android-based phones, iPhones and iPads. Schedulicity is in over 1,900 cities with over four million appointments scheduled to date and its current run-rate is $300 million in commerce per year.” Visit schedulicity.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityMaria Bowman, Manager, Integrated Communications, Matrix

“Matrix strives to inspire as well as help salon professionals achieve their dreams through digital initiatives that connect stylists. Matrix is helping salons build their business is through a Face book program we are launching with our 51 “Spread the Love” salons across the country. Matrix is providing these salons with the tools they need in order to grow their presence on Face book through adding a new tab to their existing Face book page. With Matrix’s help, they will learn how to promote “Spread the Love” in their salon, encompassing the products they sell and use, the hairstyles they create, the salon programs in which they participate, (Chairs for Change or Spread the Love) and their salon staff. Additionally, Matrix will give salons the tools to gain new salon clients, host a Fashion Night Out event in their salons, and promote the ways in which they create every day miracles.” Visit matrix.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityPaul Tate, CEO North America, Shortcuts Software

“Profitability is affected by many factors. Two key areas that salons can impact are client retention and frequency. Customer retention is essential for stability and increasing frequency will build revenue and profit from the client base. Increasing these two areas require salons to boost client communication, but that doesn’t have to mean more work for busy salon owners. Shortcuts provides tools like automatic email marketing, online booking and two-way appointment confirmations that can increase profit and efficiency with minimal costs.

With automatic email marketing, salon owners can have surveys automatically sent to clients after a visit to receive feedback on staff performance, products and services. They can send appointment reminders for those who haven’t rebooked an appointment with a link to an online booking service. With two-way appointment confirmations, salons can reduce the amount of no-shows while freeing the receptionist from spending hours a day confirming appointments. Building client retention and frequency will result from providing better customer service through automated best practice procedures.” Visit shortcuts.net.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityEmil Magro, National Accounts Manager, KORVUE Division (Verasoft)

“KORVUE has feature-rich software that can benefit any size salon. We’ve found that smaller clients really benefit from the automation in the system. KORVUE literally performs tasks they used to do by hand, which is a huge timesaver. In addition, KORVUE’s alerting system seeks out important information they used to be unaware of or had to dig through mountains of reports to find. KORVUE’s alerts are also more accurate, because they are in real time.

On the flip side, our enterprise clients benefit from the ability to customize KORVUE to their operation. When you run a larger company and have the ability to tailor the software to your operational needs, the impact is immeasurable.

Clients of all sizes benefit from KORVUE’s two-way SMS capability, allowing clients to reply to text message confirmations. Having the system automatically update the appointment status is another significant time saver.

Essentially, most clients will benefit from KORVUE’s extensive features, while larger clients benefit from tailoring the software with virtually any feature they desire.” Visit verasoft.com.

 

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJoe Rygiel, CEO, SureTint Technologies

“SureTint Technologies offers salon owners complete color room control that enables them to better, and more profitably, run and manage their hair color business. SureTint’s patented software system significantly reduces hair color waste (and increases revenue) while also assuring consistent and precise formulation accuracy for each client.

SureTint is the only system that also provides full color room data and analytics, client color data management, inventory control and even color conversions. We are delivering the color room of the future today.

Our system was developed by the same team that built the largest, most successful company serving more than 60 percent of color formulation needs for paint and ink color applications worldwide.” Visit suretint.com.

 

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityRosy, VP Brand Awareness, Floydware

“The key fundamentals of managing and growing a profitable salon have not changed dramatically in recent years. Building a loyal clientele, retaining clients, maximizing productivity, retaining staff, increasing service and retail sales are still essential. Technology, on the other hand, has dramatically changed and has become a foundation to grow profitability.

Cloud computing allows Rosy to deliver robust features that are more accessible and easier to use and deploy than ever before. Features including online client scheduling make the salon more accessible and simultaneously promote productivity by cluster booking. Email confirmations and text notifications reduce no-shows. Rosy analyses customer product preferences and purchase patterns and presents them at the appropriate times to increase customer service, while promoting service and retail sales. Our unique, mobile-friendly, easy-to-use interfaces for the entire salon team (and clients) ensure maximum effectiveness.

The Rosy system is easy, affordable, highly accessible, and secure due to the cloud technology. There is no software to install, start-up costs, contracts, extensive training or IT overhead to worry about. Rosy has one low monthly service fee ($29-$99) that includes all features and unlimited personal training and support.” Visit floydware.biz.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityCatherine Renaud, president Virtual Spa & Salon

“Virtual Spa & Salon, a browser-based software on the Amazon EC2 Cloud, moves information instantly from anywhere, any time. Mobility means better service to the client on a smart phone or tablet. Stylists get immediate information on salon and spa clients, greeting them by name and knowing their preferences and purchasing habits.

Our productivity report tracking lets owners see which staff members are recommending products and services, closing sales and pre-booking.

Virtual Spa and Salon adds one or two client appointments a year through the online booking software. The software also provides transaction-free gift cards, automatic confirmations, email marketing, loyalty points inventory reports and an easy-to-use touch screen system that reduces training time.

Cloud computing means no hardware, IT costs or server fees. We include support back up and upgrades. Visit virtualspaandsalon.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityPatrick Barry, VP of Marketing, Demandforce

“Demandforce helps salons increase revenue by fully automating email, texting, social media and online reviews to attract new clients, recover lost clients and measure results.

Demandforce integrates with the salon’s existing management software in less than 30 minutes to automatically send clients the right message at the right time. Messages include two-way appointment confirmations via email and text, lost client campaigns, happy birthday emails, thank you emails and client feedback requests with post-visit surveys. Salons can also send customized email promotions as often as they want with fewer than ten clicks.

Demandforce also helps you attract new clients by collecting and sending certified reviews from your existing client directly to Google, Face book and your professional website, thereby boosting your online reputation with stronger online reviews.

Best of all, Demandforce tracks and measures everything so you see which campaigns are most effective and how much revenue each Demandforce communication generates for your salon. Demandforce offers a three-to-one value guarantee—if you don’t see at least three dollars in value for every dollar spent, your next month is free.” Visit demandforce.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityPaul Pagliaro, President & CEO, Milano Computer Systems, Inc.

“Milano software helps salons and spas manage and drive results from staff with real time goal setting and tracking through our smart card technology.

Milano lets salons acquire new clients through our advanced marketing feature that is linked to Face book and other social media platforms. The automated Marketing capability will automatically create, send and manage personalized client communications that are based on client histories and preferences.

The Milano Profit Center updates key performance indicators every five seconds analyzing productivity, sales versus goals, and the salon’s biggest expense, labor costs. Milano’s advanced SQL database allows salons to take advantage of the best of two worlds: cloud computing and locally installed software. Business is managed locally or remotely in real time.” Visit milanosoftware.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityNormajean Fusco, Founder & President, Equibal, Inc.

“Nufree finipil antibacterial, antimicrobial, non-wax hair removal is not only the safest product on the market, it is also the most profitable. It generates ten times more revenue per jar than waxes. It also takes less time to perform a Nufree finipil treatment than it does a wax treatment. Nufree finipil salons have 24-hour access to online training and an online video library. Registered salons also receive free referrals from our national advertising efforts that include radio, television and print campaigns.” Visit equibal.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityMeg McCall, Director of Marketing, MINDBODY, Inc.

“Installed software could be obsolete in five years. MINDBODY is one of the largest web-based salon software companies. Our online platform gives clients 24-hour access to the salon allowing them to schedule appointments from their mobile devices. Drag and drop, smart booking and double booking features gives the salon/spa owner complete control to determine how much of the salon’s book is available to the public. Color-coded appointments allow owners and stylists to easily see who’s waiting, who’s in the chair, and who is ready to checkout. Convenient travel sheets give stylists the ability to up-sell products at checkout, increasing the sales ticket average.

MINDBODY’s mobile apps give stylists access to their schedules from anywhere, and automation features including text or email appointment reminders reduce frustrating games of phone tag. A last-minute cancellation can be posted on Face book with a link to the salon’s appointment book. MINDBODY salon software comes with a free Constant Contact account to maximize email marketing.

MINDBODY’s web-based software means no more computer crashes, IT bills or expensive work stations. We also provide free custom training to salons and unlimited technical support, all for about the monthly cost of a cut and color.” Visit mindbodyonline.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityFarouk Shami, Founder and CEO of Farouk Systems

“Farouk Systems has always been on the forefront of technology. In 1986, we invented ammonia free color. The company’s continuing innovations in technology include the incorporation of silk into hair care products with the Biosilk hair care line, the creation of electromagnetic field hair dryers, and the pioneering of ceramic technology with the CHI hairstyling iron and CHI hairdryers. The new CHI Enviro American Smoothing Treatment is formulated with amino acids, proteins, silk and pearl. The treatment works with the 410 F heat of the CHI Auto Digital Ceramic Iron to bond the hair for smoother, shinier results. Salons can make up to five times their investment with safe, simple and easy CHI Enviro American Smoothing Treatment.” Visit farouk.com.

 

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJohn Harms, President and CEO, Harms Software, Inc.

“A salon can increase profitability by both reducing costs and increasing revenue. Millennium reduces costs by reducing credit card fees, increasing efficiencies and drastically reducing the time needed to complete tasks, like identifying slow moving products and inventory overstocking. More importantly, it increases revenue by taking the key growth indicators and making them part of the everyday interaction with the front desk and service providers.

Any service industry can forecast growth by tracking new clients per month, new client retention, repeat client retention, frequency of visit, and average ticket. Goals can be set around these indicators and a client loyalty system can be built to reward clients for things like pre-booking, trying new services, and client referrals. Increasing one visit per client usually increases a salon’s revenues by 17 to 20 percent within 90 days.

There isn’t any easier way to increase business in such a short period of time and have those increases sustained. Pre-booking and client loyalty systems should be a part of a salon’s culture and not just something that is talked about once in awhile. Millennium’s reports easily show these indicators along with graphs and calculations to keep you on track to profitable growth.” Visit harms-software.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityMatt Rogers, President, Rogers Software Development (SuperSalon)

“SuperSalon helps users increase profitability with a variety of features. We increase customer trial with referral, gift card, marketing and online check-in and appointment systems.

We help increase customer return rates with features that provide discounts on receipts. The Rate My Visit program and Retention Analysis helps salons understand and address client retention problems. SuperSalon helps salons increase client return frequency and improve the salon experience with email reminders, marketing tools, a video wait list and a self check-in kiosk.

Customer loyalty and client referrals are increased with a system that builds membership and customer club programs and applies automatic loyalty discounts based on the client’s total spending.

SuperSalon’s trade-up tools include special product sales information, trade-up reminders and an in-salon video menu board, all of which increase client per-visit spending, and our operational systems provide business and theft audit tools and an analysis of employee scheduling.” Visit supersalon.com.

 

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityMark Jackson, President, DaySmart Software, Inc. (Salon Iris)

“As an engineer working in the software industry, I’m always trying to think about how technology can be more beneficial for people. Technology is meant to make our jobs easier, smoother and more efficient. Salons and spas have to not only keep track of employees and payroll, but also customers and customer needs, inventory, and marketing necessities.

Salon Iris software manages every aspect of running a profitable business while acting first and foremost as an appointment book. Salon Iris gives businesses a means of tracking employee schedules, managing customer information, and organizing appointments. We also take into consideration that salons often rely on particular equipment to perform specific services, and Salon Iris sorts documents and formula notes, keeps track of inventory and manages payroll. Salon Iris allows users to create targeted marketing campaigns and it will track the effectiveness of the campaign directly through the software. There are even apps for Android and Apple mobile devices that allow users to book appointments and check schedules.” Visit saloniris.com.

 

 

Industry Technology Experts Weigh In On Increasing ProfitabilityJon Maple, Founder & CEO, Salon Transcripts

“As a former salon owner, I understand the many ways a salon can make or lose money. Every aspect of STX software is designed to maximize your operational efficiency and profitability. Through effective marketing, it’s much easier to get a client to add-on or trade-up than it is to get a new one in the door. STX helps retain and up-sell existing guests with marketing tools analyzing effectiveness, right down to the individual appointment level. STX automated goal setting lets owners and stylists set individual goals and have achievements instantly updated and available as each guest completes a transaction. STX makes it easy to monitor all aspects of inventory, by minimizing investment and maximizing product turnover. The STX appointment builder maximizes time management by finding the most efficient appointment times—it compares guests’ requests and service histories with staff requirements and availability. STX is a silent partner in support, education and innovation.” Visit salontranscripts.com.

 

 

James Bremner, VP of Marketing, GramercyOne (SalonBooker)

“SalonBooker by GramercyOne is a cloud-based marketing and business management software for the beauty industry. Although many software packages assist salons across many segments of business management, SalonBooker goes beyond that and helps to drive new business and make salons more profitable. Smart, cost-effective marketing features are integrated into the software to enable salons to harness the power of broadcasting promotions and marketing through email and social media. SalonBooker will allow salons to create specials or promotions and tweet or Face book them directly to the software. Targeting clients to quieter times during the week and off-peak services aids profitability and helps to fill unsold inventory. Booking online has never been easier with Face book. Clients can pick a date, time and service, search for availability and book their appointment without ever leaving a salon’s Face book page. After booking, clients can share their appointment details on their Face book newsfeed for their friends to see, creating true viral marketing. SalonBooker provides a whole suite of tools to make marketing easy and profitable for salons.” Visit salonbooker.com.

 


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