The right tools can totally transform your business.
In years gone by, owning or running a salon was a relatively simple affair. It was hard work, but there was much less for folk to deal with. In contrast, today’s salon owners have to consider the core of the business as well as employees, admin, marketing, and social media.
No wonder there are times when it seems like a 24-hour job.
However, with the right technology and tools, you can change this by streamlining various functions and processes. These tools can empower you to stay at the top of your game. With your salon running like a well-oiled machine, you can better balance your business and personal life. After all, self-care extends much further than just your clients.
You don’t have to look far for tools that can change the way you run your business. There are plenty to choose from, and many, if not most of them, are available in free and paid versions. The vast amount of software and apps available can make the choice a difficult one, so here’s a list of 7 tools that are a great place to start.
1. Focus To-Do – For Making Tasks More Manageable
Every salon owner probably knows the feeling of holding a mug of coffee at the start of a day where there are 101 things to do, and all those tasks seem like a mammoth undertaking. Focus To-Do lets you break it all down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
What’s more, the time management app’s Pomodoro function lets you assign time limits to each of those tasks, which can help you stay focused. For example, you can set 25-minute periods for several tasks, and you can tick off each one as you complete them.
British entrepreneur Brandon Ackroyd explained that the routine that works for him is to take a 5-minute break between 25-minute periods, and to take a 15-minute break after four such cycles of activity.
2. Google Tasks – For Assigning Tasks
Like other entrepreneurs and business executives, salon owners are not immune to inboxes that threaten to suck up all their time and energy. Google Tasks is a great way to manage your tasks and integrate that information with Google Calendar and Gmail.
In addition to creating, editing, or otherwise managing task lists, you can create lists of sub-tasks, add information, find tasks’ source emails, prioritize tasks, and set reminders and other notifications.
3. Expensify – For Handling Receipts
The proper handling of receipts is an important part of salon management. Without it, it would be incredibly difficult to keep track of your expenses. It can be a fiddly, time-consuming task that can distract you from more pressing commitments. It’s also a task that invites procrastination, which ultimately makes life more difficult for you.
With the mobile app Expensify, you can use your phone to take a photo of your receipts and then upload them directly to a spreadsheet. As DIYoffer founder Connie Heintz discovered, this can make life much easier when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.
4. Wave – For Simple Accounting
If your bookkeeping could use a bit more help than simply keeping track of receipts, consider using Wave, which is an app that’s perfect for small businesses. You can choose between a free version and a paid one.
The free version lets you create invoices, scan invoices and receipts into the system, and use the accounting and reports functionality. The paid version offers you all that and more, such as automatically integrated direct deposit payroll and other payments.
Wave’s not a replacement for a real accountant, but it’s definitely a great tool that goes a long way in helping you balance your books.
5. Signable – For Legally Signing Documents Online
Salon owners and hair care specialists are in a potentially tricky situation when it comes to social distancing and other public health protocols. You can’t completely distance yourself from your clients, which means taking extra care to distance yourself from others and to find alternative ways of doing simple tasks that could potentially expose you to viruses and bacteria.
Signable makes it easier for you to sign documents legally without touching a pen. With it, you can upload the relevant documents before dragging and dropping customized form fields into them. Use the platform to email the intended recipients, who can then follow the link to sign the document electronically. When all relevant parties have signed a document, you can download it before saving and printing.
6. HootSuite – For Social Media Management
Active social media pages are an essential part of running any business today, whether you specialize in hair care and styling, or you manufacture organic baby food. The amount of work involved in running a Facebook page alone is tremendous, which can make it tempting to stick to only one platform. However, that’s not how most people who are active on social media work.
In addition to Facebook accounts, many people have Twitter, Instagram, and other profiles too. HootSuite is one of the most popular social media dashboards, and its function is to make social media management much easier. Once you’ve downloaded HootSuite, you can manage your pages on several social networks.
You can publish posts immediately or schedule them for later publication. You can also interact with your pages’ followers from the dashboard. The dashboard offers helpful insights, such as tracking follower numbers and monitoring click-generating posts. If you opt for the paid version, you get access to additional analytics.
7. Booksy – For Easy Scheduling of Business Appointments
Keeping track of client appointments has never been easier or more accessible with Booksy. After Booksy Inc. partnered with Instagram to integrate salon bookings, the app became even more appealing to busy salon owners.
All you need to do is sign up with Booksy and have a business profile on Instagram. Clients who have the app can book an appointment at any hour of the day, and there’s no email, telephone, or other point of communication required. You’ll always have a clear overview of your schedule, and you can set the app up for individual use or as a calendar for the whole salon. At any moment, you’ll have a full overview of your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule at your fingertips, making scheduling other appointments and tasks so much easier.
Get Ahead With Helpful Tools
The tools suggested above not only help you manage your salon, but they can help grow your business as a whole—even if it’s just by freeing up more of your time. You can also find a number of other free tools online for one-off purposes that will make your life so much simpler. For example, there are tools like business loan calculators that can assist you when you need a cash injection, or Wix and WordPress for when you want to build or update your website.
You’re encouraged to take advantage of what’s available and to empower yourself and your employees as much as you can. We live in the age of technology, and both you and your salon should benefit from it.
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