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For salons and spas, choosing the right software to help run your business is essential. And, to that point, you’ll find that adding a point of sale or POS system is one of the best decisions you can make.

POS systems use the latest technology to help you manage and grow your business. In addition to processing payments of all types and managing schedules, a POS can help you improve and maintain your database of customers, track sales, and prepare for tax time. Although a given for any decent POS system, those features are only the starting point.

When searching for the ideal software for your business, make sure to look for these essential attributes:

User-Friendly: The ultimate POS software is simple to use and should be a natural addition to your salon or spa’s workflow. You’ll want the ability to easily access client information at every turn and check customers in and out with just a few taps or clicks. The best POS software will be so turnkey that your clients are barely aware of the process.

Device-Friendly: Your choice for POS software should also be easily accessible and work on all of the devices you like to use. All of this ought to be possible without having to invest in any heavy equipment or hiding a server in your back room. Look for a cloud-based system so you can both avoid conflicts and IT issues and access your data anytime and from anywhere. You’ll also find it easy to use card swipers that make mobile payment processing a breeze. Mobile processing works for salons and spas of all sizes but is a must-have for solo operators or those who book services outside of the salon or spa.

Number Tracking: A POS system should have robust sales and commission tracking. You’ll want to be able to access this information at any point and have multiple options for running reports and calling up your data. And, by going mobile, you can access this information wherever you chose to run your business: from home, on vacation, or, like with most salon or spa owners, between clients.

Counting Rewards & Referrals: To reward client loyalty and to encourage their referrals, you’ll want a robust system to help keep track of rewards points and client recommendations. Look for a POS solution that offers a loyalty and referral program with easy tracking so you can encourage frequent client visits and increased spending. Your customers will feel appreciated while helping your business grow.

Inventory Intelligence: You also want a system that integrates seamlessly with your inventory. It’s essential that it not only tracks your retail sales, but also helps you identify sales trends, recommends products at checkout, and has automatic ordering functionality that keeps your shelves stocked.

Customer Support: Naturally, there will be a learning curve, but once trained to use your POS software, it will save you and your staff a lot of time. Find a system that has straightforward learning tutorials to make the process simple but also has a friendly and industry knowledgeable support team that understands your needs and is willing to help. Be sure to inquire about costs for training, data transfer, and ongoing customer support. The best salon point of sale system will not only offer these services for free but will have the backing of a company well steeped in the salon and spa industry.

Once you are up and running with your new software, set up a training protocol for staff and new hires. That way, anyone can jump in and help check-in clients, book appointments, and process payments with ease.