You’ve Heard Of The Cloud…But Do You Know How It Works?
You’ve heard of “the cloud,” right? But…what is it? Here’s what you should know—working in the cloud has advantages over traditional software and it’s something the beauty industry is starting to embrace, especially when it comes to salon/spa scheduling and management software. But you do hair—you’re not in IT. So we’re gonna break it down for you.
What is “the cloud”?
Short for cloud-based computing, “the cloud” involves computing and data storage resources that are offered as a utility over the internet. When you use the cloud for business applications, you are no longer storing and accessing programs on the hard drive of a computer installed at your business location.
Why Embrace “the cloud”?
There are many advantages that the cloud can bring to your business, but the one that’s most important? Cloud software applications actually allow you access to your business data 24/7 from anywhere that you have an internet connection, and we know that’s gonna be helpful!
With cloud-based software you also do not have to worry about the risk, inconvenience or cost of installing software or updates on your computer. Maintenance and updates are done in the cloud by the software provider and happen 100 percent behind the scenes. Which means it’s easier for you and there is no need to install elaborate and expensive networks or computer systems, let alone hire the Geek Squad to tie them all together (that’s so 2009!).
There are also no more compatibility issues between locally installed software and your computer’s operating system. The Internet drives mobility and the cloud is device independent so long as a browser is available. Instead of being inundated by IT issues, you can focus on your customers and the core of your business: the hair, of course!
What To Look For!
Now that you know what cloud computing is and how it can benefit you, here are some suggestions about what to look for (or avoid) with cloud-based salon and spa management software:
1. The workflow in a salon or spa is unique and the software should be designed specifically with this in mind. Data should be at your front desk’s fingertips in any moment of need, while streamlining the overall workflow.
2. You should also be able to access your account anytime on any device with an internet connection. This will allow you to check your schedule, take or change a booking, set up automated confirmations and reminders, launch mass emails, run a report, or even check or order inventory from virtually anywhere. WIN!
3. Good salon and spa software will also provide granular permissions so that your staff can view their schedules and other specific data that is particularly important to them. Likewise, your salon clients have the ability to schedule appointments on any device though a link from their website or Facebook page, or through a mobile app.
4. You should never have to install software, pay for updates or worry about software compatibility with your computer.
5. A good cloud-based management system should also let you pay as you go with no long-term contracts. It should allow you to maintain ownership of your information, including clients, and let you take your data with you should you decide to leave.
6. Avoid salon or spa management services that want to “own” the client. By signing up you are effectively handing over your client list so that others can market to them. You have worked hard to gain these clients and the last thing you want is to allow other businesses to solicit YOUR clients. Be sure to ask the important questions and read the small print!
7. Last, but not least, make sure that training and technical support comes with the service. If possible, find cloud-based software that allows you “try it on” for a period of time to make sure it’s truly right for you!
Now It’s Your Turn
So clearly the cloud is an incredibly valuable tool for your business. That said, is your salon or spa in the cloud yet? You should check out Rosy Salon Software! Their VP of sales, John Bertorelli, is a former hairdresser and salon owner—so you know he knows what you need! Plus, it’s 100 percent cloud-based, so you’ll be cruising the cloud in no time! Watch the video below and learn more about Rosy!