You love running a spa business because you get to make people feel great. That’s gratifying. There’s no sweeter sound than a client coming out and exclaiming how great they feel from your services.
Yet, running a spa business isn’t only pampering.
You have to administer a lot of tasks and this takes time. It also costs you money because your spa business earns money when working with clients – not administrating your business.
The more time and resources you put into administrative tasks and the less time pampering clients means less money in and more money out.
The simplest and most cost-effective way to dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend administrating your spa business is using the right spa scheduling and business management software.
Of course, with so many software applications available, where do you start looking?
Pursue your search in 2 steps.
Decide on the type of software you want
There are 2 elements to consider:
- Web-Based vs. Desktop
- Centralized vs. Separate Software Applications
I recommend web-based and centralized. Web-based eliminates the hassles of installing on your network of computers. The costs in computer consultants you’ll save will nearly pay for a web-based system.
The other decision is whether to look for a comprehensive, all-in-one software service or buy a series of individual software applications that you integrate to run your business.
My recommendation is to go with an all-in-one software service. This is cost-effective, improves automation opportunities, and tasks are seamlessly integrated. Have you ever tried integrating various software programs … it can be a nightmare. Besides, it eliminates a lot of shopping around.
Look for the following features that the best spa business software should have.
Regardless of whether you go with web-based or desktop, and centralized vs. separate applications, you’ll need the following functionality:
1. Powerful Scheduling Capabilities
Booking appointments is the life-blood of your business. The easier this process is, the more time and money you’ll make.
But did you ever think about offering your client’s the opportunity to book their own appointments?
Seriously, you save time and offer your clients the opportunity to book online.
Suppose you have a client that wants a massage. Instead of calling your spa business and taking the time of your staff, that client can go online and see who is available when to give a massage. They then book it. As far as I’m concerned, this is a must-have feature for any spa.
Of course, the scheduling software must be centralized so when it’s updated from any location, it’s updated for everyone who logs in to see the schedule – clients and staff.
2. Built-In Credit Card Processing
Many people pay for spa services with a credit card. If you get a spa business software service that processes the credit cards, your sales information is immediately available in the reports generated. You don’t have to wait to reconcile credit card sales at the end of the day (and then input it into a program). Instead, a great spa business software program includes credit card processing that integrates with your entire system.
Better yet, then your sales will be tracked by the customer. You can then easily see which customers buy what. Guess what, that gives you more opportunities to target products and services to specific customers. Not only will you generate more sales, but your spa customers will love you.
Which leads to …
3. Direct Response Marketing
When you look for a centralized, powerful spa business and scheduling software program, be sure it includes email marketing.
With integrated email marketing, you can send out automated reminders.
You can also target specific customers with particular offers – depending on their buying habits.
For example, suppose you have a group of 10 percent of male customers who only get deep tissue massages. You can specifically offer massage discounts to them. Don’t waste their time with lotion deals and other services. Customize your messages to your customers.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in segmenting your offers and marketing. But it’s only done when your client management is integrated with your direct marketing – particularly your email software.
4. E-Commerce Opportunities
I don’t know how many spa websites I’ve visited that don’t have a store. What’s the deal with this? Talk about a missed opportunity. They sell products in their physical store, but not online.
Are you missing out on an e-commerce opportunity?
When you choose spa business and scheduling software, be sure it offers e-commerce (i.e. shopping cart) capabilities. It’s an absolute must-have and you absolutely must get an online store immediately.
Check your number of visitors to your website. Those are all potential sales – and it’s easy sales because of the customer processes the payment. You do nothing.
5. Inventory Management
Like I said, you probably sell physical products in your store. Get spa business software that performs inventory management for you so you can sync your sales with your inventory.
6. Payroll Management
How many different pay rates do you have? Probably a lot. The best comprehensive spa business software should include payroll management so you know how much you owe in wages, commissions, fees, etc. at any given time to whom.
These are features you must have if you want a superior personal trainer business and scheduling software. Don’t settle for less.
Any recommendations? One worth checking out that does all of the above is MINDBODY.