As technology has become an increasingly more prevalent part of everyday life, it has transformed everything from social interaction, to media consumption, to the way we do business. There are countless technological innovations that make life easier, including thousands of ways to smoothly manage and operate a small business. For salon owners, the tech world offers a myriad of tools, machines, and apps that help streamline nearly every aspect of running a successful salon. From helping to keep track of financial records and appointments, to offering new ways to enhance stylist education, to even helping create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests, these high-tech tools are perfect for everyday use.
Below, check out our list of some of the top high-tech gadgets, salon apps, and technological innovations for salons!
1. Google Glass
Haircare brand Matrix recently announced that it will be incorporating Google Glass, the first mass-marketed, head-mounted, wearable computer, into its education program. Hairstylists will learn how to create new styles, as well as increase their skill level, through Matrix's "Class for Glass" initiative. This innovative new use of technology allows users to view exclusive image inspiration, as well as tutorials from the point of view of the hairstylist to ensure a whole new level of education.
2. MyChair App
One of the most popular applications for salon use, the MyChair App allows users to keep track of clients, appointments, financial records, referrals and even emails clients who have missed appointments. This helps salons save time, as well as stress, keeping all important business information in one place. The app also makes it possible for stylists to check up with clients to see how they are enjoying their new look, or send out reminders to new clients so that salons experience fewer missed appointments.
3. Salon Iris
Salon Iris offers salon software that works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Android tablets, as well as on your PC, for large or small salons. The advanced software helps salons manage marketing, payroll, accounting, appointments, client history, and more, making running your salon business almost effortless.
iPads are not only great for personal use, but can be a major help in managing a salon as well. An array of iPad apps help with everything from client inspiration (stylists can build easy-access folders of different hairstyle looks), to marketing through various social media platforms, to providing entertainment for guests in place of traditional magazines.
In addition, iPads provide nearly unlimited mobility for hairstylists on-the-go, so salon owners and freelance stylists alike can keep track of appointments, book new clients, and promote their services from virtually anywhere. For stylists working in multiple salons, iPads offer a simple way to keep track of all of their clients in one place.
Increasingly, iPads are being used in salons to provide entertainment for guests. Apps like Hair MakeOver and Hair Colour Booth allow clients to "try on" new hairstyles before committing to a new look (simply take a picture of the client, and the apps virtually add any hairstyle from a gallery of options). Some salons encourage guests to "check-in" on social media sites such as Facebook and Foursquare via a main, salon iPad. Still others simply provide internet browsing to guests receiving a service - something that can greatly help set a salon apart.
5. MyGallery App
The MyGallery App allows users to download and add images to folders that can then serve as inspiration galleries for guests, rather than having the client bring in a picture themselves. This can help ensure that a client and her stylist are always on the same page regarding a new look.
An extremely useful business tool, Square allows salons and individual hairstylists to accept credit cards from nearly any device. A small card reader hooks up to your smartphone or tablet and, paired with the Square app, turns the device into a mobile point of sale. Guests can even include tip directly through the app, and receipts can be sent either via text or email to ensure fast, efficient payment.
7. Glam Squad App
For freelance hairstylists, apps like Glam Squad (currently available in NYC and LA) allow pros to perform limited services, such as blowouts or braids, in a client's home or workplace. This on-demand, in-home service can help increase a stylist's number of clients in any given week, as well as allow for greater personal marketing.
8. Booking Apps
Specific booking apps, such as Beauty Booked and Beautified, are designed to allow easier booking for clients. Salons listed on these types of apps can experience a higher volume of new clients, as well as an easier booking process through the application.
9. Stylist Pop
Stylist Pop is a complete salon software that focuses on social media marketing and promotion while still managing team schedules, appointments and online booking. Salons benefit from an increased social media presence, email marketing and even text message marketing to reach an ever-increasing customer base.
10. Keurig Mini
Not all high-tech salon gadgets are computer-based. When streamlining business and making the running of a salon easier than ever, it's important to not forget about creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for guests. After all, the guests are what keep the business going. Consider using a Keurig Mini Brewing System to offer guests complimentary coffee. With single cup brewing, you won't have to worry about constantly brewing coffee or excessive waste, and this small gesture can go a long way in garnering client loyalty.