Sixty-seven percent of people and businesses have experienced data loss due to a hard drive failure. In a salon or spa, that could mean losing your guest details, appointment book, and even your financial and operations data.
Where does your brand keep your beauty and wellness software? The answer can make a dramatic difference to the wellbeing of your operations. Storing your business data on a PC or other hard drive comes with a myriad of risks no salon or spa should have to worry about. Common events such as a power loss, flood, theft, or even coffee spilled at your front desk, could cut access to your appointment book, guest data, and more – temporarily or permanently.
However, those risks are mitigated – and even eliminated – when using modern, cloud-based beauty and wellness software. Your entire business platform and all data is securely stored, managed, and updated online. If one computer, tablet, or phone goes down, you simply log in from another device. All your tools and data are still available, accessible from any location with an internet connection.
Though many businesses choose cloud software for data safety and security, cloud-based systems also offer simplicity and convenience. For instance, cloud-based software is updated automatically, with all staff accessing the same platform. Traditional on-premise software usually needs manual updating – on every drive.
That conventional "legacy” software can’t keep up with a salon or spa’s rapidly changing needs and can usually only be accessed within the business premises. Administrative tasks such as scheduling, reporting, and inventory management can quickly become time-consuming, sometimes requiring unnecessary work and data importing and exporting.
Whether you run a salon, spa, medspa, or fitness center, you work every day to deliver exceptional service to your guests. The last thing you need is business software slowing you down.
Let’s look at some other key differences between desktop and cloud-based software, and explore how cloud software can keep up with your busy pace and help your business thrive.
What is cloud-based beauty and wellness software?
Let’s begin by defining cloud-based beauty and wellness software and how it works.
Cloud-based software refers to any software stored on, and delivered via, the internet. As mentioned above, you can access it from just about any PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. For beauty and wellness businesses, a tablet, such as an iPad, is the most common device option. Instead of keeping guest and appointment data on a hard drive inside your front desk PC, it’s all stored online and offsite, in the safe hands of your software partner and accessible online anytime.
Designed to be user-friendly, cloud-based software gives businesses fast access to the services they need, with updates available in real time. Users can often opt for features with a single click – no need to install more software at your front desk.
Because cloud-based beauty and wellness software is often optimized for touchscreen devices, you also won’t need bulky desktop computers, screens, keyboards, and other hardware. With fewer parts required, there’s less need for IT support and maintenance. Changes happen behind the scenes at the offices of your software partner, saving you both time and money. (You’ll get a neater front desk, too!)
Read more about why businesses have moved to the cloud.
The benefits of cloud software over traditional desktop software
Just about every app and digital service you access today exists and is managed in the cloud. There’s a reason for this: Cloud-based apps can be updated and maintained remotely, and accessed on almost any device, making them more convenient and cost-effective than outdated desktop-based services.
Here are just a few benefits of cloud-based beauty and wellness software:
- Quick, easy access
Because you can access a cloud system or platform from anywhere with an internet connection, you’re not tied to your locations. If you’re away from your salon or spa, you can still check in on schedules, sales, and performance data – the same information you’ll see while checking in from your business.
Cloud-based apps can be used on almost any current tablet or smartphone; comparatively, desktop systems often need specific hardware to work. Less equipment means less to buy and maintain – and more space at your front desk.
Have you ever booted up your PC to start your day, just to wait for a software update? Because cloud software is updated remotely, this type of downtime becomes a thing of the past.
- Multi-location convenience
Because all your data is accessible online, a cloud-based system is easily scalable: If you open a new location, you can seamlessly tap into the data from other locations (for guest details, service menus, and more).
With a centralized cloud database, you can unify your operations and get a master view of your entire brand. Compare insights from all locations to make firm strategic business decisions. Manage operations and marketing needs from your head office rather than each center, enabling a consistent guest and brand experience.
- Superior data safety
With cloud software, your service and data are safe – and saved – online. You’re at no risk of losing information if your PC, tablet, or phone stops working. You can simply log in from a new device and access your system as usual.
With locally stored software, a desktop crash could cause serious disruption to your business: You could lose guest details, access to your appointment book and your operational history. This is more than just a headache for you and your providers – it could also seriously affect your guests’ trust if their personal data is lost. They may get the impression you're not keeping their details sufficiently safe.
Selecting the right beauty and wellness software for Your business: key questions to consider
As with any business, determining the best cloud-based system for you largely depends on your organization, current business requirements, and short- and long-term goals. Take some time to answer these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish in future months and years?
- What pain points do you face and what do you need to resolve them?
- What is your budget for a cloud-based software solution?
Although the answers may seem obvious to you as a business owner, taking time to think about and even write them down creates a clear understanding of your business needs. This will help you effectively compare and weigh your options for a cloud-based system that’s best for you.
Features of cloud-based software in the beauty and wellness industry
Another benefit of cloud-based software is the flexibility to choose a level of service that fits your specific business needs. That can help you limit your choices to what delivers value now, while looking ahead to functions that support your plans for growth and expansion. Just because you don’t need a specific feature or service today doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
Cloud-based beauty and wellness software can give you the tools to grow your business in ways you didn’t know possible. Zenoti is a cloud-based system – the most complete platform in the industry – that elevates the guest experience and makes it easier to manage a business of any size. Salons, spas, medspas, and fitness centers access a single source of software, ensuring every location always has the latest tools and data available.
Here are some Zenoti features that take full advantage of the cloud: secure, up-to-date, and accessible to staff anytime:
- Appointment Booking – Guests have the freedom to schedule their appointments online, via an app, or with the help of a virtual assistant. Our AI-powered booking system takes providers, equipment, and room availability into account for a seamless booking experience every time.
- Billing & Payments – Give guests a quick, easy check-out process with a Point-of-Sale (POS) system that supports all common payment methods, auto-pay, and mobile-friendly options for touchless convenience.
Discover the key features to look for in point-of-sale software.
- Reporting & Analytics – Measure, track, and compare your sales, operations, and guest data to better understand your business performance and inform strategic decisions. A cloud-based app provides even easier access to essential insights.
- Marketing – Build effective SMS and email campaigns to target and reach the right guests, with your database updated in real time. Create promotions to increase guest spend and retention, such as rebooking reminders, birthday greetings, or a discount on your latest product range.
- Employee Management – With scheduling, commissions, performance tracking, and more at the ready, your team gets a seamless workflow that gives them more time to spend with their guests.
- Inventory – Save time with inventory management software that keeps track of your stock levels at all times. You’ll get automatic stock-level alerts when you’re running low – so you’re never stuck with empty shelves – and information that highlights any slow-moving products.
- Central Dashboard – Cloud software can give you a birds-eye view of your entire business and a view of each location in detail, making it easy to analyze and compare performance. Save time and ensure brand consistency by managing all locations from one place.
- Guest Profiles – With comprehensive, up-to-date guest profiles, your providers can create a personalized experience for every guest. Providers can prepare for and form a relationship with each guest knowing their favorite products, their purchase history, how they like their coffee, and much more.
Choosing a cloud-based solution for Your beauty or wellness business
The flexibility, security, and insights of a cloud-based system are a must for business management and success. If you’re ready to upgrade your current salon, spa, medspa, or fitness software to the most complete solution in the industry, look no further than Zenoti.
More than 15,000 businesses trust us to help optimize their performance and thrive. Request a demo today to learn how we can help you streamline your operations and get an edge over the competition.