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A new year calls for turning on some new Simple Salon features

Achieve new business growth in 2017 by turning on some powerful features in your Simple Salon account.

If you were with us a year ago, you would remember we did the same thing at the beginning of 2016… how’d you go with implementing the features we talked about? I’ll jog your memory—we enabled automatic Appointment Reminders, Advanced Online Bookings, Loyalty Points Program, 1-Touch Marketing, as well as implementing a regular visit to your Marketing page. If you didn’t enable all of these features, not to worry, it won’t take long to catch up. Click here to see what we did, and go ahead and enable these features first.

To kick off 2017 we’re looking at a few different features that you can enable in your Simple Salon account to help business this year. Some of these changes will result in more clients and more bookings, and some will result in a more seamless, efficiently run salon. So here we go… this January it’s time to implement the following changes.

For those of you who have a tablet floating round the salon, make use of your Client Capture Form

Instead of handing new clients a clipboard with paper on it, or asking them over the counter what their name and number is (and proceeding to get the spelling wrong), just hand them the iPad (or whatever tablet you’re using in the salon). On the iPad is the Client Capture Form, which the client enters their personal details into and taps Save. As for existing clients, hand them the iPad too, because they can also use the Client Capture Form to update their personal details. Click here to see how you can use the Client Capture Form to streamline your salon operations, and make your clients’ salon experience even smoother.

Add a “Book Now” button to your Facebook page

Give your clients a direct way to make appointments from your Facebook page by adding to it a “Book Now” button. This is called a ‘Call To Action’ option—it enables the client to action something, rather than aimlessly wander around your Facebook page and after a few minutes leave. With a “Book Now” button you’ll see more clients walking through your salon doors, and more appointments in your columns. In order to take online bookings, you’ll need to first enable your Online Bookings feature in Simple Salon, so click here to see how to do that. Then you’ll be ready to click here to see how to setup your “Book Now” button on Facebook.

Use your Simple Salon to make your salon more paperless (going green means less expenses for you)

Did you know it only takes a couple of clicks (or taps, if you’re on a tablet) to view your client history from the Appointment page? By making the switch to viewing your client histories digitally, instead of printing off client cards and operator day cards (so much paper), your salon becomes more paperless. Also, how about all of those paper receipts? There’s actually no need to print them, instead have them automatically emailed to your clients at the end of their transaction. It’s time to turn on a few features in your Simple Salon account to make your salon greener, all the while saving you on the cost of paper. Click here to see how you can turn on these (and more) green features.

So, just to recap, go ahead and start using your tablet to capture your clients’ details, gain more clients and bookings from your Facebook “Book Now” option, and save on paper by becoming a little more digital in the way your salon operates. Then you’ll be on your way to a more successfully run salon.

If you don’t yet have Simple Salon, click here to get started today.

Kick off 2017 with a bang—Get Simple Salon + FREE Data Import (SIGN UP before DEC 31)

When you sign up for Simple Salon before December 31st 2016 you’ll get a FREE Data Import* (valued at $399). This means that come the New Year, you’ll have a fresh new system to manage your salon scheduling, SMS, POS, reporting, marketing (and much more), AND you can have all of your clients, services, products, and staff in there ready to go, for FREE.

The process is simple—sign up with FREEIMPORT in Referral Code of Sign Up Form (don’t choose Data Import from Start Up Options), then email us your data file, or if it is too large, let us know and we’ll email you a link to a dropbox folder in which you can upload the data too. We do also have export instructions for various systems, so upon sign up let us know what program your data is currently in and if we’ve got the instructions (chances are we do), we’ll email you back the steps for how to export the data.

Once we have your data we give ourselves up to one week to complete the import process, then with most of the set up done for you, all you’ll need to do is tweak a few things, and away you go. You’ll be setup and using your new Simple Salon program in no time at all.

Click the SIGN UP button below to get your FREE Data Import, and see the New Year in with a brand new software system for your salon.

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*The Data Import covers all clients, operators (staff), products, services, and service history as far back as the past 2 years (provided this is retrievable from your previous system database or the data you provide is in a spread sheet format). Unfortunately future appointments cannot be imported from your previous system, and nor can we import any transaction/financial history.

We have a CHRISTMAS BONUS for you

The festive season is upon us and we’d like to give you an early Christmas pressie. I can take a guess as to what you want for Christmas this year… a big fat card with cash in it? That way you can buy whatever you want. Well, that’s exactly what we’ve got for you, a virtual card with real cash in it. We want to give you $19, $49 or $99… or even more… as much as you want actually. Bring on the Boxing Day sales!

| Here’s how we give you your Christmas Bonus |

When one your industry friends (or as many of them as you like) SIGNS UP before December 24th, you get a CHRISTMAS BONUS. If your friend signs up for a Single Package you get $19; if they sign up for a Standard Package you get $49; if they sign up for an Unlimited Package you get $99. You’re doing the maths aren’t you? Yep, that’s right—if say 5 friends or clients sign up (who you so naturally talk to about salon stuff—latest techniques, strange client experiences, salon software), then you could have yourself an easy up to $500. We know how much you stylists, colourists, and beauty technicians love to chat, so this will be easy for you.

| Here’s how it works |

You get your own referral code, you give it to your friend, and they put it in the Referral Code field of their Simple Salon Sign Up Form. Once they complete the sign up, you automatically receive their first month’s subscription.

| How to get your Referral Code |

Simply go to the Account page in your Simple Salon account, and in the Actions menu click My Referral Link. Your referral code is the number at the end of the link (http://simplesalon.refr.cc/YOURCODE). Alternatively, if your friends go straight to your referral link (http://simplesalon.refr.cc/YOURCODE), it will redirect them to the Simple Salon Online Sign Up Form, with your referral code already entered into the form.

So, what are you buying with your Christmas Bonus this year?

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If you’re reading this and you’re actually the one wanting your own Simple Salon account, well we have a special gift for you too. When you SIGN UP before December 24th, you will receive 2 MONTHS FREE. Simply type BLOGPOST into the Referral Code field of the Sign Up Form. Click the voucher below to SIGN UP today.

2monthsfree_blogpost-voucher

A very Merry Christmas to you, from all of us at Simple Salon.

Looking at reports is fun—showcasing the Client Management Report

Looking at data, figures and reports is probably not your go-to activity, but when you give it the time of day you soon catch on to how fun it can be, especially when you discover how well your salon is performing, or when you uncover areas of opportunity.

At first “Client Management Report” doesn’t necessarily sound overly enticing, particularly up against some of the more popular reports like “Sales Report, “Operator Report, and “Summary Report—these ones are just asking to be opened. The Client Management Report might play second fiddle to these more notorious ones, and could get overlooked while you scan through your Report List in search of exciting figures… but, if you’ve found yourself skipping past this one, it’s time to head back up the list and uncover the powerful data it contains—let’s take a look.

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What this reports shows you is the database percentage and total number of clients who are missing specific personal details, and who haven’t been enabled for various settings. At a glance you see who doesn’t have a mobile number, an email address, their gender selected, an address, or profile photo. It also exposes how much of your database isn’t enabled for SMS and Email Reminders and Promotions. Green is good, red is not good.

To see a list of clients with uncompleted information, click Show Details in any of the rows i.e. No Mobile. To update a client’s details, click the client’s name in the list and on the right side panel add in their mobile number (into the Mobile field—that might seem obvious to some, but you’d be surprised how many people put it in the Telephone field, and if it goes in there the client won’t get any SMS’s). Update any other missing details while you’re at it, and Save the changes.

This report is crucial to ensure that you’re able to reach your clients and engage with them on a personal level. Without a mobile number or email address you’re unable to contact your clients. You can’t remind them of their appointments, and you can’t send them promotional offers—both of which are paramount to the growth of your business. Similarly, your clients who aren’t enabled for SMS and Email Reminders and Promotions are also uncontactable.

To start having some fun in your Client Management Report, log into your Simple Salon account and go to Admin > Reporting > Report List > Client Management Report.

If you haven’t got a Client Management Report, then you need to get your very own Simple Salon account first.

GET SIMPLE SALON TODAY REFER A FRIEND AND EARN $99*

* For each person who signs up with your referral code, you receive their first month’s subscription. What this means is, when your friend or client signs up for a SINGLE package you get $19, a STANDARD package you get $49 or an UNLIMITED package you get $99. Note: All prices are in Australian Dollars (AUD).

 

See how your clients are finding your salon

Simple Salon records where your clients are coming from so that you can swiftly see how they’re all finding your salon. Perhaps they were referred to you by a friend, or responded to an email you sent. Maybe they found you as a result of an internet search, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. They might have just been walking by, heard about the salon via word of mouth, at an event, on Pinterest, or in a magazine. All of these referral types, and more, are trackable and reportable in your Simple Salon account for each client.

When you get a new client and you’re adding in their personal details, under the More Details section you can record how they found you—we call this a Referral Type. Get into the habit of filling out this piece of information, because it proves beneficial to you later when you do decide to report on how your clients are finding you. This kind of analysis will help you decipher what marketing avenues require a little extra attention. Let’s say that the magazine ad is bringing in new clients, however the internet search isn’t. Might be time to give Google Ad Words more of the budget to increase the number of people finding your salon when they search online.

To report on the popularity of your Referral Types, simply head over to your Marketing page and choose any one of the marketing options there. For example, you can see a list of all your clients and then filter that list by any referral type. Of all your clients you might want to know how many found you on Facebook. To do this, choose the All Clients button, then use the Referral drop down menu to select the referral type you wish to report on i.e. Facebook. Take note of the Total in the top right corner, then run All Clients again but this time choose a different referral type and compare the results.

The opportunities here are endless, because as you can see in your Marketing page you can specific all sorts of client lists—for example, “Clients Who Came In” between any dates you choose, and of those you can see who found you via your Website. Go on, start exploring the options for marketing now.

If you haven’t yet got any way to track your referrals, click here to get Simple Salon today.

The right way to create a Wait List column

A topic that pops up every now and then is that of a Wait List or Cancellation List. While Simple Salon doesn’t have a specific feature for it, there’s a great workaround you can do. The workaround works so well that by the time you set it up you’ll think that it really is a specifically designed feature—and that’s the beauty of Simple Salon, it’s flexible enough in its functionality to allow for all sorts of varied setups. Not everyone operates the same way, so in most cases Simple Salon will mould to fit your way of doing things.

A Wait List or Cancellation List is a column in your Simple Salon Appointment page where you can put appointments for clients who are waiting for some available time to open up in an operator’s column. Essentially, they are waiting for an existing client to cancel so they can take their spot.

As you might know, Simple Salon allows you to have automatic SMS and email appointment reminders being sent to clients a day or so before their appointments. With this in mind, you can’t just go ahead and create a new operator column and call it “Wait List” or “Cancellation List and then start throwing appointments in there, because these waiting clients will receive an appointment reminder for the appointment they’re not yet actually booked in for.

All good, this is where the workaround comes into play. So, you have two rounds of appointment reminders right? (If you didn’t know that, click here to learn about your 2 rounds of reminders). If you’re doing the Wait List thing, the trick here is to ONLY enable your 2nd round of appointment reminders. That way when you put an appointment in the Wait List column you can flag it as Confirmed (so that the letter C is displayed on it) and then the client won’t receive a reminder—because the 2nd Appointment Reminder doesn’t send to clients who have a C on their appointment.

Got it? Great. So, just to recap—turn ON your 2nd Appointment Reminder, turn OFF your 1st Appointment Reminder, create a new Operator called “Wait List” (or whatever you like), put waiting appointments in Wait List column, and while they’re in the Wait List column flag the appointments as Confirmed.

Click here for the article which will show you the steps (with pictures) so you can go through the setup correctly from start to finish.

If you don’t have a way of setting up a Wait List in your salon, get Simple Salon first, then you can have your Wait List. Click here to get started today.

Add a “Book Now” to your website & Facebook

To have your appointment book filling up 24/7 add a Book Online button to your website and a Book Now one to your business Facebook page. Using your unique Online Booking URL you can have your site and Facebook buttons link clients to your advanced Simple Salon online booking platform where they can conveniently schedule their appointments online from any smartphone, device or computer, from anywhere, anytime.

| website |

On your site, add to it a Book Online button and have the button link to your unique Online Booking URL (or get your IT guy/gal to do it). Your unique Online Booking URL is located via Settings > Online Booking Settings.

| facebook |

On your business Facebook page, add to it a call-to-action Book Now button and also have it link to your unique Online Booking URL. To add the call-to-action button to business Facebook page, follow the steps below (you’ll need to be an admin, editor, moderator or advertiser to add a call-to-action to your page):

  1. Click + Add a Button (under your Facebook page cover photo)
  2. Select the button you want, which is the Book Now one, from the dropdown menu and fill out the required information (add your Online Bookings URL to the Website field)
  3. Click Create

| setting up online bookings |

Now that’s all well and good to add the buttons to your site and Facebook, but you do also need to have your online bookings set up and ready to go in your Simple Salon account. So, only add those buttons after you’re online bookings is setup. Click here to get that part sorted.

| sending online booking login details to clients |

Next you’ll need to add your unique Online Booking URL link to the SMS and email template, which is used when sending clients their online booking login details. Click here to see how.

Once you’ve setup your Online Bookings, added buttons to your site and Facebook page, and put your unique Online Bookings URL in your SMS and email templates, then you will need to send your clients their online booking login details. Send these via SMS and/or email to one client at a time via the Actions menu in their client card, or all clients at once via Settings > Online Booking Settings.

If you don’t have a unique business online bookings URL for your website and Facebook page it means that you don’t yet have Simple Salon. So, click here to and started today.

Simple Rostering—what to do when you need to open up extra time

Since the release of our super convenient Simple Rostering, the question that’s been coming up the most is, “How do we open up extra time here and there?”.

You might have one day next week, say Wednesday, where you’d like to stay open late, however if you change the operator hours or salon hours for that day, it will make every Wednesday open until late and not just the one next week. How do you go about blocking off the extra time on all those other Wednesdays?

In the same way you might be closed Mondays, however there’s one Monday you’ve decided to take appointments on, therefore you change the operator hours or salon hours to open up on that one Monday, but of course it opens up every Monday. How do you block off all the extra Mondays?

When using Simple Rostering, the solution here is to use your Tasks feature to block off the extra time. Now, keep in mind that you have two options when it comes to rostering—Simple Rostering and Advanced Rostering. We’ll get to Advanced Rostering shortly, but if you’re using Simple Rostering, here’s how to block off the extra time.

You need to create a Task called “Salon Closed” or “Rostered Off” (whatever you like) and book it into your Appointments page to cover the extra time, which opened up on those extra days. For example, you would change the salon or operator hours to open up on Mondays, then you’d book a task into your operator column to block the first Monday that you’re not working. Simply repeat the task weekly to block off every Monday in the future. This means that the one Monday you did want open is available for appointments, but every Monday after that is blocked off using the “Salon Closed” or ‘Rostered Off” task. Click here to see these steps from start to finish.

Now, we mentioned Advanced Rostering before. The Advanced Rostering is more involved, but will allow you further flexibility with rostering operator hours, plus it can calculate wages. There are lots more steps involved to set it up, therefore we suggest you try Simple Rostering coupled with the Tasks feature before considering a switch to Advanced Rostering. If you do decide that you’d like to check out Advanced Rostering, have a good look at this article first to get a thorough understanding of what’s involved in setting it up properly. So, back to our original question, “How do we open up extra time here and there?”—Advanced Rostering is the other solution. It is designed to allow you to roster operators on for random times, even if it changes every week.

The choice is yours—our recommendation is Simple Rostering, so try that first. Then if you definitely require the extra functionality, perhaps consider Advanced Rostering.

Just to recap—click here to learn how to use the Tasks feature alongside Simple Rostering, and here to see how Advanced Rostering works.

If you don’t have either of these rostering options, then it’s time to get Simple Salon. Click here to begin today.

Open spaces are good outside, but not in your appointment book

You might not be aware that you have an Appointment Wizard to assist you in finding available dates and times for your clients’ appointments, and filling up all of those open spaces. This feature saves you from having to look through your appointment columns for open gaps, particularly on those busy days when clients are wanting a few services one after the other and you’re trying to find consecutive gaps to fit each service in. It’s time to leave all the figuring out to your Appointment Wizard.

The Wizard is located up on the top right of your Appointments page. Click the Wizard icon (or tap if you’re on your tablet) and you’ll see that it requires you to enter in some details about the appointment you wish to make. Simply start by typing the client’s name, then click them when they display below. Complete the rest of the fields (service(s), operator(s), date and time) then click or tap Find Options.

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Your Wizard will list the first available appointment options based on the details you’ve entered. It will take into consideration the operators who are rostered on, the time they have available, and all service durations and processing times where applicable. Pick the best suited time for the appointment and hit Lock In to add the booking to your operator columns.

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That’s all there is to it. Let the Wizard find all the right gaps for you, and make your scheduling more efficient.

Click here for more info about your Wizard, and here if you don’t have one, because if you don’t have an Appointment Wizard then it’s time to get Simple Salon.

Bend the rules for your clients—changing a voucher’s expiry date

It’s common that clients at times forget to use their vouchers. I’ve been in this situation, and it was so nice when the spa, who issued the voucher, was still willing to honor it despite the voucher being a month or so past the expiry. You too can be one of these salons or spas who bend the rules for clients. Meaning, if your client comes in or calls up letting you know that they’ve just found a voucher for your salon, which has expired (yep it’s even 3 months past the expiry), here’s how you can respond…”Oh, that’s a little past the expiry isn’t it? Never mind, we’d still be happy for you to use the voucher as soon as possible, can we book you in this week?” You get the idea. You see, the voucher has already been purchased, you’ve received the money for it, therefore it’s no problem for you to honor it. When you do so, you’ll have a very happy client because they were probably expecting you to say no, like most of the others do.

Yes, the voucher is expired, but how much do they appreciate you and your business when you still decide to let them use it. It’s all about customer satisfaction, and a small gesture like this can make a big difference to them, which will help keep them coming back.

When it comes to your Simple Salon, it’s super easy to change a Gift Voucher’s expiry date. When you sell the voucher the expiry date is automatically generated based on how the voucher is setup i.e. 6 months, 12 months, 18 months—whatever it might be. To extend the voucher all you need to do is bring up the voucher details and change the expiry date (you do need to do this before the system will let you use it).

Click here to see how you can change the expiry of a Gift Voucher in just a few simple steps.

If you’re not yet managing your vouchers, and your business for that matter, via an advanced online software platform, then click here to get Simple Salon today.

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