Best Salon and Spa Point of Sale Hardware and Software
There's nothing that makes a woman feel more beautiful than having her nails done at a salon. If you're in the business of providing manicures and pedicures for eager customers, then congratulations, because nail salons are often very profitable endeavors. Perhaps you are working as a nail technician for someone else and you are looking into starting your own shop, or maybe you already run your own business and are wanting to get organized. Regardless, if you are running a nail salon, an invaluable tool for getting things done efficiently is having a salon POS system that matches you well.
You may feel inclined to do things primitively with just an old cash register and a credit card, since your business is mostly service-based and may not include the amount of inventory that you might find in, say, a grocery store. However, every business is the same in that staying organized and having a way to get a bird's eye view of your effectiveness is invaluable. A proper POS will allow you to keep all your records digitally, analyze data such as sales and inventory, and of course take your customer's money in an integrated and hassle-free way.
Lots of people assume that POS systems with these kinds of capabilities have to be complicated or expensive, but they really don't. Let's take a look at a few options that you might try for your nail salon, to help you get a better perspective of the costs and functionality of a few popular systems:
You may have heard of square before, and indeed it is a great, if simplistic POS-esque solution. They provide a way to take your customer's money and also provide great analytics, and they have no monthly fee, which makes the popular with many small startups who don't have any money to invest in either higher-end hardware or in a monthly service fee.
Though you may associate them with businesses like food trucks, PayAnywhere has some salon-specific and beauty shop-specific solutions that might work well for your niche. However, there are a few downsides: Since they take a percentage of every transaction as their fee, this may not be ideal if you have higher sales volume; it may make more sense to find a POS with a simple monthly fee. Also, PayAnywhere tends to rely on hardware that you already have such as your tablet or phone, so if you want a simple, all-in-one solution, then Square is probably not it.
This salon- and spa-centric POS system offers all kinds of features that you may find useful for your nail business. In a lot of ways, it is more than just a POS: It allows you to track your customers' purchases and keep a dossier on their personal history with your salon, provides analytics, and handles online booking and confirmation. If you want to start a newsletter for email marketing purposes—which is an invaluable technique for keeping long-term customers and sending them promotions—it can also help you with that. You can buy different kinds of hardware packages from them for your point of sale system as well, and while they are not expensive, they do require an upfront cost. If you're looking for something that doesn't require this upfront investment, you might want to go with another company.
Currently, there is no salon-specific software from this company (though it is in the works and the company is growing), but Harbortouch certainly makes up for it in affordability. For very little or no upfront cost, you can have all the hardware and software you need to get a great quality POS set up in your shop, and the monthly fees associated with the service are rather low. A few of its major benefits include customizability, a wealth of analytics, and the fact that all of your reporting is not only available locally on your machine, but is also stored on the cloud, so that you can review your stats remotely and you never have to worry about losing your information should your hardware fail.
There are two main POS systems from this company to choose from, and they are the Harbortouch Echo and the Harbortouch Elite. The Echo is a great choice if you are just starting out and don't have too many employees; it's also the more immediately affordable of the two. Even though it's available for a surprisingly inexpensive monthly fee, they certainly did not skimp on features: It has an intuitive touch screen design whose home screen elements can be customized to your taste. Its interface is very easy to learn and training is included with the package. It includes great reporting and organizational tools, and you can access all of these remotely.
The Elite is a bit of a different animal, even though it includes all of the features of the Echo and more. With the Elite, you can further customize your software to make it even more specific to your business, and the hardware is extremely powerful. If you want a POS with a fast processor, and plenty of storage capacity, as well as the ability to control your own user interface experience down to the little details, this is a good choice. It's not even that expensive, so it's definitely worth considering if your business has grown past its initial stages.
As you can see, there is lots of choice in the world of point of sale systems for nail salons, and these certainly aren't your only options. In a lot of ways, it's not about trying to find the system that is “best,” but trying to find the one that works well with your situation. Whether you want to go with something incredibly simple like Square or you want to get a POS with the capacity to handle just about everything like the Harbortouch Elite, it's a good idea to look into getting some kind of system to handle your sales. Even just the convenience and cost-savings of having digital records stored from the beginning can save you a lot of headaches during tax season.