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Leaving your comfort zone and fear of change can be enough for anyone to be hesitant to take any sort of action, even if certain changes will be of great long-term benefit to your business. Not knowing what to expect often causes fear in the best of us. If you’re considering implementing a new salon operation software program, having information readily available on such a change will help to minimize your apprehension.
Knowing what the new system will achieve for your salon will aid you in making the right decision. Jotting down a list of items that are important to you in a software product will be especially helpful. For example, are you looking for a total salon management system? Is a stable program that is easy to use of priority to you and your staff? Do you want the ability to manage your business remotely as needed? When evaluating different software companies, it’s a good idea to have a list of wants and needs prepared beforehand.
Aside from a program’s features and functionality, there are many other things to consider prior to making a switch.
Aside from a program’s features and functionality, there are many other things to consider prior to making a switch. The time of year when you implement a new software system is imperative, as doing so during your salon’s busier times of the year may not be the best choice if you are already somewhat apprehensive about making a change. That being said, fall is a perfect time of year to implement software!
Another factor to consider is the services that the software vendor provides – will you have a dedicated project manager who will oversee the entire process, while following a detailed project plan? Is training on the system provided, and is the training methodology based on your specific business model to ensure that configuration is accurate and that you are getting the most out of the program (or are you left to figure it all out on your own)? Are you currently using a software program? If so, will you require a data conversion and does the software vendor offer this service? These are all important questions to ask upfront, as making an informed decision will help minimize your anxiety about the change.
Once you’ve decided on the right program, to ensure a successful software implementation you will want to make sure you are readily available throughout the entire process (or choose a member of your staff who has a solid comprehension of your business model and whom you can entrust with this type of responsibility). In the beginning stages of your implementation, an understanding of the project scope and diligent planning are key.
Your project manager will provide guidance on the areas of the implementation in which you might want to engage members of your staff. A pilot program is a vital component of any software implementation and can be a very efficient method of training your team to use a new program. Just as you might have been somewhat fearful of making a change, your staff might be too. If you keep them informed and provide them with a platform to familiarize themselves with the system before it’s deployed into a live environment, they will surely be more receptive to the change. Most importantly, this will give you confidence that your staff exude professionalism on the day of “go live” to the point where they are so cool and collected, it’s completely transparent to your customers that you have a new system in place.
Asking the right questions upfront and ensuring that the software vendor of your choice provides implementation services to support you throughout the process will ease your mind and allow you to take comfort in knowing that the time to make a change is NOW!
Melissa Damiani is the Sales Manager of SunLync Software, Inc. a member of the JK-North America group of companies. With the company since 2002, Melissa has served the organization in several capacities, and has extensive knowledge of all aspects required to deliver robust salon management software solutions that are designed to enable measurable growth within its users’ ever-evolving business models.
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