8 Best Salon Management Software in 2024 (Reviewed)

Running a hair salon or barbershop is no easy task. Between managing messy schedules, supply orders, payroll and clients, it can quickly become overwhelming. But, there is an easier way – implementing the right hair salon management software.

As a salon owner or manager, you juggle countless responsibilities on a daily basis. From making sure staff provide excellent services to tracking inventory and revenue, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. Too often important tasks fall through the cracks, costing your business time and money.

Without proper organization and scheduling software systems in place, your salon likely deals with frustrated staff, confused clients, and limited growth potential. Disorganized records make analysis impossible and communications can easily get dropped. You end up finding yourself constantly playing catch-up rather than strategizing about the future.

Hair salon management software provides an all-in-one platform designed specifically to meet the scheduling, communication, and operational needs of the hair and beauty industry. The right system organizes all bookings, payroll reporting, inventory, and messaging in a centralized dashboard accessible across devices. This allows owners and managers to easily oversee the business and staff to efficiently perform daily duties. Ultimately, these tools boost productivity and profitability.

The key is finding and implementing the hair salon management software best suited to your unique business needs and budget. To aid your search, we have compiled the eight best options available in 2024 based on core features, ease of use. and value. Let’s get into it!

What Is Salon Management Software?

Salon software is a type of business management software designed for salons, spas, and beauty and wellness establishments to help them automate and manage their business operations. Salon software is meant to help business owners with setting up appointments, scheduling, managing clients, processing payments, tracking inventory, and creating marketing campaigns to retain and attract clients.

At its core, salon software should help you create a system that allows clients to book appointments with you – be it through a website, a mobile app, or email and text messaging. Almost all salon software programs have this functionality. But another important feature of salon software is the client management side of things. In order to make clients love you, and want to continue coming back to you, you need to create a great client experience.

Being able to communicate your services and packages effectively, automate appointment confirmations and reminders, communicate through SMS and email marketing, and access analytics and reports on client services and sales, all help you create a unified client experience. Every salon or spa can benefit from the use of salon software. But not every salon management system is created equal.

What Is the Purpose of Salon Management Software?

Running a hair salon or spa ain't easy! Between keeping up with appointments, managing staff, and trying to grow your business, things can get chaotic real fast. That's why more and more beauty businesses are using salon management software these days. These systems help take care of a lot of the routine stuff so you can focus on what really matters – your clients!

The main goal of these programs is to make it easier to run and manage your salon or spa. Scheduling appointments is a big one. The software helps plan out appointment availability and keeps track of clients' reservation histories and preferences. This way you can take care of your regulars and make sure clients get the services they want without overbooking or long wait times.

Managing your staff schedules is important too. The software makes it simple to organize work hours around your busiest times so you have enough hands on deck when you need them, but can still accommodate time off requests.

On top of that, many systems do other stuff like inventory and orders, marketing campaigns, finance reporting, and more. It's like having a business manager at your fingertips! Getting the big picture of how your salon is doing helps you make smart decisions about growing your clientele and keeping them happy.

At the end of the day, using management software saves you time on the operational stuff so you can focus on clients and building your brand. In this fast-paced beauty business, that kind of simplicity and insight is essential!

What To Look For In A Salon And Spa Management Solution

Although there are many features that most salon software solutions have in common, some of these advanced features count as add-ons that you will be charged extra for. Some salon software, however, will include a broader set of standard features at no additional cost.

Regardless, there are features that are pretty much essential for beauty professionals to run an efficient business, so let's go over a few key features you need to consider.

Appointment Booking

As mentioned earlier, appointment scheduling and online booking are at the core of any salon software.

Giving your clients an easy way to find availability and book appointments on their own is critical to not only creating a great client experience, but also to helping you automate parts of your business that can take up too much mental bandwidth – not to mention, who wants to handle a client booking at 2am when the mood happens to strike a client?

In many cases, you want to find booking software, like GlossGenius, that includes a free, customizable booking site where clients can easily book appointments with you.

You also want a platform that allows you to set appointment rules, create booking windows and restrictions, request deposits and charge cancellation fees, and gives you the ability to pre-approve appointments. These features will help you protect your time and money from no-show clients or those who aren’t serious about booking with you.

POS (Point Of Sale) Payment Processing

The next key feature to look for from a salon software is a reliable POS system to collect payments. After all, you need sales to keep your business running, so it's important to get this step right.

Given how important a smooth checkout process is to the client experience, you have to think about both you and your clients.

  • For you, you probably want a payment process where you don’t have to think too much about transaction fees, get lost calculating gratuities, or deal with costly chargebacks.
  • For your customer, you want them to be able to pay you easily in whatever way they please – ideally, via debit or credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. You want to make it frictionless for clients to pay you (and easy for you to keep track).

With this in mind, you want to find a secure payment system that also includes a physical card reader with NFC technology (for tap-to-pay options). You also want a platform that allows you to create rebooking options for your loyal clients. This way, your clients can effortlessly book their next appointment before they leave your salon.

Many POS systems stop here. But if you want to take it a step further, you also want your payment system to be your all-in-one financial solution.

This means finding a POS system, like GlossGenius, that combines payments, expense tracking, and reporting to give you a holistic view of what money is coming in and out of your salon bank account.

Client Management And Notifications

The next key feature to look for is client CRM (client relationship management) to help you stay organized and on top of past appointments, personal service preferences, birthdays and other significant milestones, or even your client’s pronouns. From inventory management to putting bad clients on a banned list, your client CRM needs to give you the flexibility to manage your salon business on your own terms.

But a client management solution is not just designed to help you stay organized. Client management solutions are the backbone of creating a great impression with every client you work with, every time they interact with your business.

Therefore, CRM features should also be designed in a way that lets you automate communication with your clients and lets you send them appropriate notifications at the right time.

Being able to send confirmation and reminder notifications to your clients automatically not only saves you time, it also shows your clients that you are a professional who values their time, too.

Marketing Tools (Email, SMS, And Social Media)

Lastly, the best salon software takes into account how salon owners can grow their clientele and create recurring business from loyal clients.

It’s more efficient (read less expensive) and predictable for your business revenue to have existing clients keep coming back for more, as opposed to constantly trying to get new clients. This is why features like SMS marketing, email marketing, and an easy-to-navigate website that reflects your brand are crucial for helping you engage your clients.

With GlossGenius, many customers are able to increase bookings by 35% simply by encouraging clients to share their business on social media and reminding them when to come back for their next appointment. It definitely pays to take marketing features into account when deciding what salon software solution to use for your business – it’s a crucial part of making sure you have a consistent and healthy stream of income.

With that, let’s get into the best salon booking and client management software solutions on the market right now!

Top 8 Best Salon Management Software in 2024

Here are our top picks for the best salon software:

  1. GlossGenius
  2. Vagaro
  3. Boulevard
  4. Zenoti
  5. Fresha
  6. Mindbody
  7. Acuity Scheduling
  8. Phorest

Okay, let’s take a deeper look at what each platform has to offer and how it can help you with your salon business.

1. GlossGenius

GlossGenius hair salon management software

GlossGenius, a women-led company, has emerged as a leading salon software choice for a variety of beauty professionals, including hair and nail salons, spas, brow and lash specialists, wellness centers, estheticians, and more.

Since its inception in 2016, GlossGenius has empowered over 40,000 independent beauty experts and teams to effortlessly initiate, manage, and expand their salon and spa ventures. It achieves this by integrating advanced automation tools that streamline the everyday tasks involved in operating a service-oriented business.

The distinct appeal of GlossGenius lies in its adaptable features and tools, meticulously crafted to ensure clients enjoy a remarkable experience from the moment they book to the completion of their service and beyond.

Benefits of GlossGenius

The beauty of GlossGenius lies in its features. The platform lets you manage appointments, track client history, and process payments seamlessly. But that’s not all. Here are some notable features of GlossGenius:

  • Advanced POS system featuring elegant card readers
  • Efficient appointment scheduling and calendar organization
  • Convenient Tap to Pay option on iPhone and card storage capability
  • Comprehensive expense monitoring and inventory control
  • Tailored reporting and analytics for industry-specific insights
  • Robust marketing suite including email, SMS, and a complimentary booking website

It also helps with marketing tasks to grow your clientele base while keeping the existing ones happy and loyal.

GlossGenius Pricing

Affordability is key when running a salon business. You need value for money without breaking the bank. So here comes GlossGenius with pricing plans designed to fit different needs.

Pricing starts at just $24 per month – no hidden charges or surprise fees. And did I mention they offer 24/7 support? Help is always there if you experience any issues during your journey.

GlossGenius Reviews

Happy and relieved customers are what make GlossGenius stand out in reviews. The ease-of-use, robust feature set, and excellent customer service have garnered rave feedback from users worldwide.

Many clients love how much time they save daily using GlossGenius’ online booking features – who doesn’t appreciate extra minutes (or hours) added back to their day?

2. Vagaro

Vagaro hair salon management software

For those in the beauty industry, a reliable salon management software like Vagaro can be a powerful ally. But why does Vagaro stand out? Let's explore.

Benefits of Vagaro

The perks of using Vagaro are numerous. Firstly, it streamlines booking with an easy-to-use interface and automated reminders that keep both staff and clients on track. Secondly, it simplifies transactions by integrating payment processing directly into the platform.

A unique benefit to note is its built-in marketing features; they let you engage your clientele more effectively without needing extra tools or services. Lastly but certainly not least, their customer support team provides prompt help when needed.

Vagaro Pricing

Vagaro's pricing model caters to various business sizes – from individual stylists up to multi-location salons. It starts at $25 per month for solo professionals and scales according to business size and needs which makes it accessible even for small businesses.

Vagaro Reviews

Digging into user reviews reveals high satisfaction levels among Vagaro users because of its robust functionality coupled with ease-of-use – a balance often hard to strike in this space. The consensus is clear: Users love how much simpler managing their day-to-day operations has become since making the switch.

3. Boulevard

Boulevard hair salon management software

Salon management can be a juggling act, but Boulevard helps keep all the balls in the air. This hair salon software streamlines operations and boosts productivity.

Benefits of Boulevard

The benefits of Boulevard are like a good haircut: immediately noticeable and hugely impactful. It simplifies booking appointments, handling payments, managing clients' history – you name it.

If your salon is bustling with activity (and we hope it is), Boulevard lets you easily manage walk-ins and waitlists. No more scribbled notes or mental gymnastics required.

Say goodbye to no-shows too. With automated reminders, every client will remember their appointment as clearly as they recall their favorite hairstyle.

Boulevard Pricing

We know that every penny counts when running a business. So how does Boulevard stack up? Well, let's just say its pricing plans are tailored to fit salons of all sizes – like the perfect bob cut for any face shape.

But, it is important to note that Boulevard does run on the more premium side when it comes to pricing. Their Essential plan will run you about $175 per month and it gives you access to most of the features you’ll need to get your hair salon up and running.

Boulevard Reviews

The reviews speak louder than our words ever could – salon owners love Boulevard. Users often praise its user-friendly interface and robust functionality – the high bun on top of everything else if you will.

In fact, many have noted increased efficiency since using this system – it seems with Boulevard, bad hair days aren’t just limited to customers anymore.

4. Zenoti

Zenoti hair salon management software

When it comes to salon management software, Zenoti stands out. But why? Let's dig into its features and benefits.

Benefits of Zenoti

Zenoti, as a powerhouse in the industry, brings numerous advantages to your salon operations. First off, it offers comprehensive appointment scheduling which lets you stay on top of your bookings with ease. Not only that but this platform also streamlines inventory management for stress-free stock control.

A cherry on top is their powerful marketing suite. This nifty feature can help elevate your customer engagement game because nothing beats reaching clients at the right time with tailored promotions.

Zenoti Pricing

Zenoti doesn’t publicly share their pricing. To get a better understand of what plan makes the most sense for you, and how much it costs, you need to request a demo with them.

Zenoti Reviews

If we're talking about reviews, they tell an impressive story about Zenoti's quality service delivery and robust functionality. Customers praise how easy-to-use and intuitive the interface is while noting marked improvements in managing daily tasks after adopting this software.

There you have it: all things great about Zenoti. A surefire way to bring more efficiency into running your hair salon.

5. Fresha

Fresha hair salon management software

With the ever-growing demands of running a salon, it's no wonder why many turn to Fresha. This software is more than just a helping hand – it's your personal assistant in managing all things hair.

Benefits of Fresha

The beauty of Fresha lies not only in its easy-to-use interface but also in the variety of features it offers. From scheduling appointments to handling payments and even sending reminders, Fresha makes sure nothing slips through the cracks. It lets you focus on what matters most – creating stunning hairstyles that leave clients feeling fabulous.

You know those pesky no-shows? With automated reminders from Fresha, they'll be as rare as an untouched box of chocolates at a Valentine’s Day party. Plus, online booking means less time playing phone tag and more time transforming tresses into works of art.

Fresha Pricing

Fresha may appeal to many hair systylists because of it’s “zero cost” pricing plan. Fresha is technically free to use. But, there are processing fees that can add up as your salon scales. The more clients you have, the more you will have to pay in processing and transaction fees. Fresha is great for starting out. But as your salon scales, you may find yourself looking for an alternative.

Fresha Reviews

If proof is needed for how great this platform really is, look no further than user reviews. Salon owners rave about how much easier their lives have become since partnering with Fresha. And let me tell you honey – when busy hairstylists take time out to give praise – well then something must truly be rocking their world.

6. Mindbody

MIndbody hair salon management software

Using Mindbody software, salon management can be made effortless. Enter Mindbody, your ultimate salon management companion.

Benefits of Mindbody

Mindbody takes multitasking to new heights. This smart platform lets you manage appointments, staff schedules, and inventory in one place. No more juggling between different apps or paper records. But there's more than meets the eye – Mindbody also gives you marketing tools to help attract new clients and keep regulars coming back for more.

The cherry on top? A custom branded app that puts your salon right at clients' fingertips.

Mindbody Pricing

Mindbody does run on the more premium side when it comes to pricing. Their basic plan starts at $129 per month. This will give you everything you need as an independent or small hair salon. But, if you’re looking for something on the more budget friendly side, with very similar features, it might be worth looking into an alternative.

Mindbody Reviews

A solution may sound good on paper (or screen), but what do actual users have to say about it? You'll be glad to know that Mindbody gets rave reviews from its user base. Users praise its intuitive interface and responsive customer service team who are always ready to lend a helping hand when needed.

7. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling for hair salons

If you're seeking an all-in-one salon management solution, look no further than Acuity Scheduling. This powerful tool lets you easily manage appointments, staff schedules, and client communications. But that's just the start.

Benefits of Acuity Scheduling

Say goodbye to missed bookings or double-booked slots. Acuity offers real-time availability that fits both your stylists' schedule and your clients' needs. You'll also love how it sends automated reminders, reducing those pesky no-shows.

The software isn't only about appointments though – it gives valuable insights into your business too. It helps track performance metrics so you can identify what's working and where there’s room for improvement.

Acuity Scheduling Pricing

A critical factor to consider when making any business decision is cost efficiency. Luckily, Acuity shines here as well with flexible plans catering to various budgets – whether a solo stylist or multi-location salons.

Plans start at just $20 per month, making Acuity on of the more cost-effective hair salon management software tools on our list.

Acuity Scheduling Reviews

Digging deeper into user feedback reveals even more reasons why this platform stands out in the crowd of salon management systems. Users often highlight its ease-of-use and exceptional customer support alongside robust features.

Please note: Every effort was made to ensure accuracy at the time of writing but prices may vary over time so always check on their official website before making decisions.

8. Phorest

Phorest hair salon management software

If you're in the hair salon business, then Phorest might just be your new best friend. It's a standout player in the field of salon management software, offering features designed to make running your business a breeze.

Benefits of Phorest

The first benefit that comes with Phorest is its robust appointment booking system. This lets clients schedule their appointments themselves, freeing up more time for you and your staff. But that's not all. With built-in marketing tools, reaching out to customers becomes less hassle and more effective.

To top it off, Phorest gives detailed reports on sales and client retention - helping you get insights into what works for your business. And did we mention? The platform also supports inventory tracking.

Phorest Pricing

Just like Zenoti, Phorest does not disclose their pricing publicly on their website. Although specific figures aren't available online (you need to contact them directly), many users say it’s worth every penny considering the functionality offered by this software.

Phorest Reviews

Talking about user opinions – they seem a bit mixed. Some users on G2 have reported that the platform isn’t that user-friendly. Of course, these reviews are subjective so you just try out the platform for yourself before making any final decision. If you find that Phorest may not have some of the features you're looking for, it might be worth looking into an alternative.

Which Salon Software Is Right for You?

With the right digital tools at your fingertips, you can be your own boss, grow your business, maximize your income, and stay in control – all made easier with automated appointment scheduling, free same business day deposits, client management, and built-in marketing tools.

As an all-in-one solution for small businesses in the beauty industry that includes all of the above features and more, we like to say GlossGenius works day and night so you don’t have to. And with that, we’d like to introduce you to your 24/7 team.

Your receptionist

With GlossGenius, any bookings or unavailabilities you set will automatically be reflected on your calendar, so clients can’t book you for a time that is already taken or unavailable. You can quickly access your appointments from the Calendar, Dashboard, Client, or Checkout pages. 

Your personal assistant

Confirmations and notifications will consistently keep you and your clients in check when utilizing our all-in-one salon solution app. No more no-shows, no more double bookings. 

Client notifications are sent to your clients before and after their appointments with you to confirm appointments, remind them of appointments, and follow up with their service. 

Your new “personal assistant” will also make sure you’re on top of your schedule with notifications prior to each appointment, and reminders to take client notes after.

Your payment processor

Check out clients in style with a sleek design, save money processing payments, and get money deposited in your bank account fast with the Chief Money Machine. In less than two seconds, you can connect this gorgeous card reader to the GlossGenius app, the industry’s easiest and most affordable payments platform, and be ready to accept all payment types – even contactless!

Your bookkeeper

As an independent beauty professional, keeping your business's financial data up-to-date, accurate, and organized is critical. GlossGenius’ easy and automated Reports can quickly turn around a profit and loss (P&L) statement in perfect condition when tax time rolls around. From there, you can easily export all of your salon bookkeeping data and seamlessly share it with your accountant.  

Your marketing team

The GlossGenius Social Templates feature enables you to access a library of stunning templates that can be used to publicize openings and announcements across social media. 

Turn more followers into customers, and make booking for existing clients even easier by enabling followers to schedule you without ever leaving Instagram – all in a single click. 

You can even get more creative and send out promos and specials to clients as well with GlossUp, the platform’s SMS and email marketing system. You can send text messages individually to all of your clients or email newsletters to announce seasonal specials, share new hours, introduce new services, and more. 

Your web team

Impress clients with a luxurious booking experience through your own customized booking website and portfolio that looks great on a desktop or on any mobile device. Your GlossGenius website remembers clients so they can book you in seconds, and the process is so easy they’ll look forward to booking you again and again.

Conclusion

Transforming your beauty salon into a streamlined, stress-free operation is more accessible than you might think. The secret? Implementing the right management tools. Hair salon management software solutions, such as GlossGenius or Booksy, are not just booking software – they are comprehensive systems designed to optimize every aspect of your salon's operations.

These platforms excel in client management, ensuring that every appointment, from booking to service completion, is handled with precision and care. Features like automated appointment reminders not only enhance the client experience but also reduce no-shows, a common challenge in salon management.

Each software solution offers a unique set of benefits, tailored to meet diverse business needs. Whether it's managing client databases, processing payments with ease, or sending timely reminders, these tools cover all bases. Remember, investing in such software is not just about easing administrative burdens; it's about dedicating more time and energy to what truly matters – delivering exceptional service to your clients.

So, take the leap today. Explore these top eight software solutions and discover the perfect fit for your salon's growth and success. After all, the long-term prosperity of your beauty salon hinges on making smart, informed decisions in these foundational aspects of business management.

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