10 February, 2023

The Hidden Costs of 'Free' Salon Software

You may think you’re onto a winner when you sign up to a free Salon Software subscription but have you actually thought about the hidden costs and implications that come with it? You may end up paying overall just in the online bookings you take when the money from them bookings should be rightfully yours, wouldn’t you agree?

Here at Salon Tracker we have kept the same pricing model since 2014 – that’s nearly a decade of affordable software that is tailored to each of your Salon needs. Furthermore, we have 3 set subscriptions with no hidden costs… FREE training, FREE support and unlimited FREE online bookings. What more could you want?

The beauty industry is a competitive place, and it's important for salon owners to stay ahead of the game. However, when it comes to salon software, many salon owners mistakenly believe that free software is the best option for their business. While free salon software may seem like a great idea, there are hidden costs associated with using it that can add up over time. First, free salon software often comes with limited features and functionality. This means that salons may not be able to do all of the tasks necessary for running their business. For example, if a salon uses a free software to manage their appointments, they may not be able to customise the system to fit their business's needs. At Salon Tracker, all our development of features is done in house and we really care about the needs of our clients so everything that is requested is always taken on board. We really rely on our clients feedback to improve the software in every update we do – something a free software has not got the capacity to give you.

Additionally, free salon software may not offer online booking or other features that are necessary for a successful salon. Did you know that according to a study carried out by Zippia in Nov 2022 67% of clients prefer online booking and 40% of bookings are made outside of salon hours? That statistic alone is too significant to ignore as online bookings become more of a necessity than a luxury in order for your Salon to stay competitive. Although free software providers may offer the online booking functionality, there is a high chance they charge per booking made instead and in some cases they charge a high amount per new customer that registers. One free software actually charges a 20% finder’s fee for every new client booking so if they book a £60 treatment, £12 of your hard earned money goes to the software provider.

Secondly, free salon software often comes with outdated technology. This can lead to significant security issues. This could make your software vulnerable to malware and other malicious attacks, which can place customer information at risk. Thus putting you at risk of a GDPR breach leaving you with a hefty fine.  Additionally, outdated software can also be unreliable and unable to keep up with the demands of a busy salon which can lose you customers due to frustration and therefore reduce your profit, not what you need for your up and coming Salon. Free salon software has also proven to lack customer support. This means that if a salon owner runs into any issues with their software, they may be unable to get the help they need in an instance. Without proper support, salons may be unable to troubleshoot problems or update their system as needed. Whereas here at Salon Tracker, we are always on the other end of the phone to assist you with any help you may need instead of waiting days sometimes weeks with free salon software providers.

Finally, free salon software may not be compatible with other software programs and systems. At Salon Tracker, we link with payment provider ‘Payment sense’ and all of our POS hardware meaning that everything is all in one place. Additionally, salons may have difficulty transferring data from one program to another, leading to data loss or other costly issues. While free salon software may seem like a great way to save money, the hidden costs associated with it can add up quickly. Before you decide to go with a free salon software provider, you should carefully consider the features and functionality of the software and ensure that it meets the needs of your Salon. At Salon Tracker, we offer a FREE 2 week Trial and a virtual demonstration of the software with one of our friendly sales team, just give us a call on 0113 350 8230 or enquire through the link below to get started today!

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