Computers have made many aspects of our lives much easier, from how we use phones, to how we shop, to how we run a business. Nearly every industry you can think of benefits from some form of new technology invented to streamline any number of tasks. In our case, this is software specially designed for salons! Booking software can help you, customers and stylists cooperate and communicate much easier than before.

What is Salon Booking Software?

Salon booking software is software specifically designed to help clients book appointments and to help stylists and salon owners keep track of their schedules. Depending on the software, you can select a type of service, choose a time slot from a calendar, pay a deposit for a scheduled appointment, and more! Some of this software even comes at no cost at all, and others are bundled with salon management software.

Management Software vs Booking Software

While the two types of software often come bundled together, management software and booking software are a little different. Knowing the differences can save you from headaches later on and prevent you from overpaying for services you might not need.

  • Booking Software. Booking software mostly centers around appointment making and scheduling. If you just want help with keeping your schedule organized and giving clients the ability to book whenever they want, this is an excellent option for you.

  • Management Software. Management software tends to be more all-inclusive for your business. You can have payroll, inventory, budget reports, and more when you go with management software. This can also cost more, usually per month in a subscription. This is a great choice if you’re looking for all-in-one software.

How Much Does Salon Booking Software Cost?

Depending on your needs and the size of your business, booking software can be anywhere from $0 to $100 or more per month. Simple booking software with few features can be free while booking software bundled with management software tends to get more expensive. Don’t be afraid to shop around to see what’s best for you and your business! 

The Benefits of Salon Booking Software

Especially if you’re paying for booking software, it may feel a little silly to spend money on something that feels as simple to do as booking. When you’re running a salon, however, those little things really help make running your business a lot smoother. 

  • For You. Having an easy-to-use visual representation of how your salon is running makes it simple to check any information you need at any given time. You can confidently check information when clients call in and move things around without having to worry about spreadsheets or stepping on toes. You can have clients on file and store notes about their services, formulas for hair color, and more! 

  • For Customers. Clients will have 24/7 access to your online booking with an easy-to-use calendar that shows them what times are available for the services they want. You’ll never have to worry about double booking, clients can add notes, and specifying what type of service the client is looking for will block out different timeframes. 

  • For Stylists. Some software will allow clients to pay a deposit ahead of time for specific services and stylists can leave information on what to expect during an appointment. Other software can also send text reminders to clients so they don’t miss their appointments! Stylists will be able to book at any time, and you can easily add links to book on social media.

Salon Booking Software Examples

There are hundreds of types of booking software out there, so don’t be afraid to research what works best for you. What might work for one business won’t work for another, and the fact that there are so many kinds out there only works to your benefit.

Most Popular Salon Booking Software 

  • Vagaro. ( Doubling as a website for consumers to search and review all types of salon and fitness businesses, Vagaro sells software via subscription to business owners for their booking and management software. For as little as $25/month depending on the size of your business, you can have access to almost everything you could think of to help you run your salon.

  • Salonist. ( Similar to Vagaro, Salonist doubles as a management software with plenty of features to make your life easier at around $29/month for their basic package. Salonist also offers an option that’ll host a small website for you!

  • Flexbooker. ( If you’re looking for booking software and nothing else, Flexbooker is available starting at around $49/month. While it may have a higher price point, Flexbooker specializes exclusively in booking and scheduling. You can track everything you need from this software and try it completely free for 14 days before you commit to paying.

Free Hair Salon Booking Software

  • Fresha. ( With unlimited bookings, clients, team members, and more, Fresha is a popular free booking software. Fresha is perfect for newer businesses and offers paid features to advertise on their website or send marketing emails.

  • Appointy. ( This software has tiers and starts at no cost to you! The downside of this software is they max you out at 100 appointments per month, however, Appointy boasts a high customer satisfaction rating and if you like the free version you can upgrade to their paid version for only $20/month.

  • Setmore. ( Allow clients to book anytime and add your branding with Setmore. You get unlimited appointments and email reminders with a custom booking page under their free option, and if you need to have staff meetings you can make it easier through their video calling! If you like Setmore, you can upgrade your plan to handle additional users for $5/month per user.

How to Introduce Your Clients to Your Hair Salon Booking Software

Once you’ve decided on your software, how do you show your clients how to use it? You’ll want to make sure it’s accessible to everyone and not overly complicated. 

  • Become a Pro. Pretend you’re a client and book some appointments! Get a feel for every aspect of what goes into using the booking software of your choice from a customer’s angle. Doing some big test runs will make you an expert so you can confidently guide clients on how to do it themselves.

  • Word of Mouth. When clients come in, you can let them know you’re using a new booking system. You know how to upsell all that retail, use your upsell skills for your new booking software! Encourage stylists to spread the word about booking online and show them how to add links to book on their social media pages. 
June 13, 2023 — Cambria Davidson