SALON THE GROOMING
One area where software can be a big help, but is sometimes overlooked, is accounting.
Not only services and retail, but the company’s payroll and taxes can be handled with some
of the software available.
Steve Martin, chief marketing officer for 123Pet, says that QuickBooks is what most small
businesses use for accounting, and 123Pet is integrated with QuickBooks, making tax season
easier. Accounting bills can drop from 15 hours of the accountant’s time to two, even if they
don’t use QuickBooks.
“The system will let you output reports,” says Martin. “Anything an accountant would
need to enter into their software can be exported. It’s easier and more complete than if the
information is solely on paper.”
The program should be utilized to its fullest potential to maximize returns. Even if it doesn’t
seem user-friendly at first, don’t begrudge the time it takes to learn how to use it properly.
Find out how much training is available before purchasing a specific system. 123Pet includes
unlimited training and support, including remote screen sharing for subscription customers.
When shopping for software, make a list of the tasks you expect from it. Be expansive
with it, dream big. Figure out what’s important to your salon. Do you want to interface with
your social media? Send auto reminders? Text your clients? Send mass marketing emails
according to criteria selected? Record detailed grooming notes? E-sign copies of policy
statements? Include a website? Take appointments on that website? Include a POS system
with payment type options?
Consider your business needs. Most mobile groomers need a program that caters to and
understands their special needs. MoeGo and 123Pet have mobile versions, as do many
others. Compare different programs and see which one will do most of the tasks on your list.
Many also offer free trials, so you can test the system out before committing to it. Some are
suitable for small one or two person shops, others will handle multiple locations, employees
and business facets—grooming, boarding, daycare, etc. Ask the manufacturer before you
download a trial since they may have different versions. Remember to ask if there are
limits on text and emails or hidden charges. If you have many retirement age clients, can
appointments be made without an email address?
There are so many good software programs available that it may be difficult to choose
which one is best for your company. A good place to start your search is
capterra.com/pet-grooming-software/ since it lists a number of programs.
Whether a salon is just starting with software or it's a longtime user, it’s important to
get the most out of it. Work with the vendor to ensure employees know how to use all the
features available to the best advantage. Then enjoy all the time and money saved! PB
Carol Visser has been involved in the pet industry since 1982 in various capacities, including grooming in
and owning a busy suburban shop, working as a product expert for PetEdge, teaching seminars and training
dogs. She was certified as a Master Groomer with NDGAA in 1990 and as a Certified Pet Dog Trainer in
2007, and she continues to enjoy learning about dogs and grooming at her small salon in rural Maine.
Medeiros uses 123Pet, one of the most popular software
systems for groomers, and loves it. She uses the subscription
option and has the database and two networking stations in
her salon, which averages 30 to 45 dogs per day.
“I just upgraded, so it costs about $160 a month, which
may seem like a lot, but it’s worth it. I can access the whole
system from my phone,” she says. “If I have to close the store,
I can access appointments and call customers from home.”
She also notes that the email and text features are
“fabulous.” The system will automatically send a text two
days before the appointment, and it sends confirmations
when an appointment is booked either by phone or online.
Also, because she leases the program, she gets tech support
at no charge.
“One day my calendar was gone, just gone. I called tech
support, they asked a few questions, told me to uncheck one
box and the problem was fixed,” says Medeiros. “I would
have gone crazy trying to find it myself.”
Upgrades are free with subscriptions, too. Every time
Medeiros thinks of something she wishes the system would
do, it turns out it already does it, she just needs to update.
But is the system worth what she pays for it?
“I used to use a marketing company for texts and emails
for a couple of hundred dollars a month, so this has saved
me money,” says Medeiros. “And I’ve got a no show policy,
but now I can track them and charge for them more readily.
Ten no shows pays for the software.”
Appointment reminders are a task most groomers
dread, but 123Pet will not only send them via email or
text, but texts allow the client to confirm by replying with
“C,” which will automatically add a checkmark in the
online appointment book. Appointments can be made by
customers through Facebook, as well as through an included
website. Groom Town has been using 123Pet for seven years
now, saving valuable time and money.
“I don’t have to use Square or any other separate
terminal where I have to track credit cards separately, it all
goes through CardConnect and runs through the system,”
says Medeiros. “The system learns the more you use it. If I
put a price on a dog, it’ll ask next time if I want to use the
same code for that dog.”