The Ultimate Tools You Need to Start & Grow a Salon Business
I’m regularly asked about recommendations for different tools, services, and salon software to use when starting out or growing a salon business. This is why I’ve put together this list of resources I strongly recommend salon owners use.
My intent here is to bring you the best, most cost-effective, resources to help grow your salon business.
I’ve used all the recommendations on this page. In fact, many of the resources listed here have been crucial to running my business and for growing the business of many successful salons so I’m excited to share it with you.
Please note that the page contains special offer links and discount codes. If you decide to make a purchase using these links and offers, I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you).
Best Salon Software & Point of Sale Systems (POS)
Navigating all the different salon software solutions is a challenge for many salon owners. There are many different platforms out there and they all have their pros and cons. What’s right for you really depends on your business’s needs.
Below are the options I have had the best experience with and that I see most salon owners satisfied with.
MANGOMINT | The Smartest, Most Well-Designed Salon Software with the Best Customer Support
Are you looking for a sophisticated platform that helps save you time in your day-to-day, look no further.
Mangomint is not only the most well-designed platform on this list but it also offers smart automations that cut down on time spent on managing appointments and business operations.
Mangomint delivers exceptionally well on all the core features that you would expect from a salon software (calendar scheduling, online booking, POS, inventory, reporting).
And if you are looking to go beyond the core features, Mangomint allows for integration with your favorite marketing and business systems.
This makes it an incredibly powerful and flexible solution and my first recommendation for most salons.
Special offer: Get 2 months of Mangomint for free when you sign up for a free trial or book a demo using this link.
Get 2 months for free when signing up using the link above
GLOSS GENIUS | The Beautiful & Easy-to-Use Alternative for Independent Professionals
GlossGenius is perfectly built for independent professionals. Everything about GlossGenius is beautiful.
It’s the combinations of smart features, ease of use, and beautiful design that make this my recommended tool for independent professionals who want to setup a good looking online booking solution fast.
You may not have all the flexibility that some other tools offer but if you’re a solopreneur and want something that “just works” and looks awesome, you’ll love GlossGenius.
Building a Professional Salon Website
Your salon’s website is in most cases also your salon’s first impression with new clients. So you want it to look stunning, be functional, and help you convert visitors into salon clients. Below are the services and tools I recommend to grow your salon business online with a professional website.
Squarespace | Advanced, yet Beginner Friendly, Website Builder
Do you want to create the most beautiful website possible for your salon?
Then you should give Squarespace a try.
Squarespace offers more advanced styling options for your website than other free platforms. But it also has a bigger learning curve.
This is for the perfectionist who is ready to spend a bit extra time to get the perfect website created.
99designs | Hire a Professional Website Designer
Do you not want to spend the time creating your website yourself? Or you just want to hire a pro to ensure you get a top-notch result for your salon. Then 99designs is where you should turn.
Just follow their briefing guide to specify what it is that you want. You can then start a contest where you get several proposals back and you can pick the alternative you like most to move forward with.
99designs supports Squarespace so it’s a great service to use in case you get stuck when designing your own website using these platforms.
Learn more about my recommended website builders for services businesses here.
Designing Your Salon Brand, Website, and Material
When you’re in the beauty business, all you do should be beautiful. Thankfully, you do not need to be a graphic designer yourself to create top-notch designs. Below are my recommended services and tools to make your salon appear as beautiful as it is.
CANVA | Create Beautiful Designs for FREE
I’m a massive fan of Canva. I use it for everything design-related. It’s the tool all people that are serious about their social media uses to design beautiful images for their Instagram and Pinterest boards. You can also create your full visual brand identity in Canva and it comes with ready-made designs for business cards, logos, posters, social media, and much more.
I use their paid plan (at $9.95/month) as that gives me access to loads of royalty-free images to use in marketing material and on my website. It also enables some more advanced functionality. However, if you’re on a budget, you can also use their free version which is awesome too (even if you need to buy images elsewhere).
They offer a free 30-day trial so you should always sign up for the free trial first. You can then downgrade to a free plan after 30 days if you feel you don’t need all they offer.
99designs | Hire a Professional Designer
99designs offer more than just websites. You can hire them for business card designs, logotype designs, or a complete brand identity pack.
Grow Your Salon Business with Effective Salon Marketing Tools
It doesn’t matter how good you are at performing services in your salon unless people know that you exist. The below tools help you step up your salon’s marketing game so that you attract and retain more clients.
MAILCHIMP | Email Marketing Service for Salons
A salon newsletter is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your clients in between appointments. Mailchimp is one of the most popular platforms for businesses, like your salon. Their free plan allows you to send up to 2500 monthly emails.
Mailchimp also integrates directly with Mangomint, my salon software choice, which makes these two the perfect combo to effectively manage appointments while keeping your email list up-to-date.
Not only do clients get added automatically to your email list when they book their appointment, but automated emails can be sent out from Mailchimp upon booking of an appointment.
To learn more about email marketing for salons, you also recommend you check out my salon email marketing guide here.
For ideas on how you can step up your salon marketing game, I recommend you check out my list of salon marketing ideas here.
Cost Savings, Loans, and Salon Insurance: Helpful Tools when Starting a Salon
AMAZON BUSINESS | Get Better Prices on Salon Equipment & Accessories
You’ll most likely be purchasing a lot of items for your salon on Amazon. In fact, Amazon now even has a dedicated category for salon professional products.
By setting up a business account with Amazon, you get access to exclusive products and prices as well as other business dedicated services. This can save you both time and money. And best of all, it’s free!
ZEN BUSINESS | The Easy (and Cheap) Way to Form a New Salon Business
There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into forming a new business in the US.
ZenBusiness sets itself apart in the industry by offering our customers a fast and simple business formation service with the lowest prices and the best customer support available online.
They charge $49 for their service which saves you a lot of time and pain to ensure your business is set up in the right way from the start.
It’s challenging enough to open a salon. Let ZenBusiness take care of the business formation for you.
LIVE PLAN | Create a Salon Business Plan in No-Time
Having a good business plan is critical to being successful with a salon.
But it’s not easy to write one the first time.
LivePlan helps you create beautiful business plans. It provides helpful videos that guide you through the creation of every step of your plan. This ensures you leave with a perfect plan even if you’ve never done one before.
HISCOX | Insurance Provider for Salons
Good salon insurance is one of the essential expenses you’ll incur when you start a salon business. There’s just too much risk associated with not having adequate insurance.
Contact the insurance provider Hiscox for a free estimate if you don’t know what to expect in terms of costs. They are one of the most well-known insurance providers for salons. And, if you submit an online form with them, you will receive a precise cost estimate immediately.