Heard all the talk about cloud computing? We're here to tell you that it’s relevant for you.

What can the cloud do for me?

Cloud computing saves you cold hard cash and valuable time by using the latest technology to help you run a better beauty business. And it’s not as complicated as you may think.

Cloud software has the ability to work with a lot of information, without requiring you to have a powerful computer. This means you don’t have to invest in technology, but you can still reap the benefits of having a lot of data at your fingertips.

Most good cloud software will work beautifully on iPads or smartphones, and will be available on any computer that you want to use. Just login using your web browser. The ability to be mobile with such powerful systems was impossible before cloud computing.

Here are some apps that you can sign up for today to start moving your business to modern cloud-based systems.

Storage and Word Processing

Google Drive is perfect for many of your photo and document storage needs. There are several features that make Google Drive the most suitable storage option for small beauty salons.

  1. Google’s security is very tight. All your data in Google Drive is encrypted, and access to your account is hidden behind two step authentication.
  2. There are iOS and Android apps for Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, and Slides, so you can work on your tablet and smartphone if you need to.
  3. Sharing your files is simple and easy. Select the users you want to have access to your content, and they’ll get a notification saying you’ve shared files with them.

Google Drive has the ability to completely replace applications like Word and PowerPoint, and won’t leave your desktop cluttered with files.

Accounting + Payroll

Xero is the perfect accounting solution for your beauty business.

After you’ve been using Xero for a while, you’ll see all of your accounting information displayed in one place, and you’ll be in full control of your business from anywhere in the world.

For salons and clinics with multiple staff, the recent Payroll addition in Xero allows you to pay your team while staying compliant with the tax and regulations of your country.

There are also mobile apps for Xero, and hundreds of other services that integrate with it so that your transfer of information is automatic.

Graphics

Most beauty salons want to create graphics to promote their products and services on the web or social media, and Canva is the perfect tool to help you do that.

Canva first came out as a web-only app to make it easy for anyone to make professional designs for free. The drag and drop functionality that made it popular has now come to the iPad, turning your tablet into a powerful design tool.

All of your creations are stored online in the cloud, and you can download them as high resolution images ready for social sharing, printing posters, or in-salon displays.

Roster Management

Keeping a track of who is working when is a challenge to say the least. RosterPlus is an Australian built cloud-based tool that give you complete control over your roster for only $3 per staff member.

You can access it via a website, and you can also allow your staff to download the free mobile apps for iOS and Android so they always know when they’re working and if there are any changes required. Additionally, RosterPlus gives you the ability to communicate with your staff over SMS message so that you’re not intruding on them during their free time.

Keeping Notes

As a beauty business owner, you probably know what it’s like to get that spark of inspiration late at night or early in the morning. That’s where Evernote, the virtual notebook, comes in handy.

You can access its beautiful and simple interface from your browser, or through its equally well-designed mobile apps so that you can always have somewhere to store your notes.

Some people have multiple notebooks in Evernote and practically run their businesses out of it! Best of all, Evernote is free.

Project Management

Every now and again, you’re going to have a project that you’ll need to manage tightly. It might be something like a promotion for your business, a new offer you have on, or even a quick renovation of your workplace.

That’s where Trello comes in handy. This free and easy to use cloud-based tool allows you to manage any project by creating action-point cards and placing them in activity columns.

Not only can it be used to manage projects, Trello is the perfect management tool for any salon or clinic owner to keep on top of the day to day tasks that are required.

Booking and Business Management

Timely is the solution you need to manage your business and keep track of client bookings. It’s packed with features that will help you get more out of your day by automating many of the mundane tasks you’d otherwise have to do.

Timely is designed to take care of all aspects of your business, from promoting your business to customers, making their bookings, reminding them about upcoming bookings, managing your list of clients, selling products and even rostering staff.

There are also a range of reports in Timely that you can use to better manage your business. You can calculate the value of your customers, or see how much you’ll make from your future appointments. We think it’s great!

It’s worthwhile investing in cloud software, as it’s often cheaper and less risky than investing in locally installed systems. Additionally, very few cloud software services operate under a contract since its often the quality products that keep you paying your subscription, not the legal paperwork.

Overall, cloud software means less headaches for you as a beauty business owner. You don’t need to be concerned about backing up your valuable data, upgrading your equipment to fit the software, or entering your data twice. It’s always a smoother process.