This article is part of our Salon Business Startup Guide—a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your salon business!

While you may be a talented nail artist, the queen of updos, and a highlight expert, one thing they don’t always teach you in beauty school is how to run your own business. Nothing compares to your first day on the job as a beauty professional—between keeping clients happy, making ends meet financially, and finding the time to do it all, it’s a nerve-wracking experience for many.

Well, let me let you in on a little secret: All of the successful stylists out there don’t end up that way on their own. Of course, every beauty professional is something of a small-business superhero, but the technology and apps on the scene for the beauty industry have granted them even more super powers. By allowing beauty consultants and professionals to focus on their true skills and passions, these applications make the business side of the spectrum effortless.

Whether you’re having issues with marketing, payments, client management, or keeping up with the trends, we’ve got you covered. With these apps on the beauty business landscape, you can become more successful while worrying less.

Marketing your business

The biggest challenge for any type of beauty salon today is bringing in new customers and retaining their business. While marketing can be a daunting task for many—after all, you went to school to become a beautician, not a business major, right?—it’s an essential aspect for anyone in the beauty business. Your unique talent, beautiful salon, and even state-of-the-art equipment are unfortunately not enough to win you customers; it takes expert marketing to find, attract, and retain clients.

For this reason, many beauty professionals are using StyleBiz to run their entire marketing effort. The app helps you run the full scope of your salon marketing directly from your smartphone.

This free app comes up with tailor-made marketing for your salon. It reaches new and existing customers with content on social networks, dedicated emails, loyalty programs, promotions, and advertising, and aims to ensure that while you are performing the tricks of your trade, your marketing is taken care of.

The app is great because it carefully selects the marketing activities and tools to create the biggest value for your particular business. In addition to marketing your business on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, StyleBiz is an app worth looking into.

Accepting payments

If you don’t accept major credit cards, online payments, and mobile transactions, you are potentially missing out on a large portion of your target market. With plenty of options available, this is one easy area where you definitely shouldn’t be losing clients.

Whether you’re a newer stylist, or you’ve been in business for ages, the new technology that payment processing systems like Square bring into the game will make accepting payments easier.

If you’ve just recently started your business, there’s no longer any need to invest in expensive registers and software systems. Mobile payment processors like Square use devices you already have in the salon—like your smartphone or tablet—and the best part is, customers can pay and tip you right from the convenience of their swivel chair.

The benefits to applications such as Square is the financial management and maintenance of income becomes less of a concern, and you’re free to focus on face-to-face customer attention—which is priceless in the beauty industry.

This means the time normally spent on paperwork and filing is lessened, as the information is managed for you, all with a simple download. It allows you to call up a spreadsheet with all the details necessary for tax filing, and it creates regular sales reports, allowing you to keep on top of your finances as well as being able to issue refunds easily.

Client management and client satisfaction

With appointment booking, employee scheduling, managing accounts, and so on, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. While there’s plenty of apps for small business management out there, few good apps exist specifically for the beauty industry.

TapStyle is a user-friendly application that manages your customer’s satisfaction with an easy customer search, and manages schedules and booking with an easy-to-use drag and drop calendar. It does all of this with a fashion-forward interface, allowing you to enter pictures and styles for each client. The application not only manages clients but stylists in slightly larger salons too, including salary payments and meetings.

Under the banner of customer management, TapStyle also allows you the opportunity keep a detailed information log of clients and employees, storing photographs, memos, purchased history, and previous and upcoming appointments.

Trends and styles

Nothing is more important in the beauty industry than keeping up with the latest trends and styles. In order to gain and retain clientele, you must show them that you’re up to date.

Beautylish is your one-stop app for all things hair, makeup, and style. Along with which ideal brands you need to purchase in order to achieve certain styles, Beautylish also provides step-by-step instructions to salon owners and make-up artists, ensuring the final product is as you see it on the app or web.

Whether you’re posting about new trends on your social channels, or experimenting with new styles on a client, let this app provide inspiration and a source for real beauty knowledge.

It’s an exciting and rewarding world once you’ve broken into the beauty industry. Just remember—you don’t need to do it alone. These apps will make you more attractive to potential clients, more productive, and more likely to retain your current client base. Whether you’re new to the beauty game, or you’ve been around for awhile, every salon and independent stylist can take advantage of these apps to help expand and grow their business.

Do you have a beauty app to recommend to fellow stylists? 

AvatarTara Lifland

Tara Lifland is a content marketing magician at Ranky. She is a proud socialholic and finds pure happiness in writing about what's going on in the social and tech worlds, especially when the two of them meet in particular startup matrimony. Her secret ambition is to become a salon owner one day, but until then she'll just share her wisdom to help others fulfill their dreams.