Neeraj Gupta tells us about managing Salon’s daily operations effectively with all-in-one Salon Software.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Salonist.
Neeraj Gupta: I am the founder of Salonist, the Salon management software for the beauty and wellness industry. I am from an IT background and have a keen interest in SaaS services. As far as it is about launching and founding Salonist, it has a story behind it. I can brief you on it.
It all started in 2015 when I visited Singapore and met my friend working as a Salon owner in Paragon Mall. While discussing the business stuff, he told me about the issues he has been facing and losing the prime customers. The major problems were managing the appointments, inventory management, and handling different branches. After knowing and understanding, I made up my mind to visit the other Salons in nearby locations. My R&D concluded that they all were lacking because they are mostly managing the work manually. We all are in the digital era, so choosing to work in conventional ways is not the right approach. They require a system that can streamline their operational tasks and give time to work on other strategies to generate ROI.
When I came back to India, I discussed the ideas and the issues with my core team. Yes, it does take time, but in 2017, we launched Salonist.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Neeraj Gupta: We have a life that equally requires professional and personal attention. Otherwise, one way or the other, it will either affect the life or business. So, it is a must to follow some principles and rules to manage everything smoothly. It is a mix of all- self-care, family care, work, and a healthy diet. Most importantly, I prioritize my customers, know their pain points, put myself in their shoes, and give them the best possible solution.
How does Salonist market its product/services online?
Neeraj Gupta: Referral Programs, Social Media, Run Paid Campaigns are all we focus majorly to market our services and product online.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Neeraj Gupta: We use Trello to manage the operational and administrative tasks and Zoho for email management. Moreover, SEO, product advertising, Data analysis, Email marketing,
Content marketing, Social media marketing, etc., are all it takes for online marketing.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Neeraj Gupta: We follow a simplified hiring process, and all the policies we follow are employee-oriented. We use human resource management software to keep the hiring process intact and running smoothly. I understand that employees are essential for any business, and so do I. So, first thing first, I find a suitable employee for the required position. I considered it attentive to be given the focus on choosing the right candidate. Otherwise, the consequences are; a waste of time, effort, and money. I have created an open communication environment for my employees, listening to them, encouraging them, and giving them proper training. Recognizing their work from time to time is. However, I find it is important as well.
How are you funding your growth?
Neeraj Gupta: As of now, we are bootstrapped only.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Neeraj Gupta: Shedul, Zenoti, and Vagaro are my competitors. To remain ahead in the competitive market, I prefer to stay unique in the features my software has, follow high-end marketing tactics, target new markets, look after my existing customers, and, last but not least, know all the ins and outs of my competition.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Neeraj Gupta: “Abila Beauty Salon” is one of our customers from Doha, Qatar. Aswin Abila was having issues managing the Salon perfectly. Before starting using Salonist, they were into some free salon software. Of course, that was not according to their expectations. From online ways, they came across Salonist. Soon after they read its features, they choose to try the Salonist 14-day trial. Majorly, the customer support and maintenance service impress the Salon owners. Essentially, Abila Beauty Salon’s features are; Loyalty and Reward System, Inventory Management, Appointment Management, Point of Sale (PoS), Reporting and Analytics, and Customize Mobile App. To know the story comprehensively, you can go through the link:https://salonist.io/blog/abila-beauty-salon-switched-to-salonist/.
Your final thoughts?
Neeraj Gupta: Give priority to your customers. You are because of them. Always remain updated with new and advanced trends and technologies. Despite the setbacks, constantly make efforts to level up your brand standards.