Atlanta’s Multi-Location Salon Red Finds an Innovative Partner with AURA
Salon Red’s Jessica Soler spent her teen years as the go-to stylist for her high school’s cheerleading competitions, theater productions and even for the marching band–discovering early on that her natural talent for cosmetology would forge her life’s path, or as she tells it, “the business of making people look fantastic.”
At the age of 25, after attending Roffler-Moler Hairstyling College, Soler opened the first Salon Red in the Candler Park neighborhood of Atlanta, quickly becoming a stylist in-demand in the metropolitan area. Currently, Salon Red operates at three Atlanta locations, including a standalone children’s salon, Salon RED Kids.
With 21 years in the business, Jessica Soler and the Salon Red team were looking for a business management partner that fully understood the nuances of the salon industry and the evolving technology that clients and employees expect in today’s digital world. AURA’s salon-specific functionalities, multi-location capabilities, ease-of-use, hands-on support and company mission were right in line with how Salon Red wanted to evolve.
Salon Red Makes the Switch to AURA After 21 Years in Business
Operations Director Jennifer Parker has been with Salon Red since 2000 and has managed all areas of the business; from the front desk to overall operations. Parker understands the nuances of running multiple locations, recognized the limitations of their previous system, SalonBiz, and knew RED needed to evolve their technology to keep the business growing.
While most businesses view upgrading software as a daunting mission, RED had nothing but a positive experience making the switch. AURA migrated (and cleaned) all of Reds data (almost 20 years worth!), setup and configured their management dashboard, provider app, and custom-branded client app – prompting Parker to proclaim that “the stylist and guest transition went so smoothly with AURA that they almost didn’t even know we changed software!”
Successful Business Methods Integrated Into the System
A crucial part of Salon Red’s success is an emphasis on team development and education, and Soler’s belief in the “power of an efficiently run appointment book” fell right in line with AURA’s capabilities, quickly translating into increased profits and productivity and an immediately elevated client experience.
“Our stylists love having guest information at their fingertips for formulas and service/retail purchasing history. Our guests love the ease of booking and the faster check out service.” – Jennifer Parker, Director of Operations
An Agile System That Can Keep Up With Multi-Location Management
While running three busy salons, its crucial to stay organized and streamline processes throughout all locations. With SalonBiz, Parker didn’t have access to a real-time overview of the multiple locations and often had to piecemeal information together. With AURA, an owner or manager can toggle between locations or see them comparatively displayed, creating a much friendlier management dashboard.
“SnapShot is one of my favorite features,” Parker shared. “I can look at one page and instantly know how a location, provider or the whole company is doing on any given day. No pulling multiple reports and scouring through data that doesn’t really matter right that second. It has made my life so much easier.”
Scheduling, Data and Insights in the Palm of Your Hand
Gathering data is useless unless it can be translated into usable knowledge, so Soler and Parker are big fans of the reports available in AURA, which provide the information they need to gauge the health of the business, spot growth trends, identify rising costs and manage sales.
“The Sales Report is so helpful. With a click of a button, I can see who my top producers are by location or by company. Then I can drill it down further to show by day, week, month or any random time frame. I also love the Retail Report because I can see, for any time frame I choose, my highest margin products sold or the retail product that sold the most either by location or by company.”
Eliminating Costs with an All In One Business Model
Since AURA is a comprehensive system with smart booking, integrated payments, reports, automated marketing and more, the need for additional reporting, payroll or credit card processing programs or services is eliminated, directly improving a salon’s bottom line in a tangible way.
“AURA has allowed Salon Red to free up approximately $1,000 per month that we were spending on ancillary platforms that we needed to run our business.” Jennifer notes that time management has also improved. “Having access to multiple functions for guests, staff and management in an all-in-one application has also freed up time because it’s all in one place” Parker shared.
Another important feature that reduces costs is AURA’s ability to streamline and manage a lot of the front desk functions, reducing wait times and enabling clients to pay via the mobile app. This takes pressure off the front desk and helps streamline check in and check out.
“Helping our guests set up their accounts has definitely sped up our front desk team. Fewer guests actually need to check out at the front desk or even pre-book their next appointment,” explains Jennifer. “Our team is able to add on services to guest tickets, pre-book their guests next appointment and check them out right at their chair!”
Seamless Payroll Sync Reduces Administrative Time by 80%
Time is money, so any tasks that take away from client services cuts into profitability.
“I love the Payroll report. Before AURA Payroll, especially for 3 locations, it would take a minimum of one full day and printing multiple reports to capture all of the data needed. Now our time is cut in half. AURA calculates all the service and retail data automatically, even the retail bonuses and commission bumps if earned,” explains Parker.