The new financial year is about to tick over, so right now is the perfect time for small beauty businesses to think about making things more efficient. We round-up five top online business tools to help save you time and money.

 

Feeling stressed-out and over-worked? Download one or two small business apps to help lighten the load.
Feeling stressed-out and over-worked? Download one or two small business apps to help lighten the load.

Sure, getting your tax return is a nice end-of-fin-year bonus, but right now is also a good time to look at making your business more efficient. One way to get things streamlined? Enlist cloud-based business platforms.

Accessible on your smart phone, these clever programs allow you access to your business data anywhere in the world.

“There are more options than ever for business owners to access affordable and powerful tools designed to empower you to manage operations on the go,” says Ben Pfisterer, Country Manager for point-of-sale platform, Square Australia. “Businesses using Square [are] able to accept credit and debit card payments wherever they do business. All of that valuable sales data and insight is uploaded automatically to their cloud-based accounting systems.”

Good news really, because if you’re not slogging it out over the accounting books, you’ll have more time to think about how you might like to grow your business.

 

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to do is after a big day at the salon is put long hours.
As a small business owner, the last thing you want to do is after a big day at the salon is put long hours.

 

Dreaming big? We’ve rounded up five online business tools designed for small business to help get you there.

#1 Square

Australia’s newest small business platform, Square, allows small business easy point-of-sale for credit and debit card payments directly from your smartphone or tablet. It also makes sending invoices a snap.

The nifty new Square Reader (released in March), plugs into the headphone jack of your smartphone or tablet to allow your business to accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express card payments. Right there on the spot. From anywhere. You’ll be charged a 1.9% transaction fee for any credit or debit card payment accepted but other than that, the app is free, registration is free, and there are no monthly charges, hidden fees or lock-in contracts. If you’re a business on the move, or just like the freedom of clients being able to pay in any treatment room of your salon, this clever platform makes payment that much easier.

 

You can manage your staff from remote locations with the help of new apps on offer.
You can manage your staff from remote locations with the help of new apps on offer.

 

#2 Deputy

Are you having trouble keeping track of who’s on holiday, who’s rostered on, who’s working out of the salon…? When there is only one or two of you, it’s easy to keep track, but once your business grows, team management gets more challenging. Deputy is a workplace management solution that gives business owners access to the tools they need to better manage their team. With this platform you can schedule employees’ rosters, monitor hours, and keep track of their holidays and sick days – it will also allow you to manage salon tasks and communicate with your team. Clever, huh? Deputy’s mobile app means that even if you are out of the clinic, you can see who’s at work, answer messages from staff and call in replacement staff if someone calls in sick. (And it’s not going to cost you an arm or leg either. Pricing starts at $1 per employee, per month.)

 

#3 Intuit Quickbooks Online

Are you amazing at facials but find looking after the books a challenge? Quickbooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software program that makes book-keeping and billing easy. Accessible from a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, this program will allow you to automate bank feeds, track sales and expenses, scan receipts and process payroll for employees. All the data then builds into accounting reports, which can be handed on to your accountant so you don’t get into any tax-related strife.

Quickbooks Online will also automatically import transactional data from point-of-sale programs such as Square (above), to help you save time and keep things accurate.

 

With clever use of modern day business tools, you will be able to do away with the pencil and calculator.
With clever use of modern day business tools, you will be able to do away with the pencil and calculator.

 

#4 ATO App

Every business owner will know the satisfying feeling of ticking off the tax return for another year. But making sure you’re looking good for the upcoming period is also important. The ATO app helps simplify your tax and super affairs, by giving you access to all the information and tools you need in one easy location.

If you donate to charities (and then promptly lose the receipt into the bottom of you desk drawer), then this app will help keep track. It will also let you record work-related expenses and gifts, as well as keep track of the cost of managing business tax accounting. This clever software also lets you calculate tax withheld from salary and wage payments, and checks ABN details of new business suppliers before you sign on the dotted line. Best news? It’s free!

 

#5 Dropbox Business

Have you got multiple salons? Staff living in different states? Colleagues working from home two days a week? These days businesses aren’t always under the one roof. To manage this you need to enlist tools designed to help business owners access documents and share information. Enter Dropbox Business. This clever software allows small-to-medium businesses to store, sync, and securely share Office documents, videos, music files and images and allow users to access them via iOS, Android and Windows devices. Always on the run? No problem, you can securely preview, edit and share files direct from your smartphone. If you’re heading interstate and need to jump on a plane, you can even access files offline by adding them to your favourites.

Dropbox Business is a little pricey (starting at $17 per user, per month) but the space allowance is unlimited and for a busy salon business that has a lot of data to share between colleagues, it’s a big time saver.