I grew up in a hair salon. My mom cut hair and put me to work early and often, sweeping hair and folding towels. The salon was a vibrant place, filled with a lot of energy. It was amazing to see so many successful women of color in one space.
The set up is similar to how many salons are set up today: an owner who rents out chairs for a monthly rate to hair stylists. Each stylist is a sole proprietor and has to develop their own system of taking in clients, booking appointments and writing client notes. My mom always had a HUGE appointment boom filled with post-its. This was not unusual as the internet had not taken off by then.
This past February, in the middle of tax season, a client came to a meeting holding a thick 3-ring binder. I thought she had her identification documents and historical taxes stored. I was wrong. She opened the binder and it was a one-stop-shop that included her daily appointments, notes, inventory items, and schedules for her stylists. I couldn't believe the same strategy my mom used 15 years ago was still being used today. Small businesses owned by people of color are still accustomed to doing things manually. However, we can save more time, make more money, and stress a little less if we automate these tasks.
Below are 3 tasks Small Business Owners should automate to make their business run more effectively
We are working diligently to provide applications that will solve all the problems listed below for you. If you are interested in learning when those are available, sign up here! In any case, we provide options for you below! Enjoy!
Throw Away That Appointment Book
Not only do hair salons have manual processes around booking appointments, so do landscapers, house cleaners, carpenters and a variety of other businesses. There are some great tools such as simplybook.me and Booker. They allow you to easily set up a website where clients will be able to book their next appointments. Imagine the time you will save by being more organized and less dependent on paper.
Paper Invoices Cross The Line!
You may be losing business if you aren’t able to furnish invoices to clients. Also, paper invoices take a lot of time (about 20-30 minutes each!). Remembering what invoice number to put and adding the same products over and over again, it’s a tedious task. Canasta has a tool that allows you to create beautifully designed invoices in a few clicks. We promise this will take less than 2 minutes. Some other great tools are Quickbooks Self Employed, Xero, and Invoicely.
Don’t Stuff Your Bag With Receipts
There is a better way to track your business expenses. Tax season can be 85% less stressful if you could just run a report and hand it over to your accountant. These apps allow you to enter your bank account information and automatically track your expenses. This will save you head space, time, and stress. Quickbooks Self-Employed is one of our favorites as it also automatically tracks your mileage. Expensify also does the job.
Canasta Can Help
We offer a free assessment of your business to understand areas you can improve. We also offer consulting services to help you implement our tools. Sign up for a consultation here.