There are a number of seemingly good free salon systems around, and it seems more pop up every day, but are they really a good option? Let's think about it a bit more.
You run a professional business and charge for your services. If you didn't charge you wouldn't have a business, you would be a charity. So how do free software providers do it? There are a number of ways.
- They hope to upsell you to their paid systems. Many companies have their free system with limited functionality but will then try and upsell you to their paid system later.
The problem with this is the free version will probably be very limited in features, or not even updated for long periods, in order to try and show you the value of the paid system. This may be ok
for some people, but most professional businesses will need those extra features sooner rather than later.
- They will charge you at a later date. Some systems start by giving you the software for free, then at a later date they plan to start charging. This is often tucked away in the fine
print of the terms and conditions that most people don't read. Worse, it is unlikely that they will tell you how much they plan on charging.
- They plan on selling their business to a bigger company. It is quite common for a company to give away their software for free to build a customer
base with the plan on selling their business later on to a bigger company, such as Google or Microsoft. This is fine except once sold these companies often stagnate
with their new owner and eventually die. They are often bought for the people behind the product, not the product itself, which they have no interest in.
At the end of the day it comes down to one thing, how much do you value the smooth running of your business, with a real company in it for the long haul backing you up?