Square study reveals beauty and personal care businesses lose more than one day a week to admin

Sep 28, 2023
  • 42% of consumers want to book appointments on the weekend or after hours
  • With time back, staff would treat themselves to finishing work on time (48%), identifying new training for their team (40%) and identifying new services to offer (40%)*

LONDON: Square, the technology company that makes commerce and financial services easy and accessible, has today released new research* revealing the biggest time and energy drains on Britain’s £36 billion** entrepreneurial beauty and personal care sector. Nearly half (43%)* of British barbers, spa and nail salons, personal trainers, tattoo parlours, and piercing studios are not using platforms or tools to automate bookings, ultimately losing over a full day each week to administrative tasks.

An always-on booking system works around-the-clock, even when businesses are closed. If beauty and personal care businesses rely only on manual pen and paper booking systems, they are potentially missing out on revenue. Four in ten (42%) Brits want to make an appointment after hours or at the weekend, Square data reveals***.

These findings come at a time where beauty and personal care businesses in the UK admit that filling down time between clients and appointments is the biggest challenge they faced over the last year*** (39%). Optimising schedules via digital tools empower businesses to more efficiently map out resources to drive revenue.

One business that uses Square’s products is Manchester-based, The Hair Witch, which serves a neuro-diverse clientele and operates a gender-neutral salon where prices are based on the work rather than the gender. Founder Kayleigh Dixon said: “I use a blend of Square’s products - the card payment terminal was the best offer for me on the market, the Instant Transfers feature really stood out to me as it’s so beneficial to get your money instantly. Square Appointments is also so easy to use - it’s a system that works so well and flows in the most user-friendly way. Enabling automatic text reminders has been an absolute game changer for managing my appointments too.”

“Manual booking systems are one of the biggest time drains for the UK’s beauty and personal care businesses,” says Samina Hussain-Letch, Head of Square UK. “Rescheduling appointments, taking bookings and sending booking reminders are demanding admin tasks for those without a booking tool. Solutions like Square Appointments play a much-needed role, simplifying scheduling, while maximising business’ POS by taking payments through Square Appointments, putting customers and staff first - it’s all about putting time back into their hands to do what they love.”

By automating bookings, British beauty and personal care businesses can gain a day’s time back each week, and say they would treat themselves to a better work-life balance, and also invest in their skills or business. By streamlining admin, they’d aim to finish work on time (48%), identify new services to offer (40%), look at training for their team (40%) and marketing for the business (34%)*.

Moving from a paper diary to Square Appointments allowed us to double the number of appointments we were able to take each day,” said Aine Lavery, founder of Skin Future in Northern Ireland. “This in turn has significantly increased our revenue and the number of clients we can help. The efficiencies provided by Square Appointments has freed up time to help me do tasks that will grow the business that I couldn’t get round to before, like newsletters, social media and client management. We are looking to expand next year as a result.”

Tapping into tech to unlock efficiencies in future
While beauty and personal care businesses are turning to technology to transform their offerings and customer and staff experience, obstacles remain. The main barriers that stop some from implementing automated booking systems include traditional ways of working (42%), preference of working manually (35%) and worries about training staff and management on the new platform (27%)*.

Turning to new solutions can unlock efficiencies for staff, managers, and clients now, as well as in the future. Only 1 in 5 of beauty and personal care businesses are automating marketing campaigns (21%) or inventory management (19%)*. It’s an opportunity for businesses to turn to tech to unlock efficiencies and set up a strong platform for growth.

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Please visit Square Appointments for more information.

Notes to Editors

  • Research commissioned by Square and carried out by Coleman Parkes in June 2023. Surveyed 400 UK beauty and personal care businesses.

** GlobalData reports that the UK’s health and beauty market size is £36 billion in 2021.

*** Research from Square - 2022 consumer survey, United Kingdom, commissioned by Square and carried out by Cint in September 2022. Survey of 1,000 consumers and 500 beauty and personal care businesses in the United Kingdom.