Small businesses on one Teignmouth street are embracing technology on the high street and are taking the fight to their online competitors.
The four business – Eutopia; Animal Allsorts; Perrylicious; Finley Browns tearooms – are all using Clover, a system that integrates a cash register, card payment terminal and POS system. The road they are all located on is being given the nickname of Clover Street.
We caught up Anne-Marie, the owner of the Eutopia beauty salon in Teignmouth.
How does using technology make the running of your business different?
I’ve been thinking about going computerised for a couple of years now, it was much easier and it also wasn’t as expensive as I thought. I didn’t want something that would take up too much space, I wanted to use something that would look smart but still be functional. Using technology makes my day a lot easier, particularly at the end of the day. We’re a beauty parlour, and my Clover system tells me who has done what treatments throughout the day so I can ensure each member of staff is paid accordingly.
What has been the biggest business impact in using technology?
For me personally, using new technology has assisted me in the day to day running of the business and given me more time, which is something I am pretty short of! At the end of every day I can print off the information I need from the system, whereas I used to manually log everything which was very slow. Running my accounts is a more seamless process and we’re less likely to see errors. I’m happy because I can get home an hour earlier every day!
Do you see yourself implementing other technologies that you hadn’t previously considered?
Definitely. We want to start using business apps like a scheduler, which will be really useful for a busy beauty salon like ours. I’m in the process of getting all our client records uploaded so that booking a treatment will become easier for our customers too. Having all my customers contact details on a system like Clover means I can contact them about new products, treatments or let them know of a last minute appointment slot on a Saturday, for instance.
What do your customers think, have they given any positive feedback on the changes to the business?
My customers seem quite impressed because I use a stylish computer terminal rather than an old till!
Do you think it’s important for small businesses to embrace new technology?
I think it’s really important, we are living in the age of touchscreen technology aren’t we. If you use an e-reader, a tablet or a smartphone you’ll be able to use business technologies that can really benefit your business, and give you more time, it is so easy.
What aspect of technology would you recommend to other business owners?
I really like the aesthetic of having a stylish payment terminal that my customers see when they visit the salon, it makes us look more professional. I also really like having the ability to offer card transactions as well as cash, I haven’t taken contactless payment yet but eventually we will!
Its great using stock control features on my terminal, I would definitely recommend that to other business owners. My terminal does everything for me, as long as I input in exactly how much stock I have in, the system will give me alerts so I know when I am running low.