Heaven knows it’s hard enough building a successful business so it makes sense to question exactly how safe your data really is!

And it’s not just theft we are talking about. Computers are notorious for crashing or being stolen with data being lost from not doing back-ups.

Today most businesses work on cloud based systems which automatically provide more security features than server based systems (systems that are installed and sit on your computer). However, technical issues are not the main cause of data loss. Theft is!

So why would people want to steal your data? The answer can range from theft of stock by changing stock counts, theft of money by changing invoices and cash-ups, sabotage, theft of intellectual property or just a staff member stealing your client data base to use in their next place of business.

This makes SECURITY of paramount importance.

Start with access – who has access to your data, what role do they play in your business and how much access do they actually need.  A good software programme will allow you to pre-set access to staff types but also allow additional access on a case-by-case basis.

Function Usage: Allow access to certain functions for staff to be able to do their jobs but block access to some aspects of that function.

For example:-

Appointment Book – Cancelled or rescheduled appointments are the reality of everyday trading. Appointments erased from the appointment book could be the result of theft. If a client does cancel then the appointment status should be changed but the appointment should not be removed from the appointment book. Cancelled appointments can be moved to a column designated for that purpose for follow up.

Client Data Base – Staff have to have access to your client database however there is a big difference between viewing a client’s information or down-loading or printing out your client database.  Limit the number of clients that can be viewed at one time and definitely disable the print button. Monitor the amount of time any one person spends on your client database.

End of Day cash-up – we all know the importance of cashing up at the end of the day to ensure that the money you count equals the turnover generated during the day. Under normal circumstances that is perfect however, if you suspect that the figures are being manipulated (a sign of this that daily cash-ups balance every day to the cent!), then check if your software has a blind cash-up function whereby the generated turnover figures only appear after the payments for the day have been reconciled.

Stock control – on average stock can cost you 25% of your turnover which makes stock a prime area for loss – either through theft or misuse. The best way to control stock is by using a strict system of model levels and re-order levels. This approach could save you up to 20% in stock usage. The key is to count stock regularly and act on any discrepancies. Such discrepancies are normally the result of theft or miscounting. One way to avoid staff just copying and pasting stock quantities is to have them do a blind stock take, then compare the stock count to actual quantities on hand.

Invoices – On any point of sale system invoice numbers must run in sequence and it is illegal for invoice numbers to disappear. In addition to blocking the deletion of invoices other features that should be blocked are the ability to change invoice dates, remove items from an invoice and to change the value of items added to an invoice. Such changes must require management intervention.

Any good salon software should run back-end forensic reports which allow the owner to view every transaction and see when and by whom each transaction was created.

For more information on data security and any other aspect of running a successful hair and beauty salon, contact any member of the My Salon Software team:

terry@mysalonsoftware.co.za – 0836500962

aletta@mysalonsoftware.co.za – 0645046001

sune@mysalonsoftware.co.za – 0834842960

bryan@mysalonsoftware.co.za – 0614706359