A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by iSalon's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from iSalon is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director Darren Pick
Command Centre, the new
cloud-based system that
links to iSalon
Founded in 1987, the Lincoln-based iSalon has been
committed to providing powerful, innovative and user-
friendly solutions to the hair and beauty industry, having
launched the UK’s first salon management software. It offers
complete salon management and online booking solutions that
include mobile apps for hair and beauty salons, barbers, clinics,
spas and colleges. Managing Director Darren Pick tells the
that the key factor in the success and longevity of iSalon
is its focus on the vertical market and knowledge, experience
and insights that allow it to provide the best solutions at the
right time to match the needs of its clients.
With over three decades of knowledge and experience in the industry we pride
ourselves on being the partner of choice, whether we are looking after an
independent boutique or an established international group. In today’s competitive
hair, beauty and spa markets, iSalon is an essential tool for our clients to grow and
maintain profitable businesses. To that end our solutions are totally bespoke and
configured to run the way our clients need.
Culture of success
Our focus is building, deploying and supporting salon management software
solutions. We provide our clients with the tools they need to run their business
effectively, including being able to market their services to their customers, keeping
records of customer history, managing team members and much more. Back
when iSalon was founded in 1987, our simple aim was to fill the need to provide
»Managing Director: Darren Pick
»Founded in 1987
»Based in Lincoln and Gatwick
»Services: Software and services
for the hair and beauty
»No. of employees: 30
»Our online booking system
processed £100 millions worth
of appointments for our
customers in 2018
Highlighting best practice
a computer-based point of sale and
appointment scheduling system.
As time has passed, the needs of
our customers have changed, and
iSalon has been at the forefront of
providing innovative solutions to these
Our people make us who we are;
our team members are invested in
making our company successful and
share in our drive to be unstoppable
in our marketplace. We love helping
salon owners up and down the
country bring their vision to life and
achieve their business goals. As with
any good investment, our software
is designed to be dynamic, meeting
the ever-changing needs of the
salon industry. Our software-for-life
maintenance policy is our commitment
to accommodating the rapidly
changing business environment,
trends and economic realities that
impact a salon’s daily operation. While
times, technology and business needs
change, our commitment to providing
high-quality support and solutions to
our clients remains consistent.
The iSalon journey
Being the first software provider in
the industry, we had the challenge
of taking salons from pen and paper
to a computerised system. We had
to demonstrate that our tailor-made
solution would help salons have
complete visibility of their business and
reduce their time spent running their
salon. We had to ensure we stayed
at the forefront of technology to help
our customers grow their businesses.
iSalon needed to be introducing the
right new technology at the right
time. We are always looking at what
we offer and dedicate ourselves to
not standing still but introducing
We strive to help educate our
customers in new and improved ways
of working, marketing and reporting,
ultimately allowing them to do what
they love most whether that is more
time spent on the salon floor or
running their business. Fast and new
spin-ups look to disrupt the industry
but don’t provide total solutions,
only a way to offer a quick fix. We
look to integrate with trusted and
reliable partners to further enhance
With so many new start-ups offering
free or next-to-nothing services, it can
be difficult for potential customers
to see and realise the value in it. The
competitive nature of the marketplace
is driving the price and the value of the
products down, but there is always a
need for quality software and services
to solve the simple and complex needs
of running a business. Legislation
changes drive and force developments
and opportunities in the marketplace.
In 2018 as a result of GDPR, marketing
within salons had to change. We
had to educate salon owners and
implement new features that gave
our clients the tools they needed to
become GDPR compliant and maintain
their competitive edge.
YourApp – on-the-go
booking app from iSalon
Our people
make us who
we are
Facing future challenges
Our challenges for 2019 are Making
Tax Digital and VAT on vouchers.
Again, we had to educate salon
owners, and we continue to work
on developments to give our clients
the tools they need to assist in their
compliance. While we are proud to
be recognised as an innovator and
disruptor within the industry, we have
at times waited for the technology
to become stable, right and fit for
purpose. This is reflected in our latest
hybrid approach and solution. This
takes the best of on-site and cloud-
based options and combines them to
provide salons with the ultimate tool
to run and manage their businesses
wherever and whenever they wish.
iSalon is an installed program that does
not require an internet connection to
run during a standard salon day; this
ensures that if there is a disruption to
either the internet or the provider’s
server, our clients can still continue to
trade. After feedback from our salon
owners that they wanted to manage
their business remotely and work on
marketing and reports away from
the salon front desk, we developed a
cloud-based system that incorporated
these modules, along with a pricing
module and linked straight into their
iSalon system.
We have a current development road
map for the next five to ten years
which we review regularly to ensure
that it continues to meet the needs of
our clients but also takes into account
new technological developments
and advances. We don’t just look to
educate and advise on what the future
looks like but also work with our
clients to see what the most valuable
additions will be to help with their
business requirements.
As a software leader in a creative
industry and from a mobile-first
perspective, we have embraced the use
of apps, social media and the rise of
review platforms to provide us and our
clients with instant feedback on how
we and they are doing. At iSalon we
are excited at what the future holds
and continue to be at the forefront of
innovation and development to help
our clients do what they love best.
We continue
to be at the
forefront of
to help our
clients do
what they love
Academy Salons
booking in clients

This article was sponsored by iSalon. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster