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Old 17th August 2005, 04:01 AM   #1

Join Date: Aug 2005
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Default Customer Database

Hi eveybody, my name is Sean and I am a newbie to this forum.

First of all, i need some guidance on creating customer's database.

I am actually helping my sister is running a beauty therapy business. She is still using those customer card that shows profile like address, DOB, and other things like "facial group" the person belongs to, etc. My sister has been getting feedback from her customers about the convenience of using a computer for her business. She has very little experience with computers, but she is hoping that she will eventually be using computer for her buziness applications. Thats why i am helping her now...

Here are some of those question:

1) What are the software available to create such database?
2) Will I be able to customise it to my requirement?
3) Is it difficult for a newbie to create it?


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Old 17th August 2005, 08:47 PM   #2

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Hi Sean & welcome to the forum!!

Are you familiar with Microsoft Access? That may be one option that is relatively easy for someone new to consider.

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Old 18th August 2005, 06:20 AM   #3

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A lot will depend on what she wants to do with it - both initially and if there are any longer term plans.

I am not aware of any off the shelf "customer database" software which would be suitable but there are certainly plenty of generic database programs which allow you to build your own database to your own specifications and create your own ways of searching/ running reports etc.

The most common one is Microsoft Access - it is very easy to use once the database is setup with it but I have personally always found it difficult to build the forms in the first place (though that could just be me). Access isnt the quickest of programs but unless she is going to thousands of customers then I am sure it will meet her needs.

If you do look about for another database program be warned that many of the more powerful/better database programs are purely the database itself with minimal or no graphical interface/ front end. If you know how to create a front end then they can be much better (and cheaper! - MySQL is free and if you know PHP you could do a front end free of charge too).

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Old 19th August 2005, 04:27 PM   #4
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Sometimes you don't need a "real" database to accomplish what you need.

Unless you'll be getting into queries and Customer Relationship Management or other data-heavy activities, maybe there is a very simple alternative your sister could use.

If she has Microsoft Outlook installed (on an up-to-date system with all of the security patches and so on), she may be able to do well with the Contacts "database" that comes with it.

Perhaps even a "spreadsheet" program would suffice, like the one included with OpenOffice.org or Microsoft's Excel. Simple columnar data.

She might do a search for "contact manager" or "pim" (personal information manager) on a shareware or other download site and explore some of the offerings she finds. Start with the freeware ones and see what you find.

I just did a quick search on a venerable download site and discovered a $240 piece of software specifically for managing a beauty salon. They say "the software is so user-friendly that your staff will require little or no training".

There are lots of alternatives to "real" databases out there. Don't overlook the simple things.

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Old 19th August 2005, 08:08 PM   #5
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You did not mention a budget. ACT will do everything you mentioned, but it is a bit more than $ 19.95. ACT

You might also check out some Point-Of-Sale packages for salons. These would handle sales and also most haver an adaptable database that would allow fields for several ways to distinguish customers. Many also have a field for birthdays, etc. And all would export to an email program. Do a Google on
"beauty salon pos"

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Old 18th November 2005, 05:53 PM   #6

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I found a really great software called My Small Business. I found it on a shareware site. The link for the software is http://home.comcast.net/~thomps98/msb.

I was attracted to it because it was much cheaper than all of the other boxed software. I have an at home business selling beauty supplies. It allows me to keep track of customers, inventory, and orders. It is really easy to use.

Good luck

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