I think this is a very important question, and a huge decision you will be making in your new business. Your scheduling system is an integral part of your customer experience. When it operates in a smooth way with the other software systems you will also need in play, it makes your customers happy and saves you a bunch of time and energy. When there’s a cog in the wheel of those systems, it upset your customers and waste tons of your time as the business owner.
Scheduling systems have so many functionalities today. New technology and companies pop up every year. Even compared to a few years ago, they offer so much more than when I was just getting started. It is hard to know what everything means and what is most important. But I am here to break it down for you.
#1 Whole Systems Integration
Scheduling software is mainly for making appointments. But there are several other types of software systems that you may need to run your business.
Like a Point of Sale system (often called a POS or merchant portal) that will take credit cards online or in person. Perhaps you will also use this system to offer gift certificates, packages, memberships or inventory retail products.
You will also need an accounting system that will help your mark your revenue and expenses. Accounting software can also help you with reporting, taxes, invoices and payroll.
You may also need an email marketing software to create newsletters or make sale offers to your customers.
So when I look for a scheduling system, the first thing I look for is a company that provides as many of the other services I need under one umbrella company… or at least will integrate and sync with all of my other software systems. This way I can pulled needed data across the systems.
For instance, if you offer session packages it is helpful for your scheduling and your point of sale system to talk to each and automatically tally the number of sessions a clients as left in their package as they use it. Otherwise, you will need to develop a system and tally it manually. This can cause you lots of lost time and frustration.
When I first started my business long ago, there were very few integrations between these different systems. You wasted a lot of time trying to copy and paste, and basically duplicating information. Now more and more software companies understand the importance of streamlining these systems into only one or just a few different providers.
#2 Pricing Structure
#3 Grow with Your Business
Find a scheduling software with can easily scale with your business. Today you may think, “I only want to have private practice where I am the only person working. I don’t want employees or renters.” But I highly recommend that you do not discount scaling your business in the future.
It is important to find a scheduling system that can grow with your business if you move to a bigger location, rent your room to go on leave, offer classes or have employees.
You will want to stick to the same scheduling system throughout the life of your business. If you change scheduling systems, it may become a big hassle to you and your clients to make the switch over. It can take a long while to set up a scheduling system exactly the way you need to, and you do not want to go through that long process again. Also, your clients will have to register for a new login and password, and they will have to reorient themselves to the new system.
So it is really important to pick a good scheduling system from the beginning that can grow with your business.
#5 Customer Service
What more information?
If you are interested in a platform that provides all of these functions, then we suggest that you check-out Square.
Square has a FREE appointments application. You can use it for just appointments, but you can also connect it with their POS system.
Their POS system does not have a monthly bill. You pay per transaction. If you’re not working, on vacation, taking a break for any reason… you don’t pay for the service.
Square has lots of reporting functionality, so you can see exactly how your revenue is coming in over time.
Square also provides a loyalty program for repeat clients.
Square can also email your clients a regular newsletter and birthday messages. As well as post to your audience in Facebook.
Square easily integrates into other applications like Quickbooks and MassageBook.
Check out Square today!