Finding The Best Small Business Scheduling Software

Suppose you operate a business, Being Mad, where you earn revenue from scheduled appointments, class attendance, consultations, seminars, workshops, or any other type of event. In that case, you must use easy-to-use yet powerful and interactive small business scheduling software.

If possible, with your business, I also encourage you to look for scheduling software that enables your customers to prepare themselves.

This makes your life easier and is an outstanding website conversion tool. I mean that new customers to your website can instantly book themselves for your service—no phone calls or any other obstacles that might cause them to lose the sale.



Ask Yourself:

When you book a customer, how much time does it take? Scheduling customers and clients takes time – yours and your staff’s time. How about the time you spend playing phone tag to book an appointment?

That’s why if you can set up software where your customers can book their appointments, you’ll free up much of your time. You’ll also offer worthwhile customer service (and impress them). Even if only 1/3 of your bookings do it themselves, you’ll be ahead and probably book more clients than otherwise.

The fact is, in today’s fast-paced world, customers want immediate gratification. You could lose that booking if your busy phone line puts customers on hold. Why not eliminate those losses and poor customer service by implementing online scheduling?

How Does Online Scheduling Work?

It’s simple, and you don’t have to worry about giving up control of your schedule with the right business scheduling software.

There are different uses of scheduling software – it depends on your business.

1. Simple Schedule Viewable Online

Some businesses, such as yoga studios, dance studios, martial arts schools, and health clubs, may wish to display class schedules on their website(s).

The key is getting scheduling software that makes it incredibly easy to change the schedule in one central location – which changes appear on your website(s). Let’s face it: class times, instructors, etc., change regularly.

Instead of displaying your schedule in a fixed table on different pages in your website(s), which is inconvenient to change, use a central schedule dashboard where you can easily make changes.

Have you ever forgotten to change the schedule on your website? When you maintain separate programs, it’s straightforward to forget to update your website’s program (s). I don’t have to tell you how customers feel about being misinformed and relying on an outdated program.

Solve this problem using scheduling software you manage in one easy-to-access location, updating all your schedules wherever posted.

Moreover, look for scheduling software that lets you present your classes’ pop-up descriptions and perhaps brief bios of the instructor teaching particular courses. The more information you place where it’s easy to find for your customers, the better your service.

2. Self-Booking Capability

Other businesses require customers to schedule appointments or reserve rooms/facilities. These businesses include hair salons, spas, tattoo parlors, massage therapists, physical therapists, etc. Take yourself as much as possible from the booking process by getting scheduling software that enables your customers to book their appointments.

The process is simple with the right software. Your customers register, and you provide them with log-in information to your online scheduling system. Once logged in, your customers see only availability and then book available time slots. Moreover, you then add a contact to your database.

Online booking puts the scheduling power into your customers’ hands. They can easily do so if they need to change an appointment without wasting your time.

What Other Features to Look for With Business Scheduling Software?

1. Look Only For Cloud Computing Scheduling Software

The most important feature to look for with business scheduling software is that it’s cloud-based. This means the software you use is hosted with the service provider.

A classic example of cloud-based software is Google Docs. You log in to your Google account and use their fleet of document-producing software (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.).

I’ve used desktop scheduling software, and like most desktop software, it costs much more in the long run and is very difficult to add new users (i.e., adding computers to the network).

The bulk of the long-term cost with desktop software is paying a tech consultant to network the software among your computers. Moreover, your scheduling software is not available anywhere – only on computers on which it’s installed. Don’t even think about the cost when you upgrade computers or if you use a server.

Cloud computing solves all these problems because you only need an Internet connection to access your software dashboard. You don’t have to pay for networking, installation, and a server. Instead, most cloud-computing software services require a monthly payment for access. It’s easy to scale up – you add new users to your account. Your cost only increases as your business grows.

2. Get E-Commerce and Credit Card Payment Processing Integration

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could have customers pay upon self-booking their appointments? This frees you and your staff from two time-consuming activities – booking appointments and paying.

Moreover, you can book appointments if you’re busy, thus reducing lost charges. Saving one booking often pays for an entire month’s software cost. Not to mention gain you another potentially loyal customer.

If you want top-of-the-line scheduling software, look for software that automatically processes payments upon a booking.

3. E-mail and Text Messaging Reminders and notices

Do you and your staff send appointment reminders via e-mail and text messaging? This, too, is time-consuming. Maybe you don’t do this because you’re too busy – but I wish you had the time or resources to send reminders to reduce no-shows.

When deciding on scheduling software, be sure to opt for the capability of automated reminders. Yes, this is available. Once you have a customer’s contact information in your system and a customer books an appointment, you can set up the software to automatically send e-mail and text reminders about upcoming meetings.

This serves three essential functions:

You’ll provide a great service reminding your customers about their upcoming appointments;

You’ll reduce no-shows; and

If customers realize they can’t make an appointment, they can re-schedule. This frees up appointment space, which you can fill from your waitlist.

Speaking of wait lists – with the right software, you can configure it so that once an appointment slot becomes available, e-mail notices are sent to your waitlist, allowing them to take up that time – all done automatically.

4. Additional Sale Opportunities

Recurring Bookings:

Small businesses earn most of their revenues from loyal, repeat customers (especially service-based businesses that book appointments). With the right software, you can make it extremely easy for customers to book recurring appointments.

Perhaps they would like to visit your business on the same day of each month. Instead of manually entering their booking information monthly, use software to automate recurring bookings. Better yet, with self-scheduling, make it easy for your customers to book their regular appointments.


Many small businesses that are appointment-based offer a variety of services. If you do, make it easy for your customers to create customized booking packages, or you can create pre-arranged packages they can easily choose and book. This is a powerful up-selling option to earn more revenue per customer.

Gift Cards:

Gift cards are a potent sales tool. Not only do you make sales, but it’s a way to attract new customers. If you’re looking for powerful scheduling software, look for the ability to sell gift cards within the system.

Referral Tracking:

Do you offer referral incentives to your existing customers? If not, you’re missing out on using a potent sales tool. If you don’t, it’s probably because tracking referrals is a hassle. You can automate referral tracking with some business scheduling software.

When a customer makes a referral, the software tracks that referral and credits the referring customer with whatever incentive you offer (i.e., discounts, free services, gift cards, etc.).

Online Point-of-Purchase Opportunities:

If you get scheduling software with e-commerce capabilities, you automatically have a shopping cart your customers can access while booking an appointment.

Point-of-purchase works both in-store and online. Why not increase sales by making it easy for your customers to buy your services and products online while they’re already in your system, booking an appointment?

5. User-Friendly

If your customers can’t figure out how to book their appointments online or read your class/event schedule, then you’ve wasted your money. Sure, automated scheduling software will save you time – but the main goal is serving your customers. Look for a user interface that is extremely easy to use and pleasing to the eye.

6. Centralized Contact Database

Integrating your scheduling software with your contact database is crucial to getting the most out of your scheduling software. Why? Because you can then use that contact database to manage your operations and financials and leverage it for marketing.

When a new customer signs up with your business, you want scheduling software that automatically adds their data and profile to your contact database. Once in your database, you can leverage that information throughout your business operations, from client management and report generation (tracking your sales, attendance, etc.) to marketing campaigns.

Impress Your Customers with Your Scheduling Software

You’ll impress new and existing customers if you offer self-booking capability and extremely informative, up-to-date schedules on your website. When they get reminders, they’ll be delighted. When you send them notices for openings, they’ll think about the world of you and your business.

Even if you’re a small business, the right software doesn’t need to break the bank to appear and offer a level of service large, resource-rich companies provide. When you deliver a high customer service level, you’ll build trust and make dealing with your business a pleasure.

Look for scheduling software that makes it extremely easy for your customers to use your services – and you’ll get more customers and regularly attending customers.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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