Making It Know

How to Choose the Right Scheduling Software for Your Small Business

Scheduling software is one of the most important time-saving tools you can set up for your small business. Even though it can be a bit daunting to consider which appointment  scheduler is right for your business, selecting the ideal software can be simple.

It comes down to finding a scheduling platform that’s user-friendly, affordable, and equipped with the intuitive features that figure out scheduling logistics on your behalf. Consider the following points when choosing the right scheduling software for your small business:

1. What is scheduling software?

Scheduling platforms are tools that automate the scheduling process in your business. Whether you’re setting up appointments with contractors or clients, the right scheduling software handles the stressful logistics for you.

Rather than spending time going back and forth via email to set up an appointment, automated schedulers enable you to send a link to your scheduling page directly to clients, or embed it on your website, so your customers and prospects can see your availability and choose their ideal appointment time.

2. Benefits of scheduling software

Scheduling software can be an effective addition to any appointment-based business. Passing your scheduling off to your scheduling platform leads to the following positive results:

Save time

Effective scheduling platforms set you up with an entire automated onboarding system. This means that you’ll have less manual, administrative work to complete in your daily schedule. From sending your client questionnaire to delivering a final testimonial request, the right scheduling software will step in, almost as a virtual assistant.

A 2019 survey of scheduling software users said that automating their scheduling saves them up to 5 hours each week. That’s an extra hour in each weekday — enough time to start developing your online course, deliver more 1:1 value to your clients, and have breathing room to care for yourself and others outside of working hours.

Preserve your mental energy

With automated scheduling, there’s no waiting game or added  back and forth. Once you send over your scheduling link, the client books while you focus on your next task.

Hold your clients accountable and safeguard your business.

Having official records of communication is incredibly valuable for your online business. Avoid digging through emails to find old conversations with  appointment scheduling software that keeps all your communication with each client organized in their unique client profile.

With a few clicks, you can see which appointments they booked and paid for, which terms of service or contracts they’ve agreed to, when any reschedules or cancellations happened, and a complete record of any automated emails sent through the scheduling software. 

Easily set boundaries around your time.

When you can customize your availability by appointment type, you’re not just automating your appointments — you’re automating your boundaries.

Once you’ve set up rules for your scheduling software, you’ve created security and predictability in your workload. Scheduling rules safeguard against overbooking yourself or having a client schedule outside your preferred hours.

Look as official as you are

Utilizing the right scheduling software can shift the public perception of your business. Rather than being a one-off service provider, it helps people recognize that you’re a legitimate company. The consistent, polished touchpoints of the right scheduling software provide a higher-level user experience, so you’re viewed as the professional you are.

3. Identify the key features you need in your scheduling platform

Each scheduling platform offers different benefits, which is why we’ve compiled a checklist of core features you may want to seek out.

Ability to brand every touchpoint for your business

Consider opting for a platform where you can customize all the colors (like buttons), upload a background image, change all text, and get a customizable link to your scheduling page. These touchpoints allow you to align the look, feel, and voice of the rest of your online brand.

Functionality for clients to self-schedule themselves

The point of automated scheduling is that you rarely have to touch it. Keep an eye out for a scheduling platform that lets clients self-schedule. After you send over your customized scheduling page URL, your clients will be able to choose their ideal time, provide payment details, and complete any intake questionnaires without any input from you. 

Flexibility in how you sell and get paid

As you’re evaluating which scheduling platform is the right one for your business, look for software that gives you the ability to create discount codes, set up a virtual tip jar, offer pay-what-you-want courses, and sell bundled packages. This grants you the ability to sell what you want, how you want to, at the price point that suits your small business.

Custom onboarding sequences and follow-up sequences

Client onboarding and offboarding emails are essential to the overall quality of your clients’ experiences. Find a scheduling platform that lets you customize the text, layout, font, and colors in your emails. This will ensure brand consistency and help you build real, lasting relationships that create recurrent revenue and true connections. 

The overall costs

When you’re allocating budget to a scheduling service, it can be helpful to consider the long term savings from signing up for automated scheduling.

If your automated scheduling software saves you at least an hour of time every week, that frees up at least 52 hours a year to reinvest in your business growth.

Scheduling software is an investment that can help you reach your long term business goals. 

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