The last two years have undoubtedly changed the way we view our day-to-day lives, both on a personal and a professional level. Changing our living habits so dramatically has opened many people’s eyes to the benefits of doing things a different way. In particular, the convenience and usefulness of digital technology took on a much greater level of importance starting in the early days of 2020.
Online shopping, for example, became familiar to far more people than ever before. With stores shut, the only way to get hold of even basic goods became the Internet. Video conferencing and communications tools rocketed in popularity, making Zoom and TikTok, for example, among the most popular downloads of the last 20 months.
If there has been something positive to take away from the crisis, people can work remotely without a reduction in productivity – as long as they have the requisite tools to do the job. This article looks at one such tool: scheduling software. It may not seem so important at first, but there are some excellent software packages that offer simplified scheduling that will have a major benefit on your business. Let’s get started and explain just what we’re looking at here.
Why is Scheduling Software a Priority?
Why is scheduling so important in a small business? Planning the week is necessary if you are to hit deadlines, keep appointments and use your time efficiently. The traditional diary used to be the way to do this, and you can create timetables and plan on your smartphone.
However, is there was an easy way to manage schedules using a simple software package? One that dramatically reduces the time spent on this mundane yet necessary task?
There are many such packages, and they have found new homes all over in recent months. Click on the link in the paragraph above, and you’ll find the website of a typical example – missed.com – which should give you a good idea of what these tools come equipped to do as you will see that one is much more than just a scheduling tool and is more of a comprehensive business management solution.
What sort of businesses would benefit from using such a tool, and is yours among them? That’s our next subject, so let’s move on.
What Sort of Businesses Uses Scheduling Software?
We’ve already mentioned time-saving as a purpose of investing in scheduling software, and it is one of the main benefits. But it’s not the only one, and we’ll explain that in more detail later.
The main beneficiaries of scheduling software such as this will more than likely be smaller businesses. In particular, those that involve one on one appointments – whether physically or virtually – will find such tools very useful.
Hotels and guest houses may also use these software packages, and the area we have picked to use as an example is that of the personal trainer. A personal trainer is usually a sole trader who sees clients on a solo basis, making them the perfect business for tools of this kind. How does it work? Let’s see if we can explain it in simple terms.
How Does Scheduling Software Work?
A personal trainer needs his or her clients to make appointments regularly. Without the software, this may be done by telephone or email. That’s all good, but keeping track of dozens of appointments across a given time can be difficult. Clients forget trainers forget, and people have problems and don’t turn up. That’s time wasted on the part of the trainer.
A good scheduling software package puts the onus on the client to make the appointment. It works like this: the trainer creates a calendar in the cloud. This shows all the available slots in the next week (or any period). The client logs in with a password and picks the most convenient slot. There’s also time for sending and receiving emails and filling in a calendar, so the trainer knows who is penciled in and where.
Both client and trainer are sent automated reminders, thus reducing the possibility of no-shows. It’s quicker, sleeker, and easier than working with a traditional calendar, emails, and phone calls. Furthermore, if a problem occurs, either party can notify the other that they need to rearrange. This format frees up time that would normally be spent on mundane tasks and can now be used more productively. But that’s not all a scheduling software tool can help you with, as we’re about to explain.
What Can Other Software Tools Help My Business?
If you are looking for ways to improve your productivity, then a business management package will be the best way forwards. They not only incorporate scheduling and appointment software, but also offer a wealth of other features. These include the following:
- Automated billing reduces the time spent on keeping weekly accounts.
- Other basic accounting and reports.
- Reporting on progress of clients regularly.
- Video conferencing for one-to-one remote sessions or group conversations.
- HR tools for keeping up with client details.
Not every scheduling package will come with all the above, but a good one will incorporate most and provide you with a comprehensive tool that will certainly help improve your business. Improved productivity means more time for our trainer example to take on clients, which is the sort of growth that all smaller businesses should be looking for. Let’s wrap up with a quick summary of what we have learned.
Scheduling software can reduce the time spent on mundane yet necessary tasks involving the planning of appointments. It can also help minimize no-shows and may include automated billing as part of the process. For a small business such as a personal trainer, a scheduling tool is a valuable investment that will enhance productivity.