With the rise of remote work, it’s no surprise that virtual meeting and scheduling tools have become more and more popular. What would typically take upwards of 4 back and forth email chains now takes a customized link and single confirmation email that takes up less than 5 minutes of your client’s time, and minimal effort on both ends.
These tools not only save you time (which is what we’re all about at MOD Assistants!), but also peace of mind and money. So today we’re sharing our pick for the 5 best scheduling apps for small businesses!
Voted “Best Appointment Booking via Email” by Forbes, Calendly describes itself as a “scheduling automation platform with team-based scheduling, solutions and integrations for every department, and advanced security features.” This app:
- Lets you customize your hourly availability and put a cap on your maximum amount of daily appointments
- Allows you to add a time buffer before and after events so you have time to focus on your next appointment
- Displays availability in your invitee’s time zone
- Has a user-friendly mobile version
- Allows you to create a workflow to: send reminders, connect your CRM, video, and billing platforms to your account, and integrate other tools based on the needs of your business.
Cons: Advanced features are not available in the free version and if you’re working with a team or need to schedule meetings with more than one person you will have to upgrade.
With 44 language options and customizable booking pages/links—YouCanBookMe is a great option for anyone looking for simple and efficient scheduling. We love this app because:
- It easily connects to share meeting information with video (Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams), payment (Stripe), and calendar apps (Google and Microsoft)
- It automatically detects time zones so there’s no confusion when scheduling with people outside of your time zone
- It allows you to send confirmation emails and reminders to reduce the likelihood of no-shows
Cons: If you have complex scheduling needs this platform might not cater to what your business requires.
Formerly G Suite, Google Workspace includes access to all Google tools (Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and more). This app:
- Allows people from outside your company who don’t have a Google account to schedule appointments through your personal booking page
- Integrates with all other Google apps to detect any conflicts you might have elsewhere on your Calendar or in Google Meet
- Lets you specify how far in advance people can book, add a time buffer between meetings, and limit your daily number of meetings so you won’t become overwhelmed
Cons: If branding is important to your business, this might not be the right choice due to the lack of advanced design customization found in other apps.
Square calls itself the “all-in-one point of sale for booking, payments, and more.” While it is similar to other scheduling apps, it:
- Gives you the option to accept or decline appointments
- Allows you to use their free online booking website, or you can embed a widget into your Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress website
- Lets you create specific links for Google Calendar, Instagram, and other social media platforms
- Gives you the option of collecting payments at the time of booking
Note: This is the best option for anyone scheduling in-person meetings or services since it is fully integrated with the Square payment collection service. They work best with businesses specializing in health and wellness, fitness, beauty, tutoring/lessons, home repair, cleaning, etc.
Cons: While this is a better choice for businesses that are already using Square or whose services are utilized in person, it is also more expensive.
Purchased by Squarespace in 2019, Acuity is perfect for anyone currently utilizing Squarespace’s platform and tools to run their business. This app:
- Allows you to accept payments from PayPal, Square, and Stripe
- Gives you the option to include client intake and agreement forms in order to collect customer information at the time of scheduling
- Sends customized confirmations and reminders to avoid no-shows
- Offers a branded scheduling page with available services shown in real time to avoid double booking
Cons: The user interface is less friendly, and if you don’t already have a Squarespace site there’s more of a learning curve. Similar to Square Appointments, it is also a more useful service for scheduling classes and in-person services.
While you have plenty of choices for a scheduling app, the right one truly depends on your unique business needs. Each platform comes with its own set of pros and cons, and as remote work continues to reshape the way we all work, scheduling help has become more necessary than ever. So if you’re looking to add a scheduling service to your small business, start with these suggestions!