Advertiser Disclosure

πŸ’³ Save money on credit card processing with one our top 5 picks for 2020

The Best Appointment Scheduling & Booking Software For Small Businesses

  • No comments
  • Updated on:
Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

If you find yourself juggling too many calls, or your front-end staff is stretched thin, appointment software can be a cost-effective way to ease your burden. And the benefits of a booking system are not always just logistical. When you create an organized process for customers to book appointments and receive reminders, they are also more likely to show up.

Scheduling software isn’t just about scheduling, however. It can also give you data about your customers, keep lines of communication open, and help you get paid. This sounds like a win-win opportunity, doesn’t it?

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
Square Appointments
Square Appointments is best for businesses that have a short sales cycle and need an all-in-one payment and simple booking solution.

Visit Site

Read More

HoneyBook
HoneyBook booking software is best for companies that need an all-in-one project management, booking, and payment management tool.

Visit Site

Read More

Doodle
Doodle scheduling software is best for meeting hosts who need to manage multiple scheduling conflicts to get a meeting on the map with prospects or stakeholders.

Visit Site

Read More

10to8
10to8 booking software is best for fast-paced businesses that need to schedule appointments and coordinate with the whole team while keeping lines of communication open.

Visit Site

Read More

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Best Scheduling Software

Finding the best scheduling software for your small business starts with knowing what’s out there. You may be surprised to find that there’s quite a bit of overlap between payment, CRM, and booking software tools. That’s why each option on our list has a specific focus so that you can find your perfect match.

1. Square Appointments

Square Appointments



Visit Site

Read our Review

Square Appointments is best for businesses that have short sales cycles and need all-in-one payment and simple booking solutions. Square’s scheduling tool allows your clients to book the appointment slot that works for them, and it now features SMS text and email reminders, so you can reduce no-show appointments and keep lines of communication open.

As an integrated payment and booking solution, Square offers a variety of features to simplify your process. The free customer booking link lets you display all the types of services you offer, so your customers can claim the spot they want. Or, if you are active on Instagram with a healthy following, you can use booking links that allow clients to schedule directly from the app. We also like that Square allows businesses to choose whether they want to require prepayment at the time of booking or if they want to collect payment at checkout or send an invoice.

As a platform, Square earns mostly positive reviews on all major customer review platforms and has proven to be a time-tested and trusted option. Square earns 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra, 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2, and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Pros

  • Free for individuals
  • SMS texting and auto-responding included
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Higher cost for multiple users
  • Not suitable for all industries with a longer sales cycle

Square Appointments Pricing

Square Appointments is included for free for individuals using the Square Payments platform. For $50/month, you can add two to five employees, and for six to ten employees, you’ll pay $90/month.

Additionally, you can process payments with your clients for 2.6% + $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe or 2.5% + $0.10 with the paid plans.

Features

Square Appointments Booking Tool

Square offers a pretty straightforward appointment tool that you can start utilizing for yourself from day one of signing up with Square Payments, with no additional hoops to jump through. Simple in design and easy to use, you’ll find the features help you reduce inbound calls and the time it takes to schedule appointments.

Here’s what you’ll find with Square Appointments:

  • Your own web link, so clients can self-book
  • Instagram in-app booking
  • Automated Square Assistant 24/7 SMS messaging tool for clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments
  • Automated text and email reminders
  • Integrated payments for invoice or checkout
  • Set optional prepayment requirements
  • Track customer sales and appointments
  • Android and iOS mobile app lets you make and manage appointments
  • Save cards on file

When To Use Square Appointments

For businesses that are already using Square, Square Appointments offers a robust platform to streamline appointments and sales. While Appointments is free for individual users, the price to add two to three users may be high for a smaller salon or service business, however. That said, if Square helps clients book faster and easier and helps you establish new business and ensure payment, the cost may be well worth the monthly fee.

Get Started with Square Appointments

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. HoneyBook

HoneyBook



Visit Site

HoneyBook booking software is best for companies that need an all-in-one project management, booking, and payment management tool. With CRM at its core, HoneyBook does a great job of helping small businesses manage customer relationships from the first booked meeting to closing the deal and beyond.

For the consultative or creative entrepreneur, HoneyBook can save a lot of time while keeping costs low. As an all-in-one platform, you can reduce the number of tools you utilize while you track everything you need in one place. That’s because whether your client hits your site or clicks on a Facebook ad, you can capture the lead and start tracking interaction. With the scheduling feature, you can set your availability for your clients so that they can claim the slot they need at the customer-facing, branded portal. Then, HoneyBook sends auto-replies and reminders to your client for you.

HoneyBook has earned a positive reputation across all of the major customer-review sites and maintains a 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra, and 4.5 out of 5 stars at G2.

Pros

  • Excellent customer support
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited projects and clients

Cons

  • Features not geared for low price point industries
  • No customization of packages
  • SMS reminders only available with an integration

HoneyBook Pricing

HoneyBook pricing is extremely simple. There is one price point with two ways to pay. You can pay month to month at $40/month, or you can opt for annual billing of $400 and save $80 off your yearly costs. HoneyBook is also a payment processing solution and runs you a flat 3% for payment processing.

Either plan includes a seven-day free trial, but the company also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee that starts from your initial purchase date.

Features

HoneyBook Scheduling and Booking Tool

When we focus on the scheduling tool, HoneyBook provides several ways to support your organization within the feature:

  • Set session details and location
  • Define availability
  • Set time buffers between sessions
  • Real-time sync with Google Calendars
  • Sessions are connected to ongoing projects so you can track details about your client
  • The mobile app allows you to send a link to your client for scheduling
  • Automated reminders
  • Dedicated online portal for clients
  • Customized branding option
  • Integrations include Gmail, QuickBooks, Zapier, and Google Calendar

It’s worth mentioning that HoneyBook also allows you to combine invoices, contracts, and payment, including a proposal feature that helps you maintain the paper trail of accountability that can sometimes get lost when you don’t have dedicated account managers.

When To Use HoneyBook

Consider the HoneyBook platform as an excellent option if you are currently managing appointments and follow-up communication with your clients yourself. HoneyBook is built for freelancers, creative industries, and smaller offices that need to organize all of the touchpoints with a client in a longer sales funnel better. From tracking the first click to your site to booking the initial discovery meeting, sending the proposal or contract, and managing invoices and payment, HoneyBook offers an all-in-one tool that organizes all of those moving pieces in one easy-to-use platform.

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Doodle

Doodle



Visit Site

Doodle scheduling software is best for meeting hosts who need to simplify the process of managing multiple scheduling conflicts to get a meeting on the map with prospects or stakeholders. With a free version and low monthly fees, Doodle helps simplify scheduling in a cost-effective way.

The core pain that Doodle can solve is the disorganized, harried feeling one gets when sifting through email messages and calendars. Not only does Doodle offer a way to organize, communicate, and track changes all in one platform (and across multiple time zones), you can keep appointments confidential for you and all attendees.

Across customer review sites, Doodle earns high reviews with a 4.5-star review on G2, 3.7 at Trustpilot, and 4.7 out of 5 stars at Capterra.

Pros

  • Best for organizing meetings with multiple attendees
  • Offers robust security
  • Integrates well with existing tools and plug-ins, including Zoom

Cons

  • Not suitable for service-based industry booking
  • Basic feature-set
  • Some minor UI complaints

Doodle Pricing

Doodle scheduling is free if you just want to set up a poll to find the best time to meet, but you’ll probably be interested in the actual booking tools, which is why you’re here. For that, you’ll need a paid plan.

Paid plans start at $4.49/month (paid annually) for one user, and Doodle lets you sync meetings to calendars, create deadlines, reminders, and more. If you have more than one user, you’ll need to jump to the Team plan, which runs $30/month (paid annually).

All of Doodle’s paid plans have a 14-day free trial with no credit card required, so you can check it out for a couple of weeks before paying the annual fee.

Features

Doodle Booking Software

Doodle can certainly reduce the discord when it comes time to schedule a meeting between multiple attendees. Here are some of the features you get with the Pro plan:

  • Sync meetings to calendars
  • Deadlines and reminders
  • Store email, phone, and address of attendees
  • Track meeting invitations
  • Zapier integration
  • Bookable calendar
  • Custom logo and branding
  • Personalized scheduling URL
  • Doodle one-on-one meetings
  • Zoom integration
  • Meeting time polls
  • No ads with paid plans

When To Use Doodle

We recommend Doodle for any company that regularly schedules and organizes meetings. This tool will help you reduce the number of emails coming in and out of your inbox and help you keep meetings organized and confidential for all attendees.

Doodle is suitable for small and larger organizations, as it includes different tiers, so you can find the right fit for your needs.

Jump back to comparison chart

4. 10to8

10to8



Visit Site

Read our Review

10to8 booking software is best for fast-paced businesses that need to schedule appointments and coordinate with the whole team while keeping lines of communication open. With a generous free plan and four additional pricing tiers, you can find what you need in basic scheduling without paying for what you don’t.

Across customer review sites, it’s clear that 10to8 does what it says it is going to do. At Capterra, we found a 4.6 out of 5-star average rating with mostly positive reviews. On Trustpilot, 10to8 earns a 4.7-star rating out of 5-stars, and another 4.7-star rating out of 5-stars from the G2 consumer rating site.

Pros

  • Many integrations available
  • Generous free option and competitive pricing
  • SMS reminders included with every tier

Cons

  • Limits on reminder texts
  • No automated workflows

10to8 Pricing

10to8 provides a very generous “free forever” plan for small businesses that includes SMS, 100 appointments a month, and two staff logins.

Paid plans start at $9.60 a month and include a free trial, so you can try before you buy. As far as the added features you get with your paid plan, it starts with customizable branding options with the first tier and then pricing scales upwards based on the number of appointments and staff logins.

Features

10to8 Scheduling Software

Because of the user-friendly interface and features, 10to8 would work quite well for a wide variety of businesses and organizations. From helping your sales team organize a meeting to booking a professional service with a regular client at your shop, 10to8 is built to help you book, track activity, and collect payments all in one platform.

Here’s what you get with the 10to8 solution:

  • Book-now button
  • Client-facing scheduling and booking menu
  • Take payments with PayPal, Stripe, or Sage Pay
  • Automated SMS and email reminders that have read receipts
  • Voice reminders
  • Clients can request changes from SMS, and you can respond from the online booking calendar
  • Integrates with Slack and Facebook
  • Access control for staff booking
  • Tracking for changes, notes, payments, and customer history
  • Custom reports

When To Use 10to8

10to8 can suit a wide variety of business types and sizes due to the different price point options and the basic functionality of the service. If you don’t already have a merchant account or you are still relying on paper checks, 10to8 is a great way to simplify scheduling while being able to offer different payment options to your customers, so they can settle up with you.

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Honorable Mention

While this post focused on customer-facing booking software that helps you organize and communicate with your clients, we know some of you may be looking to improve employee scheduling as well.

We’re giving Sling employee scheduling software an honorable mention, so you can check out some of the helpful tools you may need for the back end, too.

Sling

Employee Scheduling

Sling provides a lot of tools to help ease the employee scheduling burden you may be facing. One interesting feature is meant to democratize the scheduling process and allows your employees to claim available spots on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Here are some of the other noteworthy features that Sling offers for your employee scheduling:

  • Color-coded shift scheduler
  • Time and attendance tracking for employees
  • Labor cost budgeting tool
  • Labor data reporting
  • PTO tracking and capping for approval
  • Internal messaging platform
  • Newsfeed feature to update across teams or locations
  • Task management to-do lists for each employee

Sling’s pricing starts with its free plan, which has many of the core features included. To bump up to premium, you’ll pay $2 per user per month, and you’ll get the mobile time clock, overtime tracking, labor cost management, and budgeting tools.

For employee scheduling, we recommend giving Sling’s free option a try and see if it can help you organize and streamline employee communications as well.

In Summary: Best Scheduling Software

  1. Square Appointments: Square Appointments is best for businesses that have a short sales cycle and need an all-in-one payment and simple booking solution.
  2. HoneyBook: HoneyBook booking software is best for companies that need an all-in-one project management, booking, and payment management tool.
  3. Doodle: Doodle scheduling software is best for meeting hosts who need to manage multiple scheduling conflicts to get a meeting on the map with prospects or stakeholders.
  4. 10to8: 10to8 booking software is best for fast-paced businesses that need to schedule appointments and coordinate with the whole team while keeping lines of communication open.
Emily Hale

Emily Hale

Emily is a writer, strategist, and freelance consultant based in Indianapolis. She is driven to create content that empowers her readers and her clients to make better choices in their business and their lives. When she's not in the thick of researching and developing blogs for Merchant Maverick, she likes to cook from scratch for her family or escape outdoors and meander through nature with her rescue pup.
Leave a comment

No Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Review

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.

Share

Featured Offer: We Recommend QuickBooks πŸŽ‰

Get 50% QuickBooks Online for a limited time!

Take it for a spin with a free trial.

Try QuickBooks Today

We Recommend Fattmerchant πŸ†

Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

 

 

We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend Brex Corporate Card for Startups πŸ†

Brex Corporate Card for Startups is one of our top picks for business credit cards!

 

 

For a limited time get 50,000 rewards points when you spend $1000 with Brex.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend PaymentCloud πŸ†

PaymentCloud is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

 

 

We love PaymentCloud's predictable pricing and excellent service.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend PaymentCloud πŸ†

PaymentCloud is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

 

 

We love PaymentCloud's predictable pricing and excellent service.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

⭐️ Featured Promo! ⭐️

Sign up now and qualify for a limited time deal!

Standard Plan: One month free ($29.95 value)
Plus Plan: Two months free ($159.90 value)
Pro Plan: Three months free ($899.85 value)

Learn More

At BigCommerce

We Recommend Fattmerchant πŸ†

Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

 

 

We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend Helcim πŸ†

Helcim is one of our top picks for payment processing!

 

 

Helcim has exceptional service and an advanced platform that we highly recommend for businesses in Canada and the US. Get three months free when you sign up with Helcim through our links!

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend PaymentCloud πŸ†

PaymentCloud is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

 

 

We love PaymentCloud's predictable pricing and excellent service.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend OnDeck πŸ†

OnDeck is one of our top picks for Business Loans!

 

 

OnDeck is our featured vendor for business loans and lines of credit. If you have at least one year in business, a personal credit score of 600 or higher, and $100K in annual revenue, OnDeck is ready to help your business get funded.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

Get 50% Off FreshBooks ✨

FreshBooks accounting is offering 50% off of their accounting and invoicing software for three months and a 30-day free trial!

Start For Free

No credit card required

We Recommend ShopKeep POS πŸ†

ShopKeep POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale software!

 

 

ShopKeep is offering free eCommerce tools and free online ordering for all existing and new customers for the next 3 months!

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend Fundera πŸ†

Fundera is one of our top picks for SBA loans!

 

 

Fundera is a free-to-use marketplace that allows you to compare lenders side-by-side. Easily find SBA 7(a)loans alongside other financing options.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend ShippingEasy πŸ†

ShippingEasy is one of our top picks for shipping software!

 

 

ShippingEasy got a 5-star review from our team. Get a 30-day free trial to access discounted USPS and UPS shipping rates and print labels in no time. No credit card required.

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.

We Recommend Square POS πŸ†

Square POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale!

 

 

Square is free to use and include a free card reader at sign up! No credit card required to create your account.πŸ‘Œ

Get Started

Get started with no commitment today.


Β 

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

Sign up for the Maverick Newsletter

  • We occasionally send out emails with special offers.