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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 15 February 2021
  • Alex Penfield

Ensure Social-Distancing: Best Appointment-Scheduling Platforms for Your Small Business

Small businesses have always needed to be agile and adaptable, and these qualities have only become more important given the current situation facing our world. With the implementation of social distancing guidelines, businesses have had to quickly pivot many of their day-to-day operations in order to comply with guidelines and keep their employees and consumers as safe as possible.

open sign by appointment

One of the largest obstacles currently facing small businesses is how to safely continue servicing clients. Ironically, in many cases the hallmark of a small business — its size — has become its largest issue. Prior to the pandemic, many entrepreneurial operations relied heavily on walk-in traffic to fuel profit. But now, businesses operating in tight spaces are struggling with how to best socially distance their employees and customers within the small confines of their physical space.

Appointment-scheduling platforms are online tools that allow your clients to book time slots for your services. These platforms provide a safe, no-contact way to set up appointments in real time, safely maximizing your business availability, especially if your state or local government has strict business capacity guidelines.

Wondering which features are most important when shopping for an appointment-scheduling platform? Below is a short list of what to look for when choosing a platform for your business, including software options that can seamlessly integrate into your current interface.

  • Ease: Appointment-scheduling software can seem intimidating, but most options make it quick and easy to get started. Look for a platform with a simple user interface that easily integrates with commonly used programs and apps like Outlook, Google and Office365. Try Calendly — it’s easy to set up; plus it integrates with PayPal for simple, no-touch payment. If your business already utilizes Square to accept payment, take a look at Square Appointments for a simplified scheduling and payment process in one.
  • Flexibility: When selecting an appointment-scheduling platform, check to make sure your customers are able to schedule, reschedule or cancel via the tool versus having to contact your business directly. Also, be sure to consider whether the software interface is a good fit for your industry. Appointy has the ability to serve almost any business and allows for client self-scheduling anytime, anywhere.
  • Customization: Is the platform easily customizable to your unique business needs? allows you to make the booking process your own with customization templates and consumer-specific messaging that makes the experience feel tailored to your client.
  • Cost: Pricing for appointment-scheduling software can vary greatly, but there is no need to spend a fortune to get the functionality your small business needs. In fact, some services are free and include options to upgrade to premium services at a higher price point. Appointlet is a great option that allows for unlimited bookings at no cost.

If you’ve been considering implementing one of these appointment-scheduling platforms, there is no better time than now to get your business on board. While we await the return of good, old-fashioned walk-in business, appointment-scheduling software is one of the best tools to get customers back in your store safely and securely.

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