Do I Need Quickbooks for My Small Business?

Ah, good old Quickbooks. Don’t fret! There is no reason to pull your hair out – thanks to the wonderful software from our friends at Intuit – your accountant has everything they need to keep your books in order. You don’t have an accountant, you say? Ok, let’s talk.

I’m being a tad dramatic for illustrative purposes, (and possibly a touch perplexed about why cheap, high quality, hair transplants aren’t a thing yet). Still, the fact remains, Quickbooks is the market leader for small business accounting tools. And, also, it is a source of unending frustration for small business owners and solopreneurs who don’t have deep accounting skills.

In this article, we will dissect, piece by piece, the beast that is called Quickbooks Online. We won’t be touching on the desktop version as this software is frequently used by Quickbooks power users (translation: bookkeepers, accountants, comptrollers) and can also be a bit outdated, depending on what version you have.

Instead, we’ll be exclusively discussing Quickbooks Online, and whether or not YOU as a small business owner actually need it for your business.

Now, I’m not disputing that basic bookkeeping and accounting (or at least knowing your numbers) is important for small business owners, in fact, it might just be one of those basic principles that must be understood in order to survive – money is oxygen for your business and when you run out of money, your business dies.

So of course, I won’t be bashing being a “bean-counter” of sorts, but rather we’ll take a look at how to best utilize something like Quickbooks so that your brain doesn’t experience severe trauma and eventually initiate complete shutdown, resulting in an autopilot response of grabbing a pint of Haagen-Daz from the freezer and sulking on your couch watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. (Note: This example may or may not be based on personal experience.)

Here are the basic assumptions behind our main question, which is… “Do I need Quickbooks for my small business?”

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT YOU

Assumption #1: You have a business and clients.

Assumption #2: You know that you should be doing accounting and bookkeeping, but you haven’t been staying on top of it.

Assumption #3: You may have subscribed to a Quickbooks plan, but the complexity made you give up or barely ever log in (I’m guilty of this.)

If you answered “Yes, that’s me!” to 2 or more of the assumptions above, keep reading.

Now that we have those out of the way, let’s go more in-depth into whether Quickbooks is the right solution for you.

BUSINESS ISSUES: THE PROS AND CONS OF QUICKBOOKS

ISSUE #1: YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR NUMBERS

Pros of using Quickbooks:

You know you should be tracking your numbers… you’ve just purchased Quickbooks Online, you’re now subscribed to the monthly fee, so you figure you’re “paying to get that problem out of the way” – problem is, now that you have the numbers, if you don’t use them to take the right action, you might as well have wasted the money or used it for something more valuable like marketing to get more clients.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

You’re in Quickbooks, at most, once a month. It’s not exactly a mobile-friendly setup and with all of the different dashboards it can be difficult to figure out any clearly helpful information. Balance this, counterbalance that… ugh, I have a headache already. Just let me work on my business without needing an advanced degree to do it!

ISSUE #2: TIME PRIORITIZATION

Pros of using Quickbooks:

If you eventually learn how to use Quickbooks, it can be an amazing tool to help you to trackt expenses, file & pay your taxes on time, create a more profitable business, and manage your monthly or quarterly budget.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

The learning curve on software like this can be so steep, that it almost makes it so that you need an accounting degree or bookkeeping certification just to be able to use it effectively and to its fullest potential. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You have a business to run for crying out loud. You should be out there chasing down new clients, building marketing campaigns, and doing everything that nobody in your business can do except you – not something you can pay any assistant or intern (i.e., undergrad student a measly salary to do for you)! (I’m not advocating underpaying college students with student loans they’re broke enough as it is.)

ISSUE #3: FRONT OFFICE VS BACK OFFICE

Pros of using Quickbooks:

Similar to issue #2, Quickbooks is mostly back-office work. Yes, back-office work is important to the overall health of your business. However… If you’re stuck doing that, who’s steering the ship? If you crash into an iceberg, no amount of back office work is going to help.

Cons of using Quickbooks:

As a business owner, you need to be out in the field (or on the phone or computer), selling your product or service. Not buried deep in Quickbooks looking 3 weeks back for X, Y and Z.

Most business owners would agree that if you’re the owner and operator of your business, you need a business tool where you can wake up in the morning and…

  • Check on the health of your business
  • See who’s happy and who’s not, and
  • Put out fires – fast – wherever needed.

Not buried deep in numbers trying to figure out if you hit your budget projections from 3 months ago!

For this reason you probably need an app where you have a closer connection to the dirt rather than the clouds. You need to know the nitty-gritty of who needs what, not a 40,000 foot view of your performance against theoretical annual goals.

Yes, having perspective helps and can make the difference between steering into an iceberg and making it to the promised land, but… if you just focus on the numbers, you won’t be acting on the few key responsibilities that only the CEO of your business can – namely, at least at the beginning – sales and marketing.

That’s where PocketSuite comes in.

With PocketSuite, it’s easy to get a grasp of what’s happening in your business.

Just open the app and Boom! You can see exactly what’s going on right on the homescreen. They affectionately call it your “Dashboard”, taking the ship steering metaphor to heart. Smile.

Need to look up past payment history from a client or check on your income? You’ve got it tap on the Income Dashboard.

Need to double-check your sales or inventory from last month? Two or three taps on your Items Dashboard, and you’re there.

How about looking up if your invoices? Tap your Invoice Dashboard. Have you been paid yet?  What’s up with all the outstanding invoices? Time to go into bill collector mode! I know where you live.

You get the picture. There’s lots of things you just need to look up in a flash when you’re on-the-go not stuff you should be cracking open your laptop or booting up your PC to find. (Or worse, rifling through stacks of papers on your already-too-cluttered desk.)

Bottom line – You need a solution for being on top of your business finances and PocketSuite makes it uber easy to accomplish this – no professional certifications required!

Dealing with the numbers in your business has never been easier.

Try the 7-Day FREE Trial of PocketSuite today, you won’t be disappointed. And instead of chasing that accounting degree, you might even have time to scale your business to the next level!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run Your Esthetician Business with PocketSuite

Are you an aspiring esthetician, a full-fledged esthetician-solopreneur, or an skincare business owner?

You’ve probably run into challenges managing your clients – after all, between making other people beautiful, creating beautiful marketing campaigns, and getting your beauty sleep, who has time for all of the admin work that’s involved in making your business run smoothly? You’re busy making your clients’ skin smoother than butter! (Shea butter of course)

Well, have I got a doozy for you. In fact, I’m about to share one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.

It’s no wonder that the ASCP (Association of Skin Care Professionals) deems PocketSuite “The app for Estheticians.”

There’s also a reason why over 10,000 folks have been using PocketSuite to manage their business.

In this article we’ll go over the best features that PocketSuite has to offer specifically for the Esthetics industry.

Get your Jade Rollers and Skin Scrubbers ready, because we’re about to take your Esthetician game to the next level!

In this article we’ll cover:

  1. Getting your Esthetics Business set up on PocketSuite
  2. Importing your Clients
  3. Setting up your Services
  4. Setting up Payments
  5. Key Features (important!)
  6. Best Practices

HOW TO RUN YOUR ESTHETICS BUSINESS WITH POCKETSUITE

You probably offer different services to your clients – from microblading to facials, maybe you even offer monthly discounts on recurring packages!

Either way, PocketSuite has you covered.

The first step would be to sign up and get your PocketSuite account set up.

You can easily go thru the onboarding process, which takes 30 seconds and will customize the app based on which industry you’re in. In your case, we’ll be selecting Health and Wellness -> Esthetician.

Now here’s where the magic starts to happen.

Next, we’re going to set up your services.

SET UP YOUR SERVICES WITH POCKETSUITE

Now we can get to the fun part!

Start by adding your services, ideally in groups of 3 (studies show that psychologically folks like to see items in odd numbered groups). If you have more than 10 services, turn on the “Categories” feature so you can group your services in a way that makes it easy for your clients to click and checkout online.

If you have 3 different prices, keep in mind that most folks will choose the middle price. Set up your pricing accordingly!

Finally, you can add your current clients. PocketSuite makes this easy because of the free importing provided to all signups, even on the free plan!

SET UP PAYMENTS

Are you currently accepting credit cards from your clients? If not, you can easily set that up with PocketSuite. Here’s 10 different ways you can accept payments using the app.

For now, we’ll walk you through setting up payments via accepting credit cards from your clients.

The benefit of this is you have their card on file, they get an automatic receipt texted to them, and you don’t have to ask for payment each time because their info is stored in your system!

It also makes you look like much more of a professional Esthetician. The kind they can feel comfortable referring to all of their friends!

You can also use these tips to help you get more referrals – after all, in the Beauty industry word of mouth is everything!

KEY FEATURES

Here we will be discussing the key features of PocketSuite that Estheticians in particular rave about. I hope you’re wearing 2 pairs of socks because the first pair is about to get blown off!

Online Forms

You can create beautiful forms for internal use (taking notes about your clients’ preferences) or client-facing intake forms (in order for clients to fill out their personal health history and skincare needs/preferences).

Waivers & Contracts

Say goodbye to using 3rd party apps to send liability waivers or contracts to your clients – a few taps, a signature, and PocketSuite has got you covered.

Products & Inventory Tracking

It’s a shame you’ve been tracking all of your products and inventory manually, since PocketSuite has a built-in online product sales and inventory tracking feature!

Gift Certificates

Gone are the days when you were searching for a third party tool that can send out gift certificates. Or were you just creating them manually in Google Docs? How do you even track those? Forget all of that, you can sell gift certificates and track the purchases with ease from your PocketSuite dashboard. Log in to the app today and try it out!

Smart Campaigns

We’ve got you covered here – auto-send SMS campaigns to your clients encouraging them to book their next appointment, share skincare tips and aftercare guidance, or even offer holiday/special discounts.

Did I mention you can re-engage past clients to build your recurring client base? Yeah, PocketSuite actually helps you to build your business and increase your bottom line. Which makes it practically pay for itself, not once but many times over. And that’s not even considering all the time you’ll save not typing the same message over and over, and customizing it for each client. Hooray for more money in your pocket and more time in the day to spend with your family!

BEST PRACTICES

Signing up new clients is a breeze with PocketSuite. You can literally take all of the pain out of the process. No more relying on spas that barely send you any new clients, just to take a huge percentage of your income.

Now you can be your own spa (not literally, but essentially you’ll have the back office that a spa typically gives you).

For example, a lot of folks get their massage therapy license, and then go back to get their Esthetician license in order to be able to give facials as well as deep tissue massages. The major reason is that they don’t have enough clients for their massage therapy business – but the issue is, the same problems that hinder your massage therapy business will also limit your esthetician business.

The reality is, if you have a stream of clients coming in, you need a system to manage all of them. How are you going to keep track of client preferences, payment info, client intake forms, liability waivers, recurring appointments, cancellations, and charges?

With PocketSuite, you basically get an app that does all of that and more.

Top Estheticians are crushing it with PocketSuite, simply because it gives them more time to focus on what they do best – namely top-of-the-line facials, extractions, and general skin care regimens.

How, you ask? Let’s dive into that now and I’ll give you the low down:

CLIENT MANAGEMENT

How about when clients cancel on you? Now you need to go back into your excel spreadsheet and mark that they canceled. What about keeping track of repeat offenders?

And then of course there’s the waitlist feature. If you’re all booked up, and somebody cancels, the waitlist feature automatically tees up the next person into the time slot that was canceled.

You can literally send out a group message that will alert all of the folks on your waitlist that a spot has freed up. All of this with just a few taps on your phone. No more digging thru SMS threads to find your customers and trying to remember which one wanted the time slot!

PAYMENTS

Not to mention that payment info is stored automatically so you’re not worrying about collecting credit card info or cash from your clients every time.

Your clients can update their own credit card information, saving you the hassle of having to ask them for a new card when one expires.

CANCELLATIONS

Want to initiate late cancellation fees? No problem, you need to protect your time and this also decreases no-shows dramatically (no surprise, huh?)

MARKETING / SALES

Now let’s move on to marketing. I’m assuming you have a Facebook and Instagram page for your business. If not… go make one now!

Okay, now that you’ve made one (or already have one and are puzzled that I even needed to ask) it’s time to hook up your PocketSuite booking widget to your social media.

That’s right, folks can book appointments with you right from your Facebook / Instagram page. I know you’re getting giddy because this is the future!

How about selling products? Facial creams, tweezers, powders… whatever is in your inventory, PocketSuite’s new Inventory Management feature allows you to keep track of how many products you have, how many you’ve sold, and even alerts you when it’s time to re-order.

Not only that, but your products can be separate transactions from your services. It also allows you to apply different discounts on services without compromising your bottom line when selling your products.

Most top Estheticians make a handy profit by up-selling their products after the service, so if you’re not reaping this reward already, you need to get in on it! Studies show that 40% of top esthetician income is typically from product sales. That’s how you’re going to grow your business and ultimately your bottom line. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table.

What about following up with current clients? The handy Smart Campaigns feature handles that effortlessly. Simply tee it up and personalized SMS messages will automatically be sent out to your current clients. You can use this to upsell them, offer discounts, and ultimately get them coming back for more (the best way to increase your income without having to find and get more customers).

THE BOTTOM LINE…

If you’ve been puzzled wondering how your competition seems to run huge businesses without breaking a sweat, realize that every part of your business (except the direct services that you provide to clients) can be broken down and streamlined.

Additionally, when you then realize that most of these systems can be automated with a single app, it makes it a no-brainer to give PocketSuite a try.

There’s not a single app on the marketplace currently that makes it easier to run your entire esthetics business from soup-to-nuts.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run Your Private Practice with PocketSuite

Not all therapy practices are created equal.

In this article we will discuss how to efficiently and effectively run your practice using the latest tech.

But before we get into it, let me ask you a question: Let’s say you’re looking for a doctor. Would you choose a practice that’s disorganized and still using pen and paper (read: stuck in time) or would you prefer to go with an MD that effectively utilizes the latest tech to create a seamless pre- and post- visit experience?

If you run your own therapy practice, it should come as no surprise that your prospective patients are seeking a really user friendly, on demand experience from you.

Here’s a follow-up question: How well are you prepared to compete with practices that *are* using modern tech? They don’t need to spend hours sorting through patients files, organizing a pen-and-paper office, and endlessly searching for specific patient’s info.

Not to mention that each part of your therapy practice is essentially a system. From the first moment patients find you (probably online) to when they walk through your doors, all the way to your communication (or lack of communication) post-visit… it all matters, and it all stacks up to create a huge differentiation for your practice.

These small changes especially matter when you start to take into account the effects of a powerful marketing strategy, coupled with solid response management systems in place for smoothing out any friction during the visit, all the way to turning more first time patients into regulars after their first introductory visit.

Practice Management deserves a massive article in itself, but in this article we will touch on the major struggles that most therapists experience and how modern technology (namely the device that’s usually in your pocket – you know, the one you’re probably reading this on right now) can change your practice and your life.

Thinking of the future of your practice is also important. As you grow, take in more patients and expand your office, are you going to hire more therapists, admin, office manager, and take on that additional responsibility? How do you plan on managing them? Read on for the solution that’s worked for thousands of therapists across the country…

The bottom line – you need the right tools to properly run your practice. One of the most important and useful tools in your therapy practice is an app that can help you automate everything. Does an app like this exist? Look no further… PocketSuite is here to give you some “couch time”.

Why Choose PocketSuite?

PocketSuite is a completely customizable Practice Management tool that you can use in many different ways. PocketSuite allows you to “fill in the holes” of your practice, giving you and your in-house staff the ability to focus on core competencies and more creative work.

As a therapist, you must also stay compliant with HIPAA regulations, which has so many different layers to it from data privacy to data storage to business associate agreements and more. By the way, PocketSuite is completely HIPAA certified, making it a smart choice if you’re looking to stay compliant.

Let’s take a look at some features that therapists say are essential to their practice:

Calendar Sync

Still using Google Calendar or iCal to sync your appointments? It’s time for a better solution… utilize PocketSuite’s calendar sync feature to keep everyone on the same page without the messiness of Google Calendar or iCal. This also avoids double bookings and makes scheduling easy for new patients.

Recurring Appointments

Easily create recurring appointments for your practice to ensure your patients are coming back again and again! No more playing calendar tetris with your patients.

Payments

With PocketSuite, you can complete and charge appointments, and also save payment information so there is no need for the dreaded conversation with your patient to request their credit card.

Forms (Private)

Our therapists that manage their practice using PocketSuite love the Forms feature, which is completely customizable, as it allows for note-taking during each consultation. Feel free to send them your existing forms and they’ll get them imported for you in 24 hours. No more messy papers or notebooks scattered about! Those notes are all saved in your client history for easy reference when you are on-the-go. See below a list of forms that are available in your default account:

  • Counseling Treatment Plan Template – set treatment plan goals with your client
  • Therapy Progress Note Template – track your client’s progress
  • Sample Model Template – understand client triggers, responses, and implications
  • Behavioral Activation Counseling Template – empowers clients to keep a journal of their experiences and responsibilities
  • Exposure Hierarchy Template – identify high and low stress points
  • Introduction to Anxiety Counseling Template – plan for reducing stress and anxiety

HIPAA Certified

PocketSuite’s entire platform and everyone working at PocketSuite is 100% HIPAA certified, so no worries! Your data is safe, your business line is secure, and your practice is 100% HIPAA compliant with PocketSuite. If you already have a business line that you would like to use, no problem PocketSuite can port your existing business line in so you don’t need to make any changes.

Discounts

Because you are collecting payments individually when you use PocketSuite, you have the ability to give individual discounts as you see fit. Offering a first-time discount is a popular way to expand your practice and nudge patients who are still on the fence about working with you. With PocketSuite, you can easily apply a special discount for select patients. Most importantly, you do not have to give up your profit margin on all patients.

Surcharges

You can add discounts, and you can also add surcharges as well. This is perfect for rush appointments and last minute changes. PocketSuite also protects your practice by giving you the option of passing along the processing fee as a convenience fee to your patients.

Custom Patient Profiles

In order to ensure that your patients are a good fit, you need to screen them! PocketSuite allows you to customize the fields that your prospect sees when going through the online booking process. You can add any question you want answered along with the traditional details that will help to identify and process your patients.

Leads

Outside of helping your therapist practice, PocketSuite also helps you with lead generation. You can build up and manage your list of patient leads online and all of their information will be accessible from the app.

Questionnaires

As a therapist, you definitely know the importance of the exit interview. Add a survey or a questionnaire and send it directly to patients to fill out post-visit. If you have existing forms, feel free to send them to PocketSuite and they can import them for you. Otherwise, they have great default forms that you can customize and use. See below a few client forms and templates that are available automatically in your account.

  • New Client Registration Intake Form – capture new client information
  • New Client Questionnaire Template – document important health and medical information for treatment
  • Notice of Privacy Practices Template – notification of privacy practices so your clients are aware of how you secure their information
  • No Show, Late Cancellation & Co-Payment Policy Template – helps ensure your time is respected
  • Child Intake Form Template – useful when working with adolescents

Staffing

You can have a closer relationship with your staff through PocketSuite in the same way that you can have it with your patients. PocketSuite allows you to add your team of therapists and admin to the platform. From there, you can assign them clients or they can be booked directly by clients. They can also process payments and you can pay them through the app as well.

Recurring Appointments & Appointment Reminders

You can use the PocketSuite platform to schedule recurring appointments so that you don’t lose track of your patients, even as you build the rest of your practice. Automate the process of custom appointments all at one time, and you will never have to worry about patients falling through the cracks again. You can set appointment reminders for clients based on how much advance notice you think they need to ensure they don’t forget a session.

Contracts

When you have patients that are ready to book, it is time to close the deal in an official way. Sending a contract to your patient using PocketSuite locks in the commitment to you. It also helps you keep your patients on the same page and explains the details that usually require a lot of back-and-forth explanation – now that’s no longer necessary. There is nothing worse than working with a patient and then waiting to get paid because of a miscommunication. The contracts feature helps you get rid of this problem for good. If you have existing contracts, feel free to send them to PocketSuite and they can import them for you. Otherwise, they have great default agreements and waivers that you can customize and use.

Online Booking

Your patients will be able to complete the entire booking process online. You can also place a PocketSuite booking widget directly on your website so patients can book their first appointment with you right when they find you online. Boom!

PocketSuite is more than a mobile payment processing app – it literally automates your entire practice. From initial consultations to post-visit follow-up, it provides the tools that you need to run your practice inside and out.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run your Yoga Business with PocketSuite

Are you a Yoga instructor? Do you run Yoga classes and train students on proper movement, breathwork and poses?

In this article, you will learn the secrets that took me years to figure out. How to set up classes, run them smoothly, and handle all of the back-end admin stuff with no sweat.

As a busy yoga instructor, it was difficult to manage my business while at the same time re-scheduling clients, practicing poses, and coordinating classes for my students. I also needed to manage repeat clients, schedule group classes, and not forget to follow up with current students.

So I set out to find a solution… one app that could help me with all of these tasks and more. Lo and behold, I found that it can be difficult to decide between the full range of tools that are available to yoga teachers.

In this article, you will learn how I saved countless hours and now run my entire Yoga practice from my phone, using just one app. (Seriously!)

Health and wellness is a constantly growing industry and there is no shortage of Yoga instructors. Having amazing Yoga classes does not mean that you were born with a special ability that allows you to focus on yoga and business at the same time.

In most cases, successful yoga instructors who are running full classes with happy students do so by setting up tools and processes to help automate the back-end office work and admin stuff that typically takes up a lot of their time. That’s their hidden secret and that’s what I’ll be revealing to you in this article.

Your best bet is to go with an app that provides you with all the tools you need to run your Yoga classes smoothly – all in one place. You may be able to find apps that address each of these needs individually. Your problem here will be getting used to all of these different apps and making sure they are fully compatible with each other.

Most of the time they will not be! Nor will you have the time to figure out the nuances – you have classes to teach and clients to catch up with!

What is the alternative? PocketSuite.

PocketSuite is the all-inclusive app that allows Yoga teachers to schedule their classes, collect deposits, and manage their Yoga instructors, all in the same platform. You no longer have to worry about learning six different software tools in order to run your Yoga classes smoothly. Moreover, you no longer have to take your clients through a convoluted onboarding process (since you’re stitching together different features of several different apps).

Why not have all of that functionality under one roof – with PocketSuite you will be able to market to prospective students and your current students, organize classes, and collect deposits from your students in a streamlined way.

Many yoga instructors have unfortunately discovered just how much money is lost with a complicated sales process. This is especially true of those instructors who are trying to expand a small practice. No matter how great a teacher you may be, prospects just don’t want to deal with website errors, crude paper and pencil questionnaires, scheduling mistakes, etc. They want to sign up, pay your fee, and receive the best yoga training possible!

What’s more, the modern client does not have to put up with a bad onboarding or scheduling process anymore. The Internet gives the average person more choices than ever. If your process is less-than-perfect, all it takes is one mouse click to find another Yoga studio, book time at a ClassPass gym, or download a self guided workout app with a signup process that is easier than yours.

Unfortunately, clients are less loyal than ever. They will do this with no thought of how it may affect your business, especially if you have not created a real connection or relationship with them.

How PocketSuite Works for Yoga Instructors

PocketSuite is made for Yoga instructors with no time on their hands. As a Yoga instructor, this probably describes you… after all, you are doing much more than just classes.

You have to keep up with the latest in terms of new breathwork techniques, new poses, and sequences for your classes. You need to know the latest in hot yoga, trapeze yoga, goat yoga, laughter yoga, beer yoga, postnatal yoga, etc. You must constantly practice in order to maintain your mastery. Basically, you do not have time to deal with all of the back-office and admin stuff.

First, the app works in your favor by automating the marketing process. It does this by integrating with your social media, scheduling recurring classes, and sending personalized text messages. With PocketSuite focused on following up and building the future of your business, you can focus on doing what you do best – changing people’s lives through centeredness, stretching, and de-stressing.

Your marketing goes to another level when you start using PocketSuite. You can not only create groups of clients with similar backgrounds, you can market to those groups in a streamlined way. No more sifting through clients trying to remember if this one or that one wanted a group class or an extra phone call. PocketSuite does all of this for you, syncing the message that you want to put out with the audience that you want to reach.

Secondly, PocketSuite provides you with more time to focus on your core competency, namely, Yoga! The less time that you have to spend on things like appointment reminders, collecting payments, and rescheduling appointments, the more time you have to focus on creating an amazing experience for your students and changing their lives for the better. With all of the needs of the average Yoga instructor that’s running their own business taken into account – PocketSuite is the one stop solution.

I’ve heard from many Yoga instructors that they make the most money from private appointments. This is also one of the most satisfying ways to teach, because you can relay more information in a one-on-one session than you can in a group setting. However, getting these kinds of clients can be difficult if you’re not a natural salesperson. PocketSuite saves you from having to go back to school for marketing and sales – it does all of this by integrating directly with Google Ads.

Instead of having to sell packages after class, the app does it for you online. People who are looking for one on one classes can simply go to the app and sign up rather than having to ask or go through an awkward sales pitch from you. The result is better classes with no upselling pressure.

Because you can automatically organize your student’s info in the app, you can also easily put together group classes of people with similar skill levels or interests. Imagine not having to go through all of your customer lists in order to find these people. They will actually find you if your onboarding process is solid.

You can also get this done with the PocketSuite app, because your clients will complete your forms and sign up for your classes from the comfort of their home computer or phone.

You will be able to complete the entire sales process thru PocketSuite as well. This means signing students up for classes, creating ongoing connections and keeping private notes on each client for the upsell later. The app will help you target who to give certain discounts to based on how often they book classes and/or appointments with you. It will also help you determine who are the most likely candidates for gift certificates and other online products.

Your Team

It is also important as a Yoga instructor to have the best set of health and wellness professionals around you. You may have a good amount of teachers under your umbrella or you may work with a small staff to ensure the best experience for your clients. Either way, you need to showcase a high level of organization to keep your staff and students happy. PocketSuite allows you to synchronize the schedules of your teams with the schedules of your clients. This is absolutely essential if you’re trying to expand your Yoga business through other teachers.

PocketSuite also allows you to coordinate all of your team member’s calendars. You have the ability to access client information remotely so that you can always seem like the “third-eye” regardless of where you are. You can turn your staff into salespeople, tracking how well they are able to upsell Yoga clothes or Yoga mats to your customers, and paying them a commission on all sales. PocketSuite also allows you to reward them with certificates and other forms of acknowledgment if they positively affect your revenues.

No matter how you plan to expand your Yoga instructor business, PocketSuite is a tool that you can use to make it happen efficiently. Instead of hiring a bunch of admin assistants, paying someone to market your business online, or outsourcing your accounting to an expensive firm, you now have all of that at your fingertips with PocketSuite. This is the only way to expand in the digital era. Your competition is keeping things streamlined and you have to as well. Make sure that you investigate everything that PocketSuite can do for you before committing to any other solution.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run Your Pilates Business with PocketSuite

Do you own a Pilates studio? Perhaps you’re a Pilates instructor?

In this article, you will learn pro tips for running your Pilates business right from your phone.

Pilates is super popular in the fitness industry. Pilates instructors can and should take advantage of all of the latest apps and tools so they can spend more time with clients and less on paperwork (still using pen and paper, eh?)

Most independent Pilates instructors are fighting against erosion in demand from:

– Pilates apps

– Classpass

– Big gyms that offer pilates classes

With more people than ever discovering the benefits of Pilates, there is a huge opportunity for professionals who want to create thriving businesses. This cannot be done using traditional methods in many cases. There is too much competition in the marketplace, and modern clients expect a seamless experience that may be beyond the capacity of a small studio.

Here are some of the areas of improvement for typical independent Pilates instructors:

Automation – Get each part of your studio organized and well coordinated

Ease of new client sign-up and onboarding – Forget paperwork! Add students to the app of your choice or have clients book themselves online using your booking site – and all the data entry work has been eliminated, just like that. Presto!

Filling classes – Choose an app that allows you to book multiple folks into one slot

Getting rebookings and retaining clients – It’s hard enough running the business, but now you need to try to get one-time clients to rebook and also try to keep your clients from ghosting. How is it possible to do all of this and still have a life? Answer: Technology! You can use Smart Campaigns to auto-text clients, encouraging them to rebook. You can also auto-text your current clients to follow up with them regarding their experience (and offer them incentives to book additional classes or refer a friend or family member!)

Collecting recurring payments and setting up regular appointments – This is a hassle and a nightmare for beginning business owners. Use something that allows you to automatically track and manage recurring bookings, including charging your customers. Ideally you’d want something that can do all of this from 1 mobile app (no desktop needed!)

Tracking client progress and client management – This usually falls by the wayside because of the litany of other tasks occupying your time. Fortunately, with PocketSuite each student gets their own profile where you can track all the most important info for that student. No more rummaging for paper files or looking up client files on your laptop – just pull it up on your phone in 15 seconds.

The overarching solution that I’m advocating is to invest in the right app that keeps everything in one place. In most cases, this kind of app is not easy to find, especially an all-in-one.

Fortunately, PocketSuite allows Pilates instructors to run a full-fledged Pilates instructor business without the need to take on more expenses like additional instructors on your payroll or tons of new, confusing software.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that PocketSuite gives Pilates instructors a chance to focus on their core competencies without losing out on any new client opportunities.

Taking Your Studio to a New Level

The traditional way to expand business is to first increase the capacity of that business to take on new clients and automate some of the paperwork.

In most cases, this means hiring new instructors. You probably have to give them a salary instead of just having them be commission-based, which can really cut into your payroll expenses.

One of the biggest opportunities that PocketSuite provides to small Pilates studios is the ability to automate the paperwork and admin work without hiring new people.

Furthermore, Pilates instructors do not really have time to handle everything needed for a growing business. In order to build and maintain a great practice, Pilates instructors must stay ahead of the latest techniques and sequences. This involves research, taking up time that you would normally use on all of the paperwork for your business.

How exactly does the app help Pilates studios expand?

Appointment Booking

PocketSuite has the ability to give a small studio the full range of appointment booking options. Similar to how instructors have a number of different kinds of appointments, including private individual appointments, group sessions, first-time drop-in classes, and series classes.

In many cases, clients find their new Pilates instructor through social media. Social media management can be extremely difficult for a single Pilates instructor that doesn’t have a staff already and hiring a social media expert can be prohibitively expensive for a solo practitioner.

Some instructors are even responsible for coordinating recurring appointments and there is always the responsibility of making sure you charge for late cancellations and no-shows.

In some cases, Pilates instructors do not have the time to follow up and collect their fees, including late fees. This can lead to lost income and puts your reputation at risk – if clients do not feel as though they have to show up to their appointments that instructor loses respect and is not considered a referenceable business.

PocketSuite automates all of the above appointment types and more. You as an independent Pilates instructor are no longer personally responsible for booking appointments with clients. (Imagine that!)

Clients and prospects can be categorized into various groups and you can send an email or SMS to them for marketing purposes – automagically! The app integrates with Google Calendar and iCal, ensuring that all scheduling for your students is done efficiently.

Using PocketSuite, independent Pilates instructors can also eliminate the burden of having to follow up on late paying customers, late cancellations, and no-shows. All of this is done automatically and on a recurring basis by the app so the “nudging” and “reminders” are always in progress. At the same time, you as the Pilates instructor are freed up to sign up the next batch of students, grow your business, and keep your 5 star reputation.

Onboarding

Strong, consistent onboarding of new clients is a hassle that many Pilates studios have trouble with. Most instructors are usually using a crude paper and pencil onboarding process or hiring an assistant to do the job, which cut into their profit margins. This expense, however, may not always pay off. Pilates studios do not necessarily receive a steady volume of new clients activity everyday. Yet, regardless of your client activity, your employee has to be paid consistently.

Do you see how this may become a problem?

PocketSuite has the ability to automatically book new clients. Not only are you as the instructor relieved of the pressure of collecting client information to book them, but your clients can also choose which class is best for them and book ahead of time online (or even from your Instagram or Facebook page!)

The consistency of the booking process is also super important. Using PocketSuite, you will easily be able to tell if your marketing efforts are working without having to become a professional marketer.

Part of the onboarding processes includes collecting deposits from new clients. This can be an awkward stage in the relationship, especially if the prospect has not fully committed to taking your Pilates class. Delegating that interaction to an app is such a relief! It makes the choice to pay a deposit a more natural and expected next step for the client (as opposed to an awkward request from you).

No longer does a Pilates instructor have to moonlight as a professional salesperson or bill collector – this is now the responsibility of the PocketSuite app (which never gets nervous or scared about asking for deposit money!)

Promotions

Another huge part of expanding your Pilates studio is offering the right promotions. The challenge is how best to offer promotions to the right people at the right time. If you have to offer a discount to everyone at once, you cut into your profit margins because you are offering discounts to clients who can and have paid full price.

With PocketSuite, you can offer promotions one at a time or all at once. You can send messages to specific groups of students who love you and will pay anything to keep working with you. You can send different messages to other individuals or groups who may need a little more prodding to stick with it and keep attending classes. The bottom line is that you have the power to personalize your marketing message and target your communication to specific client audiences.

You can run your promotions through PocketSuite using your social media. You can keep the entire process in a single marketing funnel as well (instead of having to take your prospect through different processes and tools). Once your prospect agrees to take an individual class or group class, you can have the app immediately collect the deposit and confirm the appointment for that specific class. Should that customer need more nudging, you can schedule and send them a personalized message.

Running the Business

As a Pilates instructor, you are responsible for the wellness of your own studio. However, you are also responsible for managing your team. Your team expects you to be professional and three steps ahead at all times, no matter how much extra work is on your plate. On top of that, you have to maintain your position as the people leader, maintain your skill set, and complete the other million things that are required of you in your business.

When do you actually have time to practice your own Pilates alongside teaching and running a business?

This is exactly what PocketSuite was designed to help you do. Not only do you have the ability to automate onboarding and marketing, but you can also easily schedule and manage your Pilates classes.

If you need to get your team together for a group meeting at the drop of a hat, you can do this through PocketSuite. You can keep records of business income and your office calendar to let people know about upcoming changes quickly.

Your team also needs to easily access client information. Depending on your current tools, you may be the only person with total access to client info. Ideally, you should be able to coordinate your team member’s calendars as well as give them access to accurate client info. PocketSuite is the answer here as well.

Creating a bigger, smarter, and better Pilates business is much easier when you have the right tools on your side. PocketSuite is the ultimate marketing, scheduling and client management tool for you if you are looking to grow your business and maintain your reputation as a 5-star Pilates teacher!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Choosing Software – Housecallpro vs PocketSuite

So, you’re looking for an app to manage your on-the-go business where you’re servicing clients at their homes.

In this article, we will be discussing the ups and downs of using Housecall Pro, how Housecall Pro compares to PocketSuite, and what app would be best for your business based on your needs.

Housecall Pro is famous for being especially suited to businesses that perform services onsite at a client’s home.

Since running a service business has a unique set of challenges, it’s important to choose an app or software that allows you to tackle these challenges head-on.

For example, some common characteristics of apps or software that allows you to manage your on-the-go service business are:

  1. Mobile-first design
  2. Scheduling
  3. Online Booking
  4. Estimates
  5. Invoices
  6. Marketing
  7. Etc…

It’s very easy to assume that just about any software that does scheduling and booking can help you. However, let’s take a look at the breakdown of two giants in this industry – Housecall Pro and PocketSuite.

Both apps are designed for pros that service clients at their location, so it’s worth your time to find out which one of these takes the cake in terms of value and pricing.

It’s important to choose wisely, as the software or app that you use will influence your clients perception of your business. You want that impression to be good, so this decision should not be taken lightly!

Let’s take a look at what Housecall Pro is capable of and how it compares to PocketSuite.

Housecall Pro

Features:

  • Scheduling
  • Estimates
  • Online booking
  • Dispatch
  • On-my-way texts
  • Live Map GPS
  • Custom text and email
  • Invoicing
  • Follow-up marketing
  • Payment processing
  • Recurring service
  • Instapay

PocketSuite

Features:

  • Marketing – Google-driven results (Partnership with PocketSuite <> Google AdWords).
  • Online Booking – Your customers can book you from their phone or computer.
  • POS – Charge customer’s credit cards with our built in card scanner.
  • Scheduling – One tap easy booking for you and your clients.
  • Invoicing – Collect payment upfront and/or when the job is done.
  • Discounts – Give specials discounts to brand new or existing clients.
  • Sales Tax / Surcharges – Uncle Sam’s payments are taken care of auto-magically.
  • Gratuity – Let your clients make it rain ☔ by giving you tips!
  • Custom Fields – Whatever customization you need on your appointments, PocketSuite has the power to make it happen.
  • E-Contracts – Send clients contracts over text or email and get them signed within 24 hours.
  • Forms – Complete private notes on the job and save them for future reference.
  • Recurring Appointments – Keep them coming back for more and lock in repeat clients.
  • Appointment Reminders – Your clients will never miss an appointment.
  • Multi-Services – Offer different priced services to your customers easily.
  • Reservations – Let clients book you for multi-day jobs.
  • Estimates – Send estimates with deposit requirements. Convert estimates into invoices and/or appointments with one tap.
  • Packages – Custom packages have never been easier – get paid upfront.
  • Subscriptions – Auto-pay is the easiest way to collect recurring revenue.
  • Staffing – Easy to assign jobs, pay, manage your team from one app.
  • Job Check In & Check Out – Keep tabs on your team and auto-update your clients on arrival times with location tracking.
  • Group Messaging – Business at the speed of thought. Clients just see it as text, but it shows up in your app as a client message!

As is abundantly clear at this point, PocketSuite’s massive set of features is more than enough for any new or established business owner.

It is also important to take a look at the financial commitment that is associated with each of these software tools. After all, it’s important to make sure you’re not throwing money down the drain!

With Housecall Pro, the interesting thing is that you get limited functionality for more money as opposed to PocketSuite’s fully stocked premium offerings that are less expensive and more powerful.

Housecall Pro Pricing

PocketSuite Pricing

PocketSuite’s free plan arguably has more useful features than Housecall Pro’s lowest monthly plan.

Additionally, the premium features that PocketSuite provides eclipse Housecall Pro’s by a longshot.

Let’s take a looksie at some of these extra features that you would NOT receive with Housecall Pro:

PocketSuite Free Version

  • Direct Messaging – Business messaging, the way it should be.
  • Calendar Scheduling – No more Google Calendar / Outlook confusion.
  • Payments – Get paid via Invoice or Point of Sale.
  • Client Note-Taking – Keep track of the critical preferences and other information for each client as your business takes on more and more clients.
  • Industry Leaderboard – See how your competition is crushing it, benchmark your income, and unlock growth!
  • Pay Now Button (Website/FB/IG) – Yes, folks can book your services right off Instagram or Facebook. Victory dance!
  • Flat 2.7% Processing (No Hidden Fees) – Rates lower than my eyelids after a 12 hour workday.

PocketSuite Premium Version

  • Unique Business # – Get a business phone number that you can put on your business cards and marketing.
  • Group Messaging – No more fumbling to send dozens of the same message to your clients.
  • Saved Message Templates – Easily send off messages based on custom templates.
  • Class Scheduling, Auto Check Ins & Attendance Tracking – Easily track job check ins and check outs.
  • Multi-day Jobs – Allow clients to reserve your time for multiple days. Viola!
  • Tasks / To-Do’s – Always know what you need to get done and don’t miss a single task!
  • Data Importing – Come on over. We’ll take care of getting your clients into the system.
  • Questionnaires / Forms – Collect data from your customers with ease. Painlessly organize and sort it.
  • Contract E-Signing – Need to send a contract out? Never fear, PocketSuite is here.
  • Estimates – I’m estimating that you will love this feature, especially how you can convert estimates to invoices directly!
  • Smart Campaigns – Follow up with your clients automatically – schedule follow-ups via SMS that bring folks back for more!
  • Add-On Products – Now you can sell products alongside your services.

I’d also like to mention one thing that normally gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to choosing a piece of software or an app to help you manage your business.

As you know, the learning curve for new technology can be very high. For this reason, should you run into some roadblocks or headaches when it comes to switching providers, it is important to know that the new software or app you’re using has your back.

As an example, I am very impressed with the support I received from PocketSuite when I tried them out.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that their support team is best-in-class, and you shouldn’t hesitate at all to reach out to them if you have questions.

If you run into problems, just shoot them a text (415-841-2300). They respond quickly and are extremely helpful. They went beyond the call of duty to ensure that my experience with their app was a 6 star rating in every way. And as a business owner, that makes me feel taken care of and happy to be a part of the PocketSuite community of Pros.

When it comes to choosing a business management app or software, I need something that is easy to use when I’m on the go (like when I’m doing appointments at a client’s home) and has full-fledged functionality (so I don’t have to look for 10 other apps to get basic business tasks done).

Housecall Pro has limited functionality and is primarily desktop-based. PocketSuite, on the other hand, is mobile-first in design and has all of the necessary tools that I need to run my entire business from my phone, using one app. How neat is that?

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Choosing Software – Mindbody vs PocketSuite

So, you’re looking for a solution to help you run your service business and you’re considering MindBody.

In this article we will be discussing the pros and cons of using MindBody, how MindBody compares to PocketSuite, and what we would recommend based on your situation.

We will be discussing the top feature gaps and also pricing differences. A comparison that takes into account not just what the software can do, but how much it will cost you as well!

Choosing the right software to run your service business is critical because the features that the software provides is a direct reflection of how professional and tech-savvy your clients will think you are.

For example, if the software you’re using makes it easy for you to follow up with your clients, then you’re more likely to do so, resulting in a better experience (and more sales for you!)

On the contrary, if the software you use makes it difficult to do certain business tasks (such as invoicing, scheduling, payments, etc) you might have to use multiple solutions to get those tasks done. This creates confusion and the appearance disorganization. It also makes it difficult to manage because you’re relying on so many different tools and software systems to interact with your clients.

Instead, let’s take a look at how MindBody can help you as a solopreneur or a business with a small team and how it compares to PocketSuite.

MindBody

Features:

  • Branded Mobile App – Have a white-labeled app to show your clients.
  • Marketing – Get more clients with MindBody’s marketing package.
  • Online Booking – Have clients book online.
  • POS – Point of Sale system – accept credit cards on the spot.
  • Client Profiles – Each client has their own profile.
  • Staff Tools – Manage your staff members.
  • Reports – See how your business is performing.
  • Automation – Save time with automated tasks.

PocketSuite

Features:

  • Marketing – PocketSuite has partnered with Google AdWords to help you acquire new client leads and give you best in class marketing!
  • Online Leads or Online Booking – Customers can signup and/or book you online on your website or even on your Facebook or Instagram pages. Just add the online lead widget or a booking button in seconds.
  • POS – Point of Sale system (no card reader or swiper needed – just use your our built in scanner to charge cards from your phone!).
  • Discounts – Provide customizable discounts and promotions to your clients.
  • Sales Tax / Surcharges – Make sure you save some for Uncle Sam! This feature makes it easy to charge and set aside sales taxes and to pass on processing fees (if you like).
  • Gratuity – Let your clients show their appreciation by giving you a tip.
  • Custom Fields – Need customizable fields in your client profile to capture additional information when they sign up or complete their first session? You’ve got it!
  • Appointment Reminders – Automated appointment reminders sent to your clients – easy, breezy!
  • Recurring Appointments – Grow your loyal customer base with our handy repeat appointments feature.
  • Multi-Services – If you provide more than 1 service, you want this feature!
  • Estimates – Need to send an estimate for a larger client? Look no further, it’s in your pocket!
  • Packages – Build a custom package for your clients – there are no limits. Allows you to get paid upfront and track sessions completed.
  • Subscriptions – Allow customers to become subscribers, pay a membership fee, set up auto-pay, or establish an installment payment plan.
  • Classes – You can offer group sessions as Series or Drop In classes! Your clients can auto-check in. You can take attendance from the class roster and establish a waitlist.
  • Staffing – Run your business – assign jobs, pay your team, and manage your staff with this powerful set of features.
  • Forms & Contracts – import your forms and contracts within minutes so you can send them via text or email, get them signed online, and store them all in the app. Hassle free.
  • Group Messaging – Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page without messy group texts
  • Smart Campaigns – Are there routine messages that you send out anytime you miss a call, Labor Day and other holidays comes around, clients signup, clients complete an appointment, clients haven’t booked you in a while, a client’s package expires, etc.? Don’t worry about sending out a message. The system automatically sends out personalized messages for you with promotional offers to groups of clients who you identify.
  • Add on Products – Do you sell products that clients can pay for when they book you and pickup when they are onsite? We’ve got you covered.
  • Gift Certificates – How do you reward clients for making referrals? Gift certificates are the best. They are also a great way to get paid upfront during the holiday season. The system automatically applies the gift certificate and tracks the balance for you and your clients.
  • Leaderboard – Curious how much other businesses in your industry are making? You can easily benchmark your income and business metrics. Share best practices with other successful Pros.

As you can clearly see, PocketSuite has a plethora of additional features that are super useful for solopreneurs and businesses with small teams. You can turn on any of the features above that fit your business needs and start getting booked and paid within minutes on PocketSuite.

Additionally the pricing for Mindbody vs PocketSuite is worth taking a look at. You’d think that PocketSuite would be more expensive given all of the additional features that it has at your disposal.

However, the contrary is true! PocketSuite was developed exclusively for solopreneurs and businesses with small teams. We know the best way to support small business and is to provide a super affordable solution. So that what we do. We believe you should invest in your business instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive software.

 

MindBody Pricing

PocketSuite Pricing

How crazy is that! PocketSuite actually has a free plan that has all of the essentials you need to run your business. If you don’t yet have any clients or haven’t yet hit your income goals, feel free to start off on the FREE plan.

Additionally, the pro version of PocketSuite is less expensive than MindBody and also comes with more powerful, super simple features.

Let’s take a look at some of those additional features now:

PocketSuite Free Version

  • Direct Messaging – Business messaging on steroids!
  • Calendar Scheduling – No more Google Calendar / Outlook headaches.
  • Client Note-Taking – Never forget critical info about your clients as your business grows.
  • Industry Leaderboard – See who’s crushing it in your industry and beyond!
  • Pay Now Button (Website/FB/IG) – Seriously, people can pay you right from your Instagram page. It’s the future!
  • Flat 2.7% Processing (No Hidden Fees) – Beat those rates.

PocketSuite Premium Version

  • Unique Business # – Get your very own unique business number to share.
  • Subscription Payments – Tired of chasing payments down? Stop being a bill collector and focus on running your business!
  • Customer Group Messaging – No more texts getting lost in the shuffle.
  • Saved Message Templates – Cut down on writing the same messages over and over again, just have them ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • Class Scheduling, Auto Check Ins & Attendance Tracking – Your classes have never been easier to run or manage.
  • Online Booking – Let people book at any time – day or night.
  • Tasks / To-Do’s – Keep your to do list organized and on track – all in one app!
  • Data Importing – We’ll help import your clients from your old software.
  • Questionnaires / Forms – Ask customers what they think or have them fill out an intake form for your service.
  • Contract E-Signing – Need a contract signed by your clients? We’ve got the tool right here!
  • Estimates – Need to provide an estimate to your prospective client? Here’s the solution.
  • Smart Campaigns – Automated SMS reminders and custom campaigns – convert more one and done clients to repeat customers!
  • Package Sales & Usage Tracking – Keep tabs on your client sessions with fabulous tracking.
  • Add-On Products – Need to sell additional products with your services? This is the answer you’ve been looking for!

Additionally I’d like to point out one thing that is generally overlooked when folks are choosing a software for their service business.  This is a feature that is normally not listed on websites, but it actually becomes critically important when it comes to selecting the right software partner.

One thing people generally don’t take into account is the level of customer service that a company provides to their customers.

It’s difficult to quantify the quality of customer service that a company provides since there are no clear metrics other than “they helped me” or “they didn’t”.

That being said, it’s important to note that PocketSuite’s customer service team is absolutely AWESOME. They respond quickly and provide accurate, helpful advice.

You can text them – the number is on the website. I’ve never found a customer support team that is so dedicated to helping business owners – 24/7.

This is important, should you have any issues setting up your app or managing it. Since you’re dealing with your own clients, it’s super important that your app is in working order and everything is taken care of properly, so that makes me appreciate the customer service PocketSuite provides all that much more.

It’s a no brainer when it comes to choosing software for your service business.

If you’re a fan of saving money and having more tools in your arsenal to run your business even smoother and with less hassle and headaches, give PocketSuite a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Use Venmo for your Business in 2019

Today, service professionals need the ability to process payments as a part of their everyday operations. Today, more than 50% of consumers use mobile payment methods to complete purchases rather than using cash, checks, and other payment methods.

Mobile payment has grown into an industry, valued at more than $220 billion annually. That means that being able to accept credit cards on your phone or ipad/tablet is not just a useful business tool – it’s a necessity. You need a mobile payment processing service that is fast, secure, reliable as well as convenient for both you and your clients.

Working With a Leader in Service Business Mobile Payments

Venmo is one of the leading mobile payment platforms. It is owned and operated by PayPal. It is an innovative mobile payment service that gives users the ability to make payment transactions wherever, whenever. It has made the money transfer process between individuals easy, social, and fun! In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Venmo facilitated more than $12 billion in transactions worldwide.

But in the rapidly advancing information age, breaking ground in service business and being the best are not the same thing. While Venmo is responsible for opening up a whole new avenue to commerce that did not exist before, the market is now demanding more features, faster service, and better results.

Meeting the Demands of Mobile Commerce

It’s a predictable phenomenon; when a company like Venmo comes out with a new product that is a game changer, a product that does things no product has ever done before, it opens up new possibilities. Those new possibilities inspire others to innovate and one-up the original. And generally speaking, they do it lightning fast.

As users adopt the new technology and become familiar with the new capabilities it offers, they quickly discover ways to improve on it. You probably have this experience every day. In your service business you use a product to deliver your service and quickly start thinking of enhancements that would delight your clients even more. You imagine how much more productive you could be if it were streamlined, better integrated, had more features, or more user-friendly.

Once a game-changing innovation like Venmo reaches that point, the race to improve the technology, and to take it to the next level, is on. Too often the original innovator like Venmo is slow to improve, and they are left behind. That’s where other worthy competitors come in.

Enter the PocketSuite Service Business App

PocketSuite is a new mobile payment service provider with an edge that Venmo can’t match. They have taken the underlying technology of mobile payments and taken it up several notches. PocketSuite is an all-in-one business app for your mobile phone or ipad/tablet that is more powerful, more responsive, and has far more features than Venmo. It is designed to help save service businesses time and make them more money.

With PocketSuite, it doesn’t matter where you are, where you’re going, or how quickly you have to be there. It is a comprehensive business application that gives you access to online booking, allowing your clients to schedule appointments from your website or Facebook and Instagram pages. PocketSuite is leaving Venmo in the dust. But that’s just the start.

PocketSuite Does for Your Service Business What Venmo Won’t

The team behind Pocketsuite listened to Venmo users to find out what they needed that Venmo was not providing. In so doing, they came up with a comprehensive list of mobile business features that service professionals need to compete with marketplaces and larger companies. Here’s what they came up with.

Client Notes

PocketSuite allows you to add important notes on any client. This makes it possible for you to remember all those client preferences that make a huge difference to clients. Remember those little unique idiosyncrasies about each client like preferred pronouns, nicknames, weird delivery instructions, things they like and dislike, special discounts, or their birthdays and anniversaries. Venmo doesn’t do that – not even close.

In a service business, these little details are incredibly important. Forgetting them can mean less sticky client relationships and lower client retention. This powerful feature gives you the ability to make your client feel special. It makes a world of difference.

E-Contract Signing

With Venmo, you can’t send contracts or forms to the client as proof of the terms of your payment agreement. Instead, you have to use a separate application, like PocketSuite. (wink wink)

It really is a no brainer. With an app like Venmo, you should be able to accept payment and send all the requisite forms to the client in one (maximum two) tap(s).. But with Venmo, you just can’t do that. Venmo forces you to log into a second program to send forms and contracts. Of course, any time you do that, you run the risk of causing confusion, creating friction in the transaction, and losing the client. There’s so much that could get lost in translation – so much of that could affect your bottom line. Why take the risk?

With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you get all of this in one place. Plus, you have your client notes and other important info and services all in one accesible place.

Text Automation

With Venmo, you can’t automate follow-up texts – with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite allows you to automate important follow-up texts to your customers. Why would you want to leave them in the dark when you can keep them in the loop throughout your process? This is where Venmo really drops the ball.

Suppose, for example, it takes you a week to deliver a service. Until now, the norm with Venmo has been to simply to keep users in the dark about where your funds are until you reach the next stage. Today, mobile users want more and they deserve more. They want to know that you are working on their product, service, or project. They want to be able to plan around delivery times and milestones. Give them that ability with automated text reminders & updates.

Multi-Service Lists

With Venmo you can’t list multiple services for sale, but with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite is exactly what the name implies- an entire service business suite right in your pocket- complete and ready to go at the tap of a button. PocketSuite lets you list your entire product inventory and service list, all in one place. Why would you want to make potential clients toggle back and forth between your website and Venmo’s payment service? When your clients are trying to fulfill a need, they want a ready solution available to them. PocketSuite gives you that toolset all upfront.

Invoice Sharing

Everyone with even a little business experience knows that invoices can be a pain to deal with. Why not automate as much of the invoice process as possible? Unlike Venmo, PocketSuite lets you do exactly that. Now, you can send invoices automatically.

Full Brand Packaging

Now, your customers can find everything you provide and everything you do all in one easy to use interface- one that’s conveniently accessible via SMS. With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you can bundle and add any service that you wish to sell. Choose which one and how many you want to include in a package? Just fill out the remaining details and your PocketSuite client service package is launched and ready to go. It really is as easy as that.

Instant Payments and Payouts

Say goodbye to delays that Venmo makes unavoidable. Take charges and give refunds instantly. Simply tap the “Charge” button to complete payment transaction with any credit card that has a Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or Discover card logo. Your client gets the benefit of knowing where they are in the payment transfer process and the risk of disputes/chargebacks is drastically reduced. Venmo doesn’t do that.

My reaction when I receive an Instant Payout

We’re all grateful to Venmo for creating such a powerful mobile payment processing technology. But now, it’s time to take mobile payments to the next level. It’s time to transform your mobile digital payment asset into a full-service business suite right in the palm of your hand.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Why a Booking Widget is Critical for your Service Business in 2019

Do you have a website where you promote your service business? Do you want your customers to book their appointment through your website? Is it even possible?

You can bet your tax return that it is!

This is what a booking widget is for. A booking widget (like PocketSuite’s own booking widget) is a plugin used for websites. When embedded on a website, your customers can just click and they will be redirected to your booking page where your availability and schedule is shown.

Is it free? Yes and No.

You need to have an appointment app subscription in order to get a booking widget plugin. The booking widget plugins differ for each scheduling app, and so are the ways and methods of utilizing them for your business and setting them up.

Before picking a booking widget, check first if you can easily set it up on your own.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Booking Widget

There are a lot of questions to ask yourself when it comes to choosing a booking widget. The problem is choosing the right booking widget that will work with your service business. Before adding a booking widget to your website, you should consider these things first.

  • The type of service business you have
  • The features of the booking widget
  • The compatibility of the booking widget with your service business website
  • Ease of use
  • Number of access points for staff or logins available
  • Flexibility to customize

To help you make a decision, we searched for the top booking widgets on online. Considering features and ease of use, here are the top 10 booking widgets that we found.

Squareup

Squareup is a booking widget that you can add to any website. It works with Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. This booking widget makes booking easier for people who need to schedule their dental checkup or for house cleaning. This booking widget is easy to use. Once you’ve added it on your service business website, your customers can simply click on it if they want to make an appointment. All available schedules will be shown on the booking page. An indicator shows if the date and time are available.

Features

  • It comes with a personalized ‘book now’ button
  • Easy to use even for elderly folks and non-tech savvy individuals
  • Provides options like highlighting the names of your service business staff (for customers to choose from)
  • Sends out automated reminders to customers with upcoming bookings
  • You can personalize the calendar

Mindbody

This booking widget is easy to add to any website and is easy to use. Mindbody also allows widget customization so you can change the calendar’s color or the font. The limiting aspect of this booking widget is that it only allows one booking at a time. If two of your customers booked at the same time, chances are, it will not work or they will get an error.

Features

  • It allows your client to choose their preferred staff from your service business
  • It has neat options for listing staff names (alphabetically or by availability)
  • The booking interval option can be turned on for this booking widget

Bookly

Bookly is a booking widget with full features. It’s basically like having an appointment app on your website. However, this booking widget is not cheap. It is a good widget app choice to use if your website’s platform is WordPress.

Features

  • A booking widget that sends SMS notifications automatically
  • Processes payments
  • It syncs with Google calendar
  • Your clients can book multiple appointments at once
  • It is available in 10 languages (translation-ready)

Launch27

Launch 27 allows your customer to choose their schedule when booking an appointment with you. This booking widget can be embedded as a booking form to your service business site. You can also add a link to the Launch27 booking page if there is not enough room on your service business website to fit the booking form.

Features

  • Easy to use
  • Minimal design to make booking easier even for non-tech savvy folks
  • It sends automatic reminders to booked customers

Jobber

If you are running a service business where your staff is always on the go, you should check out Jobber. Service business providers that do home service (technicians, cleaning) can use Jobber on their phone to check their next job order.

Features

  • Integrated with other apps like payment apps or any marketing tools
  • Easy to use
  • Send out automated reminders to both staff and clients

BirchPress

BirchPress is a popular WordPress plugin and booking widget that offers professional booking management assistance. This booking widget can be embedded on the WordPress platform. Once a customer books a service on your website, you can add an option to collect payment via PayPal or credit card.

Features

  • Customers can book appointments easily
  • It syncs with Google Calendar and Outlook
  • You can choose to have a customized email notification sent to your clients regarding their booking
  • This booking widget also has a reminder feature about your upcoming schedule

Booki

If your service business deals with reservations and appointments in order to run smoothly, you could check out Booki. Booki is a booking widget that can be used by service business providers in the industry of hospitality, resorts, driving lessons, hair stylists, and more.

Features:

  • Unlimited booking options
  • This booking widget syncs with Google calendar
  • Sends automated confirmation for every booking
  • Comes with different calendar modes
  • Can process payments
  • Sends a reminder for each appointment (customized or automated)

Bookeo

Bookeo is a booking widget that you can integrate with your service business to make scheduling of appointments easier. Your customers can just click on the ‘book now’ button and they will get directed to the Bookeo calendar page. When integrated, your page URL or domain name won’t be affected hence your customers can still see your website’s name and not the Bookeo booking widget URL. Note: You cannot use Bookeo appointment app on your service business website if you have a Bookeo booking widget or vice versa.

Features:

  • Customizable booking widget on your website (you can even change the color and font size)
  • Customizable calendar page for booking (only shows what you want to show like available dates for the day, week, or month)
  • Customizable booking page
  • Easy to use for service business customers

Bookme

For a streamlined and easy to use booking page, you can try Bookme. Bookme is a booking widget that works across different platforms. By clicking on Bookme, your customers can check if there are available booking slots that they can reserve. For example: Say you are a cleaning service business provider. Your customers can easily check your availability and book right onto your schedule. Presto!

Features

  • Available appointment dates are made visible while taken dates are greyed out (to avoid double booking)
  • Provides access to multiple service business staff members, if needed
  • Sends out a customized email notification
  • The appearance of the ‘book now’ button for this booking widget is customizable

PocketSuite

The PocketSuite booking widget allows service business websites to have a customized ‘book now’ button. With a customized booking widget, your clients or new leads can easily pick an appointment. With PocketSuite, your customers won’t have to call anymore to make their bookings. A click of their mouse or a tap on their phone can easily lead them to your booking page where they can schedule an appointment, register for a class, or purchase a package from you.

Features

  • Allows multiple booking widgets in a single service business page
  • This booking widget allows you to have customized online forms and e-contracts
  • It provides a unique booking widget code that you can place on your email or your service business Facebook page, Instagram page, or website
  • Can process payments
  • Compatible with different hosting platforms like Wix, Weebly, WordPress, Webs, GoDaddy, and Squarespace
  • Overall has the most features for the best price.

When it comes to a booking widget, there are at least 100 options out there. Before you pick a booking widget, make sure to learn more about the features.

There are booking widgets that are specifically designed for a particular service business only. So make sure you check out one of our recommended ones first!

Ready to accept payments from customers with your brand spankin’ new booking widget? Great, now it’s time for a victory dance!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!