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Top 10 appointment scheduling apps for small businesses

READ TIME: 13 MINUTES

Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson
Sep 15, 2022

Between going back-and-forth over email to find availability, playing phone tag, and sending manual reminders, appointment scheduling takes too much valuable time away from small businesses.

Get that time back with online appointment scheduling software. Online booking systems and appointment management software let clients book their own appointments in just a few clicks, so you can spend less time on admin and more time growing your business.

What’s the best appointment scheduling software for small businesses? Today’s scheduling platform market is full of choices. Use this guide to get familiar with the major options.

Appointment scheduling software: The top 10 options for small businesses

1. Calendly

Calendly is a user-friendly scheduling automation platform that makes it easy for customers and clients to schedule an appointment in just a few clicks. .

How Calendly works

With Calendly, you can automate the manual admin tasks of meeting scheduling. Simply connect your calendar(s), create a customizable booking page, then share your scheduling link or embed your appointment booking page right on your website.  Calendly displays your real-time availability, and clients pick the time that works best for them. Then, Calendly automatically adds the meeting to their calendar and yours. You save time on scheduling back-and-forths and create a great customer experience. 

You can even send automatic reminders (with rescheduling links), confirmations, and follow-ups with Calendly Workflows, so you save time and stop worrying about no-shows. You can focus on the work that builds your business and brings customers back for more.

Features

Calendly offers a simple, affordable scheduling system for all types of small businesses. As your business grows, you can easily expand its use to an entire team, department, or company.

With Calendly, you can take control of your schedule by:

  • Creating buffers between appointments so there’s never an overlap

  • Defining limits on meetings per day

  • Setting minimum scheduling notices to reduce unwanted last-minute requests

  • Sending confirmation and reminder emails and text messages

  • Adding custom questions to booking forms to gather important info before the meeting

Calendly works for all appointment types, from one-on-one meetings to large groups. It also adjusts for users’ different time zones, so all meeting participants arrive on time. Calendly also has multiple security and compliance measures to keep information safe.

For teams, Calendly also offers round-robin scheduling, where clients are matched with the first available team member. Calendly Routing lets you match clients with the right staff member’s scheduling page based on info in their booking form, like language, location, or what they need help with.

Calendly’s calendar sync works with all major calendar tools across devices, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Calendar, Apple iCloud Calendar, and more. Integrations with hundreds of apps make it easy to pair Calendly with the tools you already use and love — including video conferencing tools like Zoom, CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, and email marketing tools like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign. Mobile apps for iOS and Android and browser extensions let users manage scheduling any time, anywhere.

Stripe and PayPal integrations enable your clients to submit online payments as soon as they schedule a meeting. You get paid on time, every time, without dealing with bills or invoices.

A good tool is one that’s so simple, sales reps can basically forget about it and let the meetings roll in. That’s essentially what happened when we implemented Calendly.

Julia Pan

Sales Enablement Manager at SignPost

Pricing

Calendly has four pricing tiers. The prices below apply to accounts with annual billing, which can save you up to 20% per user per month.

  • Free: Includes one connected calendar, unlimited event scheduling, and automated event notifications

  • Standard: $10 per user per month

  • Teams: $16 per user per month

  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for larger organizations that need advanced security, control, and support‌

Calendly’s free trial gives you access to all Teams features for 14 days. Afterward, you can subscribe to any of the paid plans or default to the free plan.

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Webinar: Getting started with Calendly

New to Calendly? Join this webinar to learn how to get started with help directly from the experts!

2. Google Calendar appointment scheduling

Google offers online appointment scheduling in select editions of Google Calendar. Users can create a personal booking page where clients can book appointments directly within Google Calendar — even if the client doesn’t have a Google account.

Google’s scheduling functionality is simple — only one-on-one appointments are offered — making it ideal for small businesses with simple scheduling needs.

Features

The Google Calendar appointment scheduler lets you specify how far in advance appointments can be booked, adjust your availability for specific dates, add time buffers between meetings, and limit your daily number of bookings. Google also lets you send confirmation and reminder emails to people who schedule time with you. 

The appointment scheduling software integrates with Google Calendar, Google Meet, and other Google apps. That integration lets Google automatically detect any scheduling conflicts with your existing appointments. 

Pricing

Google's appointment scheduling is good for small businesses who already pay for Google Workspace and only schedule 1:1 appointments via Google Meet, because it’s included with the full Google product suite. Otherwise, interested users would need to purchase a Google Workspace account. You can find a full list of plans on the Google Workspace pricing page.

3. Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft Bookings is an online appointment scheduling add-on for Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise subscribers. The app organizes schedules and manages appointments, letting clients book available times in your schedule without double-booking appointments. 

Features

Microsoft Bookings offers simple scheduling functionality. Bookings lets you define the types of appointments you want to offer, and other scheduling information such as your business hours and information and available staff members. These details are published to a booking page your customers use to schedule time.

On the admin side, Microsoft Bookings lets you manage existing appointments and book new appointments on behalf of customers. The app provides a directory of customers who have scheduled appointments before or been added to your system manually. Admins can assign scheduling roles and permissions, though full user management functionally requires an Enterprise subscription. 

Microsoft Bookings works well for small businesses who rely on Microsoft apps, as it integrates with Outlook calendar, Microsoft Office 365 suite, Microsoft Teams, and other tools. However, it has some limitations when it comes to integrating with third-party apps.

Pricing

Microsoft Bookings requires a Microsoft 365 business or enterprise subscription to work. If your small business uses a higher-tier plan, you may already have access. If you’re not a subscriber, visit the Microsoft 365 Business pricing page to learn about available subscription tiers.

4. Square Appointments

If you’re already using Square to accept credit card payments from your clients, take a look at Square Appointments. Square Appointments is part of Square’s point-of-sale (POS) payment processing solution. Its basic functionality is the same as other leading appointment scheduling apps — clients can book from anywhere, and you can track multiple schedules and locations. Square also gives you the option to accept or decline appointments.

Features

Square Appointments allows your clients to schedule, reschedule, or cancel their appointments any time of day or night. 

From your side of things, you’re able to completely control availability on your schedule. Display your regular business hours and block out specific times when you’re unable to accept appointments. If you have multiple staff or locations, you can manage them all in one place. 

Square Appointments integrates with Google Calendar for scheduling. It also fully integrates with Instagram and Facebook so clients can book, reschedule or cancel directly from your social media pages. 

When clients book with you, you can manually or automatically accept them from wherever you are.

Pricing

Square Appointments offers tiered pricing:

  • Free: Includes one location (Transaction fees apply)

  • Plus: $29 per location per month, plus transaction fees

  • Premium: $69 per location per month, plus transaction fees

Transaction fees start at 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction for in-person transactions and 2.9% + 30 cents for online transactions. 

5. Setmore

Setmore lets customers book appointments with just a few clicks. You can add Setmore to your Weebly or WordPress site or have customers book through Facebook. Booking can be for a single appointment or a recurring series of appointments, a helpful feature if you have clients who come back every week

Features

Team members can manage their own calendars, minimizing the need for any back-and-forth. Apps are available for iOS and Android so everyone can manage their schedule on the go.

As far as customization goes, Setmore offers customizable SMS reminders for clients and email reminders for clients and staff. Users can also customize a few aspects of their booking page, including the URL, business logo, and an optional custom popup.

Setmore has numerous integrations, including Square and Stripe integrations for online payments. It also syncs with most major calendars, social media platforms, Slack, and video conferencing tools

Pricing

Setmore offers four pricing tiers:

  • Free plan for up to four users

  • Pro plan (Up to two users): $12 per user per month

  • Teams plan (Unlimited users): $9 per user per month

  • Enterprise plan: Custom pricing

6. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity offers a reliable automated scheduling tool alongside business administration functions like client management, customizable intake forms, and invoicing. 

Acuity’s end-to-end software service packages are helpful if you want to replace several business admin systems with a single cloud-based tool (or are starting your tech stack from scratch).

Features

Acuity offers automated meeting scheduling, notifications, and follow ups. The software syncs with calendar apps including Google, Office 365, Outlook, and Apple iCloud Calendar and integrates with a wide variety of tools, including PayPal and Stripe for payments.

Other features include unlimited appointments, customized branding and templates for your scheduling pages, appointment packages (including payment plans), and in-app sales of subscriptions, memberships, and gift certificates. Higher-priced plans offer e-commerce features for service-based businesses, allowing you to receive tips, offer coupons, and even upsell clients with add-ons at checkout. 

Pricing

Acuity offers three pricing plans:

  • Emerging (1 user): $16 per month (billed annually)

  • Growing (6 users): $27 per month (billed annually)

  • Powerhouse (36 users): $49 per month (billed annually)

7. SimplyBook.me

If your business spans the globe, SimplyBook.me can schedule appointments in 14 languages to help everyone you do business with easily book time with you. 

SimplyBook.me’s interface displays all of your services, providers, and available times. Clients can find what they’re looking for, whether it’s to make an appointment, sign up for a class, or enroll in a membership.

Features

With SimplyBook.me, online bookings aren’t limited to your website.  Your customers can just as easily schedule appointments through a link on your Facebook and Instagram pages or on your Google My Business profile. 

SimplyBook.me integrates with Google, Apple iCloud Calendar, Yahoo, and Outlook calendars. You can also add coupons or upsells as part of the checkout process, then track the performance of your promotions.

Clients can pay via multiple global payment options, including Stripe, PayPal, Alipay, Skrill, and Mollie.

SimplyBook.me also allows you to make your booking site your own with an array of templates. Find one that matches your company brand and further customize it with these scheduling features:

  • Customer-specific messages, including “book soon” reminders

  • Deposits for appointments to protect you from no-shows

  • Tailored client intake forms to be filled out at booking 

  • Coupons and gift cards 

Pricing

SimplyBook.me offers the following pricing tiers:

  • Free (One user): Up to 50 bookings per month

  • Basic (Up to five users): $9.90 per month for up to 100 bookings

  • Standard (Up to 8 users): $29.90 per month for up to 500 bookings

  • Premium (Unlimited users): $59.90 per month for up to 2,000 bookings

  • Premium Plus (Unlimited users): $99.90 per month for up to 5,000 bookings

8. YouCanBookMe

YouCanBookMe is a straightforward online booking app primarily used by small businesses and individual users. Once you connect your calendar to YouCanBookMe, you share your available times with clients. They check to see what works best for them. When they schedule an appointment, it goes directly onto your schedule.

Features

YouCanBookMe provides a personalized booking page that integrates with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. You can add custom fields to your booking form, and the scheduling tool automatically adds your customer’s notes to your calendar event. Pooled availability lets customers book appointments with a specific staff member or the first available person.

If your small business hosts demos and webinars, YouCanBookMe supports group events that let you book multiple people for the same time slot. 

YouCanBookMe streamlines all messaging related to your appointments. This includes initial confirmations, rescheduling or cancellation notifications, and time-based reminders.  

The platform syncs with both Google and Microsoft calendars. It also integrates with a number of other business functions through Zapier, including payment processing through Stripe.

Pricing

YouCanBookMe offers two pricing plans:

  • Free: Includes one linked calendar

  • Paid: $12 per calendar per month

9. Calendar.com

Calendar takes a minimalist approach to online appointment scheduling, with a clean graphic interface that focuses on the most frequently used features. Meetings can be color-coded on your calendar, so you can see what types of appointments you have at a glance. Calendar also lets you build multiple teams, which use workspaces in the platform to group and organize their time slots and scheduling pages.

Features

Calendar offers standard scheduling features. The app lets you create custom appointment events and provides meeting templates to help you get started. Once you define your available hours, simply send a scheduling link to your customers so they can choose the most convenient time.

Calendar can sync with Google Calendar, Office 365, and Outlook, link to Zoom for video conferencing, and connect with a variety of tools through its Zapier integration. The scheduling tool also allows you to meet with up to five attendees at a time in a group meeting.

Pricing

Calendar offers a 14-day free trial and four plan tiers:

  • Free: Connect one calendar and meet with up to two people at a time

  • Standard: $25 per user per month

  • Pro: $30 per user per month

  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

10. Vagaro

For salons, gyms, and other service businesses, Vagaro provides 24/7 online booking along with a number of other business functions. This includes a POS platform, marketing tools, inventory control, payment processing, and even payroll. 

A livestreaming option even gives yogis and personal trainers the ability to teach remote classes. 

Features

Vagaro lets you showcase your scheduling link on your website or social media pages, publish it on Yelp for even more exposure, or share it on the Vagaro app. 

Vagaro doesn’t offer integrations with any third-party calendars, but it provides several primary admin functions needed for beauty, wellness, and fitness companies in one platform.

With Vagaro, you can:

  • Send targeted messaging through automated customer notifications

  • Create your own branded app and website  

  • Offer auto-pay memberships

  • Create waitlists

Pricing

Vagaro’s pricing is based on the number of locations, bookable calendars, and users.

A base Vagaro subscription costs $25 per month for a single location, calendar, and user. Additional services like check-in apps, branded apps, and shopping carts incur additional fees on top of the base charge.

Save time and delight your clients with appointment scheduling software

Say goodbye to the hassles of manual scheduling. Online booking makes it easy to spend less time on admin tasks and more time providing great service to your clients and customers.

There's no one-size-fits-all booking solution — we hope this guide helps you find the best appointment software for you and your small business. Happy scheduling!

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Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson

Thad is a former Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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