Booking apps …
Sometimes the best things in life are free
shedul.com a Phorest felling alternative
It is a given that every skin clinic, salon and hairdressers should be taking advantage of online booking. Moreover, it should be seamless with the booking software used in the business. Therapists coming out of college in many cases already know Phorest as they go into the colleges to introduce their booking app, ‘smart.’ However, as a business owner is Phorest the direction you should be looking?
We know Phorest well, and it was, at one time, the only fully featured salon management system worth spending money on. We can also not fault their support, all round, Phorest is quite good. However, the minimum it is going to cost you is about 1k per year. On top of that is SMS costs for reminder and marketing emails, plus online booking fees. Phorest will also want to sell you their computer system, although; you can use/purchase your own at a significant saving.
Phorest is a great system, but it is an ongoing expense for your business that costs you more, the busier you are.
When we opened Zest, I went looking for an alternative to Phorest; there were many, Versum, SalonHQ, Mind Body Online, Salonlite, Salon Iris, Zenoti, it went on and on. However, none came close to the usability of Phorest. I was almost ready to bite the bullet and give the go ahead on Phorest, but then I discovered Shedul.
I was apprehensive at first as it was completely free, I don’t mind paying, and often it is the best avenue. Anyway, I downloaded it, started using it. It was not bad, had the basics, did the job you could say. However, it lacked some features, drag and drop for moving bookings for example (used to that feature with Phorest) so I sent an email to support. That is where my love for Shedul grew.
What I liked about Phorest support is you could bring up a feature or problem, and they would often listen. A lovely lady ‘Jennifer’ emailed me back from Shedul and said that feature was in the works and sure enough it was soon a feature. In fact, I have been in constant contact with suggestions, each and every time it has either been in development for future releases or they have taken the idea on board, and many went into the development.
At the moment Shedul is still completely free, free texts, free online booking, and as feature rich as Phorest. I also know some of the new features coming will turn the tide on what is the best salon booking app. After using Phorest for some time and now using Shedul for nearly three years, I can hand on heart proclaim Shedul is every bit as good as Phorest and in some ways better. Not just because it is ‘still free’ but because they have had the benefit of coming after Phorest and knowing what features are needed.
When it comes to monthly expenses, every Euro counts, if you can cut without hurting efficiency and professionalism it just makes more euro’s and cents.