Do you need to massage your business admin? If you run a massage therapist business, find out the key features you need for optimal massage therapist software here.

Would you know a good deal on massage therapist software if you saw one? How do you determine what is a great deal for the asking price, and what is just a low price with no value? If you are just starting out with a new business, it can be incredibly difficult to select the best business management program.

If you have been in business for a while, but have been doing everything manually from spreadsheets and Microsoft Word files, you may not know what to expect when moving to a fully integrated, centralized business management system.

Integration and centralization are two very important factors to consider. You want your massage therapist software to be located in one central location where all files and data can be integrated together. This simply means that updating one file automatically syncs other files so the entire system is in line.

The problem is, which type of software should you get?  What are your options?

Below we set out the different types of massage therapist software as well as a list of key features to consider.

1. Scheduling/Appointment-Setting Software

There are two considerations when choosing scheduling software.  They are:

a. Self-serve online booking capabilities; and/or

b. In-office booking (i.e. you or your receptionist book appointments at patients’ requests).

Should you offer online booking?

That’s up to you.  Some people like retaining more control, but it is a nice convenience for patients and it frees up your time.

At the end of the day, here is a good list of scheduling features your software should have:

  • Schedule appointments from the reception desk
  • Allow customers to schedule their own appointments online
  • Notify patients via email autoresponder when an appointment slot opens up
  • Accept online payment from patients at the time they book an appointment
  • Print sign-in sheets for the reception desk
  • Create waitlists for appointments when you are booked up
  • Set automated booking for recurring massages when in demand from patients
  • Print schedules for patients when receiving multiple services in one day
  • Package services in a variety of ways to increase sales and encourage purchase of multiple services
  • Offer specials and discounts for select patients

These are all things that are typically performed manually for every patient that walks into a massage or spa business. What if you could do it all automatically from one centralized software program? You would save tons of time and become more efficient for your customers.

2. Patient Communication Software

What is patient communication software?

It’s software that makes it easy to communicate individually or to all patients via email and text.  The key for this to work is to have a centralized database (i.e. CRM) of your patients that syncs with your email autoresponder and/or text delivery service.

Your massage therapist software should allow you to do all of the following from one centralized program:

  • Send automated email messages on a timed schedule (create the email one time, set the system up, and forget about it),
  • Create and send out email newsletters to all patients in your system (all data fully integrated when patients first sign up for a massage),
  • Communicate open appointment times to patients automatically,
  • Keep digital files of all patient contact data in one cloud location (no risk of losing your data if your computer fails),
  • IMPORTANT: follows up with patients for feedback, which in turn gives patients the opportunity to consent to their reviews being added to your Google reviews online.  This is really important given your Google My Business page is quite possibly the most important web property to market your massage therapy business… and the best way to improve listing placements in Google is to get plenty of positive patient reviews.  Do not undermine this process.  There is software that can pretty automate the entire process; it’s worth its weight in gold.

If you use email marketing or direct marketing from a list of patient addresses, you know how time-consuming it can be to keep your contact data updated and ensure everyone receives the correct communications at the correct times. When you switch to a more efficient massage therapist software program the contact data will be kept safe in a cloud software environment, and all of your data will automatically be integrated into the autoresponder for email communications.

FYI, email platforms such as Gmail or Yahoo is not a good platform to use for these purposes.  You need what is called an autoresponder that is essentially a database of emails (added with patient consent) and/or syncs with your primary database of contacts.

3. Credit Card Processing Software

You’d be a fool not to accept credit card payments.  Fortunately, there are many options these days from Paypal to Stripe to some really cool options that allow you take payment on your phone or tablet.

The best option is one that syncs with your central database of patients so that sales and visits are automatically tracked to each patient, which in turn is synced to your communication software for sending out automated messages such as reminders, etc.

4. HR Software: Employee Scheduling and Payroll

If you have employees, you should consider getting some rudimentary software that handles their schedules, hours, overtime and vacation pay for handling payroll. Your software program does all of the number crunching, so you program it once and allow the system to tell you exactly what you owe each person, or what is owed to you. This is entirely accurate, so you donít have to worry about human errors!

You should also be able to monitor inventory for products sold in shop or products needed to keep your business running efficiently. If you can find all of this in one centralized massage therapist software, you can find the best solution for all of your administrative problems.

5. Accounting Software

You can forego accounting software if you hire a bookkeeper who will provide the software and handle everything.  This will cost you, but if you’re busy, it’s a great option.

Alternatively, you can save money by using something like Quickbooks which is inexpensive, but takes time to manage each month as you input revenue and expenses.  You need to categorize it all properly (which once set up with default categories and tags goes fast).

Fortunately, Quickbooks is very inexpensive for all it does.

6. Access anywhere on the cloud

Whatever software you choose, be sure you can access it on the cloud via internet connection.  The days of using downloaded software are over (thankfully).  Cloud-based is so much better because it’s far less glitchy, comes with great support and you can access it anywhere, anytime.

7. Universal vs. Individual

Once you get a solid understanding of the features and types of software you need for your massage therapy business, you need to do your research and decide whether to cobble multiple software platforms together or get what’s called universal business software that handles everything in one smooth interface and platform.

There are advantages to both methods, but if it’s ease you want, the universal approach is best.

To get you going with your search, one universal solution to check out is MINDBODY which offers a comprehensive business software platform specifically for massage therapists.