There's an App for That! Top Tech Tools for Massage Studios and Spas, MASSAGE MagazineTechnology can be a Catch-22 for many small businesses. While technology can often help streamline operations and ease communication between staff and clients, it can also be a source of frustration, because it often takes time and energy to get staff–and clients–up to speed.

To help ease that frustration, here are some simple ways to integrate the use of mobile technologies to ensure your massage practice, spa or salon has found its way into the 21st Century.

1. Communication. It’s all about texting. Surveys show more than a third of your clients prefer to text than talk. Texting is the easiest way to communicate with friends and family, so why not make it easy for clients to receive communication from you via text? While, one-way texting (often referred to as “push-texting”) using short codes is one option for marketing and communicating with your clients, you can also turn your existing landline into a two-way text number via an iPad app such as TextUs.Biz.

2. Pay up. Mobile payments are becoming more common, as companies like Square and PayPal make it easier to streamline the point of sale (POS). iPads have virtually eliminated the need for a space-taking, clunky POS system with simple apps that offer intuitive interfaces for both the massage therapist and client.

3. What time? Online scheduling was certainly revolutionary when it appeared on the scene, but now technology has advanced even more with iOS apps that allow scheduling to happen on the go from companies like Vagaro. Apps abound and enable you to book a client while you’re on the beach, in line for a movie or on a ski lift. Just because your physical doors are not open for business, shouldn’t mean your clients can’t reach you directly to schedule their next appointment.

4. Edutainment. We’ve all heard about social media, but free social media apps like Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest and, of course, Facebook can offer the chance for you to engage, inform and educate your client base. Engaging customers via these apps allows your business to promote a vibrant, exciting personality to retain and attract customers.

Ted Guggenheim, MASSAGE MagazineTed Guggenheim is the co-founder and president of TextUs.Biz, a company dedicated to making it easy for small businesses to send and receive text messages with customers from their computer or iPad. Guggenheim and his team of developers are located in Boulder, Colorado. E-mail him at ted@textus.biz and follow on Twitter @TextUsBiz.

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